In case you haven’t seen our social media posts, we were in Washington D.C. last week for Take Our Daughters to Congress Day! Take Our Daughters to Congress Day is an annual opportunity for Girls Inc. girls to shadow female members of Congress and their staff. The day is inspired by Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, which takes place on the fourth Thursday in April. Girls Inc. Indy took two girls, Kaile and Allie, to Take Our Daughters to Congress Day on Wednesday, May 1 this year.
We headed off to D.C. bright and early Monday morning to do some site-seeing before Wednesday. Upon arriving in D.C. we headed straight out to the monuments and memorials. We visited the World War II Memorial, Abraham Lincoln’s memorial, the Washington monument, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memorial (seen below), and Franklin Roosevelt’s memorial. We finished off the day with dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill, which happens to be known as the oldest saloon in D.C.!
We started our second day with a tour of The Office of the Vice President in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. From there, we walked a block over to The White House for a tour of the East Wing, the East Room, the Red Room, the Blue Room (pictured below), the Green Room, and more!
After lunch at Shake Shack, we spent the afternoon at The National Zoo, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Our third and last day in D.C. was spent on The Hill for Take Our Daughters to Congress Day. Before the girls headed out to shadow the Congresswomen, we met with the other Girls Inc. affiliates who were there participating as well. This year, a total of 23 Girls Inc. girls from around the country, ages 9-18, participated. Out of these 23 girls, Kaile and Allie were the only two to raise their hands when asked if anyone would like to run for office one day. We have no doubt that they will be our leaders one day! After this brief meeting, the girls headed out to work with their Congresswomen for the day.
Kaile shadowed Congresswoman Susan Brooks. Congresswoman Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight urban, suburban, and rural counties in Central Indiana, including the north side of Indianapolis. Throughout the day, Congresswoman Brooks and her staff members gave Kaile a tour of the U.S. Capitol, took her to the Speaker’s Balcony, and brought her to several meetings and presentations, including a hearing for the Energy and Commerce Committee. Also fun fact – Congresswoman Brooks is a former Girls Inc. Indy Touchstone Honoree!
Allie shadowed Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Congresswoman Pressley represents Massachusetts’ 7th District, making her the first woman of color to be elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Allie spent the day attending meetings with Congresswoman Pressley, answering phone calls, and learning about the different roles of her staff members! Being able to shadow these Congresswomen was by far the favorite part of the trip for both Allie and Kaile.
Women remain underrepresented in Congress, among Governors, in state legislators, and in local office. In the Congress only 23.7% of members are women. While women vote more than men, they are less likely to contact elected officials, contribute to political campaigns, and say they are interested in public affairs. Girls Inc. believes that recruitment of women into political leadership – as with sports and science – must start with girls.
We are grateful to the individual donors who made this trip a reality for Allie and Kaile. We can’t wait to participate again!