At its core, the Girl Child Long Walk reading journey, the signature effort of the Girl Child Long Walk project, seeks to inspire people all over the world to “put their faith to work through love” to improve the lives of women and girls. After two years of iterating and improving the reading journey, the Girl Child team realized how powerful it could be to bring together a more intentional community of faith-inspired change agents—the kinds of people whose lives and examples are interwoven in the journey and who inspire everyone who reads about them.
The idea of a Fellowship felt like the natural evolution of the project, supporting a cohort of leaders around the globe to dig deeper into the intersections and manifestations of faith and patriarchy, while supporting one another and leading reading journey cohorts. We knew we wanted to continue to refine and deepen our core reading journey experience and we remain committed to resourcing and collaborating with others who are actively leading efforts to address patriarchy at the intersection of faith. We knew that launching a Fellowship would help individuals doing difficult work, often in isolation and with few resources to support them. As we reached out to our experts, advisors and partners for nominations, we saw an incredible group begin to take form.
The fellowship is now kicking off with its pilot cohort. We didn’t want to have too many restrictions or expectations for this initial group; we believed that if we identified leaders across different backgrounds and using different skills, that new discoveries and opportunities would unfold. Addressing the ancient oppression of patriarchy requires ongoing inner work, as well as our work in the world. We knew we needed to gather people who are connected to this work with their full hearts and selves.
External advisors, along with the Fellowship committee, reviewed dozens of applications from a wide range of incredible faith-inspired leaders who are challenging entrenched norms and “traditions” that don’t serve any of us, but especially oppress women and girls.
Our pilot cohort of 14 Fellows includes two Student Fellows, and all together represents six countries: Pakistan, Kenya, Brazil, Uganda, the United States, and South Africa. Fellows are both men and women, predominantly Christian, and some represent multi-faith backgrounds as well as other religious traditions. Several work actively in non-governmental organizations, others are active members of church leadership. All are committed to dismantling patriarchy in their own lives and communities, and you can learn more about them here: https://girlchildlongwalk.org/fellowship/
We are thrilled to welcome this amazing community of leaders to our journey together. If you’re interested in participating in the 2021–2022 reading journey under their guidance, please sign up here!