We kicked off Day of the Girl weekend with our 8th annual STF Summit. It was a weekend full inspiration, activism, and new friendships. Our very first summit was held on Day of the Girl 8 years ago. It was small—just 35 people in the offices of Seventeen Magazine.
This year, we had students and alumni from 50 schools from three countries, and even the president of our first chapter in India! Here, you can find the Facebook album with photos from both days of the STF Summit. Maybe you'll even spot yourself!
We began with an activity led by STF Partner MAIA’s Guatemalan Executive Director Norma Baján Balán, which illustrated the obstacles indigenous women experience getting their education.
Next, we heard from four members of our Global Girls’ Panel about their experiences in working together to build the Global Girls’ Bill of Rights, a declaration of rights that girls everywhere are entitled to—for and by girls. More than 1,000 girls from 40 countries submitted what their rights are. Panelists Vishakha Agrawal, Angélica Morales, Olivia Lombardo, and Faith Nwando were interviewed by Natalie Fahmy, a student journalist from Syracuse University. You can listen to it here.
We ended the first day the only way we know how—with cupcakes to celebrate the Global Girls’ Bill of Rights and Day of the Girl.
Day two began with an activity led by She’s the First staff members Henah Parikh and Tyler Harris. We then delved deep into the right to education and intersection of indigenous rights with an interview of Norma Balán by STF Girl Champion Angelica Morales.
We continued exploring the rights of girls everywhere, by focusing on the right to safety. Global Girls Panelist Kanchan Amatya introduced Deepa Bohari’s spoken word piece, Five Days, which is about the practice of chhaupadi, a social tradition, mainly practiced in the Western part of Nepal, in which girls and women live outside the home for the duration of their menstruation. Watch it below:
She’s the First staff member Alvi Rashid worked with attendees to picture their ideal future. They participated in a visioning activity, recalling the headlines that moved them the most during 2019, and thinking about the headlines they would like to see in 2030. Visioning activities are important because they help us imagine with honesty and purity, without getting caught up in all the bureaucratic red tape that would prevent our ideal world. Attendees wrote down their headlines and placed them on posters at the back of the room. Throughout the day, attendees were asked to remember the world they were working towards building.
She’s the First CEO & Co-Founder Tammy Tibbetts led a “Tap Your Power” workshop, where attendees explored what’s in their arsenal and how to use it to take action on girls’ rights and other issues. Attendees identified the unique ways they can give back. Some students had time to volunteer, others had connections to donors, and others had specific skills they could donate. Check out the presentation here.
After students broke for lunch, activist RC Dougherty led a workshop on community organizing. Change takes place when we can get our communities committed to seeing a world where girls’ rights are the norm. They provided students with tips on how to build an engaged, invested and sustainable community on campus. You can read their presentation here.
This was followed by Zola Zakiya’s workshop on “Building Bridges Within Our Call-Out Culture.“ In 2019, it’s all too common to call out a person for comments and actions that are not in line with our own beliefs. But how do we work toward creating spaces for open dialogue to bring them in? Students broke into groups to discuss how they would navigate scenarios where loved ones and friends had said something that they were uncomfortable with. Afterward, students learned from one another in how to steer the conversation into a productive outcome. Follow along with the slides here.
Action plans and accountability measures are key in bringing to life your vision for the world you want to see. She’s the First Chief Programs Officer and Co-Founder Christen Brandt closed the workshop portion of the day by leading a session on action planning. Students identified the steps they planned to take and support systems that would help get them there. View her presentation here and take these steps with your own chapter!
Lastly, journalist, author, and activist Isha Sesay inspired attendees with her moving keynote speech on the importance of girls’ rights and girls’ education. Listen to it here.
It’s easy to say: It was our most tangible, action-oriented Summit ever. We can’t wait to see what you all accomplish with all these new skill sets and resources! Go team, go.