Yesterday’s Girl Up pep rally in Los Angeles was absolutely incredible! More than 400 girls and boys from all over LA joined us to support the Girl Up campaign, learn about the lives of girls in Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia, and get motivated to take action in support of them.
We were honored that Girl Up Global Advocate, Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, was able to join us for the Girl Up pep rally. Queen Rania gave eloquent and truly inspirational remarks highlighting the difficulties that girls around the world face.
Check out this awesome video of Her Majesty Queen Rania speaking on ABC7-LA about Girl Up!
She praised the energy and compassion of American girls to draw attention to the adversity their counterparts face and empowered us all to bring about global change. One starry-eyed girl tugged on my arm and said, “Is she really a queen? I’ve never seen a queen before! And I didn’t know that queens were so cool!” Yes, Queen Rania is the coolest!
Along with Her Majesty Queen Rania, LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was there to help kick off the pep rally — enthusiastically thanking Girl Up for making LA a stop on their nation-wide tour, he encouraged everyone to learn five facts about girls in developing countries and take action.
The passport challenge was amazing — girls visited information stations for Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Malawi to learn facts about what life is like for girls in those countries, and then played games to test their knowledge! In between the countries, girls also got to stop at Girl Up photo booths and give a “High Five” on camera!
So many Girl Up supporters and celebrity guests came out to support Girl Up — they definitely kicked up the energy in the room even higher! American Idol finalist and Girl Up BFF David Archuleta, made a surprise visit to the pep rally — it was amazing — everyone in the room was cheering! Then actress Amber Heard and Olympic Gold medalist and Girl Up Champion Rebecca Soni talked to the audience about why they were involved in Girl Up and how important it is for everyone — boys and girls — to support the campaign and give High Fives to girls around the world!
Monique Coleman, actress and Special Envoy to the United Nations International Year of Youth, reminded the crowd that they have the power to support girls around the world. After hearing from Monique and two of Girl Up’s fabulous Teen Advisors,10-year-old Darya Pishevar, and 16-year-old Karina Jougla, the whole room was cheering!
The evening was complete when the Girl Up team, including Girl Up head Jennifer Kim Field; Girl Up Champion Rebecca Soni; BFFs Amber and Monique; and teen advisors, Darya and Karina, took to the stage to lead us in a reading the Girlafesto. It was loud and beautiful to hear hundreds of daughters and moms, dads and sons in unison, “We are strong. But together we are stronger!”
Thank you to the Marlborough School for hosting the Los Angeles Girl Up tour, and thank you to all of the amazing people in Los Angeles who came out to give girls around the world a big, California-style High Five!
Photos: One of our girls shows off her passport (top right); David Archuleta high-fiving girls at the rally (bottom left).