August 30, 2021

NYSUT Women: How to create a women’s empowerment club in any school

Source: NYSUT Women's Committee
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women's empowerment club

Why start a club?

Students need safe spaces to speak about issues, including fairness, safety, equity, access and representation.

Who would join?

  • All students are invited to join.
  • Talk to students who may be interested
  • Get the word out!
  • Have students invite their friends
  • Hang fliers around school
  • Make announcements

Is this possible?

  • Check your contract for more information
  • Look at and follow the club chartering process for your district
  • Do not reinvent the wheel. Determine if there are other clubs that could incorporate women’s empowerment work
  • Talk to your union and administrators
  • Make a clear plan
  • Bring your mission statement

What should it be called?

  • Come up with a name (probably the hardest part!)
  • Involve all students regardless of gender or other identities

What should the club do?

  • Mentoring
  • Community outreach
  • Invite guest speakers to provide new perspectives and life skills
  • Build character and strengthen relationship and leadership skills
  • Explore issues of female representation in curriculum, materials, courses, society
  • Create a safe space for discussing issues pertaining to girls and women
  • Women’s health
  • Women’s safety
  • Body image
  • Pay equity
  • Women’s rights
  • Assign students to chart the course
  • Have fun!

Where to start?

  • Get inspired by the students. Take the lead from them!
  • Come up with a mission statement or philosophy
  • Know some of the statistics and inequalities women face
  • Think of the strategies you want to teach students to navigate the world
  • Just start! Figure things out as the club goes.

Ideas for guest speakers

Reach out to a variety of presenters. Most people asked will be honored to speak with students. Remember it's okay to get rejected!

  • Small business owners
  • Yoga instructors
  • Martial Arts studios
  • Not-For-Profit women’s agencies
  • Fellow educators
  • Medical and emergency services professionals
  • Local politicians
  • Corporate women
  • Current/former students
  • Women in nontraditional fields
  • Therapists or social workers
  • College professors or career counselors
  • BOCES instructors in nontraditional fields

Remember, no one has all the answers. Get started and see where it goes!

Resources

 Project assistance from Rebekah Stoll

 

 

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