By Jade Koenigs, Girls Inc. of Greater Madison Leadership & Advocacy Specialist
At the end of September, Girls Inc. held a conference in Washington, DC, surrounding Advocacy. In Washington, staff from all positions and locations within what is now known as the United States and Canada gathered to learn, inspire and advocate on issues important to nonbinary youth and youth who identify as girls.
From Sunday to Tuesday, I participated in the conference, understanding the role that a nonprofit organization plays within the political scheme and how important it is for us to advocate on the social justice issues our community advocates for. While we cannot be partisan, meaning siding as "Democrat," "Republican" or another political group, we can do as we say we do: serve to amplify the voices in our community.
On Wednesday, they scheduled me to talk to senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, and at first, I was nervous. I started to think about every excuse under the sun, but ultimately, I thought:
“If I tell my Girls Inc members that they have a voice, but I don't use mine, then how does that hypocrisy seep into the cracks of my intentional programming?”
I didn't want to do it, but I did it anyway. Because our youth and our community are worth it.
I talked to them about three issues:
- Addressing Period Poverty
- Reproductive Rights
- Comprehensive Sexual Education
And as November Elections are coming up, I'm excited to continue that work here as the Leadership & Advocacy Specialist with Girls Inc!
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