Behind the Scenes with LIM College 

 

Lim College April 2015LIM College specializes in programs for peeps on the business side of the fashion industry. Students Fight Back visited LIM last month and let me just say: these cats are fiercer than the catwalkers you see on Project Runway, friends. And might I suggest, probably way more fun.

LIM College is taking action to make their sassy campus the safest and most empowering place it can be. The Counseling & Wellness Center who sponsored SFB were so passionate about getting the word of empowering young men and women to protect themselves (and each other by being an active bystander) they had a raffle for a free iPad. Um yeah. I thought it might be a tad classless to ask if I could enter, but don’t think it didn’t cross my mind.

For reals this crew was fabulous. And my male volunteer, which can honestly be a awkward job that they don’t know they’re volunteering for, was simply amazing and so supportive of the conversation taking place.

Thanks so much LIM College for allowing me to be a part of your behind-the-scenes posse for the afternoon. You were amazeballs and I can’t wait to see you all the next time ’round.

Love and Light,
GFB Bree

Creepers Beware in Nantucket!

We had a full house at the Girls Fight Back event in Nantucket last week as moms and daughters gathered to learn some strategies on how to
be their own best protectors!  It was so much fun to see these awesome women of all ages so eager to learn and so engaged during the entire program!  You know it’s a great group when you have girls suggesting the bootie strike before we do!Nantucket2

We learned a few tools of manipulation, practiced some “no apologies” verbal strategies and everyone totally nailed their ready stance.  Not only did those palm strikes mean serious business, those yells at each badass ballet step were powerful for sure… Creepers BEWARE!

I have to give a shout out Liz and Liv, the two bad ass young women from Nantucket High School who, along with their awesome moms, were the organizers of the event AND they secured all the sponsors!  Thank you for showing us what it means to be an advocate for your community and to empower others.   And a big thank you to Nina, Carolyn and all the sponsors who believed in them and supported them because without you this incredible event wouldn’t have been possible!

Here’s to living your lives fearlessly wherever you go…from the island of Nantucket to the world beyond.  Your fierceness will not be forgotten and I’m so happy I got to know you!

-GFB Nicole
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Mount Saint Mary’s University – Fight Back on Spring Break!

MT St Mary'sMount Saint Mary’s University is on Spring Break this week. If you happen to bump into them while traveling the globe, beware. These students are FIERCE. Especially after we threw down last week for the first “Fight Back on Spring Break” of the season. We got down and dirty with the usual Terminator Tango, chatted about out psychic intution skills and how to be on the look out for our homies, keeping everyone safe. But we also threw around some solid safety spring break tips. And Mount Saint Mary’s kept it real: we talked about the basic safety tips, but focused on how to be safe when alcohol is around or being consumed. Cue: spring break time. I think it’s a good time of year to keep in mind that we need to be on the look out for predatory drugs being slipped in our drinks (regardless if you’re drinking apple juice or gin and juice), and remember alcohol itself is the number one date-rape drug. 89% of survivors reported drinking before their assaults. Yikes. Now please don’t let this stop you from cracking open a brewski, just make sure you’re drinking for you, at your own pace, on your own terms. This is the best way to keep it fun and safe, and from spending an entire day of your spring break hungover. Can I get a “no bueno”? Spring Break is about celebrating, Live it up friends! Enjoy your week off, and come back safely, ready to kill the rest of your school year!

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Thank you so much Mount Saint Mary’s for your time and spirit. You were fab. Now go enjoy that sunshine for me! (PS it’s snowing and below freezing tips in my hood. I’m only slightly jealous).

Love and Light,
GFB Bree

“Don’t Mess With Texas…” – Lamar State College

Lamar State College 2015

Don’t mess with Texas, friends. Trust me. Especially if you are at Lamar State College. Students Fight Back visited both of these fine campuses in one day and holy smokes, they brought the heat.

We threw down in a mere hour and the energy at these schools, oh my. I was on an adrenaline buzz just being around these fierce birds. They kept me on my toes and were so pumped to be there.. it. was. amazing. And I have to give a shout out to all of the nurses and men on campus.. both showed their unwavering support for this cause and are leading by example for the rest of the student body.

Thank y’all (cus that’s what you say in Texas.. duh.) for sharing your time and energy with Students Fight Back and taking a solid stance against the violence culture. You are our leaders of this generation. Till next time…

With Love and Gratitude,

GFB Bree

Our Lady of the Lake…These Folks are Tough Cookies!

Our Lady of the Lake January 2015Our Lady of the Lake University kicked off our shiny, new and improved 2015 Girls Fight Back! Tour.. and can I just say, I don’t think there could have been a more amazing group to do so? They opened the evening with a blessing ….um, as a speaker, to have this kind of support, let’s just say… #blessed.

Once we got underway, we decided it was time to be CEO of our life. Our boundary setting skills were so dope, we were dropping mics and brushing’ shoulders off. Then after a quick #badassballet lesson, things got real. Our Lady of the Lake invited the local Krav Maga team to put the skills we learned to the test. These ladies brought it. Big time. I was one proud sister.

After the event, one glowing young lady approached me after the show to thank GFB for the knowledge she gained from our program. She said she knows she might not the be toughest gal in the bunch (I begged to differ.. it’s all about our mindset!) but she knew educating herself with as much knowledge as possible was how she could be her own best protector. Girl, you are one smart.. and tough.. cookie!

I was so honored to be a part of this wonderful community and see their light and passion shine through. Our Lady of the Lake University, thank you SO much for kicking off our 2015 tour. See you again soon!

Love and Gratitude,

GFB Bree

Bringin’ it Home with Oklahoma State University

OKU Nov2014

Oklahoma State University wrapped up my 2014 Be Your Own Badass Tour. And boy did they bring it home. We had such a great time with a small but rockstar group. We got real about solid bystander behavior, upped our psychic capability with an intuition chat and of course, busted out our best badass ballet. It was such a wonderful group and the energy was awesome. I can’t wait to visit these ballers again soon and share the love. Thank you so much OSU for having Students Fight Back. Until next time…

Light and Love,
GFB Bree

Students Fight Back at Lyndon State College

Lyndon State College 11.13.14

Students Fight Back made it’s way up to Vermont to visit the peeps at Lyndon State College. It was the first legit snow fall of the winter season, but that didn’t stop these badasses from throwing down. This small but mighty crowd got the conversation rolling about living a fearless life by being your own best protector, which I’m sure will only continue amongst their peers. Thank you Lyndon State for taking the steps to be proactive and make your campus a safer and stronger! Till next time..

Light and Love,
GFB Bree

Hollaback!

One of my favorite organizations is at a pivotal moment in its growth today and I wanted to share something about them here. The group is called Hollaback and it has chapters all over the country.

I first became a fan at the age of 19 when on my first ever trip to NYC I was verbally harassed on the street outside Grand Central Station by a couple of guys. They whistled at me to get my attention and then one of them told me that he would “sure like to tap that.” As they started walking towards me, I froze. Being young and out of my element, I had no idea what to do. A woman in her late twenties walked up beside me and snapped a picture of the two men with her camera before telling them to back off in a loud clear voice. They called her a bitch and walked away.

I turned to thank her. She handed me a piece of paper with a web address on it and said, “no problem, check out the site.” What I found was an online community where women posted photos of street harassers and spoke out about their feelings after being catcalled. I checked the site a week later and sure enough, there was the photo of the two men who had harrassed me. The site has since grown into a nationwide movement.

Today, Hollaback is on the verge of getting an iPhone app, but they need money to get it. They have 1 day and about $1700 left to raise. If you are able, consider donating to them here: www.ihollaback.org

And if you want to learn more, check out this link for an interview with the amazing Miss DC, Jen Corey. You can watch a video of her on NBC discussing her experiences with street harassment.

Bullying in Schools, Phoebe’s Story

I feel like this blog topic is a little late coming, but I think it is an incredibly important topic. I came across this topic while reading an old people magazine . . . Don’t judge me and let’s not pretend you don’t love People magazine.  Anyway, I read an article about bullying. Bullying in schools exists and recent events show that the results of bullying can devastate students, communities, and families. Take the story of Phoebe Price. Phoebe was a Massachusetts teen who was basically bullied to death. Phoebe was a recent Irish immigrant and her friends said that she became the focus of a jealous classmate, Kayla Narey, and friends for dating a football player who was also dating Kayla.

That is when the bullying really started. Kayla and her friends called Phoebe derogatory names involving her heritage and threw cans of soda at her. At some point, it became too much. Phoebe was depressed, despondent and took her own life. This all begs the question, who do we hold accountable? Well, on March 29, that question was answered. Nine teens were indicted and are facing charges, including statutory rape and criminal harassment.

The indictments are a very clear statement that bullying will not be tolerated and when mean spirited behavior brings such devastating consequences, accountability will be there. But I think the real question is this: How do we, even as teenagers, let our behavior get to that point? More importantly, how do we fix it? Stories like Phoebe’s crystallize the need for anti-bullying and bystander intervention in high school and even before. The people who drove Phoebe to the point she reached are being held accountable but we will not fix the problem until we fix the way we relate to each other.

Bullying expert, Barbara Coloroso, made a statement that I find particularly compelling in light of these circumstances. She said, “You don’t have to like every kid in school, but you have to honor their humanity.” Ms. Coloroso is absolutely right. We don’t have to like everyone but we need to respect each other’s dignity as human beings. We need to treat people fairly ourselves and intervene when we see behavior that doesn’t rise to that standard.

Anyone who has been through high school knows that it is like a battlefield with different factions competing for control. Who says it has to be like that? Imagine what would happen if it wasn’t like that, if nobody was terrified to step through the doors to their classrooms, and people didn’t spend time thinking of ways to cut each other down. If we change the environment and our behavior, maybe we can prevent more tragedies like what happened to Phoebe.

Bystander Intervention in Maine!

“It was really scary, but I’m glad we got involved”  Check out this link for an awesome story about five women who subdued an attacker in Maine.  You go girls!