Tag Archives: girls

Girls Tweeting Not Twerking Their Way to Power

Girls Tweeting Not Twerking Their Way to Power – NYTimes.com.

great article an what girls are doing through collaborations like our friends at Spark. Here is an excerpt:

Online petitions, like the one leveraged in this campaign, are quickly becoming one of the central strategies for girls and young women creating greater awareness of sexism, and a cost or accountability for those who practice it. Girls like Rios have become modern day Davids taking on the Goliaths of our time — multinational corporations like Facebook and Lego, and media giants, like Seventeen magazine and Clear Channel.

The primary platforms for petitions of this ilk are Change.org and WeAreUltraviolet.org — the latter focuses exclusively on gender-related campaigns. Beyond that, a variety of organizations support girls and women to create online campaigns — more broadly called “online organizing” — such as SPARK and Women, Action & Media (WAM), which now does a monthly campaign. I spoke with representatives from these organizations, along with those they’d targeted, about a breadth of campaigns to understand what can be accomplished and what’s still proving elusive.

read entire article

vist SPARK

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The New Activists: Students in the Community

Watch this inspiring promo for Imaging America’s web series on The New Activists. 

“The New Activists: Students in the Community” is Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life’s web series featuring students bringing their knowledge to collaborations with community members to address important community-identified problems and opportunities. 

Click here to see the entire videos.

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How to be an Ally

Another great post from SPARK  a Movement– grassroots mobilizing around the clear and present danger that sexualization poses to girls and young women. They work directly with girls 13-22 to train them to be media activists and leaders in the fight against sexualization. 

How to be an Ally: A Guide for Teachers & Other Adults | SPARK a Movement.

by Alice Wilder

Once upon a time, my friends and I had to deal with a male teacher who liked to tell girls what to do with their bodies. One of my friends got a “talking to” about her dress, even though she was within the dress code, because–and this is a direct quote–“teenage boys have thoughts.” Another time, the whole class had to listen to a speech from him on the importance of girls “protecting” their virginity. And here’s what happened: when I walked past his class every day, I felt pangs of fear in my chest. Actually going to class felt like going into battle. read more


 More great posts on their blog

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Dana Edell

Dana Edell is currently the executive director of SPARK Movement, a national activist movement working to end the sexualization of girls. Prior to her work with SPARK, she founded and served as executive director of viBe Theater Experience from 2002-2012. viBe is a nonprofit performing arts education organization that offers free afterschool arts programs to underserved teenage girls in New York City. She has produced and directed/ co-directed more than 60 plays, 7 CDs of original music and 10 music videos. She has over 15 years of experience as a teacher and leader in arts and advocacy programs with teenage girls. She co-founded and directed Inside/Out Performing Arts, a theater-making program for girls affected by the juvenile justice system in San Francisco and was a theater artist-in-residence in New York City public elementary and middle schools. Dana has taught theater and social change, arts education, solo performance and qualitative research methods at NYU, CUNY, the Bard College Prison Initiative at Bayview Women’s Prison and at Manhattan Marymount College where she developed a minor in Arts and Communities. She has a BA with honors in Classics/Ancient Greek from Brown University, an MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University and a PhD in Educational Theater from NYU.

Following are notes from the inspiring guest lecture  given by Dana to the Community Collaborations Class on April 17. 

Dana’s first experience working in a community based program was in college in the SPACE program at Brown University where she  worked with incarcerated women creating performing arts programs.

After college, she and a friend founded the Inside Out Performing Arts program started in Fall 1998 in SF (pre-internet!). She also worked for Brava – SF – the oldest women’s theater in country with an extensive educational program.

She realized that she needed to be a working artist in order to be good teacher and director for the girls. She decided that she needed graduate school so went to Columbia for a MFA in Directing.

In the summer of 2002, she and Chandra Thomas, a fellow-student at Columbia, started a program for girls in theaters at Columbia with high school students from around Columbia. First performance “Say it Like Is”. This became viBe Theater Experience

Vibe Theater Experience: Caught in the Act (youtube link)

After 10 years, Vibe in now located in  YWCA bulding in Brooklyn – Atlantic Ave with other women/girl’s social justice organization. Now has staff in 7 people – 7-10 projects per year. Vibe stages many program including songmakers program – origianl music.. No censorship. Only rule no bad theater! s Just had 60th play produced and Vibe entering 10th year.

After reading academic books about girls and not seeing her experience with girls, decided she wanted to make an impact at a more theorectical and policy level. So she went to grad school at NYU in the Educational Theater Phd program. Her dissertation was on Vibe. She wrote it was she was still at Vibe working every day. Interviewed the girls as research. Developed new research methodology for girls when she realized that interviewing them in traditional manner was not  getting at deeper truth. Gave them tape recorders to all girls in study and wrote out questions and ask them to make a tape in response to the questions and to feel free to go anywhere with questions. Gave Dana access in a very different way. Her dissertation became about how girls perform themselves–how they want things to be. What was on tape recorder was very different than what came out in shows. In theater pieces, girls were perpetuating stereotypes while acting like they are telling real stories.

Dana’s approach is to give the girls support in everything they do but will challenge and question along the way.What does mean to provide space to tell difficult stories. Is  it great for girls? the audience? what are we doing about the stories they are telling. She asked herself: shouldn’t I be doing something about the content of the stories? Need more than just spaces to process. Wanted to get at roots of  problems – which brought her to SPARK.

 Spark Summitt – started about a year and half ago. Started by Deborah Tolman and group  of 5 other women  who were developmental psychologists. Began as a response to the APA report on the sexualization of girls– finally a study that said it was bad – what we all already knew but finally proof! SPARK makes girls part of solution. Dana became executive director since in May 2011. The board consisits of girls from 13-20 from around the country. Partners with 60 organizations. Read more about Spark here.

[Get inspired by following Sparks’s LEGO campaign]

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Teaching Difficult Subject Matter

Student Voices database on international democracy issues.When tragedies happen killing of Trayvon Martin, one way to deal with the pain is to use it as a teachable moment. Here are some resources I have collected that tackle difficult issues head on or present alternative narratives. I am always looking for more.

Civic Voices: An International Democracy Memory Bank Project
Be sure to see Student Voices database on international democracy issues.

Teaching about Trayvon Martin (see previous post)
Be sure to take a look at the KLW chart

Question Bridge Educator Portal

Spark a Movement  a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media.

LAMPlatoon is a program which allows you to put that offending commercial on notice by exposing the underlying stereotypes and talking back to the insulting messages. Putting Ads on Notice.
[Learn About Multimedia Project]
They have a great how to guide

Speaking of great how to guides:
The Yes Lab Knowledgebase with a few pointers on how to carry out projects

Center for Artistic Activism

Thousand Kites A national dialogue project addressing the criminal justice system.
Calls from Home is a radio show project of A Thousand Kites that brings the voices of families to the airwaves as they send greetings directly to their incarcerated loved ones.

The Appalshop Channel

Positive Exposures on genetic differences

Social Art Practices Blog
Imaging America Blog
Laundromat Project
StoryCorps DIY interview instructions
PBS Educators
Art of Regional Change

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SPARK a Movement

Very inspired by this movement. Great site too.

SPARK a Movement: “SPARK began as a response to The Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls and its call for grassroots mobilizing around the clear and present danger that sexualization poses to girls and young women. The Report clarified the difference between healthy sexuality and sexual objectification.

SPARK was designed to engage girls as part of the solution rather than to protect them from the problem. A day of workshops and action spots gave girls the tools they needed to become activists, organizers, researchers, policy influencers, and media makers.

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Girl empowerment programs

Girls Write Now NYC based program. Writer mentors with girls, college essay writing workshops, and more.

Girls Inc. – global

viBe Theater Experience (viBe) is a non-profit performing arts/ education organization that empowers teenage girls through the creation and production of original performances. more
Read an article by director Dana Edell at CAN: Ripples of the Fourth Wave: New York’s viBePoetry

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