Good Girls Doing Good Work on Campus


Photo by Elena Harris

Victoria Tillinghast | News Editor


On Thursday, Oct. 21, the ODU Good Girl’s Movement met in front of the Perry Library. It was a warm and sunny afternoon, where gloves, bags, and water bottles were on hand in case the summer heat crept back into the cool October day. Grateful for the mild weather, they stood slight in number but mighty in purpose. The Good Girl’s movement was meeting for a campus clean-up, taking the time to pick up trash around grounds during activity hour. However, more importantly, they were determined to continue to build a community amongst themselves akin to the Good Girls Movement mantra.


“The Good Girls Movement was founded on the idea of basically redefining “good girl” into everything that you are and redefining women empowerment in general.” Says ODU Good Girl Movement chapter president Austin Bratton. “We put an emphasis on community service as well as building a sisterhood and a foundation where females can feel comfortable with coming together and genuinely having—like—certain tough conversations, while also being able to be open and be around more genuine females.”


Founded by Hampton University alumni Brooklyne Baker in 2016, the Good Girls movement is founded in service, building off of Sankofa and deeply inspired by lyrics such as Reyna Biddy’s “Intro.”


Sankofa, according to the Good Girls Movement, is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa, and means that “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.”

Sankofa teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. -The Good Girls Movement

For Bratton, this includes women empowerment, “Taking away the narrative that women have hatred towards each other.”


“I just found passion towards that initiative and bringing more females together, because I feel like in our society there’s a lot of times when people try to tear females apart and tear them down,” Bratton continues.

And maybe you'll choose to ride with me down this journey I'm taking to become a better me. And my ambition to help you realize that you're worthy of everything. -Reyna Biddy

Bratton aims to connect with more females on campus and emphasizes that the group is open to anyone who identifies as a woman. It is not necessarily closed off to those who identify as male either.


“It’s important to try to relate to each other as much as possible as human beings,” Bratton shares.


As the Good Girls worked their way through the grounds, keeping a keen eye out for the discarded wrapper or cigarette bud, they laughed and talked amongst themselves in the pleasant fall air.


“I’m excited to be out here because we’re helping our community of Norfolk,” shared Good Girls Public Relations Specialist Nya Myles, as she followed closely with a carefully aimed smartphone for the group's Instagram @GoodgirlstakeODU.


Kayla Murrell shared what the movement meant to her as she searched around the campus rock for discarded litter, “It not only allows me to make new friends and be around a like-minded group of people, but it also helps me feel like I’m actually doing something.” She shared as she made her way to a piece of rubbish next to a bench.


Photo by Elena Harris

“You do a lot of self-reflection in the meetings and stuff like that,” Murrell shared this was her favorite part, “Which helps me—you know—try to better myself.”


Sean Bryant, a friend of the Good Girl Movement, was out helping with campus clean-up. This is not only because he is a local of Norfolk, but rather that he supports the movement himself and the positive impact that it has on women's empowerment here on campus.


“I feel like it’s a good thing, especially with the times,” Bryant says sharing that his mother instilled in him the importance of female strength, “Watching my mother raise me and my sister as a single mother for a period of time in her life, it really showed me that women do run the world.”


The Good Girls will be meeting again on October 27 in the Potomac/York River room in the Webb. This meeting has the Halloween theme of “release your skeletons.” And aims to help attendees, “unwind your web of fears and anxiety that you have been spun in your life by talking with your fellow Good Girls.”