We are guided by the philosophy established by the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action:
“The girl child of today is the woman of tomorrow. The skills, ideas and energy of the girl child are vital for full attainment of the goals of equality, development and peace. For the girl child to develop her full potential she needs to be nurtured in an enabling environment, where her spiritual, intellectual and material needs for survival, protection and development are met and her equal rights safeguarded. Special measures must be taken to ensure that young women have the life skills necessary for active and effective participation in all levels of social, cultural, political and economic leadership. This new generation of leaders must accept and promote a world in which every child is free from injustice, oppression and inequality and free to develop her/his own potential.”
— Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995
We recognize that multiple intersecting oppressions affect the health of young women and girls (i.e., racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, etc.), and that few programs address these complex cultural, developmental, and social factors. We strive to implement creative strategies for bridging this gap.
- We believe that advancing the health of young women and girls results in positive social change where everyone benefits.
- We believe that it is important to provide honest, accurate, and nonjudgmental health information to youth.
- We believe that youth are the foremost experts on their own lives.
- We recognize that women and girls of color are often blamed as the root of social problems and we adamantly reject these stereotypes. We do not believe that youth are a problem or that youth need to be “saved” from themselves or anyone else.
- We believe in youth-adult partnerships and that all young women and girls can make important contributions to their communities.
- We believe that we can build on the empowering aspects of youth culture to educate youth and inspire girls to create change
- We believe in the importance of providing youth with the information, support, and skills needed to develop leadership potential and create positive changes in their lives and communities.
- We believe in equal opportunity and do not have a minimum GPA requirement or exclude pregnant or parenting teens from our programs
- We have found that partnering with youth in a substantive way in all aspects of HOTGIRLS’ program development and delivery is a critical component to reaching youth in relevant and effective ways.
- We believe that collaboration is more effective than duplication; therefore, we collaborate with existing organizations that serve young women and girls to bring about positive change for youth who have been historically marginalized, underserved, and overlooked.