Alumnae Call to Action

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 12-07-2010

Alumnae Call to Action

I received this email today from Josie Duckett-Boyd & I want to pass it on to all former Girl Scouts for your assistance.

Dear Alumna,

Children are consuming more media than ever. Most 8- to 18-year-olds spend about 10 hours a day using recreational media (i.e. television, computers, video games). Unfortunately, current media images of girls and women can encourage unrealistic standards that distract girls from what is important and make it harder for girls to believe in themselves.

The need for more positive images of girls in the media is clear. A recent survey by Girl Scouts Research Institute, Girls and Body Image (2010), found that nearly 90 percent of girls say the media places a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin. When they do not measure up to these unrealistic beauty standards, their self-esteem, body image, and physical health can be significantly damaged. Moreover girls and women of color are disproportionately absent from mainstream media. Only 32 percent of African American girls agree that fashion models represent girls of color. Overall, girls say they just want to see more “natural” and “real” images in the media.

To improve girls’ lives, Girl Scouts is raising awareness about the importance of promoting healthy media messages about girls and women. Over the past few months, the GSUSA Public Policy and Advocacy Office worked closely with Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capitol (R-WV) to introduce the Healthy Media for Youth Act: H.R.4925.

The bill is a critical step towards ensuring girls, and all youth, benefit from seeing healthier and more positive messages about girls and women. This bipartisan legislation supports media literacy programs, promotes research on the effects of media images, and encourages the adoption of voluntary guidelines to promote healthier media images for young people.

What YOU can do:

Join the Girl Scouts Advocacy Network to encourage your U.S. Representative to be a voice for girls and support H.R. 4925! Please sign up today!

Spread the word: visit us on the Healthy Media for Youth Act Facebook page.

Girl Scout Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Dangers of Cyberbullying

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 29-06-2010

Girl Scout Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Dangers of Cyberbullying

Girl Scout Dominique Napolitano testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee on the issue of cyberbullying on Thursday, June 24, providing legislators a teenager’s perspective on the increasingly widespread practice.

“Cyberbullying is not just a phase or behavior in which kids will be kids,” Napolitano told the panel chaired by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). “Cyberbullying poses serious consequences to the health and safety of all children.”

Dominique NapolitanoDominique was among a core group of Girl Scouts who helped develop LMK, a leading online safety Web site developed by Girl Scouts in collaboration with Microsoft’s Windows division. The site is unique because it is designed to cover such topics as cyberbullying, online sexual predators and cybersecurity from the perspective of young people. Twenty-three Girl Scouts working with Internet safety expert Parry Aftab have developed the online safety tips and advice for parents and young boys and girls.

In addition to Dominique, the panel heard testimony from syndicated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, as well as Aftab, who contributed to the LMK Web site, and educators from around the country.

“I know from my experience that kids don’t always think that adults understand their issues or get technology,” Dominique said. “So we need to empower youth to take this problem into our own hands and find solutions that work for us. I feel that I’ve had that experience through Girl Scouts, my youth group, and in school, but far too many kids don’t get that chance.”

Her testimony drew media coverage in newspapers and television stations. A story appears in the Boston Herald, and Dominique’s testimony is available on YouTube.

You can also check out photos of Dominique at the hearing at the Wall Street Journal.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Connie L. Lindsey and Two Girl Consultants Join National Initiative to Advance Women’s Leadership

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 15-06-2010

Connie L. Lindsey and Two Girl Consultants Join National Initiative to Advance Women's Leadership

GSUSA National President Connie L. Lindsey has been chosen as a delegate from Illinois to Vision 2020′s national conference in October that will feature representatives from across the nation as well as other experts to discuss, debate, and develop an agenda that will accelerate women’s leadership and equality over the next decade.

In addition, two Girl Scout National Girl Consultants, Morgan (2009 National Young Woman of Distinction honoree) and Natalia (2008 National Young Woman of Distinction honoree), have also been selected as national delegates, representing Georgia and Wisconsin, respectively.

Connie, Morgan, and Natalia were selected from more than a thousand people who registered to nominate or become Vision 2020 national delegates. Vision 2020 is a national initiative of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine focused on advancing gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership.

The first public event of the initiative will be Vision 2020: An American Conversation about Women and Leadership at which the delegates, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, will meet at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to launch an action agenda to move America toward equality by 2020, the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment.

“I salute Connie, Morgan, and Natalia for joining this significant conversation to advance the leadership of girls and women throughout the United States,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of GSUSA. “Their voices will bring tremendous value to this national dialogue on women and gender equality.”

The national search for delegates focused on finding women who have demonstrated a commitment to helping women and girls. These delegates are willing to mobilize resources to bring about positive change and implement elements of the decade-long Vision 2020 agenda, signing on for a minimum three-year term following the conference.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Michelle Tompkins, 212-852-5074
[email protected]

Girl Scouts Partnering with National Urban League on ‘I am Empowered’ Campaign

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 27-05-2010

Girl Scouts Partnering with National Urban League on 'I am Empowered' Campaign

Girl Scouts of the USA is joining the National Urban League’s “I am Empowered” campaign, a yearlong public service initiative designed to rally millions of Americans around education, employment, housing and healthcare.

“The National Urban League and Girl Scouts have much in common,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Office of Girl Scouts of the USA. “Both organizations are committed to empowering people—all people, young and old—to achieve their full potential and deeply value the power of community service in making the nation and the world a better place. Girl Scouts is proud to take the ‘I am Empowered’ pledge and partner with the Urban League in its centennial year.”

The “I am Empowered” campaign, launched on March 1, is part of the Urban League’s celebration of 100 years of advocating for economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of people living in historically underserved urban communities.

The Urban League is partnering with organizations across the country and intends to have millions of Americans take the “I am Empowered” pledge. The four goals of the pledge seek to focus Americans on eliminating disparities in education, jobs, housing, and heath care by 2025.

The pledge can be signed online (http://iamempowered.com), and calls for the following:

  • Every American child is ready for college, work and life.
  • Every American has access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits.
  • Every American is free from barriers to having safe, decent, affordable and energy-efficient housing, on fair terms.
  • Every American has access to quality and affordable healthcare solutions.

The National Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Girl Scouts has partnered with the National Urban League in the past, and has a long history of diversity and inclusion. The first Girl Scout troop for African American girls was formed in 1917, and by the 1950s, GSUSA had begun a national effort to desegregate all Girl Scout troops. In 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. described Girl Scouts as “a force for desegregation.”

CONTACT:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Victor Inzunza, 212-852-8529
[email protected]

Girl Scouts to Take Action on Energy Awareness and Conservation through Trane Grant Project

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 08-03-2010

Girl Scouts to Take Action on Energy Awareness and Conservation through Trane Grant Project

New York, N.Y.—Girl Scouts from six U.S. councils are exploring the importance of energy efficiency and conservation and discovering ways to make an impact on the environment through a grant project funded by Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and services.

Trane employees will engage in activities with Girl Scouts to help them understand how proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics can make a difference in their communities and the wider world around them.

“We know that girls care deeply about the environment, and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to not only learn about energy efficiency and conservation, but conduct an actual energy audit,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA.

Trane volunteers, in partnership with council staff members, will work with girls to take action around energy efficiency as part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, the new leadership program. Girl Scout Juniors in grades four and five will team with Trane volunteers to conduct a building energy audit and other activities to learn about energy efficiency and conservation in buildings.

“Buildings consume more energy than any other sector in the United States,” said Jeff Watson, Vice President of Hussmann and Trane in North America. “Equipping girls with the skills needed to make buildings more efficient today will help ensure a better environment tomorrow.”

Most of the projects at councils in California, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey and New York will take place in late March and April.

The newly implemented Girl Scout Leadership Experience program engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others and taking action to make the world a better place. The first series of books for Girl Scouts that incorporates the leadership model, known as Journey books, was introduced in 2008. The second series of Journey books, It’s Your Planet—Love It, had an environmental theme and was published in the summer of 2009.

In addition to the collaboration with Trane employee volunteers, the grant from Trane supported the development of the It’s Your Planet—Love It Journey book for Girl Scout Juniors that focuses on energy and helps girls perform a simple building energy audit, analyze the results and present their findings and possible solutions.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Victor Inzunza 212.852.8529
[email protected]