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Feminism

Hi Amy,

I'm a high school student in Boulder, Colorado working on a book about teen activism in the US with Temple University Press. The book will be a collection of interviews with leaders in youth-driven activist organizations across the country. Its working title is, Making Trouble: Voices From the Youth Activist Front.

Over the past year, I've talked to high-school-age activists across the country working on issues from sweatshops to standardized tests to the criminalization of youth of color, from creating kickass zines to starting gay-straight alliances. I haven't had a whole lot of luck finding youth-driven feminist groups (I don't exclude youth-run branches of larger organizations) and I'm writing to see if you have any suggestions. I recently read Manifesta --which I think says a lot of important and empowering things that young women should be hearing today -- but I was wondering if you have contacts or leads beyond those listed in the resource section. Also, if you have any ideas for this book project, I'd appreciate the feedback.Thanks a lot for your help.

Solidarity,

Nell


Dear Nell,

As you will see in Manifesta, I was a co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation, which is a national organization for young feminist activists and it remains led by young women. Third Wave was founded in 1992 at a time when there were few organizations focussing on young women, so it was a pioneer. Today--and really over the past five years, so many such groups have formed that it is so inspiring. I don't think their forming is directly related to Third Wave, but it's just a comfort to know that others are thinking like we do. Some of these groups include:

Young Women's Work Project (based in Oakland)

Sista II Sista (based in Brooklyn, NY)

Girl Source (based in San Francisco, CA)

Young Women's Project (based in Washington, DC)

WILD for Human Rights.

The Ms. Foundation for Women funds projects for young women. Also, there are tons of local high school groups and college groups that have been formed by young women. For instance, the Feminist Majority Foundation has chapters on many college campuses. As does Choice USA.

Although these examples do exist, I think that you are on to something, which is that what is a feminist issue is more confused today than it has been for previous generations. Therefore, young women are just as likely to be feminists through their work to end police brutality as they are through their work on ending domestic violence. Feminism is more integrated into society and harder to define as an independent field/area. This is one of the things we were trying to say in Manifesta. I hope that helps and certainly feel free to write back if you have further questions. I can't wait to read your book.


--Amy

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