girl empowerment

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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7 Years Later

by Aby Ryan, CEO & Founder of Athena Camps. Originally published here.

 

Seven years in, as the matriarch of this thriving, growing organization, it gives me great joy to have walked with two of my Athena Directors as they crossed over the threshold into motherhood. Raw, vulnerable and FOREVER changed. Becoming a mother, inspired Athena Camps. 

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Legal Aid’s Fair Play Project Celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day

by Legal Aid At Work. Originally published here.

February 7, 2018 marks the 32nd Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day, coinciding with the opening of the Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018. Fair Play for Girls in Sports, a project of Legal Aid at Work, celebrates by noting the amazing accomplishments of female Olympians, many of whom would not be competing but for Title IX. The 1972 law requiring gender equity in federally-funded K-12 schools, colleges, and universities paved the way for many American girls and woman to become great athletes and continues to spur educational institutions to treat girls and women equally to create a truly level playing field. 

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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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Let's Welcome Alena, our Impact Development Director 

by Alena, Impact Development Director of Willpowered Woman. Originally published here.

My name is Alena and I’m from Russia. I joined Willpowered Woman as Impact Development Director last month. I have more than 5 years of experience in nonprofit organizations and have a diploma in social psychology and economics. Unfortunately, intimate partner abuse is paid very little attention in my Country. There aren’t any crisis centers or women’s shelter to help survivors. Recently, a law was passed by our Government that decriminalizes intimate partner violence. If a woman involves the Police for the first time, a man will not suffer any punishment. Growing up in Russia, women are brought up under different stereotypes: women should cook, clean the house and care for children, but men need to rest after work; the message is frequently communicated that if a woman isn’t married and doesn’t have children, she will be unhappy and have a sad life. There are a lot of women in Russia who think it’s normal if their husband hurts or humiliates them.

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#MediaMondayTip: A Girl-Power Reading List For Middle Schoolers

by Clare Reynders, MediaGirls editorial volunteer. Originally published on Girls Leadership's blog here.

 

There are so many good books for middle schoolers with strong female protagonists out there to choose from! Luckily, MEDIAGIRLS has you covered. With help from Robin Brenner, the Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Brookline, MA, we’ve compiled a list of books that center around strong, smart, powerful female characters. As an extra bonus, they’re all by female authors, giving us a genuine perspective on each story.

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Alliance for Girls' Conference: Together We Rise

by Maren Frye, student at Berkeley High School and intern at YWCA Berkeley/Oakland

 

I went to the Alliance for Girls’ Conference: Together We Rise as part of a school club, Berkeley High School Stop Harassing, which aims to stop the culture of sexual harassment at our high school and support victims. It was a truly amazing experience. While there, I heard some of the most intelligent, inspiring, all-around amazing women I had ever met speak about their experiences of sexism and discrimination, and how they overcame those obstacles. One talk in particular stood out to me; when the president of EMILY’s List, Stephanie Schriock, presented about the need for women in public office and the work EMILY’s list was doing to support them, I heard the call to action. In that moment, I felt so inspired to use my power as a woman to help all of us around the country that I made a decision—I was going to run for president when I grew up! While I don’t think that’s probable, I do think I want to go into public office now (just a lesser one). It’s so important for women to be part of the institutions that make changes that affect them; we can’t let men decide what’s best for us, WE need to do that. And while I was at the conference, I learned about an opportunity to do just that. I picked up a flyer about the programs at the Berkeley YWCA and knew immediately that this was a chance to make the changes that had seemed abstract and distant in my head, but were now tangible.

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Dr. Carol talks Empowerment, Self-esteem and Women in Tech

by Dr. Carol, originally published on her blog here

Listen to this recent interview with Dr. Carol where she talks about empowerment, self-esteem and women in tech: https://soundcloud.com/breakingintostartups/59-dr-carol-langlois-how-self-esteem-empowerment-are-changing-the-ratio-through-hackbright

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Cheering Her On: A Little Sister Prepares for New Adventures Ahead

by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area, originally published on their blog here

Fall is fast approaching which means many students are readying themselves for big life transitions such as going off to college. Although it’s exciting, it’s also a time of significant life choices and major change. No one knows that better than Little Sister, Kashari, who has worked hard to get to this stage of life.

In her senior year of high school, Kashari held an internship with the District Attorney’s Justice Academy, kept her grades up, and snagged a Scholarship honor in the process. She also applied to colleges, resulting in quite a few options to choose from! Kashari credits her Big Sister, Julie, with keeping her focused while helping her to be open minded about different ways of thinking and approaching new situations.

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Real Talk: On Empowering Girls & Women

by Emily Frost, Founder of Love Your Nature, originally published on Youth Passageways blog here


Take a moment to remember your teen years. Think back to your first sexual encounters. Remember your body, your environment, the people you were with. Paint the picture. What did it feel like? How do you feel now, trying to remember? 

If you’re a woman reading this, you’re probably connecting to some awkward if not terrible memories. Most of us had mostly not-great sex before we were 20, have been coerced, assaulted, raped, or don’t remember our first sexual experiences because of substance use. Any of this sounding familiar? You are not alone. In fact, you’re a lot like almost every other woman on this planet. Perhaps you are man reading this, with daughters, sisters, or women in your life you love dearly, who already share or may come to know these same experiences. 

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My Time at Tech Trek

by Catherine Zhou, student and alum of Tech Trek sponsored by AAUW San Francisco. 

To start off I would like to thank you and the rest of the San Francisco AAUW Branch for giving me this chance to attend the best camp ever! Even though I didn't get into Tech Trek at Stanford, I'm really lucky to have gotten in at all. 

On the way to Fresno I was really nervous, I thought to myself did I bring too much stuff? Will I make any friends? Will anyone think I'm really weird? Will I be homesick? I was just so nervous! But when I got there I had a sigh of relief, everybody seemed nice and I don't think I was the only nervous one. 

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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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Creativity's Role in Impact Storytelling

by Rachel Dodd. Originally published in SoPact's blog here.

"I am a creative" - not a phrase I expected to declare at a conference - especially not at the top of my lungs. However, that's exactly what I did alongside a crowd of fellow creatives at the 5th annual Alliance for Girls conference (Together We Rise!). Prior to our encounter with Anasa Troutman, founder of eLOVEate, some of us never before dared assert our association with such a fluid - spiritual - magical - and intangible adjective as creative.

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Run like a GIRL

by Fiona Ma, Chairwoman Emeritus of the California State Board of Equalization. Originally published here.

Why is run like a girl, scream like a girl, or cry like a girl one of the most insulting things you can say on the school yard? Why in movies do we see girls relegated to the damsel in distress, the absurd scientist running through the forest in high heels, or the romantic sidekick? Society has instilled in all of us that women are the weaker gender – to be compared to a woman has been an insult since before I can remember.

Instead, we should teach girls (and boys too!) to be leaders, champions, adventurers, entrepreneurs, heroes that save the day, and to stand up for your beliefs. That’s why I ran for public office, to make a difference in my community and to be a champion for what’s right.


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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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