Copyright 2005
Girl's Best Friend Foundation

Girl's Best Friend Foundation (GBF) closed November 2007. 
GBF’s records are archived with Special Collections of the University
of Illinois, Chicago.  In fall 2008, they will be made public:

Nurture Gender Consciousness

What does gender consciousness mean, what can it mean, and how do you do it in youth programs?

Some youth programs choose to include females only, some choose to be multiple-gender programs, and some a combination of both.

Recognize that gender is one powerful aspect of the multiple identities more and more young people claim. It's challenging but critical for youth workers to acknowledge and work from an understanding of that complexity of vision and experience.

Without attending to gender in youth work, girls and young women are rendered invisible or incomplete. The same is true for boys and young men -- and all youth, regardless of gender identity.

Multi-gender programs appear to be most effective when they include some girl-only time and multiple gender time.

Thanks to Irene Juaniza of Blocks Together and Anna West of Young Chicago Authors for the remarks from which this text was adapted.

Robin Dixon, former Girl’s Best Friend Senior Program Officer, has written an essay exploring GBF’s work with and thoughts on gender consciousness. Read Robin’s essay.

What's working for you? What are you trying out in your program? Contact us.

Exclusive resources for GBF grantees

If you are interested in being invited to any of the following, tell us.

Youth Worker Exchanges
GBF hosts periodic discussions on topics that cut across many girls programs.

Learning Circles
Small, focused, professionally facilitated peer groups that meet regularly over seven months, to solve work-related organizational, management, and conceptual issues.

Training & Consultation on Evaluation and Research
Girls programs find the training we offer a great way to learn and carry out girl-friendly investigation and evaluation. GBF offers one or two groups trainings a year, and also underwrites training and consultation.
Read more about our research and evaluation

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