Girl Justice Roundup

My take on the news from the Girl Justice movement (locally, nationally, and internationally). 

Local

Got a colleague, youth worker friend, mentor, boss, or employee who deserves some love? Submit them to receive a shout out at The Bridge this year! School’s Out Washington has the details. Given the research on happiness and gratitude, this should be a MUST DO on your to-do list.

Powerful Voices’ blog provides an inside look at Girls Rising, their summer program for middle schoolers. Sounds like it was a GREAT summer!

National

Akilah S. Richards at Everyday Feminism outlines how others view black women and girls’ hair throughout their life cycle. Great read that sheds light on how the dominant culture’s view of girls of color changes as they age. When you finish her article, check out her website. So much goodness going on there!

The Girl Scouts Research Institute released a series of state-level fact sheets that rank the 50 states and DC according to how well girls fare. Aljazeera sums up the findings in one sentence “Go North, young woman.” Read the entire report on the Girl Scouts website.

Also, something happened at the VMA’s involving Beyonce

International

A feel good story from Ebola stricken Liberia: a maternity ward that closed after the top doc died of Ebola reopened, and has delivered dozens of babies.

As back to school nears, Global Citizen introduces us to teachers from around the world.

 

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Girl Justice Roundup

My take on the news from the Girl Justice movement (locally, nationally, and internationally). 

Local

Know local musicians? Geek Girl Con is looking for performers for their CONcert and closing celebration. Interested artists can apply on their website.

School’s Out Washington celebrates members of its”extended family” who were among the 25 afterschool champions recognized by the National Afterschool Association as the “Most Influential People in Afterschool.”

Girls on the Run needs to find 65 volunteer coaches by August 29. Fill out an application today to support a group of 3rd-5th graders as they explore self-esteem and teamwork through running. As I’ve said before (more than once) this org does volunteering well!

National

Mo’Ne Davis became an overnight superstar for her stellar pitching in the Little League World Series. The 13-year-old is only the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series, and the first to pitch a shutout. Sally Jenkins explains what her legacy means for girls’ and women’s sports: “For a few brief days, Mo’ne Davis caused some powerful men to think in a different way about sport, to see exciting new potential in a little girl…Maybe that will lead them in turn to another visceral perception: of how much female aspiration gets suffocated daily by the inevitable narrowing of access, opportunity and attention.” Great read.

Lego’s much touted Research Institute line (featuring three female scientists in their labs) sold out. Great news! Not so–the set was a “limited edition” so the company will not be producing any more sets. Boo Lego.

Everyday Feminism released a pair of articles on having courageous conversations with your kids: one on talking about race with youth, and one on talking about sexual violence with boys.

Two Girl Scout troops in Memphis took top honors in a competition to design and build a solar powered vehicle. Nice going girls!

International

Girl Up hosted a google hangout on The Power of Educating a Girl to recognize the 500 days remaining until the deadline for the Millenium Goals. If you missed it, you can watch the video on their Google+ site.

In Zambia, The Population Council is using a randomized control trial to test how safe spaces, health vouchers, and savings accounts impact “school attainment, HIV prevalence, HSV-2 prevalence, age at marriage, age of sexual initiation, age of first birth, and experience of sexual violence.” The study involves 10,000 girls. I’m looking forward to seeing the results!

Why we need summer camp

Embed from Getty Images

 

“My parents said I’m going to learn more about real life in this week of camp than in an entire year of school.” ~ Camper

The kitchen felt chaotic as 18 youth aged 11 to 15 prepared three different meals of their choosing. One group cut up chicken for Pho’, another made pasta with a pasta maker, and a third group tossed a green salad while they waited for their pizza dough to rise. As I jumped from group to group, I hoped that the food would taste okay.

This cooking class, facilitated by Chaco Canyon Cafe Head Chef Lois Blanford Rivera, was the culminating event of a week of activities around growing, meal planning, buying, cooking, and eating food. During the week, we visited the Seattle Tilth Teaching Garden and UW Farm, planned our meals and made S’mores at Golden Gardens, shopped for ingredients at Pike Place Market, and got our hands dirty with University YMCA volunteers at our Roots and Shoots Community Garden.

The moment of truth arrived. We filled our plates with delicious smelling food and headed outside to eat in the sunshine. Despite having 18 cooks in the kitchen, the broth was perfect, the BBQ chicken pizza was delicious, and the homemade pasta was transcendent. As we ate, everyone shared one thing they learned. One youth shared that “I learned food tastes better when you make it with your own hands.” Another said, “I learned how to make food that I usually buy in a box.” I smiled, hearing youth confirm they’d learned the lessons I’d tried to so hard to impart.

That afternoon, a parent called to see if she could enroll her son in another week of camp. Her son is autistic, so she’d signed him up for one week of camp to try it out. When week 1 went well, she signed him up for a second week. At the end of the week, she gave me a call. Her son was asking to sign up for another couple of weeks at camp. For the first time, he was successful at a mainstream camp program. She gratefully thanked me and my “gang of misfits” for creating an environment where he could fit in.

I love it when my kids say they learned something at camp. When they report that they learned “more about real life in this week of camp than in an entire year of school” I’m tickled pink. But I care more that I’ve assembled a gang of misfits and helped them become a community. As schools become increasingly segregated and tracked, and as afterschool activities become more specialized, kids have fewer opportunities to get to know folks who are different from them. Youth programs in general, and summer camp in particular, can be one of the few places where kids from different backgrounds come together. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the biggest success of camp this summer.

Reflections from my summer leading Quest Camp at the University Family YMCA. It was a blast! Check out more of their youth and community programs at www.universityfamilyymca.org/

 

 

 

Girl Justice Roundup

My take on the news from the Girl Justice movement (locally, nationally, and internationally). 

Local

The Northwest Girls Coalition (NWGC) invites all members of the girl serving community to a happy hour at Machine House Brewery from 5:30-7:30 on August 20. Come drink some great beer, talk about girls issues, and share what you need and want from the coalition.

School’s Out Washington has been busy! They assembled a list of STEM events for back-to-school, and called on us to advocate for continued funding for services for refugee youth.

Geek Girl Con is looking for funding for their DIY Science Zone. If you are into hands-on science (and who isn’t??) for all ages, help them out!

National

The tragic death of Michael Brown and the murder conviction of Ranisha McBride’s killer have ignited a conversation about the violence that black youth face. Anita Little of Ms. Magazine reframes the violence as a reproductive justice issue: What does the right to bear children or not mean, if you don’t have the right to raise them? Powerful questions at an critical time.

The Representation Project shared a cool “discussion guide” for helping girls focus on what matters in the new school year: their interests, activities, and supporters.

The Grantmakers in Out of School Time (OST) Funders Network released a report on released a report on funders’ priorities in education and OST. Top priorities include STEM, Arts/Music, literacy and enrichment, college prep, and leadership development.

Pitcher Mo’Ne Davis is tearing up the Little League World Series, completely redefining what it means to throw like a girl. James Hildebrand at Ms. Magazine traces the history of girls in Little League.

Art and science collide in Camille A. Brown’s new participatory research project/community initiative BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM. Brown’s dance company will produce a piece based on the research. The piece, tentatively titled “Black Girl,” will “explore the spectrum of identities among African American females.” Mind BLOWN.

International

Girl Effect shares the story of six graphic novellas co-written by girls from around the world. Check out the Grassroots Girls Book Club. My favorite story is naturally Mabreidy’s, a girl growing up in Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. The initiative is funded by the American Jewish World Service, Global Fund for Children, Global Fund for Women, EMpower—The Emerging Markets Foundation,Firelight Foundation and Mama Cash.

Stephanie Psaki at the Population Council urges us to not just get girls into school, but figure out how to “ranslate schooling into lifelong success for girls in developing countries.”