advocacy

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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Power That Feeds the Soul

by Yonayda Rodas, Advocacy Intern at YWCA San Francisco & Marin and junior at San Rafael High School, originally published in their blog here.

A reflection on San Rafael’s May Day immigration rally.

On Monday, May 1st, I was fortunate enough to be able to march alongside my fellow immigrants. The energy around us was not one of hate and violence, despite all the shouting, but one of peace and serenity. With every shout and cheer from the crowd I felt more and more uplifted to keep on marching and the blazing sun wasn’t going to stop us. The red cards my fellow friends and I handed out stated the rights immigrants in this country have towards ICE and each card that was passed gave people more hope towards almost any situation they were facing. I was surrounded by hardworking and inspiring people who had dreams and goals in life and who were not willing to give up or to look back but to continue to move forward facing the obstacles that stood between them and their dreams. People of all different ages attended the march. Some were mothers who had come with children and others were teenagers like me who were curious about what they can do to stand up for what they believe is right. It didn’t matter how old you were or from what country you had migrated, we were all there for the same cause and that made me feel entirely whole. It can be argued that these types of marches do not do anything for the community but they are wrong because once an individual realizes that they do not stand alone, they will do all that it takes to get the rights that they deserve. I shall always remember this day as one of true significance and of power that feeds the soul. Visit our Action Center to call on your Assembly Member to support the California Values Act, SB 54. 

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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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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"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):

 
   
 

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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Menstruation in the 4th wave: How my period helped me find my (feminist) voice

by Emma Sachat, sophomore at Wheaton College and intern at the Red Web Foundation

In most cultures, a girl’s first period is emblematic of womanhood. Her first period not only indicates that she is fertile, but welcomes her into the world of women rather than girls. For me, my first period was not so sacred. I began to realize I was a woman not because I was met with admiration and respect, but because my body and my ability to menstruate were regarded as vulgar and obscene. My period marked my coming to womanhood in that I learned how I was meant to feel about being a menstruating woman. And it was because I was so angered by the old-world attitudes towards my period that I began to grow into my feminist-self and develop my feminist thought. My period marked the beginning of a new awareness of unjust attitudes and language regarding women.

Despite being slightly embarrassed when I came home to the raspberry-topped cupcakes my mother had made to commemorate my coming into “womanhood”, my period was not initially a source of shame. I did not share the horrific first-period story as do so many women--bleeding through white pants onto a classroom chair, staining a bathing suit. Rather, my first period was uneventful, almost, it seemed, of no consequence at all. I did not regard my period as a great source of shame, nor did I see any reason to. I did not question my own body and my right to menstruate and talk about menstruation openly until I found myself in the presence of boys at my coed high school.

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We're starting something big at YWCA!

by Laura Eberly, Community Organizer at the YWCA San Francisco & Marin


YWCA San Francisco & Marin got its start by elevating women’s voices. At the core of our work is the recognition that a more equitable world is possible, and it is our job to build it.

That’s why we are building a new advocacy program, and inviting you to join us.




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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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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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Q&A with Ana Diosdado

by Ana Nicole diosdado Gonzalez, Activist, Mission Girl, & Speaker at Alliance for Girls' 3rd Annual Conference


How did you prepare for your GirlTalk?

This experience was new and exciting for me. I had done public speaking in the past but not at this level. The preparation was challenging and a lot of work, but I had a lot of fun. I had to really put a lot of thought into what I was writing and how I wanted to tell my story. I learned a lot from my mentor and I acquired new writing and public speaking skills. Everything that made it in my speech came from the bottom of my heart.

How was your experience giving the speech?

Giving the speech was nerve-racking! When I stood at the podium in front of all those women, I felt like I was in a do-or-die situation -- no turning back now! I spoke with confidence, and even though I stumbled through a few words, my message came across clearly. In the end, it was an amazing experience to be able to share my story to this room full of loving women.






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Title IX: A Perspective

by Keasara "Kiki" Williams of Equal Rights Advocates, reposted from her original post


Today is the 43rd anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that has opened up more doors for me than I ever could have imagined.  Title IX gave me the opportunity to start playing sports at a young age and all the way through college, providing me with invaluable opportunities and experiences that have shaped the woman and advocate I have become, as it has for countless other girls and young women.  And now, Title IX has become the focus of my work at Equal Rights Advocates, where my passion for working with young female students has been reignited and fuels all the exciting work we are doing to achieve the gender equity goals set by Title IX more than 40 years ago.

I have been particularly inspired by our work with BHS Stop Harassing, a student group from Berkeley High School that formed after multiple complaints of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault were inappropriately handled by Berkeley Unified School District.  By coming together and taking a stand, BHS Stop Harassing succeeded in getting the district to change its harassment and discrimination policies, all while spreading the word about Title IX through teach-ins with their fellow students. Check out this moving film about their valiant efforts!

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