Mission: to teach middle-school girls & young women to discover their self-worth, and harness the power of media for positive change
THE URGENT NEED:
The average teen girls spend 8 to 10 hours a day consuming media insisting she needs to be “hotter” and thinner to truly matter. Unfortunately, it’s taking a massive toll on our girls. Three of those hours are spent on social media, echoing the same sentiment. It’s no surprise that social media can be a breeding ground of insecurity, and research shows that spending more than two hours a day on it typically leaves girls feeling lonely and more insecure.
At a time when the cultural landscape is deeply shifting, and the #metoo and #timesup movements are in full effect, we teach girls and young women to use their social media to lift up one another and advocate for themselves.
HOW WE’RE FIXING THE PROBLEM:
MEDIAGIRLS is a non-profit that boosts the self-worth of girls and young women by teaching them to analyze and reject sexist media messaging, know their true self-worth, and harness the power of media for positive social change. In giving girls these tools, MEDIAGIRLS stands at the forefront of a girl-powered revolution to make over the media through challenging the status quo and creating empowering content for girls and young women everywhere. We focus on social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter, because girls dominate this world in numbers, and can make immediate change. Meet our team.
- MULTI-WEEK PROGRAM IN SCHOOL OR AFTERSCHOOL: We provide 8- or 16-week programming, taught by female college Mentors in Boston, who we recruit and train. In Part 1, participants learn to think critically about media’s influence on girls, define their self-worth, and create empowering content using social media. In Part 2, participants create, launch and promote a social-media campaign designed to empower girls on a topic of their choice.
- #REALMEDIAGIRL 90-MINUTE WORKSHOP: Participants learn in this workshop how social media influences girls’ well-being; how to be critical consumers and users on apps like Instagram and Snapchat; and how girls can use their power and numbers to make social media more empowering and positive. After teaching this workshop to thousands of girls, MEDIAGIRLS is now certifying dozens of educators this fall to teach it in their schools. Interested educators can sign up to get certified and license our curriculum in fall 2020.
- PARENT WORKSHOPS: In our 90-min workshop, we help parents and educators understand the complicated world of girls and social media, and provide a concrete road map with strategies for making their favorite apps healthier and more positive for girls.
- FREE ONLINE RESOURCES: We provide free resources and activities and a blog to help parents and educators engage girls in discussions about how media shapes our attitudes, and how we can collectively transform the culture of media for girls and women.
- 96% of MEDIAGIRLS participants are able to identify their self-worth based on their inner qualities as a result of our program.
- 81% of MEDIAGIRLS participants reported feeling “better about their self-worth” as a result of our program.
- 96% of MEDIAGIRLS participants site specific ways to make social media more empowering for girls as a result of our program.
- 96% of our Mentors report that because of volunteering at MEDIAGIRLS, they are more likely to take on a leadership role.
- 86% of our college Mentors report that because of MEDIAGIRLS, they use social media to take a stand on meaningful issues.
In 2014, award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and bestselling author Executive Director Michelle Cove launched MEDIAGIRLS, after her nine-year-old daughter Risa almost quit swimming because her thighs were “too big.” Michelle heard more and more of Risa’s peers stressing about how pretty and thin they were, and wondered why parents were not striking back against media’s role in creating this relentless pressure on young girls. In response, Michelle developed and taught an after-school curriculum for middle-school girls, once a week for 90 minutes for 10 weeks. After one year of piloting the program at several schools in Boston, Michelle began recruiting and training female college volunteers (“Mentors”) to expand the program and help girls make over the media. Read Michelle’s “Letter from the Founder.”
- Approximately 600 girls have completed our multi-week school program since our start in 2014
- Over 4,000 girls and parents have participated in our #REALMEDIAGIRL workshops for middle-school girls
- Over 107,500 unique page views on our website to access strategies and activities
- MEDIAGIRLS won 2nd place ($17,000) at PowerLaunch’s Pitch-In in 2016
- MEDIAGIRLS won 1st place ($50,000) at TUGG pitching competition in 2017
- MEDIAGIRLS was named “Community Partner of the Year” by the national organization Citizen Schools in 2018
- MEDIAGIRLS was named a Top 10 Finalist in the national Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards, which celebrates “everyday heroes who are making the world a better place for women and/or children through innovative and entrepreneurial social reform”: