2011 Scholar Valerie Quirk and educator Alisa Boyd hosted the Women and Girls: Here and There, Then and Now to revolutionize the way their community perceived the roles of females.
The day-long festival featured local speakers and small group sessions that provided an opportunity for girls ages 7–13 to learn how predefined gender roles affect their lives. The festival also provided parents and caregivers of girls with information and resources and educated male attendees about the importance of women and girls and their roles in society and recognized the incredible accomplishments of the women in their community, celebrating their “girlness.”
Women and Girls: Here and There, Then and Now most definitely raised awareness within our community. Unless we are talking about, recognizing, and learning from the female leaders in our communities, nation, and the world, we face stagnation and/or regression as a society. At our LIF, attendees talked with female leaders and certainly learned from them, but they also had a chance to collaborate and network with them. I think the greatest change—one that I am very proud of—is the fact that male students from my school and throughout the community that came left with a better understanding of and respect for female leaders. Even if they came in as a skeptic, I know from personal account that they all left with a mind-shift in the way they view women. This is a two-sided struggle towards equality—as women we can only progress so far on our own and nothing will truly change if it remains a one-sided fight. Having men become aware and supportive of the cause is a big, positive change for my community,” commented Valerie.