Justice for Girls was formed in 1999, in response to local, national, and international calls for “girl only” programs and services that acknowledge and address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of girls, particularly in relation to homelessness, poverty, and violence. We locate our work within the overall project of women’s equality. We believe it is necessary to eliminate violence and poverty in young women’s lives in order to bring about equality. Recognizing and addressing the intersecting/interlocking forms of oppression that young women face is fundamental to our work toward ending violence against girls and young women.

Justice for Girls promotes social justice and an end to violence, poverty and racism in the lives of teenage girls who live in poverty. We fight for social justice based on the feminist belief that young women in poverty are the experts of their own experience. We stand beside young women and provide support and resources to them so that girls can act on their own behalf to create personal and social change. We recognize that girls’ lack of institutional power and credibility (because of discrimination) is a real barrier to young women regardless of their skills, intelligence, or ability to articulate their needs. Justice for Girls uses knowledge of institutions, such as the criminal justice and child welfare systems, to assist young women in their daily struggles with violence, poverty and racism.

Justice for Girls believes in young women’s leadership and pushes for young women to be at the forefront of designing law, policy, and programs that affect their lives. Our work is guided by the leadership and experience of numerous young women for whom we have advocated and/or who are or have been part of the organization as staff, interns, or board members.