Girl Up is a global movement of young leaders who fight for equal rights, access, and opportunities for every girl. In pursuit of equality, we must also work toward equity, both within our organization and across our global community of supporters. We’re excited to share how we’re getting to work, making important changes and big plans to build a stronger movement.
In the wake of police brutality toward the Black community and the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others in the U.S., our team has mourned and joined in protest and solidarity against the long history of racism and injustice in political, economic, and societal systems around the world. We are proud of our Club members in every corner of the globe who, inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, continue to stand against systemic racism by using their platforms to call for real change.
As a nonprofit initiative, within a sector that can often reproduce discriminatory systems, Girl Up holds a unique responsibility to continually strive to dismantle structurally racist systems wherever we encounter them. As always, our goal is to ensure that every young person continues to feel welcome in our movement – not in spite of, but distinctly because of – their race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, and ability. Black lives matter. Trans lives matter. BIPOC lives matter. LGBTQ lives matter. Disabled lives matter. Every identity that our members bring with them to this work enriches our movement. From leadership and staff to interns and Club members, we must all work consistently to live up to our core values of community, integrity, and inclusion.
Over the past few months, we have heard helpful and productive feedback from our members. In response, we’re doubling down on our commitment to equity and have been making plans for sustainable change within our organization. Here’s just a few ways we’re getting started.
In the past 3 months, we’ve been…
- Elevating important conversations. At our Global Leadership Summit in July, we intentionally built out our programming to include more conversations on racial justice, mental health, climate change, and effective allyship. As we plan future events, we’re widening our networks to highlight more BIPOC voices.
- Increasing accessibility. In June, we rolled out a newly translated website with more content in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Mandarin. In July, we launched a revamped digital community platform with better translation, easier navigation, and more ways to share and engage.
- Club Feedback. Our young leaders drive every aspect of our work, so we’ve put together a survey in order to receive feedback on how we can be more inclusive in all of our programming, communications, and partnerships. If you’re a current or former Girl Up leader, you can take the survey now. (Not a Club member? You can always provide feedback here.)
- Practicing inclusion on our team. We brought in a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant earlier this year to address implicit bias within our own team so we can all be better leaders in Girl Up’s movement.
In the next 12 months we are working on…
- Partnering with Club members. In the next month, we are launching youth-led steering committees to give direct input on programming, speakers, and sponsors for all major Girl Up events, including future Leadership Summits.
- Sharing our platform. In the coming months, you’ll see Girl Up’s digital platforms doing more to elevate grassroots activists and the work of community organizations. Longer term, we’re planning ways to create meaningful partnerships, collaborations, and investments in social justice activism.
- Revisiting our core curriculum. In 2021, we’ll be launching a new foundational leadership curriculum. Right now, we’re auditing the existing framework to be as intersectional, international, and inclusive as possible. It’ll highlight the full, and true, history of the feminist movement, with a renewed focus on self-leadership and allyship.
- Supporting our global community. We will be using the feedback from our Club survey to better address the nuanced, cultural contexts within which our Club members are activating. Valuing individual experiences within an inclusive approach to feminism is how we can truly work toward our vision of equality for every girl, everywhere.
- Expanding diversity in leadership and throughout our team. We are committed to ensuring increased professional development, advancement, and leadership opportunities for every Girl Up team member, and reducing the current gaps in diversity amongst our most senior team members. We are committed to hiring an additional senior leader to ensure diversity in perspective, decision-making, and vision-setting for our organization and team. We are also committed to expanding dedicated regional Club support around the world.
We welcome your continued feedback and encourage Club members to take our new survey and supporters to let us know their thoughts. Thank you in advance for partnering with us to ensure that Girl Up continues to be an equitable global movement that you are each proud to be a part of. We’re stronger together.