For three years the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation have held their annual Girls Who Rule The World Mentoring Week-end. For three days and two nights 100 girls from Atlanta (and surrounding) areas converge, paired with inspiring women mentors who are leaders in entertainment, media and business. In an interview for MommyNoire, Mrs. Harvey, talks about what inspired her to launch the powerful week-end for 13-18 year old girls.
“Mentoring is so important and one of the things dear to my husband and my heart. Over the course of the week-end we give back to kids and show them how to navigate through peer pressures, talk about things they’re going through and how to be successful. We pair them with women in their 20’s that will stay in touch with them on a day to day basis, after the week-end is over.” says Marjorie.
The week-end addresses self-empowerment, education, health and wellness. This year’s mentors included actress Terri Vaughn, Mikki Taylor (Essence Magazine), Kimberley Locke (American Idol) and Nicci Gilbert (R&B Divas). Soledad O’Brien (CNN) and The View’s, Sherri Shepherd have participated in the past.
“Even if we only reach one girl, I know it wasn’t in vein. We can always tell that the week-end was impactful by the response on the 2nd day because you laugh together, cry together and go through a lot that weekend. These girls get a lot of information…what they do with the information they receive is totally up to them.”
The Foundation also offers a retreat over Father’s Day week-end for sons growing up with single mothers, mentored by Harvey’s male celebrity friends.
“My husband’s philosophy is that, a woman can raise a young man to be a great person, a law abiding citizen who respects women, but it takes a man to raise a man. To see a man and be able to hone in on a man’s behaviors and see a reflection of what he wants to be.”
What’s next for the foundation?
“We’re looking for mentors to expand in other cities. We need business leaders to a come together collectively, to make it happen. It takes a village and the village is in trouble. We have failed this generation and it will take all of us to get together to change it.”
On the horizon for the couple is perhaps a book, on mentoring [and] speaking of books, I was curious to know if she takes his advice from his bestselling book, turned box office hit “Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man.”
“Steve never viewed himself as an expert, everyone gave him that title. He was just giving the male perspective to women which originated from talking to our daughters and based on what I did, said and what I didn’t do when we were dating. He just ended up realizing he had a whole lot of daughters out there who wanted to hear what he had to say about it.”
“He wanted to get young women to understand: You have the power. You hold the power and don’t have to relinquish it to anybody who does not deserve it.”
“If the guy you give yourself to is not your husband, what is he? Think about it like that and ask yourself how many times are you going to give “some” to somebody who’s gonna be an ex? Are you gonna let them keep practicing on you?”
Sounds like Mrs. Harvey needs her own book.
Words By: Dominga Martin
Image: Marjorie Harvey