With COVID-19 regulations in place, meeting for events and services has become a difficult task. Jamesville-DeWitt High School students in the Girl Up Club have found a way to work around the regulations and continue to thrive.
A virtual event took place via Zoom on April 18th, 2020. Speakers such as State Senator Rachel May, Indaria Jones, founder and executive of The Creator’s Lounge in Syracuse, SUNY E.S.F. Student and Climate Advocate, Jessica Proctor, the Nottingham Girl Up club, Morgan Wood, the Girl Up Campaign Program Coordinator, as well as the Girl Up Campaign’s United Nations Representatives, Ikbola Shrukhratova and Ayesha Patel, came together to speak on gender equality.
The Coalition was previously held in Rochester, New York, but the leaders had to face some challenges this year due to COVID-19. They not only had to change most of their plans, but had to throw some away as well. The group diligently worked and found new speakers, about 85 attendees, and great virtual activities like a dance party featuring Beyoncé.
Speakers take this time to talk about accomplishments and motivate attendees. According to the Social Media Director, Martine Dosa, “I think Summit was an amazing way to find a common and collective space, which can be especially difficult now. Even though I had spent weeks on tech and finalizing speaker bios, I think I was just as blown away as our attendees in the moment by our speakers’ accomplishments. It also brought attention to important issues like menstrual product access and equity right now.”
Having this Coalition continues to inspire so many young adults. Co-leader Sophia Clinton said, “I have been one of the Co-leaders of this coalition for the past two years and have worked with some incredible young women to create empowering opportunities for young people to learn about gender equality and feel prepared to take on the world as they are.”
Girl Up is a club based strictly around empowering young women to express themselves and feel comfortable going through life as a strong and independent human being. Students interested in joining this club may contact the leaders of the club or sign up at the activity fair in the fall.