The International Day of the Girl

By Angie Hayes
The Truth Reporter

On Saturday, October 21, The Young Women of Toledo and partners held an event sponsored by Taylor Family Automotive and Toledo Lucas County Library: International Day of the Girl.

The event was free and open to all youth in the community, with the main theme of “Quiet The Noise, Raise Your Voice” to educate, engage and empower youth and to recognize girls’ rights and the challenges that girls face.

The theme and focus on this year’s International Day was to address the challenges, and to promote empowerment and fulfillment of human rights.  Universal Human Rights include all humans’ rights to be safe and have a right to privacy.  Young Women of Toledo will be sharing information and knowledge on human rights in all programming opportunities in the 2023-2024 academic year. The foundation of human rights, they teach, is respect for the individual. All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

In the beginning of the event, all the attendees had an opportunity to socialize. Food and activities were available prior to the beginning of the shared knowledge, information and motivational addresses by the speakers.

The purpose of International Day of the Girls is to “recognize girls’ rights and challenges that the girls face, and this is the first time we have celebrated here in Toledo since before Covid hit. And we love for the girls to participate with us. Women Of Toledo, we empower each other,” said Penny Meeker.

The Girls Hub Program is a girls’ summer program, for 12–17-year-olds to learn how to design and make the chair. Many partners expressed their excitement and appreciation for the Women Of Toledo, HerHub Initiative.  Julia LaBay, Program Outreach director of HerHub, said: “The program is designed to empower young women by getting them engaged with tools, to learn skills and build confidence and preparation to face obstacles in the future.”

The Girls Hub Program created opportunity to provide donations to community organizations, based on the sales of the completed chairs. Donations were made to Aurora Project, Toledo’s PET Bull Project, Zepf Center and Leading Family Homes Organization. Recognition and thankfulness was also mentioned for Taylor Family Automotive’s support for the Women of Toledo and Girls Hub Program.

“Good morning and I am so grateful to be here and be a part of this. It’s a pleasure to be here. I just want to say, we are so proud to be part of this,” said Terry Crosby, community outreach ambbassador for Taylor Automotive.

The Youth Panel provided extensive information and support to surviving and avoiding Digital Harm/social media negative’s impact which is a result of online harassment, bullying, stalking and images being spread around against privacy.  All youth panelists provided resolution and experience to avoid pain and suffering from social media impact. The panelists and various discussions offered support and knowledge for growth and empowerment.

“There is building momentum of the city of Toledo to connect all of the non-profits,” said Bill Knegendorf of “Sister Cities.”