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.”Read More
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.Read More
NEW YORK, N.Y.—The increased scrutiny of the fashion industry and its use of ultrathin models isn’t without validation, as nearly 9 in 10 American teenage girls say that the fashion industry is at least partially responsible for “girls’ obsession with being skinny,” according to Beauty Redefined, a national survey released today by the Girl Scouts of the USA.
The nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, finds many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say the fashion industry (89 percent) and/or the media (88 percent) place a lot of pressure on them to be thin. However, despite the criticism of this industry, three out of four girls say that fashion is “really important” to them.
A substantial majority of those surveyed say they would prefer that the fashion industry project more “real” images. Eighty-one percent of teen girls say they would prefer to see natural photos of models rather than digitally altered and enhanced images. Seventy-five percent say they would be more likely to buy clothes they see on real-size models than on women who are super skinny.
In addition to celebrities and fashion models, the study also showed that peers (82 percent), friends (81 percent), and parents (65%), are strong influences in how teenage girls feel about their bodies. Girl Scouts of the USA, who partner with the Dove® Self-Esteem Fund to offer self-esteem programming for girls nationwide, will be focusing their core leadership program to address the issue through its uniquely ME!, program.
“The fashion industry remains a powerful influence on girls and the way they view themselves and their bodies,” said Kimberlee Salmond, Senior Researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute. “There is little question that teenage girls take cues about how they should look from models they see in fashion magazines and on TV and it is something that they struggle to reconcile with when they look at themselves in the mirror.”
The Girl Scout survey comes amid continuing controversy over super thin models, so-called “size zeros.” Critics say the models are dangerously underweight and have charged that the fashion industry’s preference for waif-like women has led to models engaging in obsessive dieting and extreme weight loss, as well as set a poor example for teenage girls. Fashion shows in Madrid, Milan and elsewhere now ban models below a certain body-mass index.
This topic, along with the survey results, will be the focal point of a media event held at Bryant Park Hotel on February 10, 2010, one day before New York City’s legendary Fashion Week begins. With celebrity panelists and expert guests, Girl Scouts of the USA hopes to address the impact of fashion on girls.
The health implications of the preoccupation with super thinness are serious. Nearly one in three girls say they have starved themselves or refused to eat in an effort to lose weight. In addition, 42 percent report knowing someone their age who has forced themselves to throw up after eating, while more than a third (37 percent) say they know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
The survey, conducted by the youth research firm Tru, also found most teenagers consider weight loss measures—even some of the more extreme— acceptable. Twenty-five percent say it’s acceptable for girls their age to take appetite suppressants and/or weight-loss pills, and nearly one in five consider plastic surgery and/or weight-loss surgery acceptable.Read More
New York, N.Y. —Two leading nonprofit organizations have joined forces to help girls take action to improve the environment and their communities by promoting green schools. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) will team with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to leverage local Girl Scouts Forever Green projects as part of USGBC’s National Green Schools Campaign. Girls will team with USGBC volunteers throughout its extensive chapter network to develop and use their leadership skills to significantly impact the environment by working in schools and throughout their communities to save energy, conserve water, increase green space, improve air quality and reduce waste.
The announcement of the GSUSA/USGBC partnership coincides with the mass market release of the Girl Scouts’ new series, It’s Your Planet–Love It! The environmentally-themed books help girls tackle issues of conservation, pollution and renewable and reusable resources and challenge them to take the lead in protecting the planet. The series, developed for girls in grades K-12, uses lessons and exercises that focus on leadership development.
“The environment—protecting it, preserving it, and understanding it—is a tremendously important issue to today’s girls. This new partnership is a great opportunity to combine their passion and energy with USGBC’s knowhow and organization to make a significant difference in the future environmental footprint of America’s schools,” said Kathy Cloninger, CEO, GSUSA.
Green schools cost less to operate, freeing up resources to truly improve students’ education. Across the country, school districts large and small are realizing the benefits of green schools. Students, parents, teachers and community members are making the difference, by letting decision makers know they want their schools built, operated, and maintained green. The Green Schools Campaign provides a natural way for Girl Scouts to apply their environmental lessons in their own educational community.
USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC launched the National Green Schools Campaign in 2007, with the ambitious goal to provide a green school for every child in America within a generation. Through this campaign, USGBC supports federal, state and local initiatives that advance the green schools movement.
“Through our partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, we have the potential to reach and inspire millions of girls – America’s future leaders – to impact the way school buildings are designed, built and operated, enabling a healthier and environmentally responsible built environment for future students and teachers,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC.
Tens of thousands of Girl Scouts throughout the country are engaged in environmentally friendly projects in their communities as part of the Forever Green initiative. Forever Green projects are part of a range of activities leading up the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in 2012.
U.S. Green Building Council
Ashley Katz 202.742.3738
It’s been a great year, and I wish I’d have been able to post more for you, but I’m just getting warmed up. I wish you all a very fantastic Christmas and a terrific new year. I pledge to be able to post more badge work activities in 2010 as I upgrade my badge books to the current versions as a Christmas present to myself!
To you & yours, Merry Christmas!
I’ve always got my ear to the ground, and when I saw this I thought it was pretty awesome. Fabric.com is now selling Girl Scout Fabric themed prints. I’ve seen more and more Girl Scout crafty things at retail stores (like the scrapbooking kits at my local craft store), but this is really cool for any sewing or other fabric related crafts for troops to take part in.
The Girl Scouts® Fabric Collection celebrates the spirit of this treasured organization with a combination of fun and colorful designs. Inspirational words mix easily with “Think Green” slogans and the traditional Girl Scouts® cookies. This collection is appropriate for quilting and craft projects as well as apparel and home decor accents.
I promise to find more crafts to share that you can use this fabric for!Read More