Girls Inc. girls are learning skills to make real change in their local communities, and adding their voices to powerful national movements.
Sultanah, a 17-year old member of our Leadership and Advocacy program, was one of Girls Inc.’s 13 girls and 8 staff members who joined the Women’s March last month. At Girls Inc., Sultanah and her peers are organizing projects to speak out against sexual violence and environmental injustice. As she marched for change, Sultanah recognized the support from the wider community around these issues— not just from people who looked like her, but from all ages, races, genders, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. When they saw the group of red Girls Inc. t-shirts, many marchers would yell out their appreciation and support.
Sultanah described the march as being a moment of realizing “you’re not alone in the world, there are people out there who think like you.”
Like so many girls and women, Girls Inc. girls have also joined the #MeToo movement. Our girls contributed to the recent report on the experience of girls of color in Oakland Unified School District, including sexual harassment, which helped form the basis of the district’s new sexual harassment policy. Then, two of our girls were part of a group interviewed by KALW Public Radio, speaking out to listeners about their experience of harassment at school— and how real change is needed.
As Sultanah puts it, “Girls Inc. teaches girls to be strong, smart and bold, and being part of [these movements] is important because … putting it out into the world is important.”