Girl Up is one of our favorite organizations because it empowers girls around the world to become the strong, changemakers we need today—and tomorrow. We believe that the future really is female, and it all starts with supporting these young women to transform themselves and their communities. And because we love Girl Up so much, we just launched a new Girl Up collection with 20% of the proceeds going to the Girl Up School Cycle initiative.
We sat down with two of Girl Up’s teen advisors Sophia Terry and Kavita Rai to tell us what inspires them, how they want to change the world and why girls everywhere need to support each other.
Why are you a part of Girl Up?
Sophia Terry: I am a part of Girl Up because I refuse to accept the state of the world as it is. We can do better, we can help each other, we can make a difference.
Kavita Rai: As an advocate for intersectional feminism, Girl Up provides me with the tools and resources needed to raise awareness on global gender equality. My perception of international development and relations has deepened. Additionally, I have been able to network and meet girls around the world who share the same passions as I do.
What inspires you?
ST: Women who are themselves and don’t try to be perfect, who work without the seeking notoriety or fame—who help others, are nice to young people and willing to share their wisdom.
KR: My parents inspire me to work as hard as possible. Both of my parents grew up with very little and made many sacrifices to establish themselves here in America. They have given me what I need to succeed, including the right to feel empowered and the right to be in control of my future. However, these rights are compromised for many girls around the world. I believe it’s necessary that their voices, stories or cultures are elevated to expand society’s perspective and empathy for one another.
What is something happening in the world that you want to change?
ST: I think hate and fear is a big problem and I’m overwhelmed with everything going on in our country currently. From human rights to gun control to injustice—I want to change it all. Everyone needs to be taught not to fear people who are different than they are, because that fear leads to hate. We don’t always say the right thing, or do the right thing, but we are all part of a family, a neighborhood, a community and we all want to live in peace and prosperity.
KR: A very overlooked problem in the U.S. is the Criminal Justice System. I want bail reform; I want misdemeanor crimes to stop being overcharged; I want to stop black and brown bodies from being criminalized and overrepresented in our jail system; and I want regulation on the privatization of jails.
What is your favorite piece in the Girl Up x Fabletics collection?
ST: I haven’t seen the collection yet, but I love your sports bras, shirts and leggings. I love how comfortable they are and how they fit so well!
KR: Obviously the #GirlHero shirt!!!
Why is it important to give back to Girl Up?
ST: We have a responsibility to pay forward the privileges that were earned for us. Giving back to Girl Up means the work can continue and evolve for the girls who come after us.
KR: Because we are human and we should see the value of another human’s life and see how their potential is equal to ours.
How can we do more in our daily lives to support the future of girls around the world?
ST: In our daily lives, I think it’s important to tell girls that they have value outside of their appearance—that they have strength from within and that other girls are not the enemy.
KR: We must realize that supporting the future of girls around the world isn’t just about donating money. We must educate ourselves and our peers on the different cultures and identities Girl Up represents. It’s our job to see the intersections between each and every girl and realize that despite our differences we must support, empathize and empower one another.