It is our honor to extend an invitation to you to join the third cohort of a seven-month reading journey called The Girl Child & Her Long Walk to Freedom: Putting Faith to Work Through Love to Break Ancient Chains. We wrote and launched this effort out of a firm resolve to do our part to move the needle forward for our world’s girls. As people of faith living in the U.S. and Kenya, we are heartbroken to see how religious faith is all too often the primary sanction for patriarchal traditions, beliefs, and practices which devalue girls as secondary and lesser than right from the womb. As the pandemic evolves around the world, we continue to lament how natural disasters like Covid-19 exacerbate patriarchal norms which have led to an uptick of domestic violence, teen pregnancies, and mask and vaccine refusal.
The reading journey helps all of us better understand and disentangle ourselves from the ancient roots of gender-based oppression, which steals childhood from too many of our worlds’ girls. Last year we had an incredible cohort of over 100 participants from 17 countries who took the journey with us. Our ebook, The Girl Child & Her Long Walk to Freedom: Putting Faith to Work through Love to Break Ancient Chains, will again guide us. And we’re excited to announce that this year’s journey teams will be led and facilitated by Girl Child Long Walk Fellows. Our Fellows come from all over the world and are themselves faith-inspired change agents who are putting faith to work through love to dismantle patriarchy in their own communities.
The reading journey is a facilitated, seven-month-long exploration to unpack the history of patriarchy and how this ancient system has systematically excluded women and girls from the very path of liberation that lies at the heart of faith. People of all faith and gender backgrounds are welcome to join in this journey which begins just before International Day of the Girl Child in October and runs through International Women’s Day. The reading journey is structured around the Exodus Story in the Bible, a timeless symbol of humanity’s journey to walk freely in the world and liberate ourselves from ancient slaveries and oppressions which maim the human spirit and keep us from evolving as a human family.
To get a sense for the terrain of this journey, please click around on this fun, interactive road map which animates and illuminates the path that we follow.
Indeed, freedom is a long walk. What’s your next step?
We offer this journey with the Girl Child to accompany you through this challenging yet expectant time we are living through. In virtually all of our world’s movements of liberation, the liberation of the female half of the human family has taken a back seat or been thrown under the bus altogether, as her oppression is a root oppression which lives within all others and traces its history back to the very cradles of civilization.
If your curiosity is piqued about how you can put faith to work through love to flatten the intolerable status quo that surrounds growing up as a girl child in our world today, the reading journey experience is perfect for you.
You can learn more about the reading journey, its calendar, FAQ, and how to sign up on our website.
As parents of girls, we are doing this work because we want to give our world’s girls — and their daughters’ daughters — a world where they can grow up to have a childhood free of exploitation and breathe the air of freedom we all need to thrive as human beings.
It’s afternoon for us but still morning for our girls.
Emily & Domnic