Girl Scouts of the USA continues to be the thought leader for all girls, especially through our advocacy efforts in critical girl-focused issues like body image and maintaining familial connection while a parent is in prison. In particular, GSUSA has been instrumental in spearheading two recent pieces of legislation recently introduced inWashington.
Last month, Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with teen Girl Scouts, the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, and former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate introduced the Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 2513/S. 1354). This legislation would establish competitive grants for media literacy program, facilitate research on how messages about girls and woman impact youth, and create a National Taskforce on Women and Girls in the Media that will identify voluntary steps that the public and private sectors can take to promote healthy media images of girls and women for the benefit of all youth.
The Families Beyond Bars Act (HR 2464) was introduced in the House of Representatives in July by Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL). This bill is modeled closely after the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program that facilitates child-parent visitation programs for children with incarcerated parents. If enacted, this Act will allow Girl Scouts Councils who participate in GSBB, such as the Sahuaro Council, to better fund and serve existing GSBB troops. Currently, the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona work in conjunction with the Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center to preserve mutually affirming relationships between incarcerated mothers and their daughters. For many girls and their mothers, Girl Scouts Beyond Bars is the only avenue they have for addressing their unique family needs in a way that honors and supports familial ties.
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