Kailin Chou

Alumnae of Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College

by Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College, with perspectives from their alumnae

"There's no such thing as average at Mills College!"

Photo: Group of students in the Lokey School of Business and Public Policy program at Mills College

There's no such thing as average at Mills College! Mills students are one-of-a-kind, celebrating diversity in all forms. Founded in 1852 by California pioneers who wanted a quality education for their daughters, Mills College has been pushing the boundaries of gender equity and expression for over 150 years. Mills reaffirmed its commitment to women's education in 1990, when a student- and alumnae-led strike convinced the college's trustees to reverse plans to admit male undergraduates, while in 2014 Mills became the first women's college to implement an admission policy for transgender and gender-questioning students. (Graduate programs at Mills have included men since the 1920s.)



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Our Time to Rise Up: The Urgent Need to Reconfigure Leadership Platforms for Black Women and Girls

by Raye Mitchelle, Esq, CEO at The Winning Edge Institute

Make no mistake. Young Black women and girls are under siege. They are being silenced, and they are losing generational and intra-generational connections and their visibility. The gender uprising calling for more women in leadership and access to the C- suite is not about increasing the number of Black women or women of color in leadership. The fight for gender equality is not about Black women and girls. They are supplemental to the conversation at best and left out of core leadership decisions for the most part.

From the schoolroom to the boardroom, there is a national crisis of invisibility for Black women and girls. While highly visible, millions of Black women and girls are virtually invisible at the leadership table in America. The number of African-American chief executive officers is so low that we are losing the race to achieve real diversity in the traditional and the newly forming notions of the C-suite.

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Innocence and Sensibility: A Child’s Innocence vs. A Parent’s Comfort

by Lanae St.John, a.k.a. The MamaSutra, board-certified sexologist with the American College of Sexologists and professor of human sexuality at City College of San Francisco. Originally published here.

Let’s examine an example of a position I hear often as it relates to childhood sexual education:

“Childhood is a protected state where they can learn new things slowly, once they’re mature enough to handle them.

That’s why I think a child has the right not to know some things. I think they have a right not to know about the horror of war, except in general terms, until they enter the teenage years. I think they have a right not to know about sexuality inside and out. I think they have a right to be told only in vague terms about their parents’ neuroses, marriages or love lives.

Once you open that door into the adult world, you see, children have a difficult time just being children. Childhood innocence has been taken from them.” (
Source: https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2014/08/childhood-innocence/)

Yes, children are innocent but here’s the problem with keeping them ignorant:

Adults are not innocent. So far trying to teach men not to rape isn’t working. We tell women how to lessen their chances of being raped, but even then they cannot avoid it completely. Which is a sad statement.








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When I Joined the Oakland Teen Empowerment Pageant:

by Anna Sara M., alumna of the Oakland Teen Empowerment Program

"Hi, my name is Anna Sara and I am going to college. Hola, me llamo Anna Sara y voy a la universidad. Bonjour je m'appelle Anna Sara et je vais aller a l'université."

A proper and impressive first impression was one of the first things I learned when I joined the Oakland Teen Empowerment Pageant. I remember receiving a lecture on etiquette, poise, and eloquence in a classroom at Laney College, a campus which I found much bigger than I had expected in my 13-year-old mind. At the time, I thought of myself as a really driven girl but it wasn't until I joined that Pageant that I found a direction in which to propel myself.

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Helping Girls to Tend Their Inner Fire

by Sarai Shapiro, Founder & Director of Gaia Girls Passages

During our fall camping trip with our Rite of Passage group, the girls were sent on a group mission into the wilderness. They came back with dirt on their faces, mud between their toes, and a fire ignited within. The wild had opened something deep inside of them– something that yearns to be touched by us humans.

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March On With Girls Social Justice

by Helen Cordes, editor of the national print bimonthly New Moon Girls. Originally published here. They are currently collecting stories and experiences from girls who were at Women's Marches on January 21st.


Lili, 9: I chose that poster message because it shows how women are stronger when they are together than when they are apart. It also shows how strong their opinion is about women’s rights in a way that is non-violent.

I’m still flying high from the worldwide outpouring of female strength in the Women’s Marches. And girls—the thousands upon thousands who marched—are soaring even higher. At New Moon Girls, the feminist print magazine and online community made by and for girls—our members are BEYOND pumped, sharing proud reports from the front lines.


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Poor body image: The overlooked obstacle inhibiting the potential of our nation's young leaders

by Connie Sobczak, Co-Founder & Executive Director of The Body Positive. Originally published here. Connie will be leading a workshop for Alliance members on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 (info here).

"Let me tell you, this generation coming up—unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic—I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands."
—President Barak Obama, Farewell Speech, January 10, 2017


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Erasing the Power Gap: Changing the Leadership Game for Girls of Color

by Raye Mitchell, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Women Lead Forward

In December 2016, the White House released the final progress report on ‘Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color.’ There are a lot of unknowns ahead with a new administration. A host of unknown intentions, dynamics, and undisclosed policies, and platforms, with and toward the notion of advancing equality for women and girls of color will test the system servicing the needs of young women and girls of color. However, we need not spend our time speculating on the new administration’s actions and intentions, because, now more than ever, it’s on us.

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Beautiful Project Youth Advisory Council

by Naomi Katz, Founder of Beautiful Project. Originally published here.

Announcing..Beautiful Project is now accepting applications for our
Youth Council! Open to women aged 15-25 who want to join a global community of young women who are inspired to create art and share it to empower themselves and others. Click here for more information and please, please share.  You can easily spread the word via the website, FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

The idea of the Youth Council came to me in part because I am inspired by the work of Aria Watson, an 18-year-old student in Oregon, who created the series #SignedByTrump, featuring photos of women who wear Trump's words on their naked bodies (including the photo above). Watson's work moves me because she is calling on us to pay attention, even more than we already are, by giving these horrific words a form - the female form. In doing so she, of course, further points out the toxic nature of these messages, and also - perhaps more importantly - takes a step toward making change by creating art. My teachers were right when they taught me that art calls the people to listen.


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Want to Raise a Rocket Scientist? 20 Holiday Gifts to Give Girls a Head Start

by Kara Sammet & Linda Kekelis. Originally published in the Huffington Post here.

If you’re like us, you’re on a mission to empower girls to be the leaders and creators of tomorrow, by encouraging them in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) today. STEM offers girls limitless opportunities to design and develop the technology we’ll all use in the future – whether we’re traveling to Mars or saving planet Earth. So, we’ve sought out fun holiday gift ideas that support girls’ creativity, confidence and leadership as they change the world through STEM.


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In the Name of Our Daughters

by Naomi Katz, Founder of Beautiful Project. Originally published here.

I had already written my piece to share as we basked in the afterglow of finally electing a woman president.  I was so sure we were ushering in a new time, I was so optimistic about the future for ourselves and our daughters, and now I have to pause.

I pause because we have to think again about how we will support ourselves and our girls in the aftermath of this election. I pause to really think about relations between men and women, and what Trump’s victory might mean for our youth.

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2016 MAGIC Final Presentations

by the mentees and mentors at MAGIC (More Active Girls In Computing)

We are proud to be able to share the videos from MAGIC's 2016 Final Presentations! The 2015-2016 MAGIC mentoring season concluded on June 17th, with the last round of final presentations from the 2015-2016 mentees. Fifteen mentees came from all over California to partake in these presentations. A majority of these mentees found out about MAGIC from sources outside their schools, while a few came from one of our partner schools, Oak Grove High School, in South San Jose. This event was sponsored by Google, and the presentations were held at Google HQ in Mountain View (for more information, see the news from June 2016).

Mentee Iris Cheung, mentored by Catherine Wah:



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Changing Culture is an Act of Love

Story by Kuei, Youth Ambassador of That's Not Cool, a project of Futures Without Violence. Originally posted on ThatsNotCool.com

My people are from the world’s newest nation of South Sudan and we carry our culture everywhere we go. I love and embrace my culture because that is what I grew up to do and I feel like it has made me the person I am today. I was born in Cairo, Egypt but my family was born and grew up in South Sudan. Even though I love my people, I think some of their values are oppressive. For example, that a woman’s goals and dreams should revolve around her being a wife and a mother and that they should obey the men in their lives, or that it is a man’s job to get at least one wife, have children and be the breadwinner for his family. Ever since I could remember, my mother was a single mom. My brothers and I did not have our dad in our lives and we watched my mother try to play both roles. She taught me the opposite of what she internalized. She taught me to be my own person and do what I want to do that would better my tomorrow.

My mother worked a lot and we lived with a lot of family. I watched a lot of unhealthy relationships that constantly went on through my life and I made an agreement with myself that I would never entertain an unhealthy relationship in my life. It did not really work well because I did not know what the signs where or how to go about it.

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2016 Summer Highlight: Camp Nicaragua

by Coach Bre, Shannon, and the SF Sol Coaches at Girls Leading Girls

The week of June 19, nine SF Sol players, two mothers, and three coaches jumped on a red eye flight headed to Leon, Nicaragua, where we spent a week running soccer camp sessions for over 30 girls in the nearby rural village of Goyena. The girls jumped right in during soccer camp sessions to help equip their Nicaraguan sisters with new soccer skills. It was something special to see the American girls and Nicaraguan girls interact so easily and make instant connections on the soccer field.

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REAL TALK about SEX

by Naomi Katz, Founder of Beautiful Project



“What if we spoke to kids about sex more instead of less, what if we could normalize it, integrate it into everyday life and shift our thinking in the ways that we (mostly) have about women’s public roles? Because the truth is, the more frankly and fully teachers, parents and doctors talk to young people about sexuality, the more likely kids are both to delay sexual activity and to behave responsibly and ethically when they do engage in it.”

- Peggy Orenstein, "When Did Porn Become Sex Ed?", NY Times, 19 March 2016


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Celebrating 20 Years of GirlVentures!

by GirlVentures and their alumnae

Currently celebrating our 20th anniversary year, GirlVentures’ programs empower girls to develop and express their strengths through transformative outdoor adventure and leadership programs. Participants become healthy, confident leaders, allies with one another, and environmental stewards.

Through Girlz Climb On, our 9-week mentored after school program, girls are paired with women volunteers and learn to rock climb, while participating in activities around trust, identity, social justice and leadership.

Check out what our alumnae have to say (below) about their time with GirlVentures!




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"Dream Big" Posters from Athena Camps

by the middle school campers at Athena Camps in San Jose

Athena Camps inspires courage and builds confidence in girls through a unique combination of athletic, creative, emotional, and social activities in a nurturing community. They help girls aged five through thirteen develop their whole selves.

In their middle school camps, one of the themes they covered was "Dream Big," where the girls read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and created posters about their own dreams. The following are a few of their inspiring creations (click on them to expand in a new window):

 
   
 

The Red Women Rising Campaign

by the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH). Originally published on CCUIH's website here.


The California Consortium for Urban Indian Health's Red Women Rising project supports culturally responsive domestic violence services for Urban Indians by increasing public awareness and enhancing collaborations between Urban Indian health organizations, domestic violence service providers and traditional healers. Earlier this year, CCUIH created a webpage that houses all of the Red Women Rising media so advocates can participate in their public awareness campaign and start important conversations about recognizing abuse, stopping violence, and healing as a community.

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Poem from New York

by Gabriella (Gabby) Valukh, Alto I singer and student at the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Originally published on the Girls Chorus' website here.

Hello from New York!

We have worked so hard to prepare for this tour that it is hard to believe we are finally here. On the flight to New York, while many slept, read, listened to music or occupied themselves to pass the time, I wrote a poem which I would like to share with you.

My Journey to New York

The low rumble of the engine surrounds me,
A constant radio—like static in the background,
As we gradually ascend into the air and fly through the sky.







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Vague feedback of “Lacks Executive Presence” is blocking senior women’s advancement

by Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, Executive Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. A version of this article was first published in the Huffington Post here.


Two years ago, when Sheryl Sandberg launched the campaign to “Ban Bossy” for young girls, women also cheered. Many women have been called bossy, or the adult version of the word, at some time. While some women receive direct feedback to act differently, more often, they are just told they lack the executive presence or influence to advance to the C-suite. In many instances, that criticism reflects stereotypes about who makes good leaders. While a long-term solution is to block the reliance on stereotypes when speaking about and evaluating senior women, we need immediate action. My solution? A new campaign to advance women leaders: Ban “Executive Presence.”

“Executive Presence” is often defined as commanding a room, having gravitas or communicating decisively. This critical leadership characteristic is rarely based on demonstrated behaviors, but instead on whether others perceive you as having it.


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