When Dawn Florence moved with her husband and three children to Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego, in the summer of 2004, her daughter Ayanna was the only African-American student in her 4th grade class. The gregarious eight year old had no trouble making friends, but she longed to find someone “like her” with whom she could connect. As the Florences met other African-American families in the area, Dawn found that her new friends had similar stories. They yearned for an outlet that would allow their daughters to socialize with other African-American girls and build their self-esteem. So on August 21, 2005, Ayanna and Dawn, along with five other girls and their mothers, came together for the very first meeting of Little Sistahs in the Know.

In our first year, the “Little Sistahs” read ten books and explored their culture and heritage at events in the San Diego area. In June of 2006, the organization was incorporated in the state of California and in July of 2007, received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. In September 2008, the organization went national, establishing local affiliate chapters outside of San Diego, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and various areas throughout the state of New Jersey. In January of 2014, Little Sistahs in the Know developed its first school model and brought programming to 6th grade girls at Norview Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia. Today, Little Sistahs in the Know continues its work to fulfill its vision of building up African-American girls through an appreciation of literature, history, and culture in communities everywhere!