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Girls Inc. Youth Create PSAs to Challenge Bias in Schools

By Annie Chen and Wennicha Yang, YWCA Girls and Youth Counselors
May 7, 2018
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YWCA Minneapolis Girls Inc. youth recently created public service announcements to challenge bias and discrimination in their schools. They produced their own videos with crucial messages for everyone today: how to intervene if you see someone being bullied and how to be more empathetic and welcoming of cultural differences.

Challenging Homophobia PSA

Homophobia is the fear and dislike of homosexuals. At Anne Sullivan Communication Center, six middle school girls organized and filmed a video to raise awareness about the violence homophobia brings to youth who identify as LGBTQIA+. *Allie, a 6th grader, shared she wanted to create a community that would not shame those who were not heterosexual because at the end of the day, she states, “We are all human.”

In the film, the girls highlighted how an active bystander and school staff could respond if they were to encounter a student being bullied because of their sexual identity. The girls mentioned that bullying was a prevalent situation that occurs at many schools, and that many of their friends were bullied because they identified as LGBTQIA+. They hope that their film will challenge school staff and students to create a safer environment for their peers.

Watch the PSA

Challenging Xenophobia PSA

Xenophobia is irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. At Seward Montessori, the Girls Inc. group decided to focus on this and how it is tied into racism for their community action project. At school, they discussed the impact of how people perceive them based on the color of their skin, religion or immigration status. They decided to do a skit highlighting the differences and conduct interviews with each other to learn about one another’s perspectives.

Some youth at Seward identify with the Muslim faith and shared how they were frustrated with the way people treated their family because they choose to wear hijabs. Another youth shared how her mom and uncle came from Mexico and some of the challenges they faced. They wanted to illustrate how racism and xenophobia can affect their everyday lives. They interviewed each other to share and celebrate how their families have diverse traditions and stories.

Watch the PSA

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. YWCA Minneapolis Girl’s Inc. afterschool program works with girls in grades 4-8, on leadership and community action, economic literacy, healthy sexuality and STEM.

Learn More about Afterschool Girls and Youth Programs

*Names have been changed.