By Collin Kelley, Editor

Earlier this year, a group of Atlanta organizations that raise awareness about issues facing young girls joined forces to create The Girls Collaborative.

The collective includes Go Girl Go! Atlanta, Cool Girls, Girls Inc., Girls on the Run, The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Junior League of Atlanta and The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.

The first prong of their mission was to create a video public service announcement that will begin airing this month online and on local television stations.

According to Go Girl Go! director Candice Dixon, the PSA contains sobering information about girls living in metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia:

  • The average age girls in Georgia try drugs is 13.
  • Every month, 300 girls are sexually exploited.
  • More than 50,000 girls are not in school or working.
  • 21,000 teens get pregnant in Georgia every year.

Dixon said the PSA gives an overview of how girls are impacted and give voice to core issues each of the individual organizations focuses on including childhood obesity, pregnancy, child trafficking, substance abuse and prevention.

The PSA is acall to action for people to understand the importance of supporting girls,” Dixon said. “The public can help by volunteering or donating money to the organizations doing this work on behalf of girls.

To keep the conversation going, Go Girl Go is holding its annual leadership conference on Thursday, March 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Lake Family YMCA.

The conference will feature members of the Girls Collaborative to talk about community building and partnerships to help girls in need. The guest speaker will be Arlene Parker Goldson, associate director of community impact for the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.

“The leadership conference is open to anyone wants to learn about community building and volunteering with the organizations,” Dixon said. “The conference is free and lunch will be served.

For information, visit www.girlscollaborative.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.