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
Finance and HR Administrator
Danielle Sims MontgomeryDanielle has worked for more than 20 years in administration, bookkeeping, and Human Resources. She has her Masters Degree in Psychology and has earned her Professional Human Resource Certification. She specializes in working with small organizations and non-profit industries and has a passion for helping youth and young adults reach their full potential. Favorite Quote: If you do not have a goal, you are just complaining! In her free time she enjoys spending her free time with her sons and her husband of 29 years.
Founding Executive Director
Emma 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. She leads county and state level advocacy to meet the expressed needs of girls and gender expansive youth. Most recently, she led advocacy with AFG members to secure funding to address period poverty, support the needs of young moms, and address safety from gender-based violence on public transportation.
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 in her advocacy and engages in critical self-reflection.
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 700 people. Haleema is also a self-defense trainer and facilitator at Malikah, a nonprofit that builds safety and power for all women.
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. She is an alumnus of the Women’s Policy Institute, Greenlining Institute, and Rockwood Leadership program. 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, San Francisco Chronicle, and Gizmodo, and other media outlets.
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 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.
Riss Myung is a second generation Indonesian Korean American woman and a third year student at UC Berkeley studying Public Health, Global Poverty & Practice, and Food Systems with a Certificate in Asian American Community Health. She is passionate about community health, health prevention education, and uplifting the youth. Outside of Alliance for Girls, she serves as a Youth Consultant at Banteay Srei (program of) Asian Health Services, a Research Coordinator for Asian American Health Research Group (AAPIRHG), and a Teacher Assistant/Tutor for Upward. Additionally, she organizes with AF3IRM, a transnational feminist organization. In the meantime, Myung expresses her love and skill in creative writing, notably page poetry and spoken word. In her work, she provides intellectual social commentary and captures her Asian American experience. Myung hopes to integrate her passions in her work as an advocate, creator, and leader to create safe spaces for youth to engage in critical conversations.
Interim Deputy Director
Samantha Paredes-Cruz is an advocacy fellow at Alliance for Girls where she plans and supports
advocacy related events.
Prior to joining Alliance for Girls, Samantha interned at various organizations dedicated to empowering marginalized communities. Samantha was an application screener for Centro Legal de la Raza, where she screened 220 applicants for COVID financial assistance. During the summer of 2019, Samatha interned at Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) where she wrote advocacy letters to the California Senate and Assembly. She also assisted the policy team research economic and social implications for proposed legislation to determine whether HOPE should support those legislations.
Samantha is a recent graduate from Middlebury College, where she majored in Political Science and
minored in Sociology. While at Middlebury, Samantha co-led community engagement trips in Vermont and the Dominican Republic centered on food security and health outcomes. In April 2019, Samantha presented her research titled “Media Coverage of African Americans in the U.S” at the Middlebury Spring Symposium. She was also an active member of Alianza, Women of Color, and MiddMasti.
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.
The Young Women’s Leadership Board gives me an opportunity to give back to the community and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. As a part of the team I help to strategize ideas to reach out to the people, take the information, and find a solution. I am passionate about women’s rights and my goal is to bring a smile on every girl’s face.
Darcy Hatcher joined Alliance for Girls’ Young Women’s Leadership Board in October 2020 during the quarantine. Darcy loves that the Alliance for Girls is adaptable and offers girl opportunities, even in the most challenging times. On the YWLB, she collaborates with her fellow board members, presents her opinions, and analyzes the latest data on how COVID-19 is affecting girls. Darcy hopes to bring this research into other facets of her life, such as her activism, school leadership, and filmmaking. Dedicated to equity, Darcy has organized two local Black Lives Matter protests with her Black Student Union members. Being Captain of her school’s soccer team, she has empowered young women to persevere both in sports and studies. Darcy is passionate about creating greater representation in media. Since joining the San Leandro Multimedia Academy, she learned to become a skilled film and media maker. Darcy is applying to college for film in the hopes that she will be the one to put more people like her and her YWLB members on screen.
Geo (she/her pronouns): I like being part of the Young Women’s Leadership Board because I get to meet new people and express my thoughts towards many topics we focus on. I get the chance to understand and manage data with the rest of the girls. I am passionate in getting back to my community and helping others. My goal is to succeed in life, finish my education and work in the medical field.
My name is Makayla Harden and I am a member of Alliance for Girls’ Young Women Leadership Board (YWLB). This is my first time being part of an all-women activist group and I love it. I especially like the empowering and welcoming environment we create for each other. On the YWLB we analyze data, research the various needs of girls in California, and discuss different ways we can support the girls in our community. One thing I am passionate about is reading, which fills up the majority of my free time. One dream I have is to develop a program that will make a wide range of educational movies and TV shows more accessible to schools and families located in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
I am a proud girl leader and youth researcher for the Young Women’s Leadership Board at Alliance for Girls. I like that the YWLB has taught me how to be a leader. I also hope to make a positive impact on girls in our community by amplifying their voices!
What I like about the Young Women’s Leadership Board is that it gives young girls a paid opportunity to be a part of something that is trying to make a change in girls and gender-expansive youth’s treatment in society. It’s an educational experience in its own right. As a YWLB member, I help AFG through research and advocacy ensuring that girls’ and gender-expansive youth’s voices are lifted up when figuring out how to respond to the effects of COVID 19. I’m very passionate about working for the equity of girls, POC, and the black community. One goal of mine is to better the haircare and skincare products in Ghana, to ensure Ghanaian men and women can get the best quality products from a company that cares about their health and self-care.
Sammie is a senior at Balboa High School and has worked with Alliance for Girls for almost 2 years. She likes the Young Women’s Leadership Board because it’s a safe space for young women like herself to speak up. She advocates for young leaders to inspire and join together. She’s also passionate in dancing and perhaps may someday perform for millions.
Sofía Orduña started with Alliance for Girls in seventh grade and is now a senior in high school. As a youth board member, Sofía has gotten to work with her fellow members to coordinate and lead programs such as the Together, We Rise report, an initiative which published research findings about the needs and experiences of youth of color in the Bay Area. She has loved getting to work with so many different people and grow in her own activism and leadership with the youth board. Sofía is really passionate about the protection of the environment and its intersection with social justice. Her dream is to be able to go into international relations with a focus on human rights.
Uchenna is an international student from Nigeria majoring in Journalism at Sacramento State University. She is a feminist and racial justice advocate who simply aspires to be an instrument of positive change wherever she goes. Her work on the Young Women’s Leadership Board includes researching and strategizing on social and economic issues that impact girls and gender expansive youth. It is a position she values because of the active role she gets to play in supporting and serving the needs of girls.
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