G Day offers girls modern rite of passage on April 28

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Do you remember what life was like for you as a girl when you were 10 to 12?

As a girl approaching puberty, Madeleine Shaw wished for some form of acknowledgement of her arrival into adolescence. “I was really excited and curious about what was happening to me, and hoped that there might be some sort of recognition outside of my family that it was special,” the 45-year-old social entrepreneur explained.

The acknowledgement never happened. However, it never left her imagination. Inspired by a chance meeting with an event planner with whom she shared her vision for an event to celebrate and empower girls entering adolescence, Shaw decided to make it real: the first “G Day” event will be taking place Monday, April 28 at the Villa Amato Ballroom in Vancouver.

gowoyo.org

The day-long event for 250-300 girls ages 10 to 12 will include a wide range of speakers and activities, addressing topics including sisterhood, leadership and social change. More than just an event, G Day is a global social movement modeled on Canadian social impact success WE Day, that Shaw hopes to see replicated in cities and towns globally.

The event also has a more serious side: addressing body image, as well as the social conditions that underlie bullying. “Girls these days are up against a whole new set of challenges than what I experienced. I want G Day to build girls’ confidence and self-esteem, as well as compassion and respect for other girls,” said Shaw, citing recent statistics that 1 in 3 Canadian adolescent students have reported being bullied, and that girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys.

“G Day is a day for us as a community to wrap our arms around our girls and celebrate them as their unique selves, just how they are. As an educator, I know this is exactly what girls need,” said Sexual Health Educator and G Day leadership team member, Saleema Noon.

imagine1day has been selected as G Day’s Charity Partner. $10 from every regular-priced ticket will be donated to imagine1day, with proceeds going to support a project specific to girls’ education in Ethiopia.

imagine1day Executive Director Sapna Dayal joins the list of G Day Vancouver speakers, bringing a global perspective on what life is like for Ethiopian girls, as well as leading the attendees in creating a communication gift to be presented to girls in Ethiopia during her next visit there in October 2014. “G Day is an inspiring act of global Sisterhood and imagine1day is honoured to take part in this year’s inaugural celebration,” Dayal said. “I’m excited to help create an understanding of our shared human experiences through the stories of incredible girls I’ve come to know in Ethiopia.”

In addition to Sapna Dayal, the Vancouver event speaker lineup will feature:

  • Big Brother Canada star and CBC radio host Suzette Amaya
  • Business mentor and advisor and co-founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar, Devon Brooks
  • Ish Jhaj, founder of Shooting for Hope, a non-profit that teaches soccer to girls in India
  • “Sexplainer” educator and blogger Marnie Goldenberg
  • Girlvana Yoga founder Alex Mazerolle
  • Zoya Jiwa, storyteller, speaker and facilitator
  • Artist, author, ordained Spiritual Minister and Life Cycle Celebrant Nikiah Seeds
  • Anna Soole, imatter Program Manager and iGirl Facilitator with Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators
  • Teacher, leader and facilitator of dance, Theresa “Tree” Walsh
  • M’Girl, an ensemble of Indigenous women

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.gdayforgirls.com.

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