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How Girls Can Save the World - A Conversation at Seattle Town Hall

How do we help women use the power that is inherent within us all? It is essential that we see other women, role models if you will, asserting themselves and creating a world of their choosing. When you see women around you doing this, you too are empowered to do the same. Our actions speak loudly, so let them speak boldly.

But it isn’t all that simple. Societal issues, like poverty and discriminating social norms, took generations to create and it won’t be fixed in ninety days or five years. We have come a long way in history, when it comes to equality for women. Though our mother’s and grandmother’s generations might be amazed at the progress our society has made, the work is not done. We can not sit back and be content, not when most organizations have stalled at having only 17% of their leadership as women. That’s right. 17%. Not 50%. No, the work is not done yet.

This was just one of the many compelling messages that resonated with me at the How Girls Save the World event at Seattle’s Town Hall on March 12, 2012. The audience was packed with people and you could feel the passion fill the room.

Sponsored by Global Washington and other local partners, this dynamic evening featured two well known speakers, Geena Davis and Christine Grumm and was facilitated by Andrea Taylor. You can find out more about these amazing women by listening to an audio of the event found here.

It was an evening of thought-provoking conversation and dialogue. As I left, I couldn’t help but feel we are on the right track in our work and in our passion for the Northwest Girls Coalition.

If you were at the talk, or have heard the audio, let us know what you thought about the event! We’ve started the conversation on our Facebook page - see you there!

(Nimisha, NWGC Leadership Council Member)



Interview with Natalie Walker from Rain City Rock Camp

Natalie Walker, the founder and executive director of Rain City Rock Camp, shares the story of why their programs are so important for creating space for girls in the predominantly male music world and also how they empower a community of girls and young women to pursue their dreams whatever they are.  This interview is the first in what will be a series of interviews to highlight the stories of NWGC partner organizations.  Contact us if you'd like to share your story.




One Year Ago

One year ago a collection of NWGC members, partners and friends gathered at Fremont Abbey to help us kick-off the next decade of the Coalition.   Our featured speaker, long-time supporter Janet Boguch, ended her talk with a challenge to the group assembled:  she asked everyone present to write on a yellow post-it note what was one thing they would like NWGC to accomplish in the next year?

So, how did we do?  Pretty well in fact – we spent a large chunk of the year creating a strategic action plan which took into account all of these suggestions as well as notes from the discussions we held in working groups that evening.  Our action plan is now posted and ready to be implemented.  Due to the heavy focus on planning last year we did not accomplish everything on the list, but we did tick off a few and now have plans to tackle several others.  The bulleted items below are some of the suggestions we received, followed by our progress report:
  • No bullying.  Equal access to all recreational and work (career) opportunities.
    • Our annual “Supporting Girls in the Middle School Years” event in October featured SGS educator Rosetta Lee – Resources can be found here.
  • Focus in on their reason for being and deliver consistently.
    • Addressed through strategic planning exercises.
  • Host a fabulous, well attended resource fair for all girl serving orgs to share info.
    • Happened February 7th!
  • Will be able to document the number of girls lives who have been improved by its members and back it up with stories
    • Long-term and difficult to measure.  Still pondering…
  • Will have hosted an event that showcases the individual achievements of specific extraordinary girls.
    • Added to the long-term event plan – though last week’s Resource Fair did feature a performance by one of Rain City Rock Camp for Girls’ bands…
  • Would like to see a revitalized, participatory member base that collaborates, networks and effects positive changes for girls in the NW.
    • The Resource Fair on February 7 was a great example of this and the new website will hopefully provide a central location for everyone to engage
  • Outreach to diverse groups/coalitions to engage core groups to direct girls to girl serving orgs.
    • Working on it – Email us about groups & programs we may not know about!
  • A timeline/continuum of organizations that support girls from birth to...
    • We collected this information at our various events last year – now trying to figure out how to represent it online.
  • Provide an experienced (ED level) mentor for every new or young org (or any who request)
    • Added to the long-term plans.
  • Have a living breathing strategic plan.
    • Done!
  • Networking event for potential new members to explain program and introduce opportunities for involvement.
    • Hosted two networking events last year that had several new faces attend.  Our next one is April 12th at Pyramid Brewery – Mark your calendar and register now!
  • Revisit and formulate a vision and mission statement- especially mission statement- and have events supporting the mission
    • Done!
  • Let the community know about NWGC, more exposure.
    • Working on it, but need your help – have you liked us on Facebook yet?  Do you follow us on Twitter? Subscribe to the blog?  
  • Centralized resource share.
    • Have you visited the new website?  
  • Build strategic plan and have 4-5 successful events.  One new event of something we've never done.  One event outside Seattle metro.
    • Done!  Though everything still centralized in Seattle at the moment
  • Outreach in rural communities.
    • In the long-term plan.
  • Sex awareness - "sexiness @ 12 years old"
    • Resources from our previous event on this topic can be found here.
  • Be the catch-all and the go to resource for info regarding girl-serving community, locally and broader.
    • YES!.
Finally, several of the suggestions focused on Membership numbers and levels.  We have updated both and hope you will join soon if you haven’t yet!   We are continuing to build out the website and have several big events planned so it’s the perfect time to engage with NWGC!

The Week's Girl Links

Study: The presence of female politicians boosts aspirations, educational achievement of young women - This recent MIT study confirms what we've observed for years.  Of course, the next step is to make sure to Respect Women In Politics, Shall We?

Find Our Missing Shines A Media Spotlight Where It’s Sorely Needed - Racialicious profiles a great site looking to remedy the disparity in media coverage when those missing are children of color.

Teen Relationships - While a recent study from the CDC confirms the lowest teen birth rate in two generations, they also found that many teen girls didn't know Sex can cause pregnancy: Many teens unclear on the concept. Why?. Also, the new way to be Young, in Love and Sharing Everything, Including a Password. This mom sees her daughter learning early how to deal with Heart Startles.

Girls at home - This week, we're sharing advice on parenting topics such as Grandparents Raising Girls, Sorting out Stepdaughter Snarls, Story-Telling: The Perfect Cure for the Winter Blues, and Tips for Kid Procrastinators or Dawdlers.  We'll also wrangle with questions on whether obedience is a sign of good parenting and What to Do When Your Daughter Is the Mean Girl?

Speaking of bullying, you might have noticed that the Supreme Court decided they would give No clarification in anti-bullying constitutional question. Not sure it gets at the legal issues or more challenging aspects of relational aggression, but we'll still celebrate how this Mill Creek Middle School Student Inspires Classmates Through Posts on Lockers.

Body Image - Yes, it's getting worse for girls both in the media and on the inside, as well.  In fact, Concerns over body image outrank school and stress for girls in Australia. As we looked at last week, part of the impact is through Stereotype Threat.  Some suggestions for intervening: The Right Way to Talk to Young Girls About Beauty and ideas specifically on Media and Tween Girls: Creating a Positive Influence.

The Girl Gamer Perspective: Marketing Messages Miss The Target - Lego isn't the only company off the mark in their assessment of girl audiencies.


The Week's Girl Links

In an effort to keep you informed about what's happening in the world of girls, we will be bringing a weekly set of links to media around the web.  If you see one we miss or there's a topic issue you'd like to see us cover, let us know @NWGCoalition or by email.

Science Fair Winners - The young women that swept Google's Science Fair were on a panel at Tedx-Women and also were interviewed offstage by Global Girls Media.  Then there's this story of one of the Intel Science Competition finalists, who is not only inspiring for her work with shellfish but also for persevering even as her family became homeless.

“Mom, I’m Fat:” One Mother’s Inspired Response to Her 7 Year Old

Princess Possibilities - One article wonders about the rise of princess-themed businesses while another offers Six Princess Books for Parents Who Really, Really Hate Princess Books.  Also make sure to check out Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, when she comes to Town Hall on February 15th.

Girls and Math: Busting the Stereotype - Last month's study took an in depth look at test score data, and once again, determined it's not about ability - It Doesn't Add Up.  What's more - Surprise! Gender equality makes everyone better at math!

LEGO Friends vs. LEGO Education: What’s the lesson here? - A great roundup of the firestorm Lego ignited with their new Lego Friends minifigs and marketing campaign for girls, including a summary of last week's Tweetup sponsored by Nancy Guver from New Moon Girls and commentary on the disconnect with the Lego Education division.

Tech Tips For Parents and Teens - First, Facebook, Nice Girls and Self-Worth gives a good look at how offline and online issues with image collide for girls.  Tech challenges cut both ways and some wonder are Parents Too Plugged In? That’s What Our Kids Say.

Is Boredom Good for Children?

Girl Scouts of Colorado Support Transgender Youth - Enough said (unless you really want to want to give the controversy more attention).