education

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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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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Students Win 1st Place at International Ocean Film festival

by Daniel Polk, Director of Public Relations and Global Citizenship Program Coordinator of The Hamlin School. Originally published here.

On March 11, four dynamic Grade 7 filmmakers [of The Hamlin School] won first place in the middle school student section of the 15th Annual International Ocean Film Festival held in San Francisco, California. Allie, Avery, Dani, and Helena were recognized for their film, "Strawbucks." 

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Holiday Gift Ideas to Inspire Every Girl in STEM

by Linda Kekelis, Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Techbridge. Originally published in the Huffington Post here.

This Holiday Season Make Room in Your Heart for Someone Else’s Daughter

This year when you shop for a gift for the girls in your family, take a moment to think about other girls who might benefit from your generosity. Toys, computer games, books, and enrichment experiences can introduce girls to the wonders of STEM. For girls who don’t have STEM role models in their family, these gifts might be the catalyst that help them imagine a career in computer science or a future in engineering.

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Not Only a Pipeline: Schools as Carceral Sites

by Connie Wun, Founder/Director of Transformative Research: An Institute for Research and Social Transformation. Originally published here.

In this article, I argue that schools operate as multilayered sites that do more than funnel students into prison or prime them for incarceration. Schools are part and parcel of a US logic of punitive carcerality, positioning Black and Brown bodies under constant observation and scrutiny through the school’s architecture, policies, and practices. I examine the relation-ship that this logic has to Black girls and their experiences with school discipline, including their resistance to the conditions of schools as carceral sites.

Drawing from Black feminist theory (Richie, 1996) and critical prison studies (Rodriguez, 2006), I collected data via participant observations and in-depth interviews at Foundations High School, located in northern California.1,2 Based upon a qualitative study of 20 Black and Latinx girls and their experiences with school discipline, this paper focuses on three girls whose narratives exemplify the experiences that they and their peers have with school discipline and punishment.

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"If you can see it, you can be it."

by Sasha Williams, student at Carondelet High School and member of Black Girls Code. 

“My name is Sasha Williams. I am 16 years old, and attend Carondelet High School in Concord, California. I realized my passion for technology and arts at a young age. I was introduced to “Black Girls Code” when I was 12 years old. I learned that coding was fun and could open a world of possibilities. I could combine my love for the arts and technology. I would like to become CEO of my own tech company or write and direct movies. Since joining Black Girls Code I have participated in a number of Hackathons and mobile App workshops. In 2013 my team won second place in the Ignite Global Fund for Women’s Hackathon mobile app “Ohana.” My team competed against teams around the world. I look forward to attending university with a major in Computer Science.”

Last Fall Sasha Williams (Class of 2019) was selected for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Leaders of the Fast Track (LOFT) 2016 Video Game Innovation Fellowship sponsored by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, in Washington D.C. The ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship serves as platform for top game developers by identifying and promoting the top 20 minority innovators (15-25 years old) who can create video games or mobile apps that will focus on new, technology-based approaches to address local and global social issues. 

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No Elephant in the Room at Women's Tech Confab

by Roberta Guise, Founder and President of FemResources. A version of this article appeared in Women Who Code blog here.

The conference floor at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco transformed into a magnet to aspiring and future software engineers this past April. The mostly-women attendees had gathered for a day-long tech-fest of sharing, learning, and networking at the Women Who Code CONNECT 2017 conference.

As founder and president of Alliance member FemResources, a startup nonprofit to advance women’s careers in technology and engineering and move the needle towards gender equality in tech, I attended to glean deeper insights into the needs, wants and aspirations of women seeking a technical career. I also happened to be “citizen journalist” for the day.

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Emma Mayerson and Alliance for Girls - 2017 Gender Justice Honoree

by Equal Rights Advocates, originally published in their blog here.

Equal Rights Advocates proudly recognizes partner organization, Alliance for Girls (AFG), and its founding director, Emma Mayerson, as 2017 Gender Justice Honorees. This award is given each year to civil rights champions who have contributed to the movement for gender equality, and whose support and partnership have made ERA stronger.

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5 Innovative Camps Introducing Girls To Tech Careers 

by Kara Sammet, Inclusion & Leadership Strategist. Originally published here. 

Girls are less likely than boys to be told by parents and teachers that they would be good at computer science. Girls are also less likely to participate in extracurricular tech programs and less aware of how to learn computer science via the internet. Yet, tech sector jobs are among the highest-paying occupations for women. Just as important, technology provides a powerful medium for girls and women to create meaningful solutions to global problems and to tell stories that shape how we view the world.

Here are five summer programs to help you encourage a girl to create, design, play and change the world through tech.

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The Red Web Foundation Visits the UN 

by Helynna Brooke, President of The Red Web Foundation

As a member of the Red Web Foundation, I attended the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) Forum in New York City March 12th to March 24th . The focus this year was "Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work." Nearly 6,000 women and a few men from around the world participated in UN activities, workshops, and panel presentations with the goal of learning and sharing strategies for achieving equality by 2030. 

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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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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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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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MAGIC Joins Obama's "Computer Science for All" Initiative

by Magreth Mushi, Volunteer at MAGIC (More Active Girls In Computing). A version of this article was posted on MAGIC's website.

Today MAGIC is excited  to be part of President Obama’s Computer Science for All Initiative. This is the President’s bold new initiative to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world.

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Halliana, An Oasis Shero!

Interview with Halliana, a junior at Burton High School who just completed Oasis for Girls' ENVISION Career Exploration Program this Spring. She lives with her mom and two siblings in San Francisco's Excelsior neighborhood. She was interviewed by Oasis for Girls' Executive Director, Jessica Van Tuyl.


Jessica: Why did you decide to join Oasis?

Halliana: I kept staying after school to avoid going home, but I didn't want to participate in anything because I was afraid it wouldn't impact me. One of my friends was applying to Oasis, so I joined with her. At Oasis, I met other young women, we talked about our lives, and I realized I could actually trust people!

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United State of Girls Summit & Rally

by Sandra Luna, Head of School of Julia Morgan School for Girls


Inspired by the United State of Women Summit taking place at the White House in June, Girls in Government, Leadership, and Service (GGLS), a before-school class at Julia Morgan School for Girls (JMSG), is hosting a United State of Girls Rally & Summit on Saturday, May 14, from 9:30 - 1:00.

We hope to have 100 middle and high school girls from public and private schools attend this special event. Our goal is to mobilize a national movement of teens 18 years and younger to finally pass the Equal Rights Amendment and the girls attending will be those girls who are willing to take on a leadership position in getting the ERA passed. We plan to create a short video by the end of the event that we can send to the White House!

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Oakland Unified and Alliance for Girls Team Up to Disrupt the School to Prison Pipeline

by Rebecca Peterson-Fisher, Senior Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates (ERA). Originally published in ERA's blog here.


Across the country, students of color — and black girls in particular — are suspended at much higher rates than white students. Suspension has the power to not only damage a student’s future academic success, but, if repeated, can pose the risk of pushing a student out of school and into the criminal justice system.

The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Alliance for Girls, a Bay Area organization that counts over 100 Bay Area girl-serving organizations as its members, have entered into an exciting new partnership designed to reduce suspension rates for girls of color and lift up their academic achievement.


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Girls in Government, Leadership, and Service

by Samantha Weil, Student at Julia Morgan School for Girls


In Julia Morgan School for Girls (JMSG), the goal is to prepare the confident, capable, creative, and compassionate women of tomorrow. In my opinion, JMSG isn’t just doing that, they are excelling at it. Not only are there classes where we learn, and create new skills to develop our minds for the future, but also there are many extracurricular activities in the mornings to go to. There are extracurriculars such as Band, Philanthropy Club, Math Club, and also Girls in Government, Leadership, and Service (GGLS).

GGLS is an incredible example of what JMSG wants their girls to be like in the real world. In Girls in Government, Leadership, and Service, we learn how to be activists. We talk about the meaning of activism, learn about women, and organize events to support feminism.




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Q&A with Marta Mendoza

Interview with Marta Mendoza, freshman at Immaculate Conception High School, about her experiences at AAUWSF's Tech Trek Science Camp


What was the Tech Trek Science Camp like?

“I was at Tech Trek's Camp Marie Curie at Stanford. They basically gave you a whole week to learn all the different types of science and math. We got to stay in the dorms and took challenging classes, including a robotics class where we had to figure out how to build and maneuver a Lego Mindstorm Mini Golf, which I’ve never done before. My favorite part was when, one of the nights, we heard from many women talking about their jobs and all the things women can do. That stuck with me because all these different women tried and they’re now at this point where they have a professional job and they’re good.”




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Gender Equity in School & Community Sports

by Molly Frandsen, Law Clerk at Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center


Over the past summer, I worked with Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s ("LAS-ELC”) Fair Play for Girls In Sports project, and created an informational video on girls’ rights to gender equity in school and community sports.  This video project was generously supported by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (“WLALA”).

Fair Play for Girls in Sports works to ensure girls in grades K-12, particularly girls of color and those in low-income areas, have equal opportunities to participate in school and community sports and reap the lifelong rewards of athletic involvement. Studies show that girls who participate in sports maintain higher confidence and self-esteem. They receive better grades and are significantly more likely to graduate compared with girls who do not play sports. Once in the workforce, on average, girls who participate in athletics in high school earn 7% more. The opportunity to participate in athletics is thus critically important to a girl’s future economic success.




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