Before the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, there was the Day of the Girl March, hosted by Girls Inc. of Tarrant County.
But its purpose is not political. Rather, the event is meant to encourage girls to live out Girls Inc.’s mantra: “Strong, Smart, and Bold.”
“It’s really not a political march,” event co-chair Staci Kirpach said. “This is just to share positive messages and inspire the girls from Girls Inc. We want them to know that we support what they’re doing and encourage them to stay on the right path and follow their dreams.”
The march will take place Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. in downtown Fort Worth. Members of Girls Inc., as well as community leaders, will gather for an opening rally at the Tarrant County Courthouse, where the Girls Inc. Bill of Rights Proclamation will be recited, followed by a walk through downtown. At press time, Girls Inc. was still working to finalize the route, but the march is meant to start and end at the courthouse. According to Kirpach, the “energy is incredible.”
“When everyone is holding signs and chanting ‘strong, smart and bold,’ and really having that cohesive moment where the girls can see how many people are in their corner, I think it’s a really powerful afternoon,” she said.
The event takes place in recognition of International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11.
The first Day of the Girl March took place in 2013, starting with 400 participants coming from Girls Inc. and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy. The number has since doubled. Last year, the event had 800 participants.
Girls Inc., which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, offers programs to girls ages 5-18. Programs focus on education and leadership skills, along with drug and alcohol abuse prevention. One of the organization’s newest programs, Eureka!, educates eighth-graders on STEM careers and opportunities. In 2016, the organization served more than 16,000 girls in Tarrant County.
“Girls Inc. does an incredible job sharing that message to these girls, day in and day out,” Kirpach said. “This march gives them opportunity to see a real world application of that.”
The Day of the Girl March takes place Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit girlsinctarrant.org.
The Girls Inc. Bill of Rights Proclamation
During the march, the Girls Inc. Bill of Rights Proclamation will be recited on the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse. The rights are as follows:
• Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes.
• Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm.
• Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success.
• Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies.
• Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world.
• Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence.