Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sticker Sister is AWESOME

Where have I been? How could I have NOT known about Sticker Sister? I went chasing links the other day, and a couple of clicks lead me to Ariel Fox and her extremely cool stickers, posters, t shirts and other fun things.

My current fave thing is the Brave Girl t-shirt. I LOVE IT!

And the very very very best part is that Ariel started Sticker Sisters when she was in the 8th Grade! Read all about her here

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rockin' and 'Readin with Girls Write Now

I had so much fun at Thursday night's Friendraiser for Girls Write Now that it took me TWO days to recover and post. At Bluestockings, mentors and mentees read their original work from their chapbooks and then we crossed the street to the Slipper Room where Janice Earlbaum and Tayari Jones read their work (GO BUY THEIR BOOKS!) and then we rocked out to my friends from Royal Pink. I actually danced onstage. plus, um, their was some burlesque, and Lauren Cerand emcee'd, so with all this going on, you can see why it took me two days to recover. Luckily tons of other peeps were all over it, immediately after the shindig! see below....

In addition to the Rockin' and Readin' we are also Raising the Money, much needed money to help more of NYC's high school girls to participate in high quality FREE programming. By the end of the program year, girls develop a 7 genre portfolio, and their writing is amazing. Girls use the portfolio to enter contests, for their college admissions essays, and for publication.

If you missed all the fun on Thursday, check out the pics and commentary and then send a check or donate at the website. You KNOW you WANT to.

Tayari blogs: OMG Girls Write Now

Janice blogs at Girlbomb

Celina interviews Maya Nussbaum on feministing


more bloggin' reviews of the festivities:
From the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader Fernham

Monday, October 15, 2007

Celebrate 10 Years of Bold Articulate Women and Girls!

Today's Opinion Section of the New York Times includes a piece by a college professor, author, and member of the NYT Editorial Board Verlyn Klinkenborg who has noticed a "polite self-negation" among his female students.

Of young womens' self doubts, he writes,
"These are poignant questions, and they always give me pause, because they allow me to see, as nothing else does, the cultural frame these young women have grown up in. I can hear them questioning the very nature of their perceptions, doubting the evidence of their senses, distrusting the clarity of their thoughts."
Read the whole piece here

It's this cultural frame that girls organizations fight against, working hard to create spaces where girls and young women regcognize and claim their own authority. One of my absolute favorites is Girls Write Now

Come see girls confidently trusting the clarity of their thoughts and the organization that supports them in action THIS THURSDAY at their 10th Anniversary Fall "Friendraiser"

October 18th, 2007

Mentor-Mentee Pair Reading and Chapbook Showcase at Bluestockings, the radical bookstore, fair trade café and activist center
Bluestockings Bookstore: 172 Allen Street @ Stanton & Rivington

Cross the street and party at The Slipper Room with author and "girlbomb" Janice Erlbaum, award-winning novelist Tayari Jones and hotshot indy rockers Royal Pink

Check out all the deets here

(Many thanks to Dorin for an early morning email about the editorial!!!)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Girl Fighting on You Tube

I'm fascinated by people's reactions to girls fighting. When girl fighting made the news in the 90's, I thought that the interest in it was more of a testament to the persistence of what it means to be a girl. You know, fighting is not feminine, so when girls fight it has been treated as some kind of aberration. Fighting and aggression is expected of boys but newsworthy when its girls.

I'm not advocating violence here, but anger, aggression, and even fighting are all parts of the human experience, for both genders. I'm not sure why its such a surprise to people when girls engage in these behaviors.

With the new girlfights making the rounds on You Tube, there's been some very smart commentary about why it draws so much attention. Check it out:


Friday, October 05, 2007

21 Leaders and The Real Hot 100

One of my pet peeves are youth serving orgs that say youth can be the leaders of tomorrow, when so many young people are leading projects, organizations, and making social change happen.

However, i love, love, love organizations that recognize the contributions of young people, especially girls! I'm a big fan of both Womens E News and The Real Hot 100 because they recognize the difference that young people can make NOW. I've nominated teens and young women to both. You can too! Here's how:

Deadline: October 10 Womens e News 21 leaders for the 21st century. Prior winners have included Shelby Knox who, as a teenager and a devout Christian, learned about the problems of teen pregnancy and began advocating for comprehensive sex ed in the public schools of Texas and Estafania Alves who, also as a teenager, began a radio show in Boston that empowers and respects women.

To nominate someone you know: Send the following info to by midnight on October 10, 2007.

*The nominee's name, organization, title, e-mail address, phone number, fax number and postal address (cell too, if you have it.)
*Your name, relationship to the nominee, your e-mail address, phone number, fax number and postal address (also cell, if you have one.)
*A summary--of 200 words or less--of how this Leader has made a lasting impact on behalf of women.

Deadline: October 15 The Real Hot 100 is a smart sassy project started by a group of young women who wanted to recognize young women's smarts and creativity not their bodies with this annual list. Last year's list includes too many fabulous women to name. Check out their list and use their online form to nominate someone you know.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Novel thought: Medically Accurate Sex Ed in NYC Schools

My experiences working with girls in NYC from middle school on up has been quite an education (and lots of fun!) in more ways than I could imagine. But I've been shocked at how little accurate information gets to youth (girls and boys) about their bodies and sex ed. It appalls me that we live in a time where we need to qualify the term sex ed with the qualifiers "age-appropriate medically accurate." This should be a given. Come out and make sure that students get good info in New York. Thanks to Jen for the announcement-- Patti

School-based Health Centers = A Healthy Choice

Join Senator Velmanette Montgomery

Wed., October 10, 2007 at 4:00pm
at the Downtown Brooklyn Campus at LIU

to learn how YOU can help bring age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education to NYC schools AND increase state funding for school-based
health centers statewide.

In the wake of the State Health Department's rejection of federal money for abstinence-only programs, we must act now to ensure that $2.6 million in state funding, which was once used to supplement these programs, be re-directed to support real sex education that can saves lives.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. in the Campus courtyard located between the Cyber Cafe and the Library Learning Center underpass.
Enter at DeKalb Avenue and Hudson Avenue.

LIU Downtown Brooklyn Campus is accessible by the
4/5 or 2/3 trains to Nevins Street
B, M, Q or R to DeKalb Avenue
A, C or G trains to Hoyt Schemerhorn Station

For more information, call 718-643-6140 or email

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gender and Hip Hop

Woah-- I just saw this announcement for Friday's panel. I'm familiar with Byron Hurt made the documentary Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes and has spoken out about both his love for hip hop and the way gender roles are represented in hip hop, but I had never heard of Black Girls Rock! Check out Dj Beverly Bond Sounds amazing-- I'm looking forward to learning more.


Friday, October 5, 7pm.

Community dialogue on the gender crisis featuring
panelists Joan Morgan, M-1, Byron Hurt, and Tracy Sharpley-Whiting
Hosted by Black Girls Rock! Founder and DJ Beverly Bond.

Moderated by
Bakari Kitwana.

The Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave.
near E. 104th. Manhattan. Visit:

Free with RSVP to
212-534-1672 x3395. Source: Brian Ward.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Are Boys Happier than Girls?

Yesterday's New York Times article He's Happier, She's Less So included a recap of studies on the difference between men and women's reported happiness from the 70's onward and includes an update of new studies. The whole article is worth the read, and I hope stirs up some good debate/analysis elsewhere, but here's a nugget that stands out for me where girls are concerned:

It’s telling that there is also a happiness gap between boys and girls in high school. As life has generally gotten better over the last generation — less crime, longer-living grandparents and much cooler gadgets — male high school seniors have gotten happier. About 25 percent say they are very satisfied with their lives, up from 16 percent in 1976. Roughly 22 percent of senior girls now give that answer, unchanged from the 1970s.

Hmmmm. One theory presented in the article is an increase in expectations for girls, in terms of grades, activities, and aspirations, while still feeling the pressure to meet unrealistic standards of beauty. The general idea is that girls were once just expected to be hot, now they are expected to be smart, ambitious, and hot at the same time.

This theory has been backed up by some research (see Girls Inc) and certainly makes sense for a certain percentage of high school girls, but doesn't go far enough. (I've been a part of many discussions about whether this applies across race and class lines) Like many topics that address the gender divide, it ignores the boys and men. Do boys and men not face the pressures and expectations around grades, activities, and how they look? Seen an Axe commerical lately? Impossible standards of masculinity are as present in our culture as femininity and it seems to follow that boys feel those pressures too.

Appearances are one thing, expectations around academics and performance are another. If boys don't feel the pressure around their futures, why is that? Is the good 'ol boys network so apparent that high school boys don't feel the need to get their act together?

My point here is that if we are seeing some kind of reversal in happiness trends between girls and boys, we should think critically about why that might be.

Thoughts? Guesses?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Feminists Abound Online and In Print

Happy Fall! Where'd summer go?

A quick update:

I (FINALLY!) bought a copy of Deb Siegel's Sisterhood Interrupted From Radical Women to Girls Gone Wild and was pleasantly reminded that whatsgoodforgirls is listed as an online resource to "learn more about debates in feminism" Thanks Deb! Hear Deb speak this Thursday at the Woodhull Institute

Also-- when buying my book I decided to give Givneik a try-- an online service allows you to donate a portion of your purchase from selected stores to a non profit org. Sooo Girls Write Now will be reaping the rewards of my book shopping over the weekend. It was easier than I thought it was going to be, and hey! I was going to buy books this weekend anyway, why not show GWN a little love? And most importantly, It doesn't replace the check I write to them, it's an easy way for an organization I love to get a little something extra.

One more quickie: Courtney Martin has an article on Alternet which investigates the reports that the suicide rate is on the rise for 10 - 14 year old girls. (the increase is horribly depressing and I sincerely hope is not the beginning of a trend) Read her analysis and check out my expert quote here

Friday, September 21, 2007

Internship with GEMS

This is a fantastic opportunity to work directly with teen girls, supporting them as a coach, and helping them learn job skills and build economic independence. Full Disclosure-- I work at GEMS! Please spread the word as this internship will be critical to this new program's success. Thanks-- Patti

Internship-Youth Development and Advancement
Org: Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
Dates: September 24-June 24
Paid: Modest Stipend and Metrocard

GEMS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower young women, ages 12-21 years, who have experienced sexual exploitation and trafficking to exit abusive and unsafe lifestyles and develop their full potential. GEMS is the only non-profit organization in New York State to provide specialized services to young women and girls who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation with counseling, crisis housing, life skills training, job training and healthcare with consistent support and viable opportunities for positive change.

As part of our commitment to youth employability and job readiness, the staff at GEMS have developed youth employment programs, including a nine-month leadership development program that meets two organizational goals: (1) to transform under-employed young women into viable candidates for full-time professional work and (2) to build a base of youth leaders within the organization who can fully participate in programming and governance. From October to June, six fellows will serve the organization in various capacities including administration, youth leadership initiatives, community organizing, fundraising and self-development/recreational programming.

Reporting to the Youth Development Coordinator, the Intern for Youth Development and Advancement will work as part of team that helps our fellow complete 21 hours of service each week. Responsibilities include:

• Support two fellows to create quarterly, monthly and weekly goals
• Review daily tasks with fellows and support them to complete them
• Give a daily progress report to the Youth Development Coordinator
• Participate in weekly meetings and trainings

• Currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program; graduate student preferred but not required
• A very strong commitment to female victims of sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking
• Previous mentoring experience
• Working knowledge of issues and barriers facing young women of color
• Ability to create a non-judgmental but professional environment where young women can succeed
• Ability to give and receive feedback
• Must be able to work 21 hours per week

Intern will be paid a modest stipend and receive a metrocard for transportation

Application instructions:
To apply, send a cover letter and resume detailing only relevant experience to:

Chiquita Williams
Youth Development Coordinator
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
Fax: 212-926-7984

Friday, September 14, 2007

Alpha Girl Grants in NYC

This just in from Jen at Girls Inc NYC. I love the concept of funding girls' projects. Girls get the opportunity to develop their own ideas into projects and then see the results in the real world. This isn't slacktivism-- this is the real thing!

Alpha Girls Grants of $1,000 Available for Girls ages 12 – 18!

Morgan Stanley Global Infrastructure Solutions has sponsored a "Pay It
Forward" project called Alpha Girls. Alpha Girls is all about
promoting strength in character and self esteem to young women.

Who are Alpha Girls? They are girls who:
*Want… and can… make a difference.
*Are respectful of their health, body, and mind; appreciate the "unique" you.
*Focus on achievement: do their best in academics, art, music, sports,
hobbies, work.
*Are caring: treat people fairly and kindly, help others, do not
allow anyone to bully or be bullied.
*Do the greater good: help fix the world's problems – environment,
poverty, sickness.
*Are leaders: stand up for what they believe and inspire others to do
the same

The mission of our Alpha Girls project is:
"To educate, inspire, and empower young women (ages 12-18) to become
leaders who love, respect and believe in themselves and others. We
will do this by hosting Lunch & Learn sessions with Alpha Girl role
models, and by encouraging and assisting girls to 'pay it forward' in
their communities through a mini-grant program."

What is an Alpha Girls - Pay it Forward Project?

We are collaborating with Girls Inc. of NYC to fund each girl with
$1,000.00 to implement their Alpha Girls – Pay it Forward Project that
will benefit your community.

Examples of projects:
**Buying refurbished computers, sports equipment, musical instruments,
or art supplies for your school, library, or recreation center.
**Making or buying toys for the children's ward of your local hospital.
**Planting a garden or painting your school, library, or recreation center.

All applications are due by October 15, 2007.

To learn more about Alpha Girls, view the grant guidelines and
download the grant application, please visit our website or call Jennifer at 212-531-7620.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Who reads Whats Good for Girls?

Well, my mom for one, who emailed me to say that my link to the New Paltz Women's Studies Conference on Girls doesn't work and sent me one that does.

Sorry for any confusion-- and THANKS MOM!!!

And so does Lauren Cerand the super cool PR force behind Girls Write Now's kick off party (and colleague on the Girls Write Now Board of Directors)

So.....leave a comment if you read my blog too!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Girlbomb and Bust!

Check out author of Girlbomb Janice Erlbaum's interview with Rosario Dawson in this month's Bust Magazine. Which NYC girls' organization does Rosario support? Click here to find out.

Want to hear Janice read? Mark your calendars for fundraiser/friendraiser and all-round superfun event for Girls Write Now on Oct 18th at the Slipper Room. Janice will read, so will Tayari Jones, author of The Untelling and one of my fave NYC bands Royal Pink will play.

More to come on that front!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sister in Strength internships for teens at Girls For Gender Equity

Girls for Gender Equity is looking for young women, ages 16-19 years old, for part-time, paid ($8/hr) Sisters in Strength Community
Organizing Internship. SIS confronts the multiple layers of
individual and institutional discrimination that threatens the
safety of girls and women through five core components:

1) Youth Leadership: Building and utilizing skills in
grassroots organizing to address the multiple barriers to young
women living lives of self-determination
2) Community Service: Mentoring middle school girls and boys to
build leadership skills and increase community connection
3) Consciousness Raising: Challenging one's self and
influencing others to think critically about systems of oppression
and the roles individuals and communities play in these systems
4) Social Growth and Identity: Gaining support in daily
struggles while defining and working toward future goals
5) Education and Career: Asserting the importance of education
and making education more accessible for young women of color

Interns work up to 10 hours/week from October 2007 to June 2008.
A full description of the internship duties and expectations, as
well as an application can be obtained by emailing

Please put "Sisters in Strength Internship" in the subject line.

The deadline to apply is September 14, 2007 (complete and in our
office, not just postmarked). Late or incomplete applications will
not be considered!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Women's Studies Conference focuses on Girls

Awesome-- pull out your calendars, blackberries, or other assorted datekeepers-- SUNY New Paltz's Women's Studies Conference "Girlhood: The Challenge and Promise of Growing Up Female," will put the focus on growing up female in the United States and around the world, in contemporary society and throughout history. It looks to be more than academic women talking about girls-- both girls and young women including in the keynote panel and leading workshops.

Keynote speakers include Courtney Martin author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body; Mary Roodkowsky, Senior Adviser to UNICEF; and Queen Bond, Julliany Lahoz and Cristal Pimentel, SUNY New Paltz students and recent graduates of The High School of International Business and Finance in New York City. Shameless self promotion: I've blogged about both Courtney's work and featured the NYTimes article about Queen and Crystal! High fives all around--

Enough about me, register now for the conference

The preregistration deadline is Sept. 21.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Missed the Show? See the pics: Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

Missed the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls show? You can still see the pics in the New York Times! Check out this photo slide show by Lauren Lancaster. She got some really beautiful shots that bring on the feel of the rock camp shows.

Or come to the benefit show thrown by Baby In the Corner...
Baby In the Corner presents:
Brooklyn Art Blast!
@ Luna Lounge. Thursday September 6th, 8pm
381 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg
$15 charitable donation

A music & performance blow-out to benefit Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
Featuring MC Mr. Murray Hill - the hardest working middle-aged man in show business, plus
Lolita Bras
Comedienne Sue Ball
Burlesque by the lovely Cousin Birdie
The Fatales
DJ Sambarella

Fun Fun Fun.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fall Application Deadlines for Girls Write Now

Girls Write Now is in search of NYC Teen Girl Writers looking to sharpen their skills and work one on one with a mentor in the writing professions as well as participate in monthly workshops. All girls complete a 7 genre portfolio which they can use for contest entries, college admissions, publication, and more.

Girls Write Now is also looking for teachers and administrators to add to our Teachers Network in an effort to diversify the schools, programs, and high school students we work with and to make sure we are targeting the population of under-served female emerging teen writers most in need of our help.

Student enrollment guidelines and a downloadable application can be found at: Girls Write Now

Email for more info or with questions

Deadline: Sept 10 for mentee applications

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Third Wave Foundation seeks Fall Interns

The Third Wave Foundation supports programs and organizations run by and for young women and transgender activists. Truly visionary when it started 10 years ago, the Third Wave Foundation still fills a much needed void in supported young people's projects and provides funding that is a turning point for many grassroots feminist organizations. If you know a young person who would be interested in learning the inner workings of how to support an activist foundation-- pass this info on to them!

Programs Intern
Seeking one intern to work full-time (40 hrs/week) or two interns to work part-time (20 hrs/week) for the Fall and/or Spring semesters, for school credit or work-study hours, or a small stipend if other funds cannot be secured. Interns will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in our programming, fundraising, and grantmaking areas. Ideal candidates have an interest in developing a birds-eye view of the feminist youth activism landscape and learning more about feminist organizations, non-profits, and foundations.
The Program Internship will focus on Third Wave’s two core grant-making areas, the Reproductive Health and Justice Initiative and the Organizing and Advocacy Fund. Interns will have the opportunity to learn more about Third Wave’s overall work and how funding decisions are made, participate in staff meetings, attend relevant events, and work on the foundation’s grantmaking and grantee capacity building processes.

The internship will involve:
•grantee trainings and event planning
•managing the abortion fund
•coordinating funding requests
•research and writing
•some administrative tasks

Individuals applying for this internship should have:
•an ability to plan and prioritize tasks to meet multiple deadlines
•web, database and library research and writing skills
•familiarity with Excel and/or other databases
•a demonstrated interest in organizing by youth and/or communities of color
•knowledge of gender justice issues

If you are interested in applying, please email your resume and a cover letter that mentions your potential start date and days for which you would be available with the following subject heading:
to Jessica Barclay-Strobel at . Third Wave will contact you in August if they are interested in scheduling an interview. They receive a lot of requests and may not be able to follow-up with each person individually.

Communications and Development Intern
Third Wave seeks Communications and Development interns to work part-time (20 hrs/week) for during the months of September through December. Interns will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in our programming, fundraising, and grantmaking areas. Ideal candidates have an interest in learning more about feminist organizations, non-profits, and foundations. We offer school credit, work-study hours, or a small stipend.

The Communications and Development Intern will be involved in all aspects of fundraising, marketing, and partnership development. This is an ideal position for candidates interested in learning about how non-profit organizations raise visibility and garner support for its programs. Interns will gain insight into the foundation’s organizational infrastructure.
Interns will work with the Development Officer, Development and Communications Associate and Philanthropic Partnerships Associate.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
•conducting research on potential supporters
•assisting with website maintenance
•assisting with overall preparation and logistics for various events
•helping to write marketing, media and mailing materials such as fact sheets, program/services descriptions, and success stories
•assisting with submission of grant proposals and report packages to potential and current funders
•helping to manage a database for tracking all development and outreach activity

Individuals applying for this internship must be organized and detail-oriented. They must possess excellent writing skills and the ability to work independently. Design experience and a desire to learn fundraising skills preferred. This position has the potential to extend into the spring semester. Starting and ending dates can be flexible.

If you are interested in applying, please send your resume and cover letter to Vanessa A. Llana at .

Monday, August 27, 2007

Girls Write Now kicks off new Board of Directors

I'm proud to be a part of the Board at Girls Write Now-- they have a smart program, dedicated volunteers, and the girls are learning valuable skills while creating a relationship with their mentor. My time so far with Girls Write Now has been inspirational and I'm looking forward to a great year. Please support us! Follow the link to Girls Write Now

"This is the start of an amazing new phase for Girls Write Now," said Maya Nussbaum, Co-founder and Executive Director of GWN. "Our new Board of Directors and Program Committee will work together to make Girls Write Now truly sustainable by building outstanding programming and aggressively pursue new funding opportunities." Maya will remain Executive Director of Girls Write Now and serve on the Board of Directors and the Program Committee.

The new board consists of women leaders from the worlds of nonprofit development, journalism, publishing, and education, including veteran Girls Write Now mentors, and will focus on the organization's fiscal health and development. The Program Committee consists entirely of veteran mentors and is dedicated to programming, curriculum development and membership.

"I am excited to be a part of an organization that is laser-focused on giving girls a voice in this world," said Vanessa Bush, Executive Editor of Essence magazine and new Girls Write Now board member. "When young women learn to express themselves with passion and authority, nothing can be more empowering."


Patti Binder is the Chair of the Board of Directors, and committed to girls and young women's leadership both in her day job and through volunteering with NYC girls organizations including Girls Write Now. Currently Patti is the Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Operations at Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS). Stepping into the world of writing, Patti started the blog What's Good for Girls as one way to promote the important work that girls' organizations are doing. Greatly inspired by all the young women and mentors who are a part of Girls Write Now, Patti is thrilled to be deepening her role in this community of women and girls.

Timikal Bobo works as a Programming Strategy Coordinator at Oxygen Media, where she oversees the strategic planning of programming and scheduling for alternative media platforms. She received two BA degrees from University of Cincinnati in Social Science and English Literature, as well as a Writing Certificate. Recently she completed a graduate degree in Media Studies and Certificate in Media Management from The New School University.

Vanessa Bush is Executive Editor of Essence magazine. Previously, she was senior parenting and features editor at Essence, where her duties included writing and editing the parenting columns, in addition to editing and writing center-of-book feature stories with topics ranging from education to personal growth. She also assigns and edits the "Making Love Work" column, top edits Essence's fashion and beauty columns and is a contributing writer for Essence's "Mind/Body" column. Prior to joining the magazine, she served in a variety of editorial capacities at publications such as Life Magazine and Glamour. Vanessa was awarded a 2003 Journalism Fellowship in Child and Family Policy by the University of Maryland's Phillip Merrill College of Journalism. Vanessa received her BA in English and American Literature from Harvard University, and her MS in magazine concentration from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She also received a certificate in book and magazine publishing from the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. She is the coauthor of the book Tyra Banks Beauty Inside & Out.

Lauren Cerand is an independent public relations representative and consultant in New York. Her clients are a purposefully eclectic mix of creative professionals, and she specializes in generating initial buzz and building sustained attention for projects and individuals. The Village Voice included her in its "Best of New York" issue. A graduate of Cornell University, Lauren compiles "The Smart Set," a weekly round-up of cultural happenings for premier lit-blog, and writes about art, politics and style at

Annie J. Howell is a documentary and fiction filmmaker, and currently directs the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies at The New School in New York City. Her award-winning films have been exhibited at festivals worldwide and have screened on PBS, The Sundance Channel and the Independent Film Channel. At The New School, she has directed a large undergraduate curriculum in Media Studies; served as Assistant Professor, teaching courses in screenwriting, directing, and documentary.

Maya Nussbaum, Co-founder and Executive Director of Girls Write Now, has grown the organization from a loose association into a dynamic community for New York City women writers as diverse as the city itself. Maya has a background in writing and the visual arts. A former director of Von Lintel Gallery and Ash Fine Art, she has degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing from Columbia University. During her nearly 10 years with Girls Write Now, Maya has created and produced all programs and curricula, and trained and managed over 600 professional women writers and emerging teen authors in mentoring and creative writing.

Natasha Reilly-Moynihan is Development Director at Creative Arts Workshops (CAW). CAW is a nonprofit organization that utilizes the visual and performing arts to teach life skills to children and teens while enriching communities. CAW develops Saturday, after-school, and summer art programs that empower youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their leadership and public speaking skills, build self-confidence and deepen the relationship between art and community.

Terry Selucky is a freelance writer, playwright and screenwriter whose work has been seen onstage in New York City and Chicago. She's been a contributor to such publications as Time Out New York, Not for Tourists travel guides and Hundreds of Heads books, and has also been a writer and editor for online travel content. Through Project: Philanthropy, she has helped to develop and write marketing and publicity for several non-for-profit organizations and she is an artistic associate of Chicago's Sansculottes Theater Company, where she was founding artistic director for nearly three years. This is her second season with Girls Write Now.

Trudy Stallings is Development Director at Figure Skating in Harlem. Trudy's professional and volunteer experiences with non-profit organizations date back 12 years. Before joining Figure Skating in Harlem, Trudy held the principal responsibility for government and foundation fundraising at The Harlem School of the Arts, and was the director of development and administration at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, both Harlem-based organizations.

Michele Thomas works as the Assistant Managing Editor at The French Culinary Institute. Her diverse work experience includes covering health and nutrition as a freelance writer, working as the managing editor of a nationally syndicated newspaper distribution service, and writing and editing K-12 textbooks and teaching materials for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Harcourt School Publishers, Pearson Education, and Houghton-Mifflin. This is her third season with Girls Write Now.

Jessica Valenti is the Founder and Executive Editor of She also blogs at UN Dispatch and is a contributor to the Daou Report. Jessica is a co-founder of the REAL hot 100, a national campaign that aims to change the perception of younger women in the media, and a contributing author to We Don't Need Another Wave: Young Feminist Writers Speak Out (Seal Press). Her writing has appeared in Alternet, Salon, The Guardian and Guernica magazine. Her newest book, Full Frontal Feminism : A Young Women's Guide to Why Feminism Matters (Seal Press), was published in Spring 2007.

Aleksandra Wagner
, presently a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at CUNY Graduate Center and a member-in-training at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, has completed her BA in musicology and BA in comparative literature and philosophy at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her interests, and a dissertation theme, are in connections between sociology and psychoanalysis, particularly in the realms of method (ethnography, biography, case study) and social history. Before coming to The New School, she taught sociology at the College of Staten Island, and Hunter College (CUNY). She is a member of Editorial Staff of The Psychoanalytic Review, member of the Editorial Board of The Discourse of Sociological Practice, and a practicing psychotherapist.


Allison Heiny, Enrollment Director, recruits and enrolls Girls Write Now's mentees--NYC's talented emerging teen authors--and the sophisticated team of professional women writers who mentor them. Allison is the Foreign Rights Manager and Managing Editor for Alloy Entertainment, the teen novel packager that developed both The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series and the Gossip Girl series. She holds a BA in Journalism and Women's Studies from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and enjoys working on her own fiction and non-fiction writing. Allison has been with Girls Write Now since 2002.

Pooja Makhijani, Curriculum Director, oversees the content of Girls Write Now's one-of-a-kind curriculum and workshops. Pooja is the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America, an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families, and Mama's Saris, her first picture book. She has been with Girls Write Now since 2005.

Maya Nussbaum, Co-Founder and Executive Director, has served as director since the organization's formal incorporation as a nonprofit and public charity in 2005.

Maggie Pouncey, Talent Director, focuses on mentor and mentee writing development and relationship support. Maggie is pursuing a MFA in creative writing at Columbia University, where she teaches undergraduate writing. She is at work on a collection of stories and a novel. This is her second season mentoring with Girls Write Now.

Sarah Robbins, New Programs & Events Director, coordinates Girls Write Now's college prep events, field trips, and special programs including Girls Life Adventure, Ladies Write Now - the organization's mentor-only writing group - and the Freelancer's Support Circle. Sarah is a fomer senior writer for Shape Magazine and a contributing writer at TimeOut New York Kids . Her work has appeared in American Book Review, ArtNews, Glamour, Men's Journal, Newsday, and UsWeekly. Sarah has an MFA in fiction writing from the New School and dual bachelor's degrees in journalism and English writing from Northwestern University.This is her second year with Girls Write Now.

Terry Selucky, Development Director, focuses on fundraising through Girls Write Now's active membership and alumni. She first joined the organization as a mentor in 2006 after moving to New York City from Chicago.

Michele Thomas, Communications Director and Program Chair, manages media outreach and production of Girls Write Now publications and informational materials, including and the annual Girls Write Now anthology. This is Michele's third season mentoring with the organization.


Founded in 1998, Girls Write Now Inc. (GWN) provides a safe and supportive environment where girls can expand their natural writing talents, develop independent creative voices, and build confidence in making healthy choices in school, career and life. GWN is the only East Coast nonprofit that combines mentoring and creative writing training within the context of all-girl programming. GWN gives at-risk high school girls with emerging writing talent the unique opportunity to be custom matched with a professional woman writer who serves as her individual mentor and writing coach, meeting with her weekly for one entire school year, and for up to four years. GWN also enrolls each student in a vibrant writing community and professional network: all mentees and mentors gather monthly for genre-based workshops conducted at Teachers & Writers Collaborative -- the home of the oldest writers-in-the-schools program in the country -- in midtown Manhattan. The year is punctuated by three public readings, college and career prep seminars, a social awarareness program, field trips to cultural events, and endless opportunities for scholarships and publication. The magic of the program is reflected in a solid nine-year track record, a 65-percent member retention rate, a 100-percent college acceptance rate, an annual anthology of original writing, and the seven-genre portfolios each student emerges equipped with each season.


Girls Write Now, Inc.
Founded: 1998
Headquarters: 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2020, New York, NY 10018
Co-Founder and Executive Director: Maya Nussbaum

Friday, August 24, 2007

Last Chance to Rock with Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

Tomorrow is your last chance to see 2007's hottest new bands. Come rock out with Roadkill Rewind, The Exploding Amps, The Dangerous Mz. Pac Man, The Abominable Snowgirls, Disturbed Disney, and many more!

431 W. 16th Street (bween 9th & 10th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011

Doors @ 11:30am
SHOW STARTS @ 12:00pm!!!
Suggested donation $6-$10
All ages!

Get your tickets at the door, or buy them online now at willie mae rock camp

Brunch & drinks will also be available - see the menu highlineballroom

Thursday, August 23, 2007

YPulse takes on Girls Issues today

Check Anastasia at YPulse. She covers some great girl-related stuff today including:

Dove's Love Your Hair Campaign (includes video) here

Teen Movies Need a Girls Night Out here

and info on a new sports mag for girls.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

GOOD Mag highlights Girl Power

or the lack of Girl Power in elected officials.

I'm all for the message about gender inequality in our elected representatives and I'm glad to see Good Magazine covering it. They get it right with the line "Half of us are female but only 10 of our leaders are." But I'm not crazy about the "Girl Power" heading. Just like Hillary's "I'm your girl" comment, I think adult women need to represent themselves as adult women, and NOT AS GIRLS. (For the record-- I'm with Jennifer Pozner at Women in Media and News who thinks Hillary should have said "I'm your candidate.") Watch Jennifer discuss this here

When the word "girl" is a substitute for all things female, how can we preserve what it means to be a girl, under 18, as separate and distinct from being an adult woman? I don't think we can. It's the subject I love to harp on, its true, but the more I see it especially in PRINT or by adult women running for office, the more it makes me crazy. It's one thing to be in a group of your friends and say "O'kay girls" and another to publicly represent adult women as girls.

I believe we can all help preserve girlhood for girls through our language.

Check it out: Girl Power transparency on the Good Magazine website.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bloggers Abound: New Wave Grrrl

My friend Emily has joined the blog-o-sphere, paying special attention to girls and women with disabilities. I'm so impressed! And check it: she created her own logo. Cool!

Go see what she's talking about and tell her WhatsGoodForGirls sent you: New Wave Grrrl

Rose and Isabel: Graphic Novel Girls Kick A$$

I love Rose and Isabel. Maybe its because I want to unleash my inner avenger. Maybe its because I have a new fondness for graphic novels. Maybe its because I love when strong females kick serious a$$.

For excellent summer reading, check out order Ted Mathel's Rose and Isabel books (both 1 and 2. Trust me. If you only buy the first one, you'll be sorry and waiting by your mailbox until the second one arrives)

Ted is a fancy pants story supervisor over at Pixar who created two willful female characters who set out to bring their brothers back from battle during the Civil War. Its a gripping story. Rose and Isabel are two young women with amazing powers. I want to say more, I do, but then you might not get the books.

One of my fave features is the sketchbook that shows the development of the characters located in the back of the book. I love that.

Check them out: Rose and Isabel

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Celina Strikes Again: Bodega Ave

What would I do without feministing??? All the feminist news, headlines, and contraversies...they keep me up to date on all the stuff I don't hear on NPR or read in the Times.

This week Celina interviewed the women who make the comic Bodega Ave, a comic about pre teen characters living in Brooklyn and often in both English and Spanish. Thanks to Celina's interview, I've checked them out and now, I'm a fan. I can't wait for their graphic novel, a new genre (new to me, anyway) that I am really getting into.

Check out the interview and check out what the creators say about their characters' feminist leanings here

and the comic here

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Seeking Submissions: Poems on Girlhood

Anthology Call for Work:

For an anthology of contemporary poetry on girlhood aimed at high school and college level readers, co-editors Arielle Greenberg and Becca Klaver seek submission of poems on or relevant to any aspect of the experience of girlhood, from childhood to young adulthood by poets with at least one published or forthcoming poetry collection from a nationally-distributed press.

We aim to create an anthology that addresses the need young women have for challenging, intelligent, complicated literature about their lives. Possible subjects include but are not limited to experiences of family relationships, work, activism, sexuality, friendship, consumer culture, physical or mental illness, body image, domesticity, athleticism, intellectual pursuits, creativity, geography, displacement, belonging, separation, identity formation, partnership
and triumph. Poems that are not subject-driven or narrative but
might still be of particular interest to a teenage girl reader are also welcome.

In addition to submissions of your own work, we would be interested in hearing suggestions of individual poems that you know of and feel should be included in such an anthology.

As we have a very limited permissions budget, we prefer submissions
of poems that are either unpublished or to which the poet retains the rights.

Previously published poems will be considered; please indicate if the poems you are submitting have been published.

Switchback Books plans to publish the anthology in 2009.

Please send no more than three poems no later than October 1, 2007 via email Word attachment to: becca [at] switchbackbooks [dot] com

or via snail mail in care of:
Becca Klaver, Assistant Programs Director, English Department, Columbia College Chicago, 600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605-1996.

Please include an email address. We expect to notify poets regarding submission status via email by Summer 2008.

(thanks to Maya and Girls Write Now for the info)

Harlem Fashion Show to benefit GEMS

Looking for something fun to do that also benefits NYC youth? An amazing woman at Enfiniti Productions has put together a fashion show featuring Harlem boutiques. Ticket sales benefit GEMS and Brotherhood Sister Sol, two Harlem based non profit organizations.

$20 in advance $30 at the door

The New Harlem Renaissance Fashion Show
THIS THURSDAY August 16th at 8PM
145th and Riverside Drive

Tickets available online:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Safe in Our World

Get ready for the Brooklyn Girls Collaborative Summit Safe in Our World on Tuesday, August 14, 2008. Spread the word you to know to girls and young women ages 12 - 20

Long Island University
Downtown Brooklyn Campus
Kumble Theater
12:00 – 5:00
includes lunch
Call 212.531.7620 for information
or visit Brooklyn Girls

4/5 or 2/3 to Nevins Street Station
B, M, Q, or R to Dekalb Avenue
A, C, or G train to Hoyt Schemerhorn Station

Conference includes includes video, dance, workshops and a forum with community leaders, including a New York State Senator and New York City Council Member!

Sign up for workshops by age group

Ages 12 to 14
Safety and Self Defense: "Safety 101" presented by Dwa Fanm
This workshop will introduce issues of self defence, including using your voice, practice blocking and being aware of your surroundings as a way to keep yourself safe.

Safety and Relationships: "Take Charge" presented by Girl Scouts
This workshop will deal with sensitive issues such as sexual harassment, dating violence, incest and similar issues.

Safety and Schools:
"Get Up, Stand Up: Teasing & Bullying" by Girls Inc.
This workshop will help girls examine healthy responses to teasing and bullying in their lives.

Safety and Empowerment: "You are Phenomenal & We're Going to Tell You Why" presented by Hip Hop 4 Life. This workshop addresses the building blocks for staying emotionally and physically safe – making positive life choices and decisions for success.

Ages 15 and over
Safety and Self Defense: "Violence Prevention & Self Defense" by Center for Anti Violence Education Build self-esteem while learning violence-prevention strategies and self-defense techniques. The workshop includes awareness exercises using eyes, voices & body language; games that help build assertiveness; and discussions highlighting major safety concerns facing young women.

Safety and the Street: "Sister in Strength Strikes Back: Our Struggle with Street Harassment" presented by Girls for Gender Equity
Screening of "Hey… Shorty!" – a documentary film about street harassment from women of color's perspective made by teen women community organizers. The Director of the film will lead a discussion about how young people can fight against street harassment.

Safety and Sexuality: "EC & You" by North Shore/LIJ School Based Health Center This very informative workshop focuses on emergency contraception as a way for women to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy. Participants will learn about New York State reproductive health law which guarantees free and confidential reproductive services.

Safety and Sexuality: "Safer Sex 101" presented by Red Hook Initiative
The Red Hook Initiative Peer Health Educators will present a workshop on safer sex. Topics include sexual decision making, how to protect yourself from contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Any and all questions will be answered regarding sexuality, safe sex, and staying healthy.

Safety and Relationships:
presented by Day One
This interactive workshop will give participants an understanding of dating violence, including signs and ways to get help.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rock Out with Willie Mae Rock Camp

Don't miss Saturday's Rock Showcase-- check out the bands that formed at Willie Mae's week of Rockin Out last week. It's way fun! You'll be shocked at the great music that can be created in one week and thrilled to see the power and creativity of girls on stage. It's WAY FUN!

While you are there, pick up some "merch" and support the bands, and throw a few extra bucks to the Willie Mae Rock Camp. This all volunteer org works their butts off to pull camp off every year.

For tickets (6 bucks!)
Highline Ballroom
For more info:
Willie Mae Rock Camp
Rock Camp My Space page

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Glamour Magazine covers Rape in the Congo

Pick up a copy of Glamour Magazine today to read up on Eve Ensler's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ensler's V-Day, UNICEF and the women of Eastern DRC are working together on the campaign, "Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource, Power To The Women And Girls Of The Democratic Republic Of Congo”

Before I went to the Congo, I’d spent the past 10 years working on V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. I’d traveled to the rape mines of the world--places like Bosnia, Afghanistan and Haiti, where rape has been used as a tool of war. But nothing I ever experienced felt as ghastly, terrifying and complete as the sexual torture and attempted destruction of the female species here. The violence is a threat to all; young girls and village elders alike are at risk. It is not too strong to call this a femicide, to say that the future of the Congo’s women is in serious jeopardy,” Ensler states.

I'm grateful to see two worldwide organizations working together with the women in Congo to stand up for the rights of women and girls. Women and girls need allies, big and small, to support them in overcoming this violence. AND given all the stories out there, let's give some props to Glamour for covering the story. Thanks to Purva Panday at V-Day for the heads-up!

To learn more, visit
and sign up for the e-newsletter

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Katina Paron! Swoon!

Slow posting these days, I know...Why do teachers get summers off, many businesses and corporations take half Fridays (or whole Fridays), and yet for those of us in non profits the calendar never slows down? Grants and reports are still due, programs still run, and the girls we work with still need our support.

Yup-- I am whining. But, the point of all of this is that my posting has been almost non existant. Luckily for everyone, the women over at Feministing are still hard at work. Check out their interview with Katina Paron at Children's PressLine-- youth media rocks, of course! Katina is a powerhouse who keeps youth generated media in all kinds of outlets. SWOON! And she is completely hilarious-- I met her at a birthday party recently (HI Suzanne and Nicole!) and stayed much later than intended, in part because Katina is a total riot.

Check out her interview

and read the youth generated media over at Children's PressLine

Monday, June 25, 2007

Girls in the News

Now this is what I am talking about! Last week girls were featured in the New York Times and the Village Voice for good stuff, not rises in girl violence, or girls gone wild. Instead these two articles are positively focused on girl power-- friendships that get girls through high school, and girls taking action on street harassment. Congrats to both the girls on their achievements AND to the New York Times and the Village Voice for running the stories. Check them out!

The June 24th New York Times article "The High School Kinship of Crystal and Queen" focuses on the friendship that develops between two teen girls that beat the odds and graduate ON TIME in a New York City High School (like 50% of their peers).

The Dominican boys in the back of the freshman English class at the high school in Washington Heights were making fun of the timid African-American girl, Queen Bond. One of the boys got down on one knee in front of her as if he were Romeo — they had been studying “Romeo and Juliet” — and delivered the final crushing insult.
“He was saying something about that I smelled,” recalled Queen, now 17. “I just put my head down. I started crying.”

Then something remarkable happened, she said: “Cristal stood up.” Cool, streetwise, 4-foot-11-inch Cristal Pimentel.

“This short, like, two-foot-tall person is standing up to these guys who are up to the ceiling,” Queen said. “She’s screaming, getting angry, waving her arms. She stood up, she defended me. No one ever stood up for me in that way.

“I’m, like, ‘Wow, this girl is the most beautiful person.’ ”

Read more about Crystal and Queen HERE

On June 19th the Villiage Voice printed 'Ayo, shorty!' Brooklyn girls are fighting back against the boys who harass them, detailing the work of teen girls at Girls for Gender Equity.

Even a poster declaring "Street Harassment is a Crime!" in bold letters didn't deter a group of guys standing on a Brooklyn corner from ogling 17-year-old LaTosha Belton. She was wearing knee-length shorts, a tank top, a short-sleeved sweater and she was carrying a stack of anti–sexual harassment posters.
"Read this!" she challenged, responding to their hisses and come-ons.

"What? I can't tell you, you look nice?" one man asked puzzled.

"What does this say?" she asked while pointing to the poster. "You are harassing me and I don't like it."

Read more about the teen girls stopping street harassment here

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Politics doesn't have to be Boring! An interview with Lauren Long

(This interview is the first in a new WGFG interview series which spotlights girls taking action on their own ideas and running their own projects. Thanks to Lauren for being the first!)

Bothered by a story on the radio about the number of kids who can't identify the 50 states on a map, much less find Iraq on a world map, Lauren (then in the fifth grade)supported by her mom, Sharon, decided to do something about it.

Their multi-media project A Kids Guide 2 Politics is a website and book project aimed at taking the boring out of politics for kids. Lauren, now finishing 8th grade and excited about high school, took the lead on the website, creating the games, graphics and text, while Mom has taken the lead on the book. Working together as partners, they realized that young people perceive politics as boring, and as removed from their lives.

I asked Lauren what she thinks about teens' interest in the latest pursuits of Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton over politics or daily events. Lauren answered,
"Even though kids can't vote, everyone has the potential to be interested in politics. Hollywood and music is really exciting for teenagers, but politics affects our lives. Politics isn't as boring as it seems. Teenagers need to realize that Hollywood is not as important the politics and get involved now"

Lauren first became interested in politics after 9/11 when her curiosity took over. She wanted to know "why things were happening" and started listening to the news on the radio, and watching John Stewart's The Daily Show (the repeats on at 8pm the next day, Lauren mentioned-- 11pm being too late to stay up on a school night, of course!) Lauren has always liked writing and reading, and before working on this project made her own books and stories. Combined with a love of video games (including The Sims), building her own website with interactive games seemed like a natural next step.

Lauren created all the games and features on the website herself, after she stumbled on an application that no one was using on her home computer. After some experimenting, she's created mazes, quizzes, and "what if" scenarios. The book, like the website, will also include quizzes and games-- and won't just be text, sticking with the idea that kids need to be actively engaged. Lauren also told me, "It's fun to do it together with my mom and know that it is going to make a difference for people."

While the book and website project have taken a lot of time and effort over the last three years, Lauren also knows that is the little everyday acts that can make a difference. Frustrated and saddened by the genocide in Darfur, she got together a few of her friends to take up a collection at her school to donate. "Kids don'thave as much power as adults to make a difference, but we have to do what we can."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Global Girls Day June 23

The goal of Global Girls Day, an event of Girls International Forum, is to encourage girls to improve their lives by taking leadership roles in their home communities and around the world. Participants will develop specific tactics to tackle the issues that concern them the most. They will form support networks with other girls working on a similar issue in their communities.

Girls ages 12 - 18 will have the chance to focus on a specific global issue facing girls and women. In the morning session, they will learn more about an issue that they choose. In the afternoon, each girl will be on a team that creates an Action Project that proposes a solution to this problem.

Anyone up for a road trip to St. Paul, Minnesota?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rock for Young Women on June 29th

Rock for Young Women will feature musical performances by Bouva, Boyskout, Tamara Fishman, Frank Hoier, and Receptor. Molly Kelleher and Maryann Schaub of Broad Comedy will present "It's Great To Wait," written by Katie Goodman. The evening will also include several spoken word performances.

The doors will open at 7 p.m. at the Knitting Factory (74 Leonard Street). Advance tickets are $15 and may be purchased at Tickets at the door will be $20 with half of the proceeds going to GEMS and the other half to NY-YWTF

Buy these books! Sisterhood Interrupted and Full Frontal Feminism

Given that I have identified with feminism, since, oh I don't know, the womb (Thanks Mom!) all of my work with girls ultimately has its underpinnings in feminism. I know for other people their work is grounded elsewhere, but for me, the sense that girls are strong capable people who deserve to wake up in the morning and think "I am going to be President one day" is a feminist one.

These two books give two different kinds of takes on feminism and where it is today. Jessica's is clearly a call to arms to young women to give up that "I'm a feminist, but" stuff and start calling themselves what they are-- feminists.

Deb takes a longer view, looking at the generational and ideological differences between feminists and how to move forward.

Both can inform and should inform work with girls. I've devoured Jessica's book and can't wait to pick up Deb's, which hit bookshelves on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Young Women of Color Leadership Council Deadline Friday

Young Women of Color Leadership Council

Calling: young women of color between the ages of 14-24 and are African American/Black,Asian/Pacific Islander, Latina, and/or Native American.

The deadline is Friday, June 15th.

The Young Women of Color Leadership Council is composed of young
leaders and activists who come together to promote a message of
prevention and empowerment. All of the Council's work is a
collaboration of diversity and passion, in the hopes of affecting a
million more young women of color.

Due to the alarming rates of HIV and AIDS among young women of color,
the Young Women of Color Leadership Council (YWOCLC) was started to
promote HIV prevention among this at-risk population and build youth

YWOCLC currently consists of eighteen women from all across the
country who have come together to prevent the spread of HIV in our
communities, especially among other young women of color. We are
advocating for the inclusion of young women of color in HIV prevention
programs so they will become involved in fighting HIV in their
respective communities.


The Young Women of Color Leadership Council is composed of young women
of color, leaders and activists, who have come together to promote a
message of prevention and empowerment. All of our work is a
collaboration of diversity and passion, coming together in the hopes
of affecting a million more.


The goals of the Council are:
Educate: We raise awareness among young people, especially young women
of color, about the need for HIV prevention efforts for themselves and
other young people.
Include: We advocate for the inclusion of young women of color in the
planning, implementation, and evaluation of HIV prevention programs.
Empower: We need all young people, especially our sisters of color, to
get involved in fighting HIV and AIDS in our communities

What Do We Do?
Attend and present workshops at national/regional conferences.
Conduct presentations for community-based organizations, high schools,
colleges and other venues about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young
women of color.
Partner with youth-serving, community-based organizations to better
reach, serve, and include young women of color in HIV prevention
Establish local Young Women of Color Leadership Councils to mobilize
young women of color to get actively involved in local HIV prevention
efforts and to build local leadership among young women.
Join HIV Prevention Community Planning Groups to ensure they address
issues important to stopping HIV among youth and young women of color.
Address community leaders, decision makers, and legislators.
Provide interviews about the Council members work to magazines,
newspapers, and television stations.

For more info:
Trina Scott
Program Manager, Young Women of Color Initiatives
Advocates for Youth
2000 M Street, NE
Washington, DC 20037
202-419-3420, ext. 17
202-419-1448 fax

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Meet the Third Wave!

Third Wave Foundation, that is!

10 years later, the Third Wave Foundation is still the only feminist activist foundation that works nationally to support young women and transgender youth ages 15 - 30. Focusing on young people and challenging gender norms, the Third Wave Foundation moves beyond "the children are the future" and ensures that young people have a voice now and can take action on their beliefs and ideals today.

It's not too late to RSVP and come out and meet the staff and see their new space. I promise they won't card you at the door if you are 31 and up!

Read about the beginning of the Third Wave Foundation here

Monday, June 11, 2007

Brooklyn Girls Take a Stand Against Unwanted Sexual Attention

HEY! This is the second girls-led event on unwanted sexual attention/street harassment in the last few months-- looks like we have a real problem on our hands. Take a few minutes today and talk to girls you know--are they facing the same issue? What can we do about it?-- Patti

Teen girls in the Brooklyn Girls Collaborative are screening their new film "USA in the USA" about unwanted sexual attention.

Meet the film makers, Kamaria, Latoya, Tyra, Erica and Bianca and check out the film:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
7:00 – 8:30
BRIC Studio 57 Rockwell Place
Btwn. Dekalb Ave. & Fulton St.
2nd floor

call 212-531-7620 to RSVP

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Final Call: Jessica Valenti and Girls Write Now

Come join me Sunday at 4pm at the Barnes and Noble at Astor Place for one of my fave events of the entire year (cheesy, yes, but oh-so-true) the Girls Write Now Annual Spring Reading and Fundraiser.

Come hear the original work of NYC teen girls (they are awesome!), with special guest Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism, who was also on the Colbert Report this week (so cool!).

While you are there, do you book shopping with a GWN voucher, and GWN will receive between 10 - 25% of the proceeds (Great way to pick up Jessica's book! or Courtney Martin's new book, or hey-- any book- it's for a good cause!)

Not to be missed, anthologies of the girls' work and Girls Write Now t-shirts. Fun, Fashion, Feminism....all in one great day.

See you there!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Anastasia Goodstein joins Expert Advisory Board of New Moon

Every morning I check out Anastasia Goodstein's site "Daily news & commentary about Generation Y for media and marketing professionals"-- because she picks up the latest news on what is happening in the teen and young adult world, distilling real trends from the hype. She's a great example of an adult who is an ally to young people, and bridges the gap that can often exist between teens and the rest of us. I love her perspective.

That is why it's good news that she announced yesterday that she has joined the expert advisory board for New Moon, a high quality for girls by girls magazine. Anastasia's fresh teen-centered focus and insight into the current state of the teen world will be great influence. Cheers on your new role, Anastasia!

Check out:

Anastasia's new BusinessWeek Online Viewpoint column about virtual paper dolls.

and sign up for her daily newsletter at

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More about the Girls Write Now Reading TOMORROW

Were you wondering more about the readers and emcees at tomorrow's Girls Write Now reading? I knew it! So here's more....(and so totally cool...find the emcee who wants to RE-join the wrestling team)

A Reading with Girls Write Now
Thursday, May 24, 7pm
520 Eighth Avenue (b/w 36th & 37th sts.)
on the 20th floor

Pooja Mahkijani, Curriculum Director of Girls Write Now, is the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America, an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. Her first picture book, Mama's Saris, has just been released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Maggie Pouncey, a first-year mentor with Girls Write Now, is pursuing a MFA in creative writing at Columbia University, where she teaches undergraduate writing. She is at work on a collection of stories and a novel.

Terry Selucky is a freelance writer, playwright and screenwriter whose work has been seen onstage in New York City and Chicago. Through Project: Philanthropy, she has helped to develop and write marketing and publicity for several non-for-profit organizations and she is an artistic associate of Chicago's Sansculottes Theater Company, where she was founding artistic director for nearly three years. This is Terry's first year with Girls Write Now.

Steven Karl received his MFA from The New School. His poems and reviews have appeared in Real Poetik and Lit on-line. He has an article forthcoming in Teachers & Writers Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn.

Jared Hohl is from Donnellson, Iowa. His writing has appeared in Topic Magazine, on the Associated Press newswire, and in the anthology The Apocalypse Reader (Thunder's Mouth Press).Adam Wiedewitsch is a former elementary school teacher from Minnesota.A

Phantasia Johnson is a junior at Brooklyn Preparatory High School. She was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. Phantasia dances, acts, sings, and plays the piano, but she lives and dies for writing. This is Phantasia's second year with Girls Write Now.

Raised in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Lindsey Romain is a sophomore at Brooklyn Preparatory High School. She plans to become an actress. This is her first year with Girls Write Now.

Briana Wilson is a sophomore at The Michael J. Petrides School in Staten Island. This is her second year at Girls Write Now. In addition to Girls Write Now, she is involved in her school's AFJROTC and she hopes to rejoin the wrestling team.

Boxing and Equality

Check out these two great programs/opportunities from Girls for Gender Equity:

GGE is now recruiting volunteer boxing trainers and girls (ages 10-14 years old) to participate in a 10 week boxing program at Gleason's gym.

For trainers, if you would like to volunteer, email Erica at or call 718-857-1568. Having a car is a plus and gas reimbursement can be supplied.

For participants, if you would like to sign up, email Erica at or call 718-857-1568.

Are you or your organization would want to be a part of the 2nd Annual NYC Gender Equality Festival that GGE is organizing on July 28th in Von King Park? You're welcome to run a workshop, set up an information table to tell people about what you do, or perform at the festival. Last year we had over 80 organizations participate, and despite incliment weather, over 200 people attended. This year we anticipate over 500 attendees. Please email Mandy for a Participation Request Form at

GGE is also looking for volunteers (especially coaches or a girls' soccer team) to help run a Mother/Daughter Soccer clinic at the festival. To volunteer, email Erica at

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fundraising for Social Change

This must be my week for training, retreats and self improvement. First the writing retreat with Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth, and now a fundraising training with Kim Klein.

Kim Klein, while not a feminist icon like Naomi, has influenced my work and given me the tools to raise money for the organizations I care about, both as a volunteer and as a professional. She covers everything from community car washes to capital campaigns. I've heard she is smart and funny in person so I can't wait to find out for myself.

Check out her website: Grassroots Fundraising and sign up for her newsletter.

I'll keep you posted--

Monday, May 21, 2007

Girls On the Run

Girls ages 8 - 12 have been training for the Tulip Trot--their first 5K on June 3rd with Girls on the Run. I'm excited for them-- I did this myself the first time just a few years ago! I clearly remember thinking I was going to die of exhaustion as I approached the finish line side by side with a kind old man more than twice my age, who was limping and wearing an ace bandage on one knee. This is the moment that I discovered that it takes as much, perhaps even more, bravery to come in at the end of the race, than at at the front.

No doubt girls are learning these lessons and more at Girls on the Run You can be a part of it as a Runner Buddy-- who runs with girls as they complete this great achievement and the beginning of lifelong healthy habits. They will be gathering by the Christopher Street fountain in Hudson River Park at 8:00am for an 8:30am race start.

If you are interested in being a running buddy or learning more about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for this event, email

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mad Ritin' Skillz

I am "werkin on my ritin skillz" this weekend at the Woodhull Writers Retreat with a great bunch of women (including awesome editor Ingrid) who edited my piece in Youth Media Reporter . YAY Ingrid...and YAY writers retreat. Yesterday Kristin Kemp led a session on pitches and today Naomi Wolf discusses book proposals. I'm happy to report that many of the women here are writing about gender and girls and that's exciting.

This Thursday, check out some girls and women who have been perfecting their writing all year at the Girls Write Now Mentor Reading

Thursday, May 24, 7pm
at 520 Eighth Avenue (b/w 36th & 37th sts.) on the 20th floor

Mentors, Pooja Makhijani, Maggie Pouncey, and Terry Selucky will read with special Mentee Emcees Phantasia Johnson, Lindsey Romain, and Briana Wilson.

See you there!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tyra Banks funds NYC girls orgs

I haven't followed America's Next Top Model, as the whole modeling thing doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I did watch the clip of the Tyra Banks show on You Tube , when she responded to the photos of her on vacation that made her look "fat" and was impressed that she showed in one quick turn of her body how she can look super thin in one angle, and then closer to the rest of us in another. She broke out in tears and said it had taken her years to build her self esteem. I admit to be being moved, but also confused. I'm just not clear on how the same person can give that speech and then run a reality show on modeling.

However she is putting her money where her mouth is, and you know how much I love that! Tyra Banks started a foundation to fund girls programming called TZONE and it recently awarded grants to three NYC girls programs/nonprofit organizations: Ifetayo Cultural Arts Facility, The Lower Eastside Girls Club, and Sadie Nash Leadership Project.

Ifetayo supports the creative, educational and vocational development of youth of African descent in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. TZONE’s grant will support The Sisters in Sisterhood Rites of Passage Program, which empowers girls with information to navigate their transition from adolescence into adulthood and develop strong leadership and communication skills.

The Lower Eastside Girls Club provides programming for girls and young women ages 8-23. The Girls Club will use TZONE’s grant for its ‘Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds Program’, which promotes active living, healthy eating and positive self-image.

Sadie Nash Leadership Project provides opportunities for young women to develop their self-esteem, confidence and positive self-image by teaching them to take care of themselves, each other and their communities as they take on leadership roles.

Tyra Banks is quoted in the press release:

“What these three organizations have in common is a commitment to fostering long-term, supportive female relationships through innovative programs that promote personal accountability, self-esteem, goal setting, healthy lifestyles and an appreciation for diversity. These are the defining criteria for organizations TZONE will fund, and they reflect what I’ve learned is necessary for a woman to be successful in life, in whatever career path she chooses."

T Zone

Design the Official Rock Camp t-shirt

*Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls T-shirt Design Contest*

WMRC is looking for a design for the official Rock Camp shirt for this coming summer. This is your chance to run with it: the only things that MUST be on there are the name (Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls) and the year (2007). They don't have specs yet, so come up with a design and be prepared to change it slightly if it is selected. More than one color OK, but probably not a zillion.

This contest is a short one, and open to anyone. The deadline for design submission is May 31st. Please email a jpeg of your design to by 5pm on the 31st.

The reward: knowing that you did something good for the girls and women of Rock Camp. And, of course, the glory.

Applications now being accepted for
both summer sessions of Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
Deadline: May 21
For more information, go to

Thursday, May 17, 2007

P.L.A.I.N Janes

Here's something worth getting off my "give money to girls' programming" soap box. I can't wait to get this book-- the first graphic novel for girls from DC Comics. SWOON. A group of misfits, all named Jane, form a group called P.L.A.I.N People Loving Art in Neighborhoods to counteract "the hell that is high school."

Only $9.99!!!!!!!!! Apparently, it went on sale yesterday..

Debate and Leadership training for high school girls

"Women always speak the truth about their lives…"

"Women will change the nature of power, rather than power changing
the nature of women."

"A woman's place is in the house, the House of Representatives."

These are the words of Bella S. Abzug, former U.S. Congresswoman and
20th Century leader of the national and international feminist
movement. Spread the word about the summer debate and leadership training for high school and college women started by her daughters in her honor.

In August, BALI's first group of young women scholars will
participate in a debate & leadership training led by acclaimed
faculty from across the country administered by the #1 national
provider of debate-related mentoring services, the IMPACT
Coalition. The Improving Mentor Practices and Communication
Techniques (IMPACT) Coalition is a mentoring and educational
development organization that expands opportunities for urban
students, schools and organizational partners by providing debate
training, literacy assistance, curricula, and mentoring services to
develop informed, concerned citizens. IMPACT advocates debate as a
key to success in building healthier communities and tomorrow's
leaders. These students will come from local high schools in the
New York area and will apply this training in their school setting.

The purpose of the IMPACT training will be to prepare young women
with the critical thinking, public speaking and effective leadership
skills. Trainers will help students identify challenges, overcome
fears of public speaking and think about the roles women take in
leadership today.


Impact Coalition
More on Bella

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Changing the World for GIRLS

I've been Missing in Action from the blog, working hard out there in the non-virtual world, fundraising and writing in other venues. I've been writing a new bio for myself and I have started saying "Patti Binder works day and night promoting girls' leadership and gender equity" and the past few weeks that has definately been true! Must remember to sleep....

Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:

First, with many, many thanks to Ingrid Hu Dahl, I have an article in this months Youth Media Reporter. Check it out here

Second thanks to those who spread the word or bid on items for the Willie Mae Rock Camp Online Auction which was way-cool and way-fun!

Third, I was awed and inspired at the New York Women's Foundation Breakfast. Abigail Disney is officially my new hero (sharing the honor with Helen Lakelly Hunt who is also a visionary). Helen Lakelly Hunt said all the things that I have longed for someone to say to women at a fundraising event-- that your money is powerful and that it is up to us to make the difference for women and girls, that together our money can be a tidal wave for girls and women's organizations and CHANGE THINGS. I was moved and inspired by her passion for women's fundraising and thought it couldn't get any better. I had no idea that Abigail Disney would follow, that she would bring me to tears telling her own story about living in two worlds-- traveling to Liberia and seeing starving children, then coming back to the US to bake sales, wealth management, and issues of childhood obesity.

Then Abigail Disney did an incredible thing. She told the women in the room to give until it hurts, to choose something they want (new shoes, new purse, new house...) and instead of getting that thing, to make a stretch gift to an organization that they care deeply about, and if they also make a donation to the New York Womens Foundation, she will match both gifts with a donation to the New York Women's Foundation, up to $1 million.

You can read her whole speech at womens e news and it is almost as moving as being in the room with her. (not quite, but almost!)

And please, think about taking Abigail up on her challenge by choosing a girls' organization (again-- some great ones are listed here on the WGFG site) to give a stretch gift to and by making a donation to the New York Womens Foundation, who has been a steadfast friend to girls and girls' organizations in New York. With your gift and Abigail's, we can turn the tide, increase the funding and therefore the programming for girls who need it here in the city-- or wherever you may be reading from.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

College Shower for NYC Girls

WGFG usually devotes its space to smaller non-profits NOT associated with mational orgs, but this event holds a special place in my girls-lovin' heart. I am so impressed that Girls Inc NYC puts it resources into rewarding girls for college admission. Please support them and replicate this idea in your program-- Patti

In a city where only half of the public school students graduate on time, Girls Inc. of NYC recognizes the importance of celebrating those girls who are beating the odds. Over the past 8 years, we have honored the girls of Girls Incorporated of New York City programs who have been accepted to college through our Annual College Shower.

Please help Girls Inc NYC celebrate their achievements and support them as they continue to prove that they are strong, smart and bold!

You can help NYC girls by purchasing shower gifts or making a financial donation to the scholarship fund.

you can purchase gifts online at

first name: Girls Inc
last name: New York City

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Girls Blog

New blogs by girls are popping up all over and I've added them to the blog roll under Girls Blog. For adults, reading girls' blogs are a great way to get into the mindset of girls and hear directly from them about their thoughts and ideas. For girls, blogging can be a great way to get your ideas out into the world. (For the record, I don't think posting diaries or personal info is a good idea, but posting thoughts, reflections, and commentary is all good)

I just came across Allykatzz today, which I like because every post is moderated as a safety precaution. Below is info on Girl Head Quarters started as a project of a fellow from Young People for The American Way. They are looking for bloggers under the age of 20-- contact Liz Funk if you know (or are!) someone who would like to blog with them.

I'd love to see a blog for girls generated through a project for girls of color-- if anyone knows of one please add a comment.

Young Women Seek to Teach Peers about Politics, Culture, and Girl Power launched on April 27th for ‘tween and teen girls between the ages of eleven and nineteen. The blog will discuss popular culture, youth culture, progressive politics, and life as a girl from a liberal lens for girls who haven’t get been exposed to politics. The blog will be authored by young women poised to become key players in the political and cultural scene, including Norman Lear’s twin daughters and Cecile Richards’ daughter.

The blog’s founder and executive editor is Liz Funk, a college student and senior fellow of Young People For, the young progressive wing of People for the American Way Foundation. Young People For mentors college activists in progressive organizing and helps their fellows start projects that foster progressive change; this blog is Funk’s project.

The content of Girl HeadQuarters (GHQ) attempts to help ‘tween and teen girls recognize their own intelligence, depth, savvy, and political sentiments. “‘Tween and teen girls are constantly underestimated, even by themselves,” says Funk. “So one day, we might feature a post analyzing what My Super Sweet Sixteen says about the obsession with privilege in Generation Y, while another day we might write about the pressure on teenaged girls to be perfect, while another day we might publish a post on the politics outlawing underage drinking, while another day we’d write about the politicking of teen sexuality with abstinence-only sex education, while another day we might review a book like Prep or Alpha Girls, and finally, we might feature a post on why feminism is so stigmatized in our generation. We want young women to realize that they are really cognizant and to recognize that they can change the world.” says Funk. “We’ll also feature lighter content, on makeup, fashion, music, and movies—we want to make it clear that girls can be into politics and also love Seventeen, lip gloss, and John Mayer.” The blog will also feature book reviews, interviews with progressive writers and leaders, and guest blogging from prominent culture writers, political pundits, and other teen girls.