What’s Working in Education and Activism for Young Women

On September 17, 2014, in partnership with the State Department, Meridian welcomed members of an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), on “Education and Activism for Young Women” for a speed convening session with their U.S.-based peers. The multi-regional delegation of 19 leaders included members of the NGO, academic and government communities working to empower young women and girls in their respective countries. With a broader goal of examining ways to cultivate leadership in young women, including developing skills such as critical thinking, self-awareness, communication and capacity and team building, IVLP participants met in short, timed sessions with their U.S. counterparts who are working both domestically and internationally on these same issues.

Speed convening participants included: Amanda Misiko Andere, MPA, President and CEO of Wider Opportunities for Women; Jessica Anderson, Peer Health and Sexuality Education Program Associate at the Young Women’s Project; Anna Blue, Deputy Director, Girl Up at the United Nations Foundation; Heather Harms, Volunteer at the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital; Ann Warner, Senior Gender and Youth Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women; Ashlee Warren, Teen Program Specialist at the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital; and Julie Yoder, Founding Member at Girls Rock! DC. Topics covered before the timer sounded ranged from girls’ health and education to the challenges that organizations seek to form impactful programs with measurable outcomes.

Following their visit to Washington, DC, the group heads to New York for a program on initiatives to encourage leadership in at-risk girls. Program participants then divide into city splits — visiting Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Reno, Nevada; and Tucson, Arizona — before reconvening in Denver, Colorado to address women in politics, as well as job-readiness and life skills training programs. The IVLP concludes in New Orleans, Louisiana with visitors studying the role of sports in girls’ leadership and how universities engage with underserved communities.

Project summary

What’s Working in Education and Activism for Young Women
Number of Attendees: 25
Impact Areas: Empowering Women and Girls
Program Areas: Exchanges, Forums
Partners: Public Sector, Private Sector, Individuals/Donors, NGOs
International Visitors engage with their U.S. peers, including Amanda Andere, President and CEO of Wider Opportunities for Women