I’m taking a break from an essay this week, but I thought I’d take the opportunity do something else in its stead. Recently, via my links, I’ve shared a few lists of worthy organizations recommended to support these days. Now I’m contributing my own list, focused on a group that also deserves plenty of support right now: girls.
It’s a cause close to my heart—as it happens, I was once a girl, and I also happen to be engaged, as a mother, in raising a girl. And while it’s rarely easy to be a girl, I feel this year has been exceptionally rough. The ongoing onslaught of sexism reported on the political front, the ascendency to office of a man with deplorable behavior towards women and the heartbreakingly close miss at a chance to see the first American woman as president. Not to mention the chilling immediate future for women’s health and rights. These are the messages they’re getting now about how they are valued and supported. If there ever were a time to invest in educating, strengthening and caring for our girls, this is it.
So here’s my call to arms. Following is a list of some of my favorite organizations fighting the good fight for girls. Please consider sending one or more of them a donation if you can. If that’s not feasible, please follow them on social media, join their mailing lists and spread the news about their work. Several of them also have volunteer opportunities. Chances are, you know a girl somewhere who would appreciate your support.
Girls Leadership “teaches the skills to be brave, resilient and connected, equipping girls to make change in their world.” They offer summer camps, clubs and other resources—including for parents, which I make use of regularly.
Yes, as a technologist, educator and tech diversity/inclusion advocate, technology-focused causes are close to my mind—but what better way to equip girls to build the future? Girls Who Code brings computer science clubs and classes to thousands of middle and high school girls nationwide.
BGC has been going strong for more than five years, bringing regular STEM classes to girls of color. They’re basically the best.
Girls Make Games provide annual summer camps to teach girls how to create video games. Keep an eye on their store—they often feature pretty great illustrations from women artists, and it’s a good way to support their work while also getting yourself something awesome.
DIY Girls is a LA-based organization that focuses on camps and workshops that introduce girls to engineering and they cover everything from power tools and circuit boards to 3-D printing and coding. A large percentage of the population they serve is Latina. Check out their starter kits for sale!
Girls Rock camps are where girls come to learn about being rock stars, in whatever way they want to. If you’re unfamiliar with their impact, I recommend the documentary Girls Rock! to see how they create space for girls to be creative and speak their minds. Camps are all over the country, and this foundation raises money to support them all.
A NYC-based community of women writers that provides mentoring, programs and workshops to girls who want to write and tell their stories.
She Should Run is a national network of resources for women who want to run for political office. You can use their forms to send messages to women you think should consider running and they also have an incubator to prepare candidates.
Girls for a Change is a national organization focused on building supportive community for girls of color. They offer regular programs to train girls and leaders and solve problems in their communities.
An organization that provides mentorship and after-school programs for girls from girls from under-resourced communities that encourages them to go to college and find successful careers.
A Chicago- and Austin-based org that creates mentorship and leadership opportunities for refugee girls.
All of the previous recommendations are US-based, as I am, but I think it’s worthy including She’s the First, a global org that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries. Not only is supporting girls everywhere always a good call, it’s a way to model empathy and social responsibility to those girls in your immediate orbit.