2016 Women & Girls Fund Annual Meeting - Focus on Development of Girls, Further Investment
|Speaker Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald with panelists at the Community Fund for Women & Girls Annual Meeting June 2016.|
The Community Fund for Women & Girls' Annual Meeting in June featured a report on the status of girls in our country from Girl Scouts USA Chief Girl Expert Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald. Following Dr. Archibald's report, a panel of local girls spoke of their own experiences and recommended further investment in girls of color.
"I thought that I would have trouble finding intelligent things to say," says Jonaya-Mone Muse, who says she now has a new-found confidence. "I hope more people find out about the wonderful work being done in our community to support women and girls."
Pictured above with members of the Fund Advisory Board, she and fellow panelists Alondra Arguello, Raeven Grant, Chante Greene and Lily James all live and attend school in the Greater New Haven area. Each spoke of her own concerns about racial disparities among girls in our region, in areas such as health and safety, economic well-being and education. Specifically, they recommended focusing on emotional and mental health and improving leadership skills.
"There are many different challenges girls can face in today's society," says Alondra Arguello. "I am looking forward to more girls studying science and taking on more stereotypical male roles."
According to the 2013 The State of Girls: Unfinished Business report from Girl Scouts USA, girls of color make up less than 40 percent of the total population of girls living in Connecticut. When it comes to those considered to be living in poverty, girls who identified as African American or Latina made up over 70 percent, and white girls made up 5 percent.
"There are a lot of issues that directly involve women of color that I, as a white girl, cannot fully speak to," says Lily James. "I think a huge issue facing women and girls is the pressure to act, to look and to be a certain way, which makes it very hard to keep a healthy sense of self and confidence. I think the kind of feminism and advancement the panelists, as well as the Fund, were promoting was one of intersectionality and inclusion."
In Connecticut, nearly 300,000 girls between the ages of 5-17 were surveyed on topics such as physical and emotional health, economic status and access to education and extracurricular activities. Visit the Resources page to read the full report.