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Girl - Your Voice Your World
| 2013-08-28 00:00:05
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    Around the world, teens like IT’S YOUR WORLD—CHANGE IT! you and people younger and A LEADERSHIP JOURNEY older are raising their voic as advocates. They’re speaki out on causes they believe in: global warming, universa health care, racism, child poverty—whatever they’re passionate about. On this THE POWER OF ADVOCACY journey, you, too, will see that your voice is powerful enough for just about anythi you believe in. Speaking up

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    A is for ascertain what you really care about. B is for believe, because you want a cause you can believe in. Step 1: Find Your Cause What do you care about? What makes you angry? Worried? Upset? What do you want to change? What do you find wrong and unfair? What do you think could be better? So many issues, so little time. How’s an Ambassador to choose? Turn to page 38 for tips on finding what really fires you up! If a big issue comes to mind, stick with it. As an advocate, you’ll zoom in on just one angle of that issue—you won’t ever feel overwhelmed. VOICES FOR GOOD: WOMEN ADVOCATES THROUGH THE YEARS 1889 Ida Bell Wells becomes editor and co-owner of Memphis Free Speech, an antisegregationist newspaper. Her editorials cause her to be driven out of the city in 1892. That year, after the killing of three black businessmen, she publishes the pamphlet, “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases,” and in 1893, along with other black leaders, including Frederick Douglass, organizes a boycott of the Chicago World’s Fair over the issue of racism. 36

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    Your Global Community As a Girl Scout, you’re part of a global community—the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). This umbrella organization for our worldwide sisterhood, with 10 million members, advocates globally on issues of importance to girls and young women. For WAGGGS, advocacy means “speaking, doing, and educating.” WAGGGS has six teams at United Nations locations around the world. The WAGGGS UN team at the United Nations in New York works closely with Girl Scouts of the USA. WAGGGS also provides opportunities for international friendship and understanding through travel. Headquartered at the World Bureau in London, WAGGGS owns and operates four World Centers—in England, Switzerland, India, and Mexico. All are open to visits by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Read more about WAGGGS at www.wagggs.org. COMMUNITIES HAVE ISSUES Now reflect back on your community lists, and consider: What worries people in your communities? What do they get stressed out about? Are schoolkids sick of all the cigarette butts outside the front doors of their schools? Do they need late buses so they can get home after clubs or sports? What needs have people expressed for the neighborhood: more streetlights, a new stop sign, safer parks? You get the idea; now figure out what matters to the people in your communities that also matters to you. Go back to your community lists and, next to each, jot down or doodle some ideas about possible issues that may need your voice. (Yes, you can do it!) And check in with your Girl Scout council. What advocacy issues might your council be involved in right now? Can you join in? VOICES FOR GOOD: WOMEN ADVOCATES THROUGH THE YEARS 1899 Florence Kelley launches the National Consumers’ League, which works to persuade the public to buy goods only from companies that meet minimum standards for wages and working conditions. She’s also a moving force behind the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which enables federal inspection of meat products and prohibits the making of adulterated food products or poisonous patent medicines. 40

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    COMMUNITY MAPPING Try creating a visual representation of assets and issues in one of the communities you belong to or want to belong to. 1902 a neighborhood, school, mall, or other area where you are connected to potential issues. Talk to people. “walk the beat.” Even if you’re covering familiar ground, try seeing it through fresh eyes. resources—that could be part of the solution to the issue you want to raise your voice for. IT’S YOUR WORLD—GET TO KNOW IT! Take some time to read and watch national and international news reports. Surf the Internet for Web sites that reflect international points of view. Expand your awareness of issues that impact the world—and learn of people working on those issues. Explore organizations such as Amnesty International, the Children’s Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, the Population Council, and Oxfam International to see where and how they are promoting change. Add these world issues to your sketches. How do they connect to your local issues? expand Ida Tarbell writes a muckraking series of articles in McClure’s magazine about the business practices of the wealthiest man in America, the oil magnate and industrialist John D. Rockefeller. In 1904, Tarbell’s exposé is published as a book, The History of the Standard Oil Company; it leads to the breakup in 1911 of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust. 41

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    ADVENTURES IN ADVOCACY Have you been bitten by the advocacy bug? Do you want changing the world to be your life’s work? Check out some of the careers that can have advocacy as a key element: Ambassador Doctor (as for Doctors Without Borders) Artist Congressperson Filmmaker Event organizer Journalist Healthcare worker Fund-raiser/grant writer Lobbyist Labor-union organizer Mediator Lawyer (as for the American Civil Liberties Union) 1995 Professor Public affairs officer Religious leader Scientist Public relations agent Researcher Senator Social worker VOICES FOR GOOD: WOMEN ADVOCATES THROUGH THE YEARS Member of local government Nonprofit spokesperson (as for Girl Scouts!) Web master, blogger, chatroom monitor —anyone who advances advocacy efforts via the Internet Bette Midler forms the New York Restoration Project, “dedicated,” in her words, “to reclaiming and maintaining parks, community gardens, vacant lots—every potential ‘green’ space that is in disarray.” The pop singer helps purchase 114 neglected plots being auctioned by the city. She buys 51 of the most neglected. With gardeners from the New York Garden Trust, she turns them into “urban oases.” 98

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