Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara is committed to changing the systems that hinder and limit girls’ lives and potential. And our youth want to be a part of that change.
Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara (GIGSB) is launching a local Teen Advocacy Council (TAC) to provide teens a platform to affect positive social change will make a pivotal difference in their futures. Following the June 24 SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade, teens now live in a society where their individual freedoms, self-determination, and privacy are no longer guaranteed, with implications on their futures for decades to come.
The vision for the Santa Barbara affiliate TAC is to provide teens access to an advocacy toolkit and training in grassroots campaigns, civic engagement and coalition building to drive social change through issue-specific workshops aligned with the teens’ interests and priorities. In addition to learning practical advocacy skills, local teens will learn the history and importance of advocacy for women and people of color, and mental health and self-care in advocacy spaces.
We are building our TAC program and planning for our first cohort. We envision each teen will receive a stipend for their participation. GIGSB is seeking community support and funding to create this new engagement model that will help teens identify and engage with issues that are most important to them and their futures.
The TAC will mirror the Girls Inc. National Teen Advocacy Council – now in its sixth year – which is a leadership body of Girls Inc. girls (grades 10-12), who advise and inform the national organization’s advocacy by sharing their life experiences and views about issues facing girls and youth in their communities. Throughout the year-long leadership position, TAC members develop their advocacy skills from Girls Inc. staff and issue experts, represent Girls Inc. when various media opportunities arise, and lead Girls Inc. advocacy efforts through activities such as social media campaigns and meetings with congressional offices.
Stay tuned for updates on our progress!