activism

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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In Solidarity We Rise

by Andrea Zamora, Member of Alliance for Girls' Young Women's Leadership Board & Student.

Through my involvement with Alliance for Girls and being part of the Girls Leadership Team, I was invited to attend a conference for three days in Washington D.C. The conference called “In Solidarity We Rise: Healing, Opportunity and Justice for Girls,” was the first conference that I ever attended. It was also my first time ever being in an airplane. It was definitely a new experience and I didn’t know what to expect. I also wasn’t too sure how a conference was set up or what we were suppose to do. Throughout the whole time, I was excited about attending my first conference but I was scared of my workshop and having to present in front of others. I tend to get really nervous about saying something wrong and messing up in front of an audience. During the conference, we were able to present our work on revamping Oakland Unified School District’s sexual harassment policy and the process that it all came about from conducting research to the Girls Leadership Team to working together and transforming the policy. I felt relieved when we were done presenting and got good feedback. Along with my workshop, were other organization presenting and teaching others about their work and things they can implement if they wanted to do something alike. 

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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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Building a Stronger California in 2017

by Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) Staff. Originally published here.

On April 4 – Equal Pay Day – we rallied with the Stronger California Advocates Network and members of the Legislative Women’s Caucus to launch our 2017 legislative agenda for women’s economic security.

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Next Step to a Living Wage

by Laura Eberly, Community Organizer of YWCA San Francisco and Marin

Tell Your Assembly member you support the Opportunity to Work Act (AB 5) here!

Many of the young people served by our organizations hold part-time jobs, and there is growing public awareness that young people’s incomes are more likely to be essential to the household budget than just extra pocket money.

But too many are not getting the hours they need to make ends meet. New research from the UCLA Labor Center found up to 79% of young part-time workers in LA would take more hours if they could get them.

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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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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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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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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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Machismo's Vicious Reign in my Latinx Community

by Abigail Miranda, Youth Council Advisory Council member of That's Not Cool, a project of Futures Without Violence. Originally posted on ThatsNotCool.com

What is Machismo?

Machismo is a predominant “traditional” belief in Latinx communities that women are inferior to men. Machismo takes forms in various ways and often is culturally ingrained within Latinx communities. Machismo within our Latinx communities is most commonly presented in sets of heavily enforced gender norms and expectations. Often coming from “La mujer tiene que atender su hombre, porque es la mujer” (“The woman has to attend her man because she is the woman”) to “No seas lloron! Sos hombre!” (“Don’t be a crybaby! You’re a man”) Machismo has established oppressive standards that are harmful to both women and men. Machismo sets a strong practice that of which “hombres” have to comply to machismo and are expected to be hyper-masculine, intimidating, aggressive, and dominant. It is a strongly practiced and harmful belief system that not only maintains sexism as a habitual practice, but also ventures into violence, sexism, transphobia, and homophobia.


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The Power of All Youth

by Fatima Tall, Slam Poet, Youth Activist/Organizer, and Youth Ambassador of That's Not Cool, a project of Future Without Violence. Originally posted on ThatsNotCool.com.

FatimaYouth of all shapes and forms have voices that carry truth and passion.

Yet, the youth voice is a lost voice.

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IGNITE is ready for #StateofWomen: An Interview with Dr. Anne Moses

by Anne Moses, Founder and Executive Director of IGNITE. Originally published on IGNITE's blog here.


There’s a lot that’s been done by and for women and girls, but there’s still plenty to do. That's why our President & Founder, Dr. Anne Moses, is off to the White House for The United State of Women Summit. The #‎StateofWomen Summit will rally all of us together to celebrate what we’ve achieved, and how we’re going to take action moving forward. Covering key gender equality issues - including women in politics - we’ll make a powerful difference in our collective future. In this interview with Dr. Moses she shares her thoughts on why now is the time for women and girls to declare their ambition to run for office.

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Why is now the time for women to claim their political power?

For the first time in history, a woman is the Presidential nominee for a major political party. This is an extraordinary accomplishment, but we have to capitalize on it! Women still hold only 22% of the 500,000 elective offices across the US. That means we still need 140,000 more women in office at every level to achieve gender parity. And research suggests it will be more than 100 years before that happens.





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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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