Alliance for Girls mobilizes girls’ champions to address barriers facing girls, create conditions for their success, and advance systemic change to achieve equity.
To advance equitable communities in which every girl thrives.
We are the largest regional alliance of girl-serving organizations and leaders in the country. Our membership includes 100+ organizations that employ 2,400 people with more than 5,100 volunteers serving more than 300,000 girls across nine Bay Area counties.
Since its inception, Alliance for Girls has been catalyzing agencies and systems to work strategically, passionately, and collectively to dramatically shift gender-specific realities and to ensure that the next generation of women and girls realize their full potential. View our timeline →
Our Spirit: Inclusiveness, Collaboration, Fearlessness, Self-Care, Participation
Our Goals: Leadership Development, Collaboration, Research, Advocacy
That those closest to the problem are closest to the solution
In moving beyond the gender binary
That diverse leadership is more effective leadership
In the power of the collective
Founding Executive Director
Emma MayersonEmma Mayerson is the Founding Executive Director of Alliance for Girls (AFG), the nation’s largest membership association of girls-serving organizations. Under Ms. Mayerson’s leadership AFG has become the nation’s largest regional alliance of girls’ organizations, working collectively to ensure girl-serving organizations are more connected, more effective and better able to prepare the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. Prior to AFG, Mayerson was a community organizer for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and worked in development for the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the Women’s Foundation of California. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, ProjectGlimmer, and the Jewish Community Federation’s Impact Grants Initiative. Mayerson is a recipient of Oasis for Girls’ Spark Award for Visionary Leadership, the National Council on Jewish Women’s Outstanding Advocate for Social Change Award, the Delilah Beasley Award, Love Never Fail’s Advocacy for At-Risk Girls Award and the National Girls Initiative Innovation Award. She has also received honors in recognition of her leadership from the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women and Equal Rights Advocates. Her work has been featured on CBS Channel 4 News, ABC 7 News, KCBS, the Oakland Post, NPR’s All Things Considered and Telemundo.
Haleema Bharoocha joined Alliance for Girls’ staff in June 2019, as the Advocacy Manager to build out a girl’s policy agenda and mobilize alliance members for gender justice.
Haleema is a sociologist, public servant and change maker driven by her commitment to the collective liberation of all people. Uplifted by generations of women of color in her family, Haleema centers her work in compassion, justice, and service. Following the teachings of the Quran which says “stand firm in justice even against yourself and your parents,” Haleema speaks truth to power, practices freedom, and decolonizes her mind.
She believes in the power of people to make systematic change. Outside of Alliance for Girls, Haleema is a consultant and trainer, facilitating equity-focused workshops for advocates on topics including bystander intervention, Islamophobia, racial equity, and gender justice and has trained over 500 people.
Haleema currently serves on the SheLelectricity Youth Leadership Council where she supports the development of digital ecosystems for girls of color, a Board Member of the Muslim Democrats PAC of Alameda County that civically engages the Muslim community and holds public officials accountable, and a self defense trainer at Malikah, a nonprofit that builds safety and power for all women. She is also a 2018-19 Women’s Policy Institute Local Fellow on the Alameda County Criminal Justice team.
Haleema studied Sociology at Seattle University, where she founded the Gender Justice Center, a student-led community center serving gender non-conforming, trans*, and female-identifying students, which provided trauma-informed healing circles, access to lactation facilities, non-binary sex education, and a free community food and hygiene pantry. Her work was featured in the Seattle Times #UsToo highlighting the voices of Muslim women of color. Her views have been shared in Teen Vogue, and Gizmodo and other media outlets.
Prior to her time in Seattle, she interned at the Council on American Islamic Relations and at the Juvenile Justice Courthouse in Santa Clara County where she served as an analyst for the Gender Responsive Task Force.
Outside of organizing and social justice work, you can find Haleema at her local CrossFit gym where she does weightlifting or at the beach drinking coffee.
Director of Programs
Holly first joined Alliance for Girls (AFG) as a member in 2016 and was a key partner in our work to create more supportive schools for girls at Oakland Unified School District, including the creation of a student-led, victim-centered sexual harassment policy, which the school board passed unanimously in 2017. She joined Alliance for Girls staff in September 2020. In this role, she provides research, advocacy, development, and programming support and strategy to the organization. She oversees the organization’s youth participatory action research and evaluation efforts, including the research associated with the Meeting Girls Needs Initiative and the Young Women’s Initiative. She also works in partnership with member organizations and young women in implementing the Young Women’s Leadership Board, a leadership development program for young women of diverse backgrounds. In addition, she supports AFG’s advocacy efforts, working to build out a girls policy agenda and mobilize Alliance members for gender and racial justice.
Holly has been a dedicated public servant, community leader, and justice advocate for the past 15 years. She is a lifelong learner who is passionate about impacting issues of racial and gender equity and social change. Her professional experience is diverse and includes leadership positions within government and non-profit agencies. She is a skilled strategist, organizational change leader, relationship builder, fundraiser, public speaker, and national trainer. She has worked at the forefront of the local and national anti-trafficking movement for over a decade. Before coming to AFG, she served as the executive director of M.I.S.S.S.E.Y., a non-profit serving survivors of sex trafficking and as a senior researcher at Bright Research Group, a research and design firm where she focused on centering the voices of marginalized communities in government and philanthropic public safety, community health, and youth development efforts. Holly serves on the board of directors at Bay Area Women Against Rape and on the advisory board of the criminology department at Holy Names University.
Holly holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State East Bay, a master’s degree in leadership for social justice from St. Mary’s College of California, and is currently a doctoral candidate expecting to earn her Ed.D in 2021. She has deep roots in and deep love for Oakland and is endlessly inspired by her 94-year-old grandmother’s spirituality, compassion, and tenacity. Outside of work you can find her running, hiking, biking, and occasionally stopping to smell the poppies all over the Bay Area.
Director of Membership Services
Kailin Chou joined Alliance for Girls’ staff in July 2014, providing broad support for leaders of girl-serving organizations, managing membership engagement and outreach, developing Alliance for Girls’ communications, and coordinating services and resources among members and the community. Since joining, Alliance for Girls has become the largest alliance of girls’ organizations and champions working collectively to effect powerful change for girls, young women, and their communities.
Kailin has a strong passion for supporting children, youth, and marginalized communities. She has more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, both in direct service and in management and administration. This includes mentoring children, supporting unhoused people at emergency shelters, developing the digital strategy for a large international NGO, consulting local nonprofits, and leading awareness campaigns on human trafficking.
Kailin has a Masters in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and International Development. Her studies culminated in a consultancy for the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, an alliance of over 30 stakeholders in Monterey County working together to reduce gang violence in Salinas and its surrounding areas. She also holds a B.S. in Management Science/Economics from the University of California, San Diego.
A Bay Area native, Kailin enjoys cooking, the outdoors, art and design, traveling, and learning languages.
Livier Gutiérrez joined Alliance for Girls’ (AFG) staff in December 2017 as the director of programs. In this role, she provides research, development, and programming support and strategy to the organization. She oversees the organization’s youth participatory action research and evaluation efforts, including the research associated with the Meeting Girls Needs Initiative and the Young Women’s Initiative. She also works in partnership with member organizations and young women in implementing the Young Women’s Leadership Board, a non-profit board development program for young women of diverse backgrounds. Livier Gutiérrez has worked on the intersection of research, practice, and philanthropy as it pertains to preventing community violence for over a decade. Prior to joining AFG, she worked as a researcher at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, a research and policy organization, and as the director of the violence prevention department at Enlace Chicago, a community-based organization in Chicago’s Little Village community. Her violence prevention work has focused on undocumented and (im)migrant communities, justice-involved youth, and the intersection of violence that occurs at home and on the streets. Livier has a background in research, evaluation, and collective strategies, including leading and evaluating collective impact efforts and providing direct, mental health and restorative justice services at schools with youth and families in Chicago, Illinois and the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Gutiérrez earned her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago, with a concentration in violence prevention research, policy, and practice. Her Master’s thesis explored girls’ involvement and association with gangs and resulted in a curriculum for girls at risk of becoming associated and involved with gangs. Ms. Gutiérrez also holds a B.A. in sociology and social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Gutiérrez’ professional mission is to support service providers and community members by better bridging research and practice to create systemic change for individuals in all points of the gender spectrum.
Nakia Dillard joined Alliance for Girls in February 2019 as the Program Coordinator. Her role supports AFG’s systems-change work to build the capacity of girl-serving organizations and school systems to better meet the expressed needs of girls. She also serves as a liaison between representatives from the school districts, schools, community organizations, and middle- and high-school age girls throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Her role assists the ongoing research and implementation directly associated with the Meeting Girls Needs Initiative, the Young Women’s Initiative, and the Young Women’s Leadership Board.
Nakia brings over a decade of experience working to advance the health, leadership, and social and emotional wellbeing of young people in the Bay Area. Her professional background in youth development work includes the areas of public health, social justice, workforce development, literacy, personal development and self-care. She has worked in partnership with various community-based organizations, youth centers, schools, county departments and young people. Girls and young women’s self-empowerment has been at the core of Nakia’s values and work for many years.
Although Nakia is new to the Alliance for Girls team, she is not new to the organization. After starting her own girls’ empowerment program (Y-LEAP) a few years into her journey she was introduced to Alliance for Girls and soon became a member. She participated in former Women of Color Executive Director meetings, she attended and was a guest presenter during previous Alliance for Girls Annual Conferences, and has maintained a long-standing relationship with the organization.
In 2012, Nakia earned a Bachelor of Science in Community-Based Health Education at San Francisco State University. She is the recipient of the OUSD Outstanding Service Award, 2009, and San Francisco State University’s Zoe Clayson Social Justice Award, 2012. She has served and continues to serve as a life coach and mentor to women and girls. Personally, Nakia enjoys spending time in nature, expressing her creativity through crafts/jewelry making, and practicing self-care.
Alliance for Girls' work is possible thanks to the leadership, wisdom, and dedication of many incredible girls' champions.
Here are some of them below.
The Young Women’s Leadership Board convenes young women and gender-expansive youth of diverse backgrounds to inform the work of Alliance for Girls and to increase board diversity by training and developing them as non-profit board members. We're currently recruiting our August 2020-June 2021 cohort! Learn more here and apply by August 21st, 2020.
The Research & Communications Committee is responsible for gathering resources and organizing content for Alliance for Girls' blog and quarterly newsletter. The committee curates the most pressing issues in the news as well as outreaches to members to produce op-ed pieces or blogs.
The Advocacy Committee is responsible for guiding Alliance for Girls' work to advance systems change. The committee is tasked with co-creating AFG's Girls Policy Agenda by providing detailed feedback, identifying the political feasibility and will of policy, and working closely with their community/constituents to bring key input into the agenda.
2009: Founding Members Convene
Directors of eight girl-serving organizations convene to confront the shared challenges and barriers they face in fully realizing their missions with emphasis on:
- Lack of support for leaders of girls' services
- Lack of infrastructure to share resources, collaborate and refer girls
- Lack of advocacy for girls’ programs
2012: Official Launch
Organizing Conference is held with 80 organizational leaders to identify individual and sector-wide needs within the framework of three programming areas:
- Self-Care: Leadership development for staff of girls' services
- Collaboration: Online directory of girls' services and opportunities
- Advocacy: Unified voice for seat at decision-making tables
As well as shared values:
- Spirit: Inclusiveness, collaboration, fearlessness, self-care, participation
- Goals: Leadership development, collaboration, advocacy
2012-Present: Realizing the Vision
Alliance for Girls continues to develop, refine and expand its programming in line with the organizing vision:
- Leadership Development: Knowledge sharing, relationship building and training between agencies
- Collaboration: Growth from eight to 100+ members, enabling greater resource-sharing and collaboration
- Research: Production of original, girl-led and community-driven research reports on the lived experiences of girls
- Advocacy: Development of strong voice to effectively advocate for girls and girls' services
Some key stats:
- 200 total members
- 85% membership renewal rate
- 50+ collaborations between members