By Alison Trachtman Hill – It’s time to expose how toxic media and toys are a risk to healthy and empowered girlhood. It’s time to take back media and give girls choices beyond gender stereotypes. It’s time for Brave Girls Want, a new organization with an innovative, bold campaign, Brave Girls Take Back Media.

Founded by Inês Almeida, CEO of TowardTheStars and Melissa Atkins Wardy, owner of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap BuddiesBrave Girls Want asks media creators to expand their version of what it means to be a girl, recognizing them as whole, complex people who deserve multi-layered, diverse, intelligent, and strong characters in the media they consume.

Brave-Girls-WantBehind the organization and its leaders is The Brave Girls Alliance, an all-star cast of Women You Should Know – business owners, not-for-profit leaders, authors, women’s issues activists, artists, parents, educators and girls, including my company Critical Issues for Youth, Hardy Girls/Healthy Women, Princess Free Zone, Peggy Orenstein, Rachel Simmons, Brenda Chapman, Project Girl, Spark Summit, Pink Stinks, Day of the Girl, among many others.

The Brave Girls Take Back Media campaign is a revolutionary idea that brings together the power of social media and digital billboards to give a voice to our mission on the busiest street corner in the world – New York’s Times Square. We will begin a 7-day campaign on October 11, 2013 (the second annual International Day of the Girl) and post curated tweets and messages from our communities on the billboard.

BraveGirls Times Square

But, we can’t do it without your support. We need people like you to add your voice to this movement. Help us spread our message… share this with the parents, educators and girls in your life and ask them to join us.

Invite experts and girl empowerment organizations you know to contribute to the conversation. Engage students in schools and universities who can showcase their media literacy knowledge on the billboard. Inspire businesses and brands that share our vision to join us as we take back media.

With your contribution and commitment, we will show the world that girls deserve a childhood free of stereotyping and sexualization, are worthy of encouragement to reach their full potential, and deserve to know the joy of the many ways of being a girl.

Learn more about our campaign and join us in telling the millions of people in Times Square what #BraveGirlsWant.

Alison Trachtman Hill is the Founder and Managing Partner of Critical Issues for Youth, a consulting firm that works with youth and adults to help them navigate the complex, ever-changing nature of young people’s lives. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.