Thursday, December 10, 2015

Top 15 of 2015

Jane Hinton, Executive Director
At Powerful Voices I get to be part of a community that recognizes racism and sexism are not just a detriment to those who are marginalized, but a detriment to the health and well-being of all. I'm sharing my "Top 15 of 2015" - examples of change that occurred this year as girls and allies partnered to build a more just world. 

All of you are part of this effort -- thank you!

  1. YOU - our supporters.  We built a stronger base of support this year - I loved welcoming back our loyal fans, partners and donors and was excited to grow our community, deepen partnerships, meet new volunteers and subscribers.
  2. Powerful Voices turned twenty!  As our founders said, "20 years, over 6000 girls, hundreds of staff and mentors and thousands of donors add up to this: Powerful Voices sparks hope and opportunity for girls in our community, no matter the obstacles they face."
  3. 385 girls graduated from programs with increased confidence, skills and power.  Check out how they describe their growth in their own words.
  4. Did you know that Sarafina Kariuki, one of our 2015-16 AmeriCorps Members is also a graduate of our programs?  And in another full circle moment, our 2009 AmeriCorps Member, Seferiana Day, is now on our Board of Directors.  So Sarafina, can we count on you to be a Director in 6 years?
  5. One of my favorite moments -- listening to Ressie Brown, alumna keynote speaker at the 20th Anniversary Luncheon: "Powerful Voices is where I learned that I could be anything I wanted to be, that women were strong, that we are 'She-roes' no matter what others may think or say."
  6. Speaking of voices, have you read the 2015 Zine published by DYVAS this year?  So good.
  7. We said goodbye to some great staff this year, like Shalom, Reagan, Selena, Stephany, Viche, and Paige.  It's hard to lose their talent, but great to see the way they bring the Girlvolution to other orgs like Rainier Scholars, Y-WE, Reel Grrls, King County Metro and Families of Color Seattle.  We also said goodbye to Jennifer, Nathan, Lindsay, Lora, Jess, Kisha, and Felicia as they ended their terms as Directors on our Board.  Each person left our org stronger than they found it.  
  8. On the flip side, we welcomed some pretty rad new folks to our staff, which ensured our ability to keep up our high quality programming.  New team members include Employment Coordinator, Yecelica Jaime Valdivia, our two new AmeriCorps Members, Sarafina Kariuki and Jordan Faralan.  Plus it was fun to welcome back Antasia Parker as a Program Manager. Plus we onboarded some pretty great Directors to our Board; Shanell Robertson, Jacinda Chislum and Seferiana Day.
  9. It was incredible to see the Seattle City Council pass a resolution to ban youth detention in the city! I applaud EPIC, YUIR and all the mainly youth-led advocates who worked to bring this about.  After 18 years of Powerful Voices leading girls groups in juvie, I'd love to see the need for this program completely disappear.
  10. The Huffington Post raised the call for girl empowerment as the #1 way to transform women's equality -- via an interview with our co-founder Ann Muno.  Worth a read and a share.
  11. Over 90 people took action and volunteered their time to invest in girls growth as mock interviewers, event volunteers, career panelists, interns and Board members.
  12. Girl Justice 2.0 was born, and in September we certified 22 facilitators to deliver our curriculum in their organizations like Washington Middle School, Rainier Beach High School, Renton Area Youth Services and FEEST.  
  13. Powerful Voices was awarded a contract to implement gender-based violence prevention services by the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  This partnership will ensure the continuation of a 19 year model of bringing programs into Seattle Public Schools middle schools, as well as leverage resources to replicate our model with other partners.
  14. The media and campaigns like #sayhername and #blacklivesmatter raised our collective awareness about how the intersection of racism and sexism impacts black girls. There is more action to take and I hope you'll join Powerful Voices as we keep investing in the girls who will lead this change.  
  15. Speaking of the Girlvolution - did you know that over 100 volunteers collectively gave 613 hours to produce the Girlvolution conference this year?  Save the date for Girlvolution 2016 (April 23) and keep on working for justice for all.

Thank you to all of you who have partnered with us this year.   

If you haven't given to Powerful Voices in 2015, you are going to want to be part of our work to shape a more just world.  Please make a donation before December 31st.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Calling all Girlvolution 2016 Volunteers and Interns!

Every year Powerful Voices invites the community to witness and participate in a day of social justice workshops, performances, food, community partners and fun! All youth led, all youth voice. 
How will you get involved?

2016 Volunteer and Internship Opportunities:
  • Girlvolution Crew (January - April) -  Take on an event planning leadership role, build community and  promote Girlvolution 2016. Monthly team meetings on 2nd Wednesdays, Jan 13Feb 10Mar 9, and Apr 6
  • Girlvolution Internships (January - April) - Designed for high school seniors, college students, recent college grads or any young person looking for an unpaid opportunity to gain non-profit work experience. Last year 3 interns coordinated the resource fair, youth performance showcase and all marketing materials. EmailLayla Taylor for a job description.
  • Dress Rehearsals (April 212-4pm) - Listen and provide feedback to girls from our ActiveVistas employment program as they prepare their interactive workshops for audiences of 50+ people.
  • Set-Up Crew (April 226-10pm- Bring your muscle and your brains to help transform the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club into the Girlvolution conference headquarters.
  • Girlvolution 2015 (April 2310-4pm, Various shifts available) - It will take a total of over 100 volunteers to bring this event to hundreds of youth and allies. Bring your powerful self and support girl justice in action!
  • Community Resource Fair  (April 2310-4pm) -  Free to host a table! Bring your youth-serving, justice based services and programs to hundreds of youth and their allies.
  • Donate (Ongoing) - We are always looking for photographers, graphic designers, printers, videographers, DJs + donations of food, drinks and more! Share your resources, community connections and in-kind donations to draw youth and their allies from all over WA state.

Interested and ready to sign on? Fill out the 2016 Girlvolution Volunteer Interest Form.

Questions?  Please email Layla Taylor, Administrative and Event Coordinator.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Voices of Power

As the calendar year comes to an end, join us in listening to the voices of people who attended our programs in 2015.  They tell the story of how you make a positive impact on girls and the community.

I feel open, I guess.  I feel like I can talk about anything that is going on.  I don’t feel scared or embarrassed because I feel like y’all aren’t judging me, y’all are building me up. 
– program graduate

I learned how to be accountable to a group and to my supervisor. 
– employment program graduate

I learned how to say No.  Like honestly.   I have been in situations to this day because the way people talk to you, you feel like you have to say yes, but I have learned to say no if I don’t want to do something. 
– program graduate

Out of everything about this group, one-on-ones were my top favorite.  It is hard for me to share emotions honestly and being able to take off your front and share what you really have to say and feel, felt really nice.
       program graduate

After the group I feel my words are valuable.  Now I have confidence.  Speaking and knowing my words are important. – program graduate

I used to think, like, that I used to have friends, that would just date a guy to not feel single. So sometimes I would force myself to have a boyfriend just to not be single. But after this group, I don’t do that. I’m not going to find a boy to not feel single. I’m going to find someone I like.
– program graduate

I learned to be more understanding of people and to see where they are coming from, be in their shoes. Guest speakers came to talk about their experience.  I learned more about the human race. 
– program graduate

My confidence has gone up.  I usually stay with me and my friends but now I talk to everyone.  I learned how to talk to different people ‘cause I got to know I could trust other people and not just my family. People in the group did not break that bond of trust.
– program graduate

I was bullied in elementary school so in 6th and 7th grades I was reserved because I did not want to go through that again. In this group everyone accepted me and I just opened up.  
– program graduate

I have more self control ‘cause everyone has a story and maybe they are having a hard time or going through the same struggles or something worse.
– program graduate

(Because of this group) I started talking to my parents. I used to hate them, they never talked to me, they would complain and yell. I learned to talk to them more respectfully and we would have good conversations.
– program graduate

Every moment someone was speaking, even asking questions.  I was learning. Today was meaty!
– Girl Justice attendee

The community has inspired me. Powerful Voices is unified and does good work. Witnessing this is inspiring.
– Adult Ally

[I] got to live a real life model of Allyship.  I got to grapple with adultism - was hard to explain the difference between an Adult Ally and mentor to others but explaining this became important to me.
– Adult Ally

She inspired me to be myself. 
– Adult attendee of Girlvolution talking about ActiveVista