All posts in March 2014

Roanoke College Knew We Were Coming and They Baked a Cake!

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What can I possibly say about Roanoke College? After a back injury earlier in the week left me wincing in pain with every step, this program had every reason to go down in history as one my most difficult ever. But an amazing staff, dedicated students, and a Super Scary Bad Guy (SSBG) made it one of my favorites of all time. First of all, the campus is beautiful with views of the mountains everywhere. My coordinator, Stephanie, had every thing set and ready to go, so all I had to do was plug in my computer. Then I was whisked away to a lovely pre-show dinner with representatives from their Panhellenic council, the student health services, the counseling center, and HEAT, their peer education group. The program itself was fabulous! My SSBG, Cody, was hilarious. The audience was completely engaged. I barely even noticed my back pain. And to top it all off, they had a cake! A cake, y’all! Definitely one of my favorite campuses of all time. Thanks for everything, RC!

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-GFB Heather

Graduation Time!!! – GFB Morgan Has Been Promoted from Speaker in Training to Junior Speaker

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The GFB Team wishes to extend congratulations and a warm welcome to the Speaking Team to Morgan. The process of becoming a GFB speaker is an intense one that includes graduation from our Summer Academy, FAST Defense training and graduation, quite a bit of reading and studying, a series of conference calls and consults, two complimentary practice gigs that are taped and reviewed by the rest of the team, and unanimous approval from the current team. We really want to be sure that the women who are chosen to represent us and the GFB message are the best of the best and we couldn’t have made a better choice with Morgan.

Morgan is based in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a B.A. in Art History with an emphasis in gender & critical race. Morgan studied improv and comedic writing at The Second City Training Center and iO Chicago. She is a graduate of the GFB Speaker Academy 2013, with training in FAST Defense. She already has some events booked for Spring 2014, so coming soon to a campus near you . . . . meet Morgan!

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GFB-Girl in Progress Morgan

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GFB Girl Today – Morgan – Junior Speaker

Shout out to GFB from Ellen Snortland and Gavin de Becker!

Ellen Snortland author of Beauty Bites Beast and Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear recently mentioned Girls Fight Back and the importance of a self-defense education for college students in this article published by The Huffington Post.

Virginia Tech – Samanata’s Legacy

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You know, we have a lot of fun here at Girls Fight Back, but ultimately our work is about healing. One of our core values revolves around resiliency and states: “Though the statistics are shocking, we are here to say that we will not conform to the violence. Our world and most of our individual lives have been wrongfully altered by violence. We believe in recovery on individual, societal, and world levels.”

Last night, I presented Students Fight Back at Virginia Tech, a campus very much in recovery. Of course we all remember the horrifying mass shooting that took place on April 16, 2007 and even more recently, a charismatic and well-loved VTech student named Samanata Shrestha was murdered. It was Samanata who was very much on my mind last night as I took the stage to present. I didn’t know her personally, but in conversations with students and faculty before the program, I really got a sense of her energy and the legacy she left behind. It is in memory of all those we have lost to pointless violence that we do this work. And I like to think that the laughs we have in our programs serve as reminders that we can triumph. Evil does not win. We can choose to take back our peace.

Many thanks to everyone who came out in the snow and cold. Your presence was a gift to me.

-GFB Heather

Fight Back on Spring Break!

Recently our own Bree Swartz joined HLN’s Lynn Berry on Weekend Express to discuss how to make a game plan for a safe spring break.
You can make a game plan too! Watch the interview for helpful tips on how to be a spring break badass, and check out the Girls Fight Back spin-off program website, SafeSpringBreak.org. Now is the best time to book Fight Back on Spring Break for 2015!

Bree Swartz

Davidson County Community College – Sassy!

Nothing kicks off a busy week quite like spending your Monday morning with some smart, sassy gals that live life large and in charge! Thanks to Davidson County Community College for getting my week off to a great start. I’ll be at Virginia Tech tomorrow night and Roanoke College Thursday. Then it is spring break, peeps! Holla!

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-GFB Heather

Reserved for Girls Fight Back

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The crew at Everett Community College rocked my socks off. I mean really.. check out the crowd they had. They brought treats. They gave away GFB swag.

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They promoted the pants off their badass event. And did you see the “reserved for girls fight back” parking sign??

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Um.. this pretty much made my year (yes, it is the little things). But this sign stood for me than just a parking space. It made me realize that the leaders at ECC are reserving space on their campus for the kick-ass Trojans who are the Girls Fight Back spirit. The Trojans who are fighting to take back their power. The Trojans who are fighting for equality for all. The Trojans who are making their campus a safer place. The Trojans who are worth fighting for. Yes, this “space” is reserved for you mighty Trojans. It is all about YOU and your fierce spirit.. thank you for letting me join in on the ride. Till next time…

GFB Bree

Thank you Morehead State University!

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It was an absolute joy to open a can of whoop ass with the fearless students of Morehead State University! I would like to thank LaShayna Sawyers, Nate (our fantastic SBG) and their super fans for putting together this awesome event. Everyone rocked the Badass Ballet and I have to say that these ladies really are dangerous!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe spring break!

-GFB Morgan

You’re Gonna Hear Me ROAR!

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Size really doesn’t matter when it comes to the audience. It’s all about the energy, the connection, and the engagement. Tonight at Texas A&M Commerce, this small pack of lionesses ROARED! They laughed, grunted, and brought some serious good energy. We were vibin. Thanks Lions for throwing such an awesome event. Your passion and enthusiasm were fierce and inspiring.

-GFB Bree

Don’t mess with Texas Christian University!

This group of gals were super fun and had a hella supportive community behind them: the crowd was of all ages, including young daughters of a coach on campus. The whole TCU bunch deserves some serious high fives for engaging the youth, students and faculty to impress the Girls Fight Back message across the board. Well done friends. And thank you for letting us be a part of your fierce community!

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-GFB Bree

Georgia Southern University #nailsit!

When it comes to spring break safety awareness programming, Georgia Southern University #nailsit! (Yes, I just used a hashtag in a blog post. Roll with it.) Their greek organizations are focused on educating about the importance of designated drivers; they have FREE campus-wide HIV testing today; and last night, campus health services brought our Fight Back on Spring Break program to about 350 of their students. We had a blast!

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You may not know much about our Spring Break program because we only roll it out once a year, but it is a fantastic co-ed event that includes all the awesome info from our Students Fight Back program, but also focuses on travel safety tips, as well as, how to make smart decisions about just how much fun you are planning to have on your spring break. It’s one of my favorite programs to teach because I get to tell some great (and some horrifying) stories from my junior year spring break trip…… Ah, memories….

It’s never too early to start planning for next year, so give us a call if you want to bring Fight Back on Spring Break to your campus! And if you want to have an amazing turnout like GSU had last night, here’s a tip: connect with greek life on your campus. Our program was brought in my health services, but through their connections with greek life, we had a turn out that required us to order extra chairs….TWICE! Nice, huh?

Thanks to all the students who came out last night! You were so much fun! Bird.

-GFB Heather

Bad Ass Ballet at Anna Maria College!

I had an absolutely amazing time doing the Bad Ass Ballet with the wonderful women of Anna Maria College! Thanks so much to Lisa Saverese for being such a terrific hostess, Theresa “Smalls” for the great intro and good laughs and to our awesome volunteer Franco for not only being my fight partner but also for helping with the song mix. 🙂

Wishing everyone at Anna Maria a safe and happy spring break. And best of luck to everyone with all the incredible summer internships I heard about! What a bunch of super women!

And thank you all ever so kindly for my awesome AMC shirt!

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