Somethin' Fierce Feature Spotlight : Atiyah Harmon Founder of Black Girls Love Math


Happy Friday P20 Fam,

As part of our Friday Something Fierce Spotlight, we found a brilliant leader who knows how to impact black girls by the numbers...

Meet, CEO and Founder, Atiyah Harmon of Black Girls Love Math, she has launched a new mission to bring math to more black girls and girls of color. 

Atiyah is on a mission and founded 
Black Girls Love Math to address racial and gender inequity in mathematics. Through culturally responsive teaching practices, they cultivate a positive math identity for their girls. BGLM provides enrichment, mentoring and a community for Black girls to embrace math as a tool for empowerment. 

Check out our Interview below...

PlumTwenty: How did you decide on your industry? 

Atiyah: As a lifelong educator, I decided to stay in my field but switch how I interacted.  I've worked in schools since 2002 and this is the first time I'm not in a school.  I love education and I am very passionate about it.  I wanted to approach it from a different angle so I decided to go the nonprofit route to still have impact in schools.

     ...PlumTwenty: Eh hem, she has three degrees, a Bachelor's in Human Development, a Masters in Education and a Masters in Human Development - WOW!

PlumTwenty: How did you pick your name? 

Atiyah: I wanted to create a title that was also a declaration and affirmation - by saying " Black Girls Love Math" we're intentionally shifting the mindset of people that are math averse.

PlumTwenty: How much money did you start your company with?
Atiyah: I started my company with a donation of $1,000 for the logo and $10,000 for start up costs.  I resigned from a 6-figure full time job to pursue this so I saved money to maintain my lifestyle for at least 8 months.

PlumTwenty: What was the first mistake you made in your business? 
Atiyah: Not doing enough research on the legal side of nonprofits!  I thought the rules would be the same because I worked at a school - how wrong I was!

PlumTwenty: Have you considered building a team? or do you have one now?
Atiyah: I built a team within 5 months of starting the organization.  I am a team player and realize I needed help and lots of it!  I have 5 volunteers helping me.  They are really helping push us to the next level. 

PlumTwenty: How has COVID impacted your business, either in manufacturing or community? 
Atiyah: We've had to think about COVID restrictions in shared spaces and learned to create a virtual course to allow more girls to participate. 

PlumTwenty: Which female founders inspire you most?
Atiyah: Kimberly Bryant from Black Girls Code, Aisha Turman from The Black Girl Project and Brittany Rhodes from Black Girl Mathgic

Now that you read this, we know you are ready to get the budding entrepreneur in your life some math love, and go checkout the website BlackGirlsLoveMath to learn more and be sure to follow their Instagram

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