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The greatest oak was once a little nut…
Lee Paiva-Sinclair is based in San Francisco with 3 teenagers, a husband, dogs– in love with all. She is Founder of NO MEANS NO Worldwide, a global rape prevention program, and established the first organized women’s self-defense program in Kenya.
I first met Erin at a summer self defense conference where we were both speakers. I was actually quite new to the self defense world and had a lot to learn. Erin and I hit it off right from the start – even to the point where the next morning we came out from our respective dorm rooms with the exact same hairdo!
Through Erin and Girls Fight Back I found a whole world of light and positivity being directed at two of the darkest issues we could ever face – rape and murder. Erin found a way to shift that horror into a prism of empowerment and even humor. From where I stand, this is no small feat. Girls Fight Back is a breath of fresh air in what is typically the least popular topic on the planet. I secretly believe she is some kind of superwoman for getting girls to engage on this subject and feel cool for doing so.
Check this GFB list and judge for yourself if something supernatural is taking place:
- GFB rose from the ashes of a horrific tragedy
- Founded and run by a woman
- Delivers impactful rape prevention presentations like a female Chris Rock
- Uses bright, youthful, blackness-busting colors to re-brand the self defense movement
- Networks with like minded people and orgs like Zuckerberg on steroids
- Flies to colleges and businesses all over the country – with a baby sometimes – to deliver the good news about personal safety
- Constantly gives generously of GFB time, resources and expertise for FREE
- Wrote an amazing book for college bound girls (the BEST gift you can give a graduating senior)
- Trail blazes the use of social networking to keep women and girls connected and active in the cause
- Creates a healthy non egoic work environment that improves and empowers her staff, not just the message
- Is not pushing a proprietary information lock down. Her safety strategies, business, marketing, promotion and media expertise are shared fearlessly. ‘If it’s useful to you and your cause – have at it.’ (Those are her exact words.)
- Calls me up and says “I was thinking about what you said and I had an idea ….” and it’s mind blowingly brilliant every time.
Girls Fight Back is a living, breathing expression of what it means to practice with purity of purpose. This is not a flowery note tacked to the end of my letter, this is my true and honest experience of Erin and the program she has created. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GFB! Ten years is a long time in any business and the sky is apparently the limit for you. I leave with a quote that reminds me so much of the testament and temperament of Erin and the GFB dynamic:
“The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.”
Glad we get we all get to be a little nuts together!
Note from Erin: On the day I met Lee, we sat under a tree for about 5 hours talking. It was like a time machine, that tree. Since then, Lee has become more like a sister, and she is the first person that challenged me to take GFB global. That happened, and I’m forever grateful to her for pushing the limits that only our minds seem to put on what’s possible…