Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. (butterflydreamz.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps girls develop into women who achieve their dreams and fill the roles of leadership in this nation and world. Through our programs, research, and advocacy, we:
- Equip girls to be confident leaders who disrupt the status quo.
- Build an intergenerational network of women and girls who are committed to growing as leaders, supporting each others’ endeavors, and making a positive impact on their families and communities.
- Cultivate community and corporate partnerships that combat injustice and influence organizational and systemic change.
Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. was incorporated in 2013, a year after our founder, Joy Lindsay, lost her younger sister, Kimberly Anyce Lindsay, to gun violence. As Joy sought to preserve her sister’s legacy and overcome grief, she found storytelling and creative writing as outlets for healing and expression. Joy founded Butterfly Dreamz with the intent of providing therapeutic storytelling experiences to youth and families who were impacted by trauma, such as the loss of loved ones and gun violence.
In its early days, Butterfly Dreamz served the Newark, NJ community by providing free storytelling workshops, hosting youth writing contests, helping girls craft their stories for college essays, and publishing student-authored books. Through these experiences, Joy witnessed the power of youth voice and youth leadership, especially for Black girls, who reminded Joy of herself and her younger sister. She saw that equipping girls to share their thoughts and stories wouldn’t just be educational—it would be healing, empowering, and build a community of girls who were unafraid to raise their voices.
Inspired and committed, Joy formed an Advisory Board and launched Butterfly Dreamz with a bold vision: to empower a generation of young female leaders to disrupt the status quo. In honor of Kim, we would rally around the image of a fearless butterfly, and center around three declarations—to live boldly, dream big, and fly high.
Since our first program pilot in 2015, we have helped hundreds of girls grow as leaders and achieve their dreams, built numerous partnerships with local community organizations, schools, and businesses, and published several young adult books. Through our Cocoon Club program, Butterfly Dreamz has cultivated a supportive, intergenerational online community that connects girls from marginalized communities to mentorship, scholarships, and holistic leadership development. More importantly, we frequently hear from our girls that we’re changing their lives. According to one of our students, “Butterfly Dreamz teaches girls that nothing is impossible.” That’s exactly how we want them to feel.
Our beloved ancestor Dr. Dorothy Irene Height once said, “We have to realize we are building a movement.” Indeed, we have come to this realization. Butterfly Dreamz is a movement that equips girls to live boldly, dream big, and fly high!
In Kim's honor, Butterfly represents courage, strength, and boldness, the same qualities we celebrate in our girls through our books and programs. We spell Dreamz with a “z”. We know it’s different. We know it’s not spelled that way in the dictionary. Leadership means breaking with convention. Time and time again, the world tells our young women that they’re not meant for greatness. For centuries, the halls of power have looked a certain way—largely white and male. The young women of Butterfly Dreamz are stepping up and stepping in. Some will be uncomfortable. Some will say they just don’t “fit.” That they’re too loud, too bold, flying too high. We say—fly higher, get louder, be bolder. Make change.