Remember the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team? The “Dream Team” was the first US Olympic team to feature active NBA players. Journalists regarded it as the greatest sports team ever assembled, and the Basketball Hall of Fame deemed it “the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet”. Well, there is another group of all-stars assembling, and it is MY Dream Team.
Imagine that you have been working your entire career on this one thing… this one big issue. This issue which shakes you to your core and resonates so deeply, you keep learning and working even in the face of skeptics and dissenters. You see, not everyone else is excited about it as you are, some people think you should get a hobby, or worry about “real problems”. But they don’t know the research; they don’t see what you see every day in your office.
Even in the face of opposition, my desire to fight the gender stereotyping and sexualization of girls never waned. As a matter of fact, I just became more rabidly dissatisfied with how girls were being portrayed in the media and how a homogenized, princessified, diva-esque, vapid girlhood was being sold to all of us by advertisers.
I started talking to parents, doing media appearances and speaking engagements, writing articles, blogs , and now, a book about this one big issue. I was out in the community doing anything I could to get the message out in a more widespread way. I wanted others to see what I saw.
I felt for so long that I was on an island doing this work of girls’ empowerment, but the tides changed via social media. Like-minded folks shared ideas, ideals and information. Inspiration can be received by anyone who is interested enough to click on what you have to say. It was here that I found my people. And they found me. It was like an amazing girl-power cruise ship swung by my island to get me so we can all kick-ass together!
In one of my proudest achievements to date, I have been asked to join The Brave Girls Alliance, (BGA) a powerhouse global think tank of business owners, experts, authors and activists who have come together to promote the belief that girls deserve a childhood free of stereotyping and sexualization, the encouragement to reach their full potential, and the joy of knowing that there are many ways to be a girl.
The BGA has embarked on a revolutionary campaign. Through crowdsourced fundraising, the BGA has raised enough money from supporters around the world to rent a billboard in Times Square, which will broadcast messages (Tweets!) about what #BraveGirlsWant.
October 11th is the United Nations International Day of the Girl, and I’ll be there on the ground in Times Square and at the UN talking to girls, parents and the media about this ONE BIG ISSUE. It is an absolute dream come true to stand side-by-side with those who have inspired and supported my work through the years. My heroes in the field of girls’ empowerment are now my colleagues, my allies, MY Dream Team… and we’re poised to take on the world.
If you are in the area, come by and see us! You can also stay in touch with me via my facebook page, on Twitter and Instagram as our Tweets go LIVE in Times Square and to see what else the Brave Girls Alliance has in store for the International Day of the Girl!