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In efforts of creating an equitable future for girls and gender-expansive youth in Oakland, The Unity Council is partnering with a global organization committed to creating girl leaders and drive exponential change for themselves and their communities.   

Currently in its planning stage, the Rise Up’s Girls’ Voices Initiative will work with up to 70 Latinx Mentoring & Achievement (LMA) youth to design and lead advocacy efforts to address the issues that impact them most.  

This Initiative will build on the success of The Unity Council’s Latinx Mentoring and Achievement Program (LMA), which serves girls and gender-expansive youth in Oakland by focusing on girl-centered advocacy and helping an additional 25-30 girls, ages 13-18. The program, currently in its planning stages, is expected to launch in Spring 2022, with the recruitment of girl leaders, 40 hours of training from the Girls’ Voices curriculum, and a culmination of a summer program in which girls lead advocacy action plans and report on their activities and successes.    

The Unity Council, with a reputable 57-year history of serving Fruitvale and East Oakland, will adapt and implement Rise Up’s Girls’ Voices curriculum to comprehensively and girl-centered approach support adolescent girls to become leaders and speak out for their right to stay healthy and finish school and live safe from violence. The curriculum combines experiential learning with planning advocacy activities to engage policy-makers and decision-makers using storytelling, communications campaigns, public forums, and strategic meetings.  

The Unity Council looks forward to sharing updates of the Girls’ Voices Initiative and will be reaching out to key local government officials, community leaders, school board members, and parents to meet with girls and discuss their experiences and issues.   

To learn more about the Girls’ Voices Initiative, you may contact Marianne Ceballos, Associate Director Youth Services at the Unity Council at