Training Girls to be World Leaders

In a program designed to inspire and equip a new generation of women activists, the “Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights” is a year-long initiative which will bring together 50 teenage girls from Villa Grimaldi museum (Chile), the Institute of   Social Development (Sri Lanka) and the Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, to explore and share their experiences and ideas through facilitated dialogue, social media technology, and international exchange.

left to right:  Periyasamy Muthulingham, Sri Lanka Plantation Workers’ Museum, Paradeka, Sri Lanka; Sally Roesch Wagner; Silvia Fernandez, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; Caroline Aguiler, Villa Grimaldi, Santiago, Chile

left to right: Periyasamy Muthulingham, Sri Lanka Plantation Workers’ Museum, Paradeka, Sri Lanka; Sally Roesch Wagner; Silvia Fernandez, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; Caroline Aguiler, Villa Grimaldi, Santiago, Chile

Under the mentorship of community leaders, the girls will use the museums’ exhibits as a launch pad to explore local women’s history and roles in social change, questions of identity, gender-based discrimination, and definitions of what it means to be a free woman. They will share what they’ve learned through public presentations and dialogue, both virtual and in-person, to identify common goals and tactics that transcend differing cultural expectations and desires.

“Cultural exchanges are an incredible way to show the world America’s unique creativity and spirit,” said Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “That’s why the United States supports programs like Museums Connect-to foster the people-to-people connections that strengthen a museum’s presence in its community, and the community’s presence in the world.”

The participating museums are all members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, which partnered in the grant awarded by the Museums Connect Program that is made possible in part by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Association of Museums.

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