WCCB | Girls Rock Charlotte Changes Its Name To Encourage More Diversity & Inclusivity

Updated: Mar 1

February 27, 2022

Samantha Gilstrap

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Girls Rock Charlotte has announced a new, more gender inclusive identity under the name We Rock Charlotte.

Leaders with the nonprofit organization say the name change reflects its commitment to evolving and expanding its mission of inclusivity, creativity, and self-confidence to include female-identifying and gender-diverse youth.

Photo Credit: WCCB

“Our organization has always been devoted to building a community that promotes inclusivity and equity,” says founder and Executive Director Kelly Finley. “It sprang from my own desire to see my child grow up in a world where they wouldn’t have to feel discriminated against or lesser than in any part of their life, no matter what they wanted to do or who they wanted to be.”

Founded in 2014 as Girls Rock Charlotte, the nonprofit was created to provide immersive, collaborative music-and-film-making experiences for young women in the Charlotte area.

For over eight years the organization has served more than 250 individuals, providing hands-on experiences to build their confidence and amplify their own voices as well as others in the community.

Leaders with We Rock Charlotte say as conversations of gender diversity and identity continue to be had in today’s culture, they felt passionate that the brand and mission of the organization should evolve to accurately reflect the diversity of the community of young people they serve as well as the Charlotte community at large.

“A growing percentage of the young people who engage with our programs self-identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and creating a safe, inclusive, empowering space for each young person to be themselves and express themselves is critically important to us as an organization,” says Finley.

In addition to the name change, We Rock Charlotte has absorbed Pachyderm Music Lab – which was deemed the “Best Music Organization” by QC Nerve in 2021 as well as achieved national recognition in Guitar Girl Mag’s 2021 Winter issue.

Krystle Baller, veteran Rock Camp Director, founded Pachyderm after the first Girls Rock Camp in Charlotte.

Baller says she is excited to take on her evolving role as creative director for We Rock Charlotte as the organization merges with Pachyderm.

“I was so inspired by the power and creativity I saw at Rock Camp. It’s where I discovered my knack for teaching. P