Tag Archives: U.S. House of Representatives

Alumnae Call to Action

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

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]