**For Immediate Release**
Council Member Letitia James and Council Member Darlene Mealy Hold Girls Empowerment Legislative Breakfast
Council Members Address Issues Facing Young Girls Growing Up in New York City
(NY, New York, April 15, 2009)- New York City Council Members Letitia James of Brooklyn’s 35th District and Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn’s 41st District brought together dozens of local young women and girls to discuss a wide range of issues they face in their communities. The Council Members took the opportunity to have a frank discussion with the girls and to empower them with information to deal with the many pressures they experience every day.
The Girls Empowerment Breakfast was well attended by over 60 girls, and was represented by a number of groups including YWCHAC, Keep Your Pearls Girls, Holding On to Our Jewels-Diamonds, Banneker Sisters United, Girls for Gender Equality, and G.R.A.C.E International.
Claire Simon, the executive director of YWCHAC said “The Girls Empowerment Legislative Breakfast truly showed the commitment, support and passion of Council Member Mealy and Council Member James to the issues that impact the lives of young women and girls in NYC. The young women and girls who attended were inspired by the Council Members to take better care of them and open up discussions about the issues they care about. The Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition looks forward to continued work with the Council Members on these issues”.
Both Council Members were surprised by some of the questions and issues the young ladies raised during the question and answer portion of the program. These young girls were hungry for information, and their interest showed a need for more programming and workshops to prepare girls to handle the pressure from their peers.
Council Member James said the experience “was very enlightening for the girls that attended the Girls Empowerment Breakfast. I think we all learned something today. I’d like to continue this type of dialogue in the future. They were excited, inquisitive, and eager to learn. What we witnessed was very empowering to all in attendance”.
Council Member Mealy revealed to the girls that she wished there was an outlet for her like this when she was their age, and she wants to continue these kinds of activities during her tenure as chair of the Women’s Issues Committee in the New York City Council. Mealy said “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these young girls and listening to their stories. We must equip our girls with the tools to navigate through life, and talking openly about our experiences may help someone else. I had a great time!”
*All photos courtesy of William Alatriste. The photo album may be found at the New York City Council Flickr album here- http://www.flickr.com/photos/34210875@N06/sets/72157616725611731/