GENaustin Challenges the Bullies to a Showdown on the Playground, Welcomes Support from First Lady Anita Perry

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GENaustin presents the Second Annual Girls Now! Conference, on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.

As First Lady of Texas, one of my priorities has always been the empowerment of women

Bullying, teen dating violence, substance abuse, cutting, body image. As a positive counter to the challenges girls face, GENaustin presents the Second Annual Girls Now! Conference, on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. In the wake of last year's successful turnout of more than 400 middle school aged girls and 200 adults, this year's one-day event will again focus on Body Image, Bullying and Being a Girl and GENaustin also welcomes the support of Honorary Chairwoman First Lady Anita Perry.

With Mrs. Perry's support, new programming and a goal of reaching a statewide audience of 1,200 participants, GENaustin's Girls Now! Conference is on track to mirror the success and reach of the Texas Conference for Women.

"As First Lady of Texas, one of my priorities has always been the empowerment of women," says Mrs. Perry. "But the process of empowering the women of tomorrow, begins by giving the girls of today the tools and resources they need to achieve self-confidence and success. Programs such as GENaustin's Girls Now! Conference gives girls those essential tools."

In some ways it's the best time to be a girl, and in other ways, the worst. Girls enjoy a voice unequaled in generations past yet issues such as bullying and low self-esteem manifest for girls in much more complicated ways today and new unreachable standards of beauty surface daily.

"Texas' girls are bombarded with negative messages," states GENaustin's Executive Director, Julia Cuba. "At GENaustin, we want to create a safe place for girls to learn how to confront the issues that they are faced with every day."

Founded in 2008, the Girl's Now! Conference was a collaboration between GENaustin, The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Latinitas Magazine and The Ladies Room with Lolis radio program, and welcomed partnering organizations such as Con Mi Madre, Girlstart, SafePlace, and Theater Action Project. In 2009, the Conference officially became a program of GENaustin, an organization dedicated to fostering healthy self esteem in girls and committed to maintaining the collaborative nature of the event. Over 30 organizations are participating in this years Conference which features a range of workshops for girls (grades 5 -12), parents, educators and social workers.

Alexis Jones, "Survivor" reality star will open the Conference with a Keynote speech on developing a strong inner voice. Topics for the dynamic, interactive workshops will include Internet safety, teen dating violence, diversity, self image, media literacy, parent/daughter relationships, physical health and wellness. This year, the Conference will also feature a continuing education course for teachers and social workers, as well as a Spanish track for parents. Doors open at 8:00am and programming will run from 9:00am until 5:00 pm. Tickets are $20.00 with family, group discounts and scholarships available. This Conference is expected to sell out quickly. For more information and to register visit http://www.genaustin.org

About GENaustin
GENaustin (The Girls Empowerment Network of Austin) fosters healthy self esteem in girls by engaging them to explore and define their personal values and build skills that empower them with confidence and courage to make wise choices. For more information about GENaustin, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization visit http://www.genaustin.org

About GENaustin's Girls NOW! Conference
The Conference is a one-day event, designed for girls grades 5-12, their parents and educators to explore the issues of Bullying, Body Image and Being a Girl through group presentations and hands-on interactive sessions led by nationally recognized experts that are designed to identify the problems and offer solutions. Visit http://www.genaustin.org

Contact:
Christine Carlucci
GENaustin
(512) 841-4040
christine (at) genaustin (dot).org
http://www.genaustin.org

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Christine Carlucci
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