By Nyesha Stone
Alverno College hosted its first State of Wisconsin Girl’s Summit based off its study, which revealed Wisconsin girls are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying, sex trafficking and more.
The point of the Girl’s Summit was to show Wisconsin girls that there are resources and role models available to help them through life.
According to Alverno’s website, “The inaugural State of Wisconsin Girls Summit 2019 brings together thought leaders, inspiring voices and workshops that young people and adults cannot miss if they want to respond to the issues facing girls.”
It was an all-day event that ran from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Alverno College Sister Joel Read Center on March 23.
Since this was an event to inspire young girls, it was an honor for Alverno to present 14-year-old Marley Dias as the keynote speaker. Dias is the founder of the social media campaign #1000BlackGirlBooks. She noticed that there weren’t many books that featured characters like her—a Black girl—so she took it upon herself to start taking donations.
Her campaign eventually went national and now she’s collected over 12,000 books. She’s also the author of her own book, “Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!” and is a prior editor.
Hundreds of girls gathered at the Center to hear Dias speak and each one received one of Dias’s book, which she personally signed.
She told the girls to “read everything you possibly can and don’t forget to write it all down.” Dias stood tall on stage with her brightly colored yellow cheetah sweater with black patterns.
Dias discussed her career, what it means to use your voice efficiently and Alverno’s research report. She said since we know these things are happening to our girls, we need to find ways to inspire them, such as using Facebook in a more positive light.
Instead of false realities, we should be seeing “everyday girl experiences” online.
“The women of today are the girls of the past,” she said about why it’s important to pay attention to our girls today.
She even talked about the phrase “mini me.” Most girls, and women, have been called another woman’s mini me, but Dias says we are all our own people, so treat girls as such.
And most importantly, she told the girls to stick by their own ideas and to believe in them.
“My ideas are great not because I’m young, Black or a girl, but because they’re great,” she said.
For the full report, visit https://www.alverno.edu/research/statusofgirls.php.