Girl Tickets for the Together We Rise Conference have been released! Any of your girls and young women ages 14 years and up can attend for free!
Interested in leading a workshop for fellow members? We're now putting together the training schedule for Fall 2017 - Spring 2018. Submit your applications here.
Interested in being featured in our newsletters and/or blog? We're always looking for stories or op-eds written by members or by girls. Check out the guidelines on this page and contact Kailin Chou at email@example.com.
Check out all events on Alliance for Girls' community calendar here.
The Research & Communications Committee
Alliance for Girls is grateful for the Research & Communications Committee for helping us put together the content of this newsletter. They are:
Helynna Brooke (Chair) is Executive Director of the San Francisco Mental Health Education Funds, Inc where she focuses on advocating for appropriate mental health services for women and girls. Helynna co-founded the Red Web Foundation in 2003, following the creation of the First Moon Kit for celebrating the first period of a woman. The Red Web Foundation is on the bleeding edge of education and advocacy for healthy attitudes about the menstrual cycle.
Lenore Gallin is Vice President of Programs on the board of AAUW Oakland-Piedmont and a professor of archaeology, cultural anthropology and women's studies at Diablo Valley College. She also develops and leads study abroad programs.
Kiku Johnson has been committed to youth programming since 1989 ranging from residential to out-of-school time to youth development - 18 of those years have been focused work with girls and gender-specific programming. Most recently Kiku served as the Girls Leadership national program director focused on SEL curriculum and educator training and development. Kiku is now with One Circle Foundation where the focus is training, consulting, and equipping service providers across sectors to implement research-based circle program models and best practice evidence-based approaches to increase capacities and build healthy relationships amongst youth.
Dawn McMahan is Development Manager at Project Re-Connect. She is about to complete her MSW at the University of Southern California while simultaneously studying American Sign Language. She is the Executive Artistic Director of the Pythia Arts Center for Social Change where she has advocated for youth in crisis since 2010 in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and county agencies, an Ethics Committee member for the National Association of Social Workers, and works with the OUSD's Foster Youth Advisory Committee. She ran for Oakland City Council in 2011.
Kara Sammet is a diversity, inclusion and impact consultant, most recently working as a researcher and writer at Google to improve the inclusion of girls and women in computer science. She has a Ph.D. in Education from UC Berkeley with an emphasis on measurement and gender. Kara works with cross-sector organizations to support girls' and women's equity and leadership, previously including at Techbridge, Girls Leadership, GirlVentures and Outward Bound.
Andy Spivack is an MSW Intern at Futures Without Violence where he manages the teen dating violence program That's Not Cool. He is also a 2nd year MSW student at the University of California, Berkeley in the management and planning concentration. Prior to this Andy evaluated school-based programs in Richmond, was a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention educator in North Lake Tahoe, and engaged in environmental and social justice work with Native communities in the rural Four Corners region of the US.
Connie Wun, Ph.D. is the founder and executive director of Transformative Research. She is also a Research Justice at the Intersections Fellow and AAUW Fellow at Mills College. Since completing her degree from the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, Connie has led research and community driven research trainings on issues of racial, transgender, immigrant, and gender justice. Her publications can be found in truth-out.org, The Feminist Wire, Critical Sociology, Journal for Curriculum and Teaching, and Journal of Educational Policy.
Interested in joining the Research & Communications Committee? Email Helynna at firstname.lastname@example.org learn more.
Note from the Director
Dear Girls' Champions,
In March, I travelled to D.C. for a final presentation on Alliance for Girls' partnership with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), funded by the National Girls Initiative Innovation Awards through the U.S. Department of Justice. This award enabled Alliance for Girls (AFG) to bring its coordinated community response model for improving girls' lives into the public school system.
In preparing the final presentation, I reflected on what has made this initiative so successful. Ultimately, it is the same ingredients that has enabled AFG's success and growth since its launch in 2012:
The Valuing Girls Voices report clearly outlined the expressed needs of girls of color in OUSD. To meet girls' expressed needs, AFG assembled a dynamic team of members that included:
Community Works: an expert in restorative justice as an alternative to discipline
MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth): an expert in serving sexually exploited youth in Oakland
The Respect Institute: an expert in creating curricula for adults and youth alike on standing up against bias and creating cultures of respect.
This diverse and dynamic team was able to not only provide OUSD with training, resources, and policies that meet the expressed needs of girls of color, we also expanded our own expertise by training one another and co-constructing original and innovative strategies for meeting girls' unique needs.
By approaching the district as a powerful and unified alliance of girls’ organizations and champions, AFG was able to successfully navigate several leadership transitions, including the transition of Superintendent Wilson. AFG’s legitimacy is derived from the community and the girls our members serve. Therefore, AFG’s partnership with OUSD was never dependent on any one relationship. Rather, we built upon a web of existing relationships and networks to fortify our ties to Oakland schools.
Alliance for Girls succeeds because its members are passionate about serving their girls and are united by a common methodology: listen to girls, follow their lead, and help them prepare for and achieve their goals. In its partnership with OUSD, AFG not only promoted this philosophy, we embodied it. By grounding the initiative in the lived experiences of girls of color through research, and launching a Girls Leadership Team of 7 Oakland female students of color that served as lead architects of the initiative within OUSD.
Traveling back from D.C was bittersweet, marking the end of an award that has exponentially expanded the work of Alliance for Girls, and our collective impact on the lives of girls. However, I am thrilled to announce that the NoVo Foundation has granted AFG a three-year award that will enable the continuation of this work within Oakland schools, and beyond!
Alliance for Girls Update
Together We Rise
Are you coming to Alliance for Girls' 5th Annual Conference: Together We Rise on May 23rd in Oakland? We're convening more than 500 intergenerational leaders of the girls' movement from across the country and you won't want to miss it!
The Women's March in January marked the largest protest in American history, and its message was clear: Women and girls are a powerful force to be reckoned with, and we will not be silenced.
At Together We Rise, we will leverage this momentum and propel the girls' movement from resistance to revolution by exploring strategies and evidence-based tools, highlighting key leaders in the field, and developing individual and collective action plans. The conference will feature engaging sessions and topics that speak to all leaders and allies. We will:
Learn how to push pro-girl policies by electing women and girls' champions into office and through citizen advocacy
Focus on holistic health and healing as central to leadership, and develop personalized wellness plans that can be replicated with girls and young women
Hear from innovative young women who are leading the girls' movement
Build a girls' movement that is inclusive, by examining the intersections of race, disability, gender, immigrant rights and LGBTQ rights
Learn how to use art to transform our culture from one of anger and divison to one of love and solidarity
Offer a dynamic, experiential workshop for girls and young women to learn how to have a positive impact on the world using their power as savers, purchasers, and investors
Together we can change the course of history for girls and young women, and for us all. Register now.
Make School Scholarship Opportunity
Alliance for Girls is pleased to be awarding a $3,500 scholarship for Make School's Summer Academy. Furthermore, additional financial aid is available to Alliance for Girls applicants. Since 2012 Make School has been empowering students to build and ship apps, mobile games and VR experiences that impact their communities.
Here are 5 reasons to apply to the Summer Academy:
1. Make School instructors are CS college majors and software engineers from the tech industry whose mission is to give focused, individual attention to each student.
3. Make School students have been invited to The White House to demo their apps three years in a row.
4. Make School alumni have interned and worked at Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Tesla, Lyft, LinkedIn, Apple and more.
5. Alumni have also leveraged their experience at the Summer Academy to gain acceptance into colleges such as Columbia, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University.
To qualify for the scholarship and to claim your tuition discount, simply submit an application here: make.sc/AFG2017.
Member Spotlight: Career Girls
For this issue's member spotlight, we're featuring Career Girls, an organization that helps girls discover their own path to empowerment through access to inspiring career role models and (free) supportive girl-centric curriculum. They're celebrating the launch of their 24-month campaign to reach 100,000 Bay Area girls! Read about their launch below:
In March 2017, San Francisco-based Career Girls launches their 24 month campaign to reach 100,000 Bay Area girls with inspiring career role models, with a focus on women of color in STEM fields.
The 100,000 Girls Project is our two-year initiative to provide 100,000 girls in the Bay Area with access to inspiring, educational, and empowering career role models, curriculum and a digital platform to help them achieve the careers of their dreams. Many of our role models are women of color, and many represent careers in STEM and other fields where women are underrepresented. The girls will be reached through partnerships with schools, libraries, girl groups, mentoring organizations, and our ambassadors!
"Now I'm interested in coding and marine science" and "I will go to college..." are just a couple of the things girls who experience Career Girls are saying. Take a look at what other girls are saying about Career Girls!
We are a best-kept Bay Area secret, providing valuable tools that help young girls realize their career goals by clearly showing them how other women have succeeded. When girls succeed in finding a fulfilling career, they make a positive contribution to our society.
“We are filling the imagination gap,” says Career Girls Executive Producer, Linda Calhoun. “By introducing girls to our role models, we are introducing them to hundreds of careers in fields they may have never even thought of.”
CareerGirls.org is a video-based career exploration tool for girls. It’s free to use and free of commercials. Our collection includes over 8,000 video clips featuring more than 500 women role models. These successful women work in different careers—ranging from astronaut to musician to veterinarian—all over the United States.
Featured career role models, like NASA Research Engineer Jessica Marquez and Salesforce Computer Scientist Leah McGowen-Hare, can be a turning point in a girl's belief in what she can achieve:
Jessica Marquez is a NASA Research Engineer in Santa Clara County, where she develops tools for people who support human space exploration, including astronauts.
"I’ve done everything from using the same shuttle trainer as astronauts to learning about how they train,” says Jessica. “I’ve been as lucky as being able to fly in the parabolic flight where you can experience micro gravity."
Leah McGowen-Hare is a Computer Scientist for Salesforce in San Francisco. She has traveled the world for her career, training and teaching others to code. She started an all-women’s coding class, taught it for free, and hopes to get more girls into coding.
“My favorite thing about my work is seeing the light bulb go off…when [the people I’m teaching who] really thought they could never code and they write their first piece of code.”
How you can help: Become a Career Girls Ambassador to help us reach our goal of empowering 100,000 girls in the Bay Area by March 2019! Find out more here.
A Girl's Perspective
This section spotlights the unique perspectives of girls in the community. Full posts are featured on Alliance for Girls' blog.
"'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."Read more.
Promoting Change in the Film Industry by Clarissa, Student Board Member of Camp Reel Stories
"I've gone to Camp Reel Stories three times so far and plan on going for a fourth time this summer. It's become a tradition of sorts to attend camp, make a film, and watch it spread throughout the country to various film festivals and onto people's screens, whether those are found on their phones, on their computers, or in movie theaters. I cannot confidently say that I will go into the film industry when I grow older, but I can say that I have found a sense of community through the camp and gained inspiration from strong women, who prove everyday that they have what it takes to compete with men in a male-dominated industry." Read more.
"As a member of the Red Web Foundation, I attended the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Forum (CSW61) 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.
I was really pleased that at every panel, workshop or presentation, mention of girls was specifically included. If equality in work is to happen for women, girls need to have access to education and freedom from early marriage. There were also a number of panels focused on access to clean water and menstrual hygiene so that girls can attend school." Read more.
3 Successful Strategies to Fight the Gender Wage Gap by Kara Sammet, Equity & Inclusion Strategist "The gender pay gap is real -- and it's significantly worse for women of color. Yet politicians are still arguing that equal pay is 'bad for society' and will create problematic competition for 'men's jobs.'
So, what can you do to close the gender wage gap for yourself and other women? Here are three successful strategies:
1. Stop the Salary History Reveal. Prospective employers like to ask, 'What is your current salary?' This gives them an advantage in negotiating a job candidate's salary. It allows employers to offer less to women as a result of well-documented gender wage gaps." Read more. Helping Girls to Tend Their Inner Fire by Sarai Shapiro 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.
When they returned to the fire that night, the youngest girl in the group struck flint with steel and brought forth fire to warm ourselves for our evening. This was the first time that a girl in that group had started a fire without a match. The spark that she brought forth was a spark that was created by her hands, but only after being infused by the wildness of the landscape of their day." Read more.
The World of Girls
We encourage you to use the following news articles and corresponding prompts to start a conversation with girls and your community.
'Fearless Girl' Statue Will Stay in Financial District for Another Year
Last month, the world's third largest asset manager, State Street Global Advisors, installed a bronze statue of a young girl in front of Wall Street's iconic "Charging Bull" statue as part of its campaign to call attention to the gender pay gap and pressure companies in the financial sector to add more women to their boards. Originally scheduled to be removed on April 2, the "Fearless Girl" statue will now remain at her post until February 2018, after more than 50 New York politicians signed a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio to make the installation permanent. More here.
Suggested Activity: Explore girls' understandings of perceptions of bravery and fearlessness.
What does it mean for a girl to be 'brave' in our world? What does it look like for a girl to be 'brave'? How is being 'brave' different than being 'fearless' - is there a difference?
Share a time where you acted in a ‘brave’ or ‘fearless’ way. How did you feel about being ‘brave’ or ‘fearless’?
Share the image of the "fearless girl" statue in NYC’s financial district to remind people that there are still not enough women running and overseeing big companies in our country. If you created a piece of art, something visual that many people would see, that shared your ideas of girls being ‘brave’ and/or ‘fearless,' what would you create?
Investigate messaging through art. It’s always helpful to synthesize larger concepts through different learning styles/multiple intelligences. Engage your youth to create either a 2D or 3D art expression or installation in their school or community program to illustrate girls' braveness and/or fearlessness. This can be project-based in a group or individually. This could also be an opportunity for young people to showcase and engage their larger community on their creative work to foster voice, engagement and advocacy.
Effectiveness of Healthy Relationship Interventions on Teen Pregnancy Rates
From 1991 to 2014, U.S. teen birth rates fell just over 60%, from 61.8 to 24.2 per 1,000 live births. Yet the U.S. persists in having one of the highest teen birth rates in the developed world. While evidence-based pregnancy preventions curricula that are health-based, focused on the body, risks, and prevention are essential, effective programs must also address issues and activities that arise in the context of a romantic relationship. The Dibble Institute's Love Notes, a comprehensive healthy relationship education curriculum that teaches youth how to build healthy romantic relationships, prevent dating violence, and improve impulse control, was recently added as one of only six programs on the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH)'s list of Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs. Read the issue brief.
Suggested Activity: Build girls' view and definitions around healthy relationships.
Creating a "Relationship Eco-Map" is a creative way to visually assess the health and status of all relationships in your life at any one given time, youth or adult.
Invite girls/youth to share healthy relationship values in discussion or by starting in a gallery walk activity with music where everyone travels the room where flip chart sheets of paper are posted with different headings such as: verbal communication, friends, digital/social media, body talk, consent, etc. List these values in a non-threatening way, amassing ideas, opinions, and perceptions to discuss en masse.
Generate a values list where in which youth can choose their top six or so to put on their own “Relationship Values” card to keep in their wallet, purse, etc.
This website offers excellent relationship-defining lessons for youth.
Girl Talk: A Smartphone Application to Teach Sexual Health Education to Adolescent Girls
Currently, legislation at the federal level does not mandate comprehensive sexual health education for teens despite previous research attesting to the success of such education in the classroom, and efforts at early intervention do not reach all teenagers who have already started becoming sexually active. New and innovative ways to deliver sexual health information are needed to better support teenagers. Smartphone applications have been shown to be highly effective in providing health information to teenagers. Many health-based apps already provide information to users, but few incorporate evidence-based theories for behavior change, and even fewer offer accurate information related to sexual and reproductive health. A new smartphone app, Girl Talk, was developed to address these issues and test the feasability and desirability among female adolescents. Read about their study here.
Suggested Activity: Encourage girls' interest in their sexual health and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) programming.
Invite girls to engage in a project-based activity developing an informative, user-friendly, fun, and girl-centered sexual health smart phone app. Girls can learn about the "human-centered design thinking process,” and consider “users”, prototyping with storyboarding, and be creative!
Ask girls where they source information in regards to their sexual health now. Follow up with how they know the information they are learning from these sources is accurate. Discuss where gaps and misinformation can occur. The group may want to or can be guided to resource-proven information and create a new resource guide based on their interests and concerns.
Members in the News
BlackFemaleProject has been selected for the inaugural cohort of the ACES Foundation's Business Incubator for Social Good Program! This innovative model promotes sustainability among community-based organizations. Read the press release here.
One Circle Foundation's Girls Circle model was just listed as an evidence-based program on SAMHSA's NREPP (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices) website!
Scientific Adventures for Girls received a grant from NXP Semiconductors to support its Summer 2017 STEM Library Programs in Oakland. This program is in coordination with the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at University of California, Berkeley. Free, drop-in STEM programs will be held at three Oakland libraries from June - August.
Techbridge Girls celebrated Women's History Month with Chevron and the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Conference in Seattle. The Pac-12 Women's Basketball Conference and Chevron partnered to highlight the academic success of Pac-12 student athletes, and to share the value of education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.
The Body Positive received a $5,000 grant from the ROOF Foundation to sponsor a low-income East Bay high school team of 5 people (mix of educators and students) to attend their Leadership Summit on August 4-6. Submit applications here.
Women's Audio Mission (WAM) was featured on KQED, which covered WAM's dedication to teaching audio engineering and technology to young women from low-income communities. WAM is the only professional recording studio in the country built and operated entirely by women. Read the article here.