Category Archives: 11 Months of Action

Become a Science Sleuth!

DSC09673We have had so much fun sharing our Girls’ Leadership Program with you, and as part of our last activity, we want to tell you how we all became Science Sleuth’s!

First, we decided that if we were going to be effective leaders in the world – we needed to take action to save our environment. Then, we learned how to actually take care of the earth. We learned forest ecology and gardening; we learned about the importance of wetlands and how to study the behavior of birds, reptiles, and amphibians. And we played with a lot of frogs!

What about you? Do you want to save the environment?

IMG_0337Our Call to Action is: Become a Science Sleuth! 

Step 1: Watch as we explored our environment and learned all about mother nature.

Step 2: Tell us how you can make a difference and take care of the earth. Share your answers on Facebook and Twitter – don’t forget to use #IDG2014 and #11MonthsofAction

If you want to learn how to bring the Science Sleuth activities to your community, you can download the full curriculum here Scientific Sleuths Environment Expedition PBC August 2014 FINAL

Outdoor Survival: Learning to Thrive!

NIKON_D5100_20140412_7697We can all make a difference in the world, and after learning about ourselves as leaders and teammates – we wanted to learn more about the world around us. So we developed the “Outdoor Survival” program for girls.

Are you up for the challenge? This week you can learn how to survive and thrive in the outdoors! We worked together to build a fire, learned how to use a compass to navigate the forest, and built a raft to safely float in water.

After spending so much time outdoors, we gained a deeper understanding and passion for environmental activism. We hope that you will join us in making the earth a safer and greener place.

Our Call to Action this week is to apply your survival skills to everyday life!NIKON_D5100_20140412_7951

Step One: See how we learned to survive in the outdoors!

Step Two: Tell us how you can apply your survival skills to everyday life. Share your ideas on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to use #IDG2014 and #11MonthsofAction.

Together, we can make a difference in the world. If you want to learn more about this activity, you can download the full curriculum Spectacular Survival Program PBC August 2014 FINAL.

Girls Show Us How to “Connect to Courage”

NIKON_D5100_20140412_7589In all of our communities, there are people who inspire us to do more! Last week, we found strength in ourselves and now, we find inspiration in the girls who push us to be more courageous, daring, and to take the lead for change.

This week, we want you to be courageous and to learn about yourself as a leader. You can follow our lead as we show you how to cooperate as a team, problem solve, and compromise. In this video,  you will see that we used low rope activities to develop our leadership skills because they required us to be effective communicators and quick thinkers.

Here is our Call to Action: Be Courageous Leaders! 

Step 1: Watch Connect to Courage and see how we learned to work as a team of leaders.

Step 2: Tell us how you are courageous in your everyday life! Share your courageous acts on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to use the #IDG2014 and #11MonthsofAction



PS – To show just how much we learned about teamwork and leadership, we also build a raft out of a few bare essentials (just for fun!). Want to learn how? Check out Connect to Courage. Leading Teams August 2014 FINAL for the full downloadable curriculum.


September’s Month of Action: Girls Taking the Lead

NIKON_D5100_20140412_8065This month, we are proud to feature some pretty amazing NJ middle school girls who developed their own Girls’ Leadership Program for girls just like them! 

This four-part program was designed to inspire and challenge girls to take the lead in their lives and in their communities. It was developed in partnership with the Princeton-Blairstown Center: a non-profit organization that has been helping young people build leadership skills for over 100 years. And we are honored to bring their efforts to the IDG Summit for September’s Month of Action.

This week: We dare you to see girls for their strengths!

Step 1: Watch Dare to Discover Yourself and see how these girls learned to overcome their fears while traveling across a tightrope 50 ft above ground!

Step 2: Share one thing that you will do to discover a hidden strength. Share it with us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to use #IDG2014 #11MonthsofAction

photo-6Want to learn more? Click Dare to Discover August 2014 FINAL to download a copy of the Dare to Discover Yourself curriculum.


#LikeAGirl Stereotyping or Breaking Barriers?

LikeagirlIf you’ve ever watched a movie or seen an advertisement online, you know that the media relies on stereotypes to deliver their message. Often the same stereotypes are repeated over and over again, so that we become desensitized to their effects and the images start to appear ‘normal’. Yet because media messages are constructed, we have to ask ourselves can these images ever be neutral or objective?

Media literacy gives us the tools to deconstruct the harmful messages and images that media presents as “normal”. When we understand what the media is selling us, then we have the power to talk back to the media and decide which messages are harmful. Media isn’t “just a song” or “just a movie character” and ads don’t just sell us products – they also sell us values and ideas, shaping how we think about and see the world around us. 

tumblr_n85ykm1jxw1qazx76o1_500How can we decode media messages? Here are some simple steps to ‘reading’ media:

  1. Think about who created the message and who is intended to receive it.
  2. Examine how the message was created. What words, images, sounds, or designs are used?
  3. Consider the point of view of the media makers – what are their values and their biases?
  4. Try to uncover the hidden meanings (intended and unintended) in the message.


Another way to decode media messages is to think about:

  • How the image makes you feel? Does the image affect you?
  • Are the messages presented positive or negative?
  • What groups of people does the message empower? or disempower?
  • And what part of the story is not being told?
Special thanks to Day of the Girl Summit in Pittsburgh for this great pic!

Special thanks to Day of the Girl Summit in Pittsburgh for this great pic!

For this week’s action, we challenge you to practice decoding media messages.  Here is how:

  1. Select a media message to decode. It can be a product, advertisement, film, TV show, or music video.
  2. Tell us what bothers you about this image and how you would change it. Or, if it is positive media tell us what you like about the message or image.

For example: Instead of pointing out that the girl in a commercial isn’t doing anything, while the boys play sports. You could point out the problem by stating “Why is the girl just watching the boys play sports? Girls like to play sports, too! #MediaLiteracy #IDG2014”

Don’t forget to use #MediaLiteracy #IDG2014 and #11MonthsofAction with your responses.

Hijacking Girl Power or Empowering Media for Girls?


There has been a lot of discussion these past few weeks about the Always #LikeAGirl commercial and whether it is truly empowering for girls or an example of Always hijacking girl power. What do you think? 

This week, let’s keep thinking critically about the representation of girls and women in the media. Because media is everywhere – on billboards, street signs, clothing, toys, music, social media, movies, and TV – it is important that we understand the messages and impact of media on our sense of self.

takeactionHere is how to take action this week:

1). Watch the Always #LikeAGirl commercial or Intel’s Every Girl commercial.

2). Think about the pros and cons of these commercials, and other advertisements that focus on “empowering girls.” What is good about these commercials? And what is harmful?

3). Tell us what you think! Can advertisements like these reinforce negative stereotypes about girls? Do they inspire girls to dream big?

Join us for a Twitter Chat with @LTAMedia and @SPARKSummit on Monday, August 11th at 5PM EST and share your ideas with other girls taking action!

Remember to use the hashtags #IDG2014 #medialiteracy #11monthsofaction and follow the conversation on Twitter @IDG2014 @LTAMedia @SPARKSummit.

This week’s Media Literacy Takeaway: The best way to navigate media influence is to talk about the messages and ask lots of questions! Media literacy isn’t about having the right answer (because we all interpret media messages differently) – it is about asking the right questions.



August Month of Action: Let’s Talk Girls & the Media!

0Over the last couple of weeks, girls have been all over the media! From Colbie Caillat’s new video “Try” to the Always’ video “Like a Girl” – viewers have demanded (and embraced) alternative images of girls in the media.

So, why is this important? How does media impact our everyday lives? And the lives of girls around the world? 

This month the IDG Summit welcomes media literacy advocate Leanne McGowan and members of SPARK for the August Month of Action “Let’s Talk Girls & the Media”! Throughout the month, we will look at different forms of media and talk about their impact on our daily lives. Leanne and SPARK will help us understand the implications of media and give us the tools to “talk back” to the media effectively.

Are you up for the challenge?! 

Colbie_CaillatHere is how you can participate this week:

1). Watch Colbie Caillet’s new video “Try“.

2). Tell us what you think about Colbie’s message to girls and women. Is it effective? Do you think that media images have a negative impact on girls’ self-esteem? Why or why not?

3). Take Action! 21 year old Annie Garau hasn’t worn makeup since January 1st “after realizing just how much time she and her friends spend talking about their appearance” and worrying about how they looked. To change this pattern, Annie started the Born With It beauty project to help tell other girls and women that beauty isn’t determined by their appearance.

img_0780What about you? How do you challenge the media industry’s focus on beauty? And what other examples can you find where beauty standards are challenged in the media?

Join us for a Twitter Chat with @LTAMedia and @SPARKSummit on Monday, August 11th at 5PM EST and share your ideas with other girls taking action!

Share your ideas with us using the hashtags #IDG2014 #medialiteracy #11MonthsofAction and follow us on Twitter @IDG2014 @LTAMedia @SPARKSummit

Remember: Media literacy skills can help us recognize media’s harmful focus on girls’ physical appearance.

July Month of Action: See Jane

“If she can see it, she can be it,” said Geena Davis. We agree. This July, let’s take action, in partnership the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: #SeeJane #IDG2014 #11MonthsofAction.


Why? From 2006 to 2009, not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, as a business leader, in law, or politics. In these films, 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce.

So all month long, join in the discussion. Take action. We will share statistics, research, and findings that all point to the same action for us all to take: Help girls see it. When they see it, they can be it.

When girls see other girls like themselves doing aspirational things, they see themselves able to do those same things. Together, we can help girls see it, so they can be it. 

Let’s get started! Take action today and join us! Use #SeeJane, #11MonthsofAction and #IDG2014 in your social media answers! Here are 5 ways you can take action with us this July:

1. What inspired you to pursue your work?

2. How do you inspire  girls in your life?

3. Share with us movies, TV shows, books or other entertainment that inspire girls!

4. Answer this: when girls rarely play the heroine or main character in a movie, do you think it makes an impact?



5. Plan to join us for the “See Jane” Twitter Chat on July 11 at 2pm Eastern. We’ll be talking about even more ways for you to take action this month. AND we’ll give away prizes!

For a truly genius way of keeping up on gender in media news, sign up for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media SmartBrief, right here:

Thank you, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, for this important July Month of Action! We stand with you! Together, we can change the world!

Voices to End Child Marriage

GNB_US Partnership_HorizontalThroughout the month of June, the IDG Summit Team joins Girls Not Brides USA in the fight to end child marriage.

Every day, approximately 37,000 girls under the age of 18 get married. Most of these girls have little or no say in the matter. They are robbed of their youth, their education, their health, and their futures.

Join #Lead4Girls today and tell Secretary Kerry to give all girls a choice, and a chance, for a real future.

Here’s what you can do:Selfie Project Photo 3

  1. Tweet @JohnKerry using the sample messages below or create your own messages urging the Secretary of State to #Lead4Girls and #EndChildMarriage for #IDG2014.
  1. Create a selfie with the message “@JohnKerry Please work to #EndChildMarriage and #Lead4Girls!” and post it to your facebook, tumblr, instagram and twitter accounts.

Sample Tweets:

Girls deserve choices, not forced marriages! @JohnKerry  #Lead4Girls 2 #endchildmarriage so girls worldwide have same chances I do! #IDG2014

.@JohnKerry: Help #endchildmarriage by 2030! Commit the U.S. to #Lead4Girls! #11MonthsofAction

.@JohnKerry: Don’t girls around the world deserve the same opportunities as me? Let’s #lead4girls 2 #endchildmarriage #11monthsofaction

Selfie Project Photo 1Pls RT-> Girls like me should be students, not brides! @JohnKerry: support girls’ education to #endchildmarriage #lead4girls #IDG2014

.@JohnKerry Help girls fulfill their dreams! Let girls be girls, not brides. #endchildmarriage #lead4girls #IDG2014

All girls deserve a chance at a real future. @JohnKerry: It’s time to show the world the U.S. can #lead4girls & #endchildmarriage! #IDG2014

Child marriage is a violation of girls’ rights & takes away our choices & opportunities; Pls #Lead4Girls & work 2 #endchildmarriage #IDG2014

14M girls r married every year b4 age 18. Girls like me deserve a life they choose. @JohnKerry #endchildmarriage. #lead4girls #IDG2014

.@JohnKerry: Each girl is a universe of potential. Give us choices, opportunities & a chance at a real future. #endchildmarriage #lead4girls

Want to learn more? Visit these websites and tell your friends, family and classmates what you have learned:


Lead4Girls Twitter Chat: Wednesday, June 11th 8PM

InfographicChild marriage is a global problem that requires a global solution. That’s why as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), the U.S. Congress directed the State Department to take action to end child marriage around the world.

Now the Girls Not Brides USA coalition and the #Lead4Girls campaign is calling on Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. government to turn rhetoric into action.

Please join #Lead4Girls today and tell Secretary Kerry to give all girls a choice, and a chance, for a real future.

Join the Twitter Chat on Wednesday, June 11th at 8PM EST with @GirlsNotBrides and @DayoftheGirlSummit to learn more about how you can take action to #endchildmarriage.