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Miscellaneous

Dear Amy,

I recently founded a Women's Studies Club at my high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. Due to some mad advertising, we've got a membership of about 25 people, and I am absolutely ecstatic to be heading this up. I recently finished Manifesta, and was inspired by your mentioning of the woman holding the baby-sitting group so that stay-at-home moms can work. We're having one today for the election! I hope it's a success, and I thank you for the inspiration!

I am, however, in dire need of some new service projects. I'm so hyped about this club and I want to get us involved, I just can't find or think of any really unique ideas that would relate to our cause. Is there a website with ideas I could go to, or do you have any suggestions? A reference book?

Thanks!

Rachel


   

Dear Rachel,

Your club sounds great--mostly because it sounds unique, planned and focused, but at the same time responsive to different people's wants and needs in the moment, and flexible enough to respond to the issue du jour. This is exactly what my vision for the Third Wave Foundation was/is. Third Wave, a national organization for young feminist activists, is an organization that I co-founded and one of the priorities of the organization is to ensure that young women and men can use Third Wave as a launching pad for their ideas.

For instance, when a young female filmmaker was frustrated that New York City had many film festivals, but none that focussed on women, she started a young women's film festival through Third Wave. It lasted for about three years, but by that time other organizations started to do their own thing.

About a year ago, I was frustrated that people seemed to overlook the sexism that was right in front of them and instead focused on issues affecting women internationally. In response, I helped Third Wave to create a project called "I Spy Sexism"...which is a postcard and sticker campaign. People are suppose to identify the sexism right in front of them, like the fact that their newspaper covers male sports more prominently than female sports, and then send a series of postcards: one to the person or thing that committed the act of sexism; one to Third Wave, one to the media encouraging them to report on it, one to politician encouraging them to change it and one to a friend or a stranger.

I really think that you have to just go with instinct. And of course, be inspired by what others have done. For instance, what about preparing now for the next elections? Since the elections are such a focus, how about doing a voter registration drive--standing at grocery stores or going door-to-door? People seem more excited about democracy than ever before. How about just making sure that the girls sports teams get as many fans as the boy's sports teams? Or how about doing a history project on the women who have been active in your area/state? Thanks for reaching out.


--Amy

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