For Immediate Release
August 23, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today proclaimed August 23, 2013 “Girl Power Day” in the City of Boston. In his proclamation, the Mayor acknowledged the unique challenges facing Boston’s girls today, as well as the City’s unique opportunity to engage girls in positive programming and connect them with mentoring opportunities. The Mayor will attend two events today to highlight this programming, beginning with a “Girls MAKE the City” Festival in the Innovation District, connecting young girls from Boston’s neighborhoods with mentors and opportunities in STEM. This evening the Mayor will join the Circle of Promise GIRLS Campaign “edutainment” event in Bowdoin-Geneva.
“Our girls are smart, strong, and have the power to do anything they set their minds to. But they shouldn’t have to do it alone,” Mayor Menino said. “That’s why I am grateful to have so many partners working on this effort with us. It’s so important to have specific programs just for girls that help them become confident, strong young women.”
“Girls MAKE the City” Festival
As part of Mayor Menino’s commitment to making Boston the premier city for working women, “Girls MAKE the City” will connect more than 70 middle school girls from across the City of
Boston with female role models in the science and technology fields and inspire through hands-on activities related to innovation. Young women continue to make up a fraction of degree earners in STEM fields, yet these make up some of the best paying, in-demand undergraduate majors, both locally and nationally. Research has shown that exposure to high-performing female role models in these fields can increase girls’ sense of belonging, reduce self-doubt, and motivate them to aspire to similar roles.
The Mayor will join several panelists at Space With a Soul in South Boston’s Innovation District to welcome participants. Panelists sharing their own personal and professional stories include:
Kate Balug, Founder, Social Agency Lab; Karen Brennan, Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard University; Connie Chow, Executive Director, Science Club for Girls; L’Merchie Frazier,
Director of Education, Museum of African American History; Amy Smith, Inventor, Founder, Co-Director, D-Lab @ MIT; and Makeda Stephenson, Co-Founder, FABLabs for America.
Following the Mayor’s welcome address, he’ll join in the hands-on workshops, including: “High-Tech Bling: Create Your Own LED Jewelry”; “Engineer Your Own DIY Robot Arm”; “Make a Claymation Video”; “T-Shirt Making 2.0: Digital Design and Silkscreen”; “MaKey MaKey: Imagine & Invent with Con-duc-tiv-ity!”; and a Food Truck Mapping workshop.
Circle of Promise GIRLS Campaign “Edutainment” Event
Since October, the Mayor’s Office has been working with Big Sister, Girls LEAP, Strong Women Strong Girls, YW Boston, GRLZ Radio and St. Peter’s Teen Center to engage 624 girls from Bowdoin-Geneva in their programs and services and are actively working toward a goal of enrolling 25 additional girls each. This evening Mayor Menino will join these partners in the Circle of Promise GIRLS Campaign to produce an “edutainment” event, to support the development of Strong Girls in every neighborhood of Boston, starting in Bowdoin-Geneva.
The event will connect girls to programs that promote self-esteem and healthy relationships. Workshops will include “The Relationship Traffic Light,” sponsored by Big Sister Association of Greater Boston to help girls define what constitutes healthy and unhealthy relationship quality; “Love is Healthy,” sponsored by YWCA and the Girls Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts to help girls communicate examples of behaviors that serve to perpetuate power and control and identify strategies for dealing with conflict within girls’ relationships; and “Introduction to Self-Defense,” sponsored by Girl’s LEAP that will introduce girls to body-awareness and teach them how to set boundaries verbally and physically.
GRLZ Radio will broadcast live from the event and singer-songwriter Shea Rose, a Boston native and Berklee College of Music graduate, will perform.
93rd Anniversary of Women’s Equality Day
On Monday at noon, the City of Boston Women’s Commission will join Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley at the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue Mall to celebrate the day women won the right to vote in 1920.
BCYF G.I.R.L.S. PROGRAM: Growth, Intervention, Respect, Leadership & Service for Girls
Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is committed to providing high quality programs and services to meet the unique needs of Boston’s girls. Gender specific programming helps meet girls’ developmental needs in an empowering, supportive and welcoming environment. The goal of G.I.R.L.S. is to help Boston’s girls meet their full potential and become healthy, strong, self-confident, and successful women through their participation in high-quality, meaningful programs that meet their interests and needs. BCYF provides programming that is inclusive of girls of all ages, interests and backgrounds.
G.I.R.L.S. programming includes:
- Girls Only Program Time: Designated times of the day and week, as well as specific community center spaces have been set aside specifically for teen girls to engage in positive leadership development and enrichment activities.
- Girls Leadership Corps (GLC): GLC engages and empowers teen girls to develop and support gender-focused programming at BCYF centers, lead community service initiatives, and represent Boston’s neighborhoods. Community service initiatives range from toiletry drives for local women’s shelters, to providing support at BCYF summer events to participation in charity walks. Girls participate in personal and leadership development workshops, establish positive and healthy lifestyle goals, and build the essential skills and confidence to become successful and independent women.