Today is International Day of the Girl.
This day exists because there are roughly 1.1 billion girls living around the globe - 15 million of which marry before the age of 18 and 130 million of them - between the ages of 6-17 - do not have access to education. Today exists because every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies from violence. Today exists because there are an estimated 1,920,000 girls around the world who are victims of human trafficking. Today exists because girls matter. And there is no more time to waste.
Despite the heaviness that can accompany reflection on statistics like these, we cannot forget about all of the active, passion-filled, progressive steps people around the world are making everyday - steps made on behalf of, and by young womxn. We believe it is crucial to hold space for the balance — to reflect and learn from the past, but turn that energy into motivation that illuminates our path forward. There are girls around the world doing this everyday - fighting for their futures, advocating for their rights. It's crucial we hear them, we support them, and we ACT with them.
3 YOUTH ACTIVISTS WE LOVE
Pictured above: Isra Hirsi by Adam Iverson
Isra Hirsi is one of these girls. Hirsi is a 16-year-old climate activist who is extremely passionate about highlighting awareness around environmental racism. She was a co-director of the first-ever Youth Climate Strike in the US, and continues to advocate, march, and amplify voices of communities of color around the climate crisis. You can find her talking about diversifying the climate movement here.
Photo from Mari Copeny’s website
Mari Copeny, also known as ‘Little Miss Flint’, is another young activist speaking out about climate change and the power of equal opportunity. On her way to attending a Congressional Hearing on the water crisis in Washington, DC, Mari wrote a letter to Barak Obama, convincing him to come to Flint, Michigan during the height of their water crisis. Since 2016, Mari has fundraised over $500,000 with the nonprofit organization Pack Your Back, which has helped over 25,000 children in Flint and beyond. These funds have gone towards supporting students in getting school supplies, toys, bikes, clean water, and other resources needed to ensure a fulfilled and healthy life.
Desmond Napoles - aka Desmond is Amazing - is a 12-year-old ‘drag kid’, public speaker, model, awarded LGBTQ advocate, outspoken gay youth, entrepreneur of his very own drag house: The Haus of Amazing, amongst other incredible feats. Desmond works to inspire and empower LGBTQ+ youth to embrace their uniqueness and own their self-expression — so far, he’s done a pretty outstanding job.
SHE IS THE UNIVERSE
She is the Universe - a project we're extremely passionate about supporting - explores and shares the stories of extraordinary girls leading ordinary lives. Founded by storyteller Laura Peña, She is the Universe travels to 111 teenage girls over 6 continents - asking, documenting, and empathizing with girls who's voices and stories deserve to be heard. This platform discusses what it means to be a girl today and what we can do to help and support them. The first episode in Season 2 is launched today, visit their website to learn more and get involved.
Considering reflecting on ways you can empower the girls in your life.
How will you support and encourage a young womxn today?
How will you show up and show her she has a right to believe she can change the world?
What is something important you’ve learned from a girl in your life recently?
Written by Zoë Hernandez. Zoë is a process-oriented creative, passionate about the mind-body connection, questions, and compelling visual storytelling. She uses her background in somatic psychology and photography to understand, empathize, and create work that makes everyone feel like art.