Girls For A Change began as an idea in Santa Clara County, CA in 2000 with a group of energized volunteers, one staff member, $100,000 and 10 Girl Action Teams. As of 2008, we have a staff of 13, three national sites, a $1 million budget and over 100 Girl Action Teams. Our accomplishments include:
First Annual Girl Summit
The Girls For A Change October 2002 Girl Summit in was one of the most powerful events of our time. The 1,100 young women and 500 adult women present made a powerful statement about the possibility of what girls and women can create.
The Opening Ceremonies were led by Girls For a Change Girl Steering Committee hosts Jennifer Ha and Denisse Herrera. Keynote speaker Bertice Berry, PhD delivered a moving address followed by a Soul Force performance about girls finding their voice. Girls then attended 3 workshops each, selected from over 30 available sessions. Workshop sessions included: Using Poetry to Speak Back, Dating Violence & Self-Defense, Spiritual Activism, Fundraising for Social Justice, Fat and Body Advocacy, and a Teen Mom panel. At the end of the day, girls and coaches gathered in neighborhood-based teams for the first time to discuss what they learned and talk about possibilities for their social change project. GFC held four more Girl Summits in Silicon Valley reaching more than 6,500 girls before taking the Summits on the road in 2008.
Silicon Valley Expansion
Girls For A Change expanded its work beyond Santa Clara County for the 2004 Girl Summit, establishing Girl Action Teams in Oakland, Santa Cruz and East Palo Alto.
Girls For A Change was awarded a three-year $300,000 replication grant by the Draper Richards Foundation in July 2003. The grant supported expanding program activities and launching national replication through July 2005. GFC launched its first programming outside of Silicon Valley with a new site in Phoenix, Arizona in spring 2006. In the fall of 2006, the Phoenix site already had more than 20 Girl Action Teams.
In 2008, GFC launched its National Tour bringing Change Your World Trainings to more than 2,500 girls throughout the country. The tour also included the launch of Girl Action Teams across the country, including expansion in Richmond, VA. GFC also started its online GFC Action Network to connect social change makers throughout the country.