September 2021 Newsletter

A Note from the Executive Director

Dear Alliance members,

Last week we came together to build community, share best practices, and find common ground to address the needs of girls* and gender-expansive youth. The AFG team came away inspired by what we learned from each other and I hope you did too.

Important to our conversations was explaining how our radical safety framework — which as defined by girls is the safety of their bodies, minds, and souls — will inform AFG’s work moving forward. Texas is a reminder that even in 2021 our collective fight for the safety of any human body with ovaries is not over and we stand ready with our members who are on the frontlines. Undoubtedly girls are filled with anxiety and stress as they watch what is unfolding in Texas and as the pandemic rages on.

Our recent report, Uniting Isolated Voices: Girls and Gender Expansive-Youth During COVID-19, shed light on the mental health challenges of our girls and how their psychological safety was threatened at the onset of COVID-19 changes and restrictions. We are proud to be a convener of the organizations that mobilized quickly to provide tailored approaches and cultural strategies to meet girls’ needs amid the ongoing pandemic. Together we are giving voice to and advocating for their immediate needs, and in our collective research, we provide girl-driven solutions that will achieve their radical safety.

So as we mark 18 months of this pandemic, let’s leverage this watershed moment to dismantle the oppressive systems that allow marginalized youth to fall through the cracks and replace it with systems rooted in radical safety that allow every girl to thrive.

Headshot of Emma Mayerson, Executive Director of Alliance for Girls

Onward,
Emma


Alliance for Girls (AFG) Updates

Original artwork by Citlalli Anamia, a painting of a youth with short black hair and a range of skin tones standing in front of an above-ground BART railway. Monarch butterflies are in the sky with a yellow flower in the top left and top right corners.

“Safety Is Our Future” by Citlalli Anamia, one of the winners of the Radical Visions of Safety Call for Art

Our COVID-19 report, Isolating United Voices, is out!

Last month, AFG released its latest research report, Uniting Isolated Voices: Girls and Gender-Expansive Youth During COVID-19, an in-depth look at the impacts of COVID-19 on the lives of more than 1,200 girls and gender-expansive youth in California. This report is the culmination of a year’s worth of data collection and analysis, and provides a roadmap on the investments and strategies needed to achieve greater equity. Read the full report and help us spread the word!

On June 17th, AFG’s Young Women’s Leadership Board presented the report’s key findings and shared their recommendations, and AFG facilitated discussions with members, funders, and community leaders to build on the recommendations. Watch the recording.

Radical Visions of Safety art submissions

We gave away over $5,000 in funds to girls and gender-expansive artists of color through our work with Betti Ono for the Radical Visions of Safety Call for Art, to build on the Radical Visions of Safety report and cultural strategy. It was critical that we were able to put money in the hands of youth of color, especially during COVID-19, when financial need was a top issue for youth, based on our research. Their art was showcased during the Not One More Girl campaign, a partnership with BART to reimagine safety for riders and to address sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Watch this video to learn more.

Introducing new staff

Alliance for Girls is excited to celebrate new staff members, who are bringing energy, voice, and skills to our team! Check out who’s joined below, and learn more about them on our staff page.

Headshot of Alea Chedekel

Alea Chedekel

Executive Assistant

Headshot of Krystele Chavez

Krystele Chavez

Communications Manager

Headshot of Miari Stephens

Miari Stephens

Program Coordinator

We’re hiring!

Are you an Oakland-based individual with knowledge of the Bay Area education systems? We’re seeking a School Partnerships Associate Manager who will help us create safer and healthier schools by and for girls and gender expansive youth! Apply now.


Member Spotlight: Girl Scouts of Northern California 

Image from Girl Scouts of Northern California, featuring young girls with arms linked and smiling

We are excited to be together and “press play” on a new year of Girl Scouts! Are you interested in bringing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in your community? Girl Scouts of Northern California is proud to partner with organizations and provide the Girl Scout leadership experience to girls and families facing socio-economic challenges. The Girl Scout leadership experience prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership: self-confidence, positive values, healthy relationships, challenge seeking, and community problem solving.

We are looking to partner with organizations that believe in building girls of courage, confidence, and character. Ask us about opportunities to partner and support girls in your community at community@gsnorcal.org.


A Girl*’s Perspective

Spotlighting the unique perspectives of girls and gender-expansive youth in the community.

How teens are working to end relationship violence

Some of California Partnership to End Domestic Violence’s phenomenal Youth Advisory Committee members were interviewed in the YES! Magazine. Learn more.

From aspiring doctor to political leader: Zunera’s story

Learn about Zunera Ahmed, alumnae of IGNITE, and her journey to becoming a political leader. Learn more.

Taking a global stand for girls’ rights in Guatemala

Las Niñas Lideran, Rise Up’s network of girl and young women leaders in Guatemala, was selected to help lead the Action Coalition on gender-based violence for the Generation Equality Forum, a global gathering to advance gender equality over the next five years. Learn more.


Voices From the Alliance

Featuring the perspectives of Alliance for Girls members.

Image of fists in a circle surrounding a yellow lightning bolt over a dark blue background

Menstrual equity is economic justice

“Period poverty,” or the reality that people struggle to access sanitary products, is exacerbated in the wake of the public health crisis. We must close equity gaps in resources and period product access to ensure every menstruating person has the opportunity to thrive at school, work, and beyond. Read the full article, which cites some of the advocacy Alliance for Girls has done in Santa Clara County!

Video still of Connie Sobczak, Executive Director of The Body Positive, speaking at TEDxSanRafaelWomen

Embracing your critical voice: The gateway to self-love

One of Alliance for Girls’ members, Connie Sobczak, Executive Director of The Body Positive, delivered a brilliant and moving TEDx talk that was released in April. Watch it now.

photos featuring Brianna Russell, author and founding CEO of Girls Leading Girls, as well as photos of Asian participants from Girls Leading Girls

Leading in sports as an Asian American woman

If we don’t increase the pool of athletes that are female and BIPOC, how can we expect to have a large pool of confident women coaches that are BIPOC? Check out this article written by Alliance for Girls’ member Brianna “Bre” Russell, Girls Leading Girls CEO & Founder.


Members in the News

IMPACT Bay Area was featured in Vanity Fair and The New York Times, where Executive Director Linda Leu talked about their work to equip people with self-defense skills to deal with anti-Asian violence.

Girls Garage Founder and Executive Director Emily Pilloton-Lam was interviewed in the US Modernist Radio – Architecture You Love podcast about her design/build work with youth in rural North Carolina. She was also quoted in an article by the University of California-Berkeley about the powerful intersection of social justice and design.


Upcoming Events

Check out all of our members’ and partners’ amazing events on our community calendar.

Mother-Daughter Circle Facilitator Training by One Circle Foundation Register here.

NN4Y National Summit on Youth Homelessness Call for Presentations Learn more.



*”Girls” refers to gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth).