American Bar Association, Girl Scouts Announce Anti-Violence Program
MIAMI, Feb. 9, 2007—America’s largest lawyers’ organization will work with the Girl Scouts in 10 cities to teach young girls how to protect themselves from violence, the president of the American Bar Association announced today.
President Karen J. Mathis said the pilot educational program—called “Take Charge! Violence Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Law”—was co-developed by the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Participating cities will include Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Miami, New York, San Antonio/Austin, San Diego, Tampa, and Troy, N.Y. Leaders of the national Girl Scouts organization attended the announcement, which Mathis made at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting.
Volunteer lawyers will use a variety of interactive curricular materials to help girls examine such issues as school safety, teen dating violence, legal protections in cases of abuse, conflict resolution and the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.
At the conclusion of the program, girls will participate in a mock trial, with volunteer lawyers and law students coaching the girls through their roles. Through formal and informal interaction with the volunteers, girls also have an opportunity to learn about careers paths in the legal profession.
Mathis has made it a priority of her term in office to find ways that lawyers can better support America’s most at-risk young people. She established the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk to undertake a year-long effort to identify the challenges at-risk youth face and to mobilize the ABA to help.
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.