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As a youth service leader, you know that there are gender specific issues that face the youth of today. But did you know that there is a support network here in Jacksonville that can help you and your employees to understand those differences for girls and to better address them in your agency?

The First Coast Girls Initiative is an all-volunteer coalition made up of youth serving organizations that care about girl’s needs and their rights. The FCGI began in 2001 with the support of the Remmer Family and has grown to include more than 25 participating organizations. Our mission is to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to serve girls more effectively and efficiently through gender responsive education and advocacy.

The FCGI offers educational programs throughout the year on relevant topics such as cyber-bullying, child sexual abuse prevention, healthy relationships, self-esteem and body image, and media literacy. In addition to the bi-annual workshops, we also sponsor a nationally known guest speaker for a day long workshop on important issues facing girls today. Last year, Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author of “So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids” and “Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and FeelOver” facilitated a media literacy discussion after a screening of Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Sundance nominate film “Miss Representation”. More than 100 staff members and program directors from agencies, such as yours, attended this informative workshop and luncheon.

The First Coast Girls Initiative wants to continue to provide high-quality, local, educational opportunities to you and your staff. We deeply care about providing advocacy and education on gender specific issues for girls but we cannot achieve this mission alone. We need you to join us and lend your voice and support to girls on the First Coast.

Please consider becoming a member of the First Coast Girls Initiative for $50.00 per year. This membership will come with discounts to our educational programs for you and your staff, information about your agency or program on our website, and an opportunity to showcase your programs at our workshops and seminars.