In 2014, celebrity siblings, actress Meagan Good and singer La’Myia Good, founded The Greater Good Foundation, with a mission to enhance the quality of life for all young women through one-on-one connection and programming.
Growing up in the entertainment industry for a large portion of their lives, the Good sisters want to use their platform and experiences for good by providing opportunities via collaboration efforts with the arts program Musication and providing programming in the Compton Unified School District.
Their combined efforts have presented the sisters a unique opportunity to merge philanthropy and fashion, establishing a socially conscious collaboration between the Defend Paris clothing line and The Greater Good Foundation. The DefendGoodGirl collaboration recently released a limited edition flannel shirt online, with a full line releasing fall 2017.
BlackEnterprise.com had the opportunity to catch up with Meagan and La’Myia to discuss their foundation, the work they are doing in the community, and how they are using their platform to reach young women in underserved areas.
BE: What struggles did you experience as young women of color that fosters a connection with the young women who are a part of the Greater Good?
Meagan and La’Miya Good: Growing up, we lived in a predominately white neighborhood. We were one of maybe two black families in the area, and we experienced quite a bit of racism through elementary school, junior high, and even high school. Our father was LAPD and worked often. Our parents separated when we very young. Our mother raised us along with our older brother, Colbert, who has special needs, and our younger sister Lexus, who our mom adopted. We dealt with a lot of the same struggles that other young women struggle with, such as our father not being in the home, and as teenagers, questioning identity and self-worth. To some degree, we’re all connected with similar things that we all experience growing up. We know how hard it is to be a woman—and a young woman, at that. So, our desire is, really, to give back to an oftentimes underserved area and do so in a way that they can relate.
BE: Why is having The Greater Good Foundation important to the development of our young women?
Meagan and La’Miya Good: We believe that young women want to be talked to, not talked at. They want to be heard and understood, not judged. A lot of them have or are [currently] experiencing things that they feel like nobody else understands. We feel it’s important to be there for them, share our experiences, and let them know that they’re not alone. These young women and girls are fully capable of conquering the world, if they just know what’s inside of them, despite what they’ve been through.
BE: What type of programming can we expect to see from the foundation, and what is your individual involvement in these programs?
Meagan and La’Miya Good: We have partnered up with a program called Musication. Together we implement a curriculum that’s in line with Common Core standards, and we are currently running programming in the Compton Unified School District, where we teach kids as well as mentor them. All of our teachers are trained with not just pre-existing abilities to teach math, history, science, and additional subjects; but they have the freedom to teach in creative ways, in order to keep the students actively engaged.
We were always creative kids growing up, hence the reason why we got into the entertainment industry. Growing up, we weren’t the most book smart, which is always attainable, but we artistically expressed ourselves. When we were taught in a creative way, we excelled greatly.
A lot of these kids just need outlets to express themselves mentally and emotionally, and when that environment is created, they are able to learn better. This excitement allows them to figure out how they can apply their learning to the things that they desire to pursue in life. We are directly involved on the ground level. We’ve taught classes before, and we visit the school as often as we can to mentor and provide hands-on activities.
BE: How are you able to manage your busy schedules and dedicate time to The Greater Good Foundation?
Meagan and La’Miya Good: You just make it work. We love what we do for a living, and it’s a blessing to be able to do it—but nothing trumps purpose. Doing what we love to do allows for a platform and positions us to have greater reach in our purpose. Our collective goal in life is to help others and to be loving, helpful, and purposeful. The pursuit of that will always come first and be the driving factor in the choices we make.
BE: What key advice you have for young women as it relates to school, career, and relationships?
Meagan and La’Miya Good:
1. Please don’t underestimate the value of education.
We both have made tons of money in our lifetime thus far. However, because we didn’t have the proper education during our high school years, we found ourselves with nothing to show [for it] on many occasions. Then we had to go back and relearn things that we would’ve learned in school, in order to take care of ourselves and provide for our families.
2. Whatever you want to pursue, do your homework.
Research! Study people who are doing the thing that you want to do, and put in the work. Many people may not be as talented as you at something they pursue, but because they do the work, they will accomplish their goal. Be willing to go above and beyond and prepare for the thing that you want as if it’s already happening, before it even happens. Don’t give up, don’t take rejection personally, stay the course, stay prayed up, stay focused, and stay prepared.
3. In relationships, don’t sacrifice things you can’t live with long term.
Set the pace for what you desire and what you will and will not accept early on. Be with someone who makes you better and holds you accountable; someone who respects you and sees you as highly as you see yourself… maybe even higher if you’re lucky. Consult God on all relationships and people that you deal with. Always remember that a good relationship is not a necessity, it’s a gift.
4. Lastly, but most importantly, make sure that you talk to God.
Talk to God about what you desire to pursue and make sure that you have His blessing. When you have His blessing, you can’t lose, no matter what comes your way that tries to discourage you.