GENaustin - Girls Empowerment Network Holds Fifth Annual Statewide "We Are Girls" Conference in Austin and Tackles Bullying, Body Image and the Challenges of Being a Girl

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Keynote speakers include Dr. Robyn Silverman, nationally-recognized expert on teen development and author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat; Fran Harris, author of Girls Who Mean Business; Adrien Paczosa, The Food Teacher; and teen life coach Barb Steinberg

We Are Girls conference, Austin, TX, GENaustin

"We Are Girls" is a statewide annual event that helps girls explore the issues of bullying, body image and being a girl.

We don’t dwell on the negative issues facing girls. We focus on the possibilities and potential in each girl and give her role models she can relate to, especially the support and community of other girls. -Julia Cuba, The Girls Empowerment Network

The Girls Empowerment Network - GENaustin announced it is hosting its fifth annual “We Are Girls” Conference for more than 1,200 girls and parents on Sat., Nov. 3, 2012 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Austin. The full-day conference is headlined by keynote speaker Dr. Robyn Silverman, author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It and also includes activities and workshops that just for girls (grades 5-12), just for parents and for both. Other keynotes include Fran Harris, author of Girls Who Mean Business, and Adrien Paczosa, The Food Teacher. GENaustin offers Spanish translation for all keynotes.

This full day of activities, workshops and speakers helps girls improve body image and self-esteem, prevent bullying, build friendships, express creativity, understand sexuality, and be safe in a social media world that’s increasingly connected. At the same time, parents may attend workshops especially for them given by experts on teen development and parenting.

“The We Are Girls Conference extends the environment and community that our GENaustin programs cultivate all-year round, which help girls and parents face the challenges of girlhood,” says Julia Cuba, executive director of GENaustin. “We don’t dwell on the negative issues facing girls. We focus on the possibilities and potential in each girl and give her role models she can relate to, especially the support and community of other girls.”

Girls and parents also choose from over a dozen workshops led by Austin area businesses and community organizations such as Girlstart, Latinitas, Ballet Austin Butler Community School, Money U, Lifeworks and many others. Topics include how girls use social media; how to start businesses and manage money; how to cope with stress; how to exercise and make healthy choices; dating safety; the language of friendship; science and creativity; underage drinking; and more.

Austin middle school student Solana O. has attended with her mom for the last three years and finds something new and inspiring every year.

“No one teaches you about friendship in school. We Are Girls does that,” Solana says. “My favorite workshops are where we get to talk to women about their careers. Before that workshop, I didn’t know women in real life who were detectives or part of the police, and I could never talk to them and hear their experiences. You learn that girls are afraid to go into fields where men dominate, but that even though it’s hard, women can make it.”

In two workshops especially for parents, Barb Steinberg addresses how to empowering girls to withstand the pressures of being perfect and how to talk to teens about sex.
“We Are Girls is designed especially for girls and the adults who care about them,” says Cuba. “We know that parents and daughters leave feeling inspired, connected and empowered.”

Another Austin area eighth grader, Tatiana, says that the “We Are Girls” conference and clubGEN meetings have helped her personally and socially. Her friends turn to her for help when they see girlfriends being bullied or facing other struggles. “Usually you go to things where you just have a bunch of people lecturing you, and you don’t have any choice about what you’re learning about. But I think having options like We Are Girls gives you is really cool because you get to explore more and you get to expand your thinking, and have the option to try something you’re really interested in and want to learn more about.”

About GENaustin and the We Are Girls Conference
Through after-school clubs, programs and community workshops for girls and parents, GENaustin (The Girls Empowerment Network) supports and guides girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood. GENaustin created We Are Girls in 2008 to expand its services that empower girls and their parents to navigate the challenges of girlhood. 2012 Honorary co-chairs are the First Lady of Texas Anita Perry and University of Texas women’s basketball coach Jody Conradt. We Are Girls is sponsored by many supportive Central Texas individuals and businesses.
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We Are Girls is made possible by support from the following individuals and organizations: Rossana Barrios, Linda Benge, Rani Clasquin & Eric Harslem, Jody Conradt, ECG Foundation, Karen Hawkins, Margaret Keys, LCRA Employee’s United Charities, Liz Matthews, Bettye Nowlin, Office of the Governor, Cathy & Dwight Thompson.

alt creative, Applied Materials, Austin Independent School District, aw media, Clutch Creative, Frost Bank, Maxwell Locke & Ritter, MFI Foundation, EZ Corp, H-E-B Tournament of Champions,, Richards Rodriguez & Skeith Attorneys at Law, Seton Healthcare, St. David’s Foundation, Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Santé Ventures, threedefined – a marketing boutique, Tbox, Wells Fargo.

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