Spring 2021 Newsletter


Note from the Executive Director                           AFG Updates                         Member Spotlight

A Girl*’s Perspective                                           Voices of the Alliance                  Members in the News

Upcoming Events                                            Collaboration Opportunities

Note from the Executive Director

Dear Alliance Members,

Earlier this month, we joined the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and launched the #NotOneMoreGirl campaign to reimagine safety by working outside the traditional structure of police response. This initiative was led by BIPOC youth and driven by Alliance for Girls, Betti Ono, Black Girls Brilliance, The Unity Council, and several other members and community partners.

This initiative was successful because Alliance for Girls* (AFG) did what we do best. We started by amplifying and listening to the voices of girls and gender-expansive youth – through our girl-led Together We Rise research report. And then, with a clear vision by and for girls and gender-expansive youth, we mobilized together with our powerful member organizations to demand change. That is how we advance powerful policies that are written by and held by the community.

Looking ahead, we’ll continue to be vocal about reimagining safety in all aspects of a youth’s life and invite you to read our latest report Radicals Visions for Safety For Girls, By Girls. We’ll be sharing more research in the months to come that can be utilized in a variety of ways to strengthen the ecosystem of care that every youth deserves.

Headshot of Emma Mayerson, Founding Executive Director of Alliance for Girls







AFG Updates

#NotOneMoreGirl campaign poster featuring two youth, one crossing their arms and the other looking to the side. Words read, ''JUST DON'T DO IT. We don't tolerate sexual harassment. #NotOneMoreGirl '' Visit www.bart.gov/NotOneMoreGirl. Partner logos: BART, Alliance for Girls, Betti Ono, Black Girls Brilliance, The Unity Council


Introducing the launch of #NotOneMoreGirl, a community-driven initiative to end gender-based violence on public transit led by 500 youth alongside Alliance for Girls, Betti Ono, Black Girls Brilliance, The Unity Council’s Latinx Mentorship and Achievement Program, and a group of 15 AFG member organizations. Not One More Girl is a partnership with BART to reimagine safety for riders and address sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

Media Coverage

We are overwhelmed with pride for what we have accomplished together and the coverage our campaign received. Spread the word about this work using the #NotOneMoreGirl media toolkit.

How You Can Get Involved

Show your support for #NotOneMOreGirl and the movement to address gender based violence and sexual harassment facing our girls and gender-expansive youth.

Introducing Our 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 Chantal Hildebrand

Chantal Hildebrand

Director of Programs

headshot of Riss Myung

Riss Myung

Membership Fellow

headshot of Samantha Paredes

Samantha Paredes

Advocacy Fellow

headshot of Brianna Jackson

Brianna Jackson

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Darcy Hatcher

Darcy Hatcher

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Geovanna Veloz

Geovanna Veloz

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Makayla Harden

Makayla Harden

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

Headshot of Ralitsa Caneva

Ralitsa Caneva

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Salaam Lateef

Salaam Lateef

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Sammie Wu

Sammie Wu

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Sofía Orduña

Sofía Orduña

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

headshot of Uchenna Esomonu

Uchenna Esomonu

Young Women’s Leadership Board Member

From the Board Chair

To say 2020 was a consequential year is certainly an understatement; its reverberations will be felt for decades to come. While I still believe, with Dr. King, that “the arc of the universe bends towards justice,” there is no doubt that there are many forces working with malevolent intent to bend the arc backwards, to maintain power at the cost of integrity. Yet they will lose, because millions of us each pursue justice in our own lives and work. The girls’ champions AFG supports are creating this new narrative, one voice at a time. They model equity, invite love, and the world moves—slowly but inevitably—toward justice.


Alliance for Girls is in the midst of a period of extraordinary growth under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Emma Mayerson and our dedicated and talented staff. Behind them is a Board that embodies both passion and competence and works diligently to protect and defend our mission and vision. I want to let you all know about a few changes on our Board…” Read the full letter.

Member Spotlight: The Art of Yoga Project
Graphic banner with the logos of The Art of Yoga Project and Young Women's Freedom Center at the top. Titled ''Mindful Mentors: Learn how to create Dope & Sacred Space for yourself and others'' ''You can take care of your body and it wil low-key show you respect in turn,'' - SZA

The Art of Yoga Project’s Mindful Mentors program is a youth development program designed to promote self-determination, self-regulation, self-awareness and self-worth in systems-involved youth, and to support these young people in pursuing careers as wellness practitioners. The Art of Yoga Project has partnered with the Young Women’s Freedom Center (YWFC) to offer this youth empowerment program to YWFC participants and alumni in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this innovative program, girls and gender-expansive young people who are interested in pursuing a career in wellness are paired 1-1 with specially trained, trauma-informed Mindful Mentors. Together, mentor and mentee co-create a plan for the youth to fully integrate wellness into their lifestyle, including exploring their own employment within the fields of wellness, healing, and art. The Art of Yoga Project’s Mindful Mentors uses a youth-centered, collaborative and developmental approach which emphasizes fostering relationships first as a foundation for later skill-building. Read more, including a Q&A with The Art of Yoga Project.

A Girl’s Perspective

Spotlighting the unique perspectives of girls and gender-expansive youth in the community. Posts are also featured on AFG’s website.

Nirali, Oakland Lacrosse’s January 2021 Player of the Month

YouTube video thumbnail that reads, ''Player of the Month'', with a photo of Nirali with her lacrosse stick, freshman at Oakland High

Nirali, now a sophomore at Oakland High School, tells us what she loves about Oakland Lacrosse Club and shares her dreams. She’s been playing lacrosse since 7th grade. Check out her video.

Voices of the Alliance

Featuring the perspectives of Alliance for Girls members. Posts are also featured on AFG’s website.

BlackFemaleProject’s Reflections 2020

by Tameka L. McGlawn, Ed.D., Researcher, dana e. fitchett, Editor, Precious J. Stroud, Founding Executive Director of BlackFemaleProject

snapshots of BlackFemaleProject's Reflections 2020 impact report

BlackFemaleProject’s Reflections 2020 examines what they’ve learned from spending five years listening deeply to individual and collective stories of professional Black women. In addition to reporting on key findings, Reflections 2020 also shares the ways we might imagine moving our work forward, and invites engagement and insights from their audience and community. Read the full report.

We Can Level the Playing Field for Girls in Sports

by Kim Turner, Staff Attorney at Legal Aid at Work and Project Director of Legal Aid’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports

Photo of two high school basketball players on opposite teams in action during a game. In the background is a referee as well as spectators sitting on bleachers.

“The time is now to recognize the epidemic of gender inequity in youth sports made illegal by Title IX. It is important to take action not just because it is the right thing to do but so more girls can experience the lifelong benefits from playing sports:

  • Girls who play sports in high school are correlated to make 7% higher wages as adults and are more likely to enter male-dominated professions.
  • Girls who play sports experience greater academic success.
  • Girls who play sports have higher self-esteem and confidence.
  • And girls who play sports are more likely to avoid breast cancer as adults and experience a wide range of lasting mental and physical health benefits, including preventing certain diabetes conditions that make one more vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Read more.

To remake the world, give girls all the (power) tools

by Emily Pilloton, Founder and Executive Director of Girls Garage

Image: Blue-toned monochrome photo of a woman smiling with braided black hair wearing a hoodie and crossed arms. Background includes part of the front cover of the book, Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See

“I can build the world I want to see for myself, I thought. What took longer to realize, as I entered the field of architecture and construction, is that I wouldn’t have a lot of help. Currently only 3.4% of construction trade workers are female. Only 13% of engineers and 20% of licensed architects are women. We’ve heard that underrepresentation is a pipeline problem, and then, no, it’s a retention problem (only 30% of women who earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering are still working in the field 20 years later). As we’ve struggled to identify the linchpin, I wonder if the answer is simpler. Could it be that the common thread between the women who have stayed in these trades is early exposure to power tools?” Read more.

Debunking the Myth of the “American Dream” in Higher Education

by Dohee Kim, Office Manager of YWCA Berkeley/Oakland

headshot of Dohee Kim

“US media establishments – and even school textbooks – emphasize the ‘American Dream,’ highlighting examples of famous people idolized for their ‘bootstrap’ mentality, while simultaneously failing to address how systemic racism and intergenerational oppressions have played a role in the inequities that we see in the American education system at large. While I can still validate my hard work that led me to where I am now and validate my experiences of racism that presented obstacles in my life, I must also acknowledge that not every student of color has had the same opportunity to succeed in academia or has received the same structural support in higher education. In fact, to ignore the politics behind education is synonymous to being ‘colorblind’ to the racial inequities that the US education system must grapple with.” Read more.

Members in the News

ABC7 News Bay Area did a feature on Girls Garage. The segment includes interviews with Founder and Executive Director Emily Pilloton, carpentry and welding instructor Augusta Sitney, and two fearless students, Alisha and Gabrielle.

Betty Abah, a Rise Up leader from Nigeria, was featured in Amnesty International Nigeria’s International Women’s Day video featuring 16 women activists sharing how they #ChooseToChallenge and uplift the voices and stories of Nigerian women.USA Today highlighted Equal Rights Advocates’ Executive Director, Noreen Farrell, in their piece, “‘People came forward’: Andrew Cuomo harassment allegations show the success of #MeToo and the challenges ahead.”

Upcoming Member Events
Photo caption: A student “Word Wall” from one of our Let’s Code classes. Students answered the question, “What is your favorite part of class?”

Virtual STEAM Summer Camps for K-6 Students in the East Bay

Since the beginning of the school year, Scientific Adventures for Girls (SAfG) has taught virtual classes in Creative Engineering and Coding to K-6th grade students at 16 schools in the East Bay.


They are continuing the fun this summer – if you know of a girl or boy interested, SAfG just opened registration for its STEAM Summer Camps series. Register here.  For more information, email Courtenay Carr Heuer at ccarr@scientificsdventures.org.

Photo of youth making their way across large rocks in a stream. One is carrying a blue backpack, another a pink backpack. Framing the top of the photo are branches of green leaves, with the sunlight trickling through from the top right.

Richmond Roots Rites of Passage Pilot Program Launch

Gaia Passages and Yes, Nature-to-Neighborhoods have collaborated on the Richmond Roots Rites of Passage program, a pilot program running from March through August. The program brings underserved youth in Richmond into their local parks to deeply connect with each other, the nature around them, and learn leadership skills to engage in their communities. The group is guided by a bilingual Elder that nurtures the youth and mentors in the program.


For more information about their multicultural summer camps and school year programs, visit Gaia Passages’ website or email support@gaiapassages.org.

Apply by May 7th: Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Teen Councils

Are you a high school student who is passionate about promoting sexual and reproductive health? Are you fired up about seeing  positive change towards reproductive justice in your community? Maybe you’re interested in being “that friend” who everyone turns to as a trusted source of medically accurate information for sexual health?


If you are any of the people above or just interested in being part of sexual health peer education and advocacy, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) wants YOU to be a part of their Teen Council program! They’re currently accepting applications for their 2021-2022 groups from teens entering 10th-12th grade in San Joaquin, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Monterey Counties.


Accepted applicants must commit one year (August 2021 to May 2022) and be available for weekly meetings. Email teencouncil@ppmarmonte.org for more info.


Join a Planned Parenthood-Affiliated Campus Club

Join a Gen Action club on your college campus to advocate for and mobilize around reproductive health and rights issues that are important to young people in your communities! Several of the Planned Parenthood-affiliated Gen Action clubs are recruiting new members and leaders. Email volunteer1@ppmarmonte.org to learn more.

Collaboration Opportunities

AAUW Piedmont-Oakland Wants to Contribute Energy and Skills to Local Organizations


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is looking for opportunities to contribute their energy and skills to local organizations and projects and to elicit local input for their national programs.


The Oakland-Piedmont branch is looking for agencies and individuals who support their mission of “advancing gender equity through research, education and advocacy” and is interested in:

  • Partnering on joint projects related to the well-being and advancement of women and girls.
  • Offering volunteer opportunities to AAUW members who want hands-on activities that advance their mission.
  • Sending representatives to their board meetings (virtual for the time being) to tell them about your organizations and get feedback and support for theirs.

Read more about them and current collaboration opportunities. To talk about partnering or collaborating, contact Lenore Gallin, Branch Vice President, at lgallin@dvc.edu.

Flyer promoting YWCA's free workshop offerings in Santa Clara County

YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley Offering Free Workshops in Santa Clara County

YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.


They’re currently offering free training webinars to sites/agencies in Santa Clara County on any of these topics: Sexual Assault 101, Domestic Violence 101, Child Abuse Prevention, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) 101, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention (CSAP), and Consent/Boundaries 101. All workshops are customizable based on the demographics of the audience and needs of the organization, and facilitated by CA state certified sexual assault/domestic violence/human trafficking counselors who are experts in the field. Presentations are funded by Santa Clara County. For more info, contact Jessica Marshall at jmarshall@yourywca.org.

*”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).