Girls Learn International (GLI) was founded in 2003 by Lisa Alter and her two teenage daughters, Arielle and Jordana. They wanted to show that humanitarianism has no age requirement and that youth play a critical role in leading the movement in affect positive change for girls and women all over the world.
GLI is a program of the Feminist Majority Foundation that empowers and educates middle and high school students to advocate for human rights, equality, and universal education. GLI has more than 225 Chapters in 30 U.S. states and 15 countries.
GLI Chapters use an interactive online curriculum, the GLI Guidebook to learn about and take action on a range of issues related to human rights and gender equity including: climate change, human trafficking, the representation of girls in the media, racial discrimination, gender and identity, sexual education, consent and sexual assault. The Guidebook allows you to pick and choose from tons of adaptable meetings; a monthly guide to help leaders organize their Chapter and plan events, and Advocacy Toolkits that allow you to choose your own issue each year to raise awareness about and take action.
Chapters generally spend the fall semester learning about human rights and gender equity, and then in the spring semester organize an advocacy event for their school community. Members can also learn about and fundraise for projects that keep girls enrolled in school within the GLI Partner School Network.
Chapter members also have access to Regional Trainings that provide the space for student leaders and faculty advisors to explore the extensive GLI curriculum, share ideas with each other, and set goals for their Chapters for the coming school year. GLI Chapters have the opportunity to raise funds for the GLI Partner Network that assists schools and organizations that are protecting the rights of girls around the globe.
GLI members can be a part of the Regional Student Advisory Board for their region, where they attend monthly discussions with leaders across the nation to talk about current events and brainstorm how to take action for equality. GLI members can also apply to be an official Student Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which is a week-long opportunity to represent girls’ rights at the United Nations with fellow youth leaders around the world.
Check out the student-driven GLI Blog, The Feminist Focus, where students post news writings, artwork, and feminist opinion pieces.