The World of Girls

Issue 6

September 3, 2014

In This Issue...

Note from the Director
Advocacy Update
Women's Equality Day
Member Spotlight
The World of Girls
   Reproductive Rights
   Sexual Assault

   Women's Leadership
   Human Trafficking
   Domestic Violence
   Social Media and Girls'
        Health + Safety
 Other News


For Members

Under Past Events, we've posted up notes and materials from the Basics of Building a Diverse Portfolio.

We've also updated the Resources page with a diverse range of current research.

To register for events or access members-only pages, remember to sign in using your username and password.

Interested in being the next Member Spotlight?  

Contact Kailin Chou:


Community Events

For Staff 

Saturday, September 6
9:30 AM
Reauthorization of the Children's Fund aka Prop C
(if passed will include (1) gender-responsive and culturally competent services as a goal of the fund, and (2) identify services that address the needs of girls and LGBTQQ youth as an eligible use of the fund)
Diane Feinstein Elementary School
San Francisco, CA

Saturday, September 6
The Haze
The Costume Shop at American Conservatory Theater
San Francisco, CA

Sunday, September 7
4:00 - 6:00 PM
"Not My Life"
Seton Medical Center
Daly City, CA

Thursday, September 11
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Vicarious Trauma & Self-Care
California Endowment Conference Center
Oakland, CA 94607

Thursday, September 18
6:00 - 8:00pm
Portraits & Pinot 
by The Art of Yoga Project
Allied Arts Guild
Menlo Park, CA

For Girls

Sunday, September 28
2:00 - 4:00pm
Girl Talk
(for girls aged 14+)
The Roxie Theatre
San Francisco, CA

We'd like to post more events that girls can attend. Please help us by submitting your events to


Follow @AFGBA

Like us on Facebook



Alliance for Girls
510 16th Street, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 510.629.9464
Fax: 510.318.5399

Note from the Director

Dear Friends,

I am excited to include a new section in today’s newsletter titled, “The World of Girls.” The World of Girls will summarize and present breaking news and hot-off-the press research that every girls’ organization should know about. To make it easier for readers to find relevant information the table of contents features hyperlinks to each article, categorized by issue area addressed. This section will complement the Resources page and Bay Area Girls’ Service Directory to provide you with critical, easily accessible information that will support your work with girls.


Emma Mayerson
Director of Alliance for Girls

Advocacy Update

Photo: Keynote Speaker Elmy Bermejo, Regional Representative of the U.S. Departmet of LaborPhoto: Keynote Speaker Elmy Bermejo, Regional Representative of the U.S. Department of Labor

On Saturday, August 23rd, Emma Mayerson represented Alliance for Girls' membership by participating and presenting at the Women's Intercultural Network's (WIN) Women's Equality Day: Western Region Call to Action. Sharing the panel with women representing the community, nonprofits and the corporate sector, Emma spoke to the need for (1) media that redefines girls' worth, (2) policies that will protect girls' reproductive rights and access to reproductive health services, (3) more female role models for girls, and (4) formal mentorship programs, especially for girls of color. She also called on corporations to partner with nonprofits in supporting pro-girl messaging and advertisements, policies that demand disaggregated data by gender and equal opportunities for girls, as well as developing funding strategies that are informed by the communities of girls and women being served.  

Emma is Co-Chair of WIN's Girl-Child team alongside Nourbese Flint, Program Director of Black Women for Wellness. Together Emma and Nourbese are developing the Girl-Child's section of the California Women's Agenda for the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Girl-Child priorities include girls' health and safety, sexual harassment and violence, reproductive rights, and leadership opportunities.

Women's Equality Day

Photo: Holy Names High School seniors and their Dean of Students, Kendra Carr, with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Alliance for Girls was thrilled to support Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Jackie Speier's events celebrating Women's Equality Day on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014. By promoting the event through the Alliance for Girls' listserv and social media platforms, several members were able to join us in supporting these Congresswomen's ambitious agendas to elevate the status of women and girls (Please find Congresswoman Pelosi's agenda here and Congresswoman Speier's agenda here).

We're especially excited that our newest Alliance for Girls member Holy Names High School brought their students to meet Congresswoman Pelosi themselves. "I could see it in the way they were responding to her with big smiles and bright eyes. [Congresswoman Pelosi] reminded them, 'You guys are future voters and future leaders. These are issues that will impact you and your community,'" recounts Kendra Carr, Dean of Students at Holy Names. "On the ride back, the whole conversation was about equal pay for equal work and how it's all interconnected - oppression, discrimination, etc."

Alliance for Girls was thrilled to celebrate Women's Equality Day with today's strong women representatives, and tomorrow's. Thank you to Alliance for Girls members who joined us in this celebration. 

Member Spotlight: Flowering Hope

Photo: Youth participating in Flowering Hope's Hiking and Health Program

About five years ago long-time educator Mary Ann Ellison became an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. She was appalled by the prevalence of sexual assault amongst girls and young women. Later, Mary Ann became a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), supporting foster youth as a court-appointed volunteer advocate. As a CASA volunteer she began to see not only the prevalence of domestic violence, but the long-term affect it had on women and families. With four daughters of her own, Mary Ann was inspired to found Flowering Hope in May 2013. At the time, its main goal was to increase awareness about the pervasiveness of both domestic violence and sexual assault through an online forum for victims and survivors to speak out. Today, the organization has expanded its mission to serve and empower women and girl survivors of violence, adding on direct services to its programs.

The awareness-raising work that Flowering Hope does includes a traveling art outreach program and an ambitious data collection project. Under the art program, Flowering Hope brings art projects directly to organizations who provide services to survivors of violence, providing the women with an opportunity to express themselves through art. Recently, Flowering Hope has been involved in its successful #FHMaskProject, where participants express the many layers of who they are on masks through paint, fabric and other embellishments The purpose of the data collection project is to capture comprehensive statistics on violence against women and girls through a broad-spectrum, retrospective and current anonymous survey, open to everyone. With 200 respondents already, Flower Hope’s goal is to gather at least 6,000 responses and make the information readily available to the public and other organizations.

This year, Flowering Hope supplemented its awareness raising efforts with direct services including the Hiking and Health program, which focuses on at-risk mothers. As an avid hiker and a CASA volunteer, Mary Ann describes that the program developed by accident. “I originally started taking the mother of my CASA children on hikes as a form of release and one day she showed up with another mother in the same situation. I noticed that as we hiked, the mothers were able to open up, speak freely, release tension, and get exercise, all contributing to their overall mental and physical health...I began to realize the benefits it could have on women survivors of trauma.” In addition to hikes with mothers, Flowering Hope has also developed similar curriculum for at-risk female youth. It just completed its first 6-session pilot implementation with 8 foster and emancipated youth aged 13 – 18, and it was a great success!

Through restorative direct service programs and data collection, Flowering Hope is developing a holistic approach to addressing violence against women and girls.
Collaborate with Flowering Hope! 
To complement their programs, Flowering Hope would love to collaborate with organizations who directly support survivors and/or at-risk girls (aged 13+) to facilitate healing art sessions for their clients (for free!) and encourage participation in Flowering Hope’s anonymous data collection through its survey. Flowering Hope has paper versions of the survey available in Spanish.  She’d love for all the readers of this article to take the online survey and share with others! 

The World of Girls

This section provides summaries of relevant current events and research from this past month. 

Reproductive Rights

In our continued coverage on reproductive rights, a recent report, Reproductive Justice: Racial and Gender Discrimination in US Health Care, by three major health advocacy groups was presented to the United Nations Commission in Geneva in mid-August and are now under consideration. According to the Center for Disease Control, Black women nationwide are nearly four times as likely to die in childbirth as white women. And women without U.S. citizenship are three times as likely as U.S.-born citizens to lack private or public insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Read more about this update… along with CRR’s press release.

Sexual Assault

Assembly Bill 1517 (AB 1517), a bill that would set clear timeframes for testing rape kits as well as store DNA profiles in a national database, passed unanimously at the Assembly and Senate and has now reached the Governor's desk. The bill is authored by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), and Natasha's Justice Project. Please send a letter to the Governor in support of AB 1517 by clicking here.

Women's Leadership

According to a report released jointly by California Women Lead and the Women's Caucus of the League of California Cities, women are underrepresented  in California's municipal governments. Specifically, 706 women serve on California city councils, which makes up only 39% of elected seats. Additionally, 40% of cities have only one woman on the council, including some of the most highly populated cities in the state: Los Angeles, Fresno, and Bakersfield. 71 cities have no women represented on city council. Read on... 


On August 22nd, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1349 (SB 1349), which requires all public elementary and secondary schools offering competitive sports to report disaggregated data by gender regarding sports participation and opportunities. Alliance for Girls members Fair Play for Girls in Sports of the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, who encouraged members to support the bill through Alliance for Girls’ listserv, and Equal Rights Advocates have acted as key advocates for SB 1349. Thank you to Alliance for Girls' members for supporting the bill!

Human Trafficking

The American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the nation, created in 2011 the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls. This year, the Task Force produced a report aimed at raising awareness on human trafficking among psychologists by summarizing scientific literature since the 1980s and calling on psychologists to get involved with the issue and offer recommendations. Read the executive summary.

Domestic Violence

In recent years the N.F.L. surpassed the N.B.A. and Major League Baseball in female viewership, according to Nielsen. 45% of football fans are women, and overall, football has become the only real time event that gathers the whole family in front of the television. This makes cases of domestic violence in the NFL all the more relevant to women and girls everywhere. In response to the uproar following Ray Rice’s "slap-on-the-wrist" 2-game suspension a month ago, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced last week that they would be instituting a more uniform and strict policy towards cases of domestic violence. Violations regarding domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force would result in a minimum suspension of 6 games for first offenses. A second offense would result in a life-time ban from the NFL. This policy will get its first test with 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald, who was just arrested on Sunday for domestic violence. Read on...

Social Media and Girls' Health + Safety

A survey by We Heart It was released exclusively to TIME earlier this month that looked at the experiences of girls and young women using social media. Specifically, females aged 13 to 24 were asked how they use social media platforms such as Instagram and the unspoken rules they adhere to. Read on...

Other News

Calnonprofits has produced what it describes as “the first-ever study on the economic power of California’s nonprofit sector.” With over 72,000 nonprofits in California, the nonprofit industry is the 4th largest in terms of employment. In addition, 85% of survey respondents reported that the majority of their workforce is female. Read on…


Did we miss something? Email

Alliance for Girls
510 16th Street, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510.629.9464 | Fax: 510.318.5399