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GirlUp and Local UNA Division and Chapters to Work Together

May 20, 2011

On May 18 Julie Willig of the UN Foundation’s GirlUp program met with members of the Southern New York State Division and chapter leaders to discuss possible joint planning for GirlUp activities in New York.  Joining were Jeanne Betsock Stillman, President, Southern NYS Division; Marcia Brewster, President and Brenda Smith, Program Co-Chair, Westchester; Margaret Shannon, past-President, Queens and Secretary of the Division Board; Trusha Chokshi, Chair of the Division’s Young Professionals for International Cooperation group.  Leila Zubi, New York Chapter representative, could not attend. 

GirlUp focuses on girls aged 10-14 – a group that UN and UN Foundation leaders learned were underserved compared with other age groups.  For example, UNICEF concentrates on younger children, UN Population Fund on older teens and women, etc. 

GirlUp is a peer to peer program connecting American girls with those in other countries.  The idea is to create a group of global philanthropists.  GirlUp has been working with UNA Chapters, the National Coalition of Girls Schools, Girls, Inc., and partnering with Girl Scouts, the Women’s National Basketball Association, Clear and Clean and other sponsors (including Ivanka Trump, who has designed a bracelet — proceeds go to GirlUp. 

GirlUp’s main effort is to raise funds to support UN-related programs in Liberia, Ethiopia, Malawi and Guatemala, with a view to expanding to 20 more.  In the U.S., there is an American Girl Engagement Program, which is planning to develop GirlUp Clubs.   GirlUp is planning a Back to School campaign, has developed a toolkit with workbooks to be used in class and is working on other projects. 

A Teen Advisory Board is made up of 19 girls now, but will include 12 next year. 

In New York, GirlUp is working with  members of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, in East Harlem, Brooklyn, and Astoria and Jamaica Queens, as well as with several private girls’ schools.  Co-ed schools may also be involved

The program is developing a Women’s Executive Committee, including in New York.

The group continued by brainstorming about identifying potential schools and groups to involve in Westchester and Queens, and the Queens Chapter will follow-up with the Network schools there.   The Divison’s Young Professionals group will be in touch with Julie Willig about the possibility of planning a fundraising event associated with the New York launch for 2011.

For more information, see the GirlUp website  and feel free to contact the Division for updates and if your would like to participate: unasouthernny@gmail.com

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