The #Enough nationwide school walkout on March 14th was a movement to stand in solidarity with the survivors of Parkland and protest gun violence. For the students at Granada Hills Charter High School, it was so much more.
The students, staff and administration worked together to create an entire day of advocacy, awareness and empowerment. All students came to class but, instead of their traditional subjects at each period, there were various speakers and informational events scheduled throughout the day for students to choose to attend.
I am extremely honored that the Girls Fight Back gender-inclusive program, Students Fight Back was invited to be a part of such a powerful day. I have spoken at colleges, high schools and organizations all over the world and I have never felt the intensity of energy as I encountered with this group of passionate students.
In an auditorium filled with 600 spirited young people, our interactive program empowered them with ways to manage their safety, verbal skills, boundary setting tools and physical self-defense techniques. These students are the future and they were galvanized and ready to change the world!
The Girls Fight Back & Students Fight Back mission has always been to empower people with safety and self-defense tools so everyone can live a fearless life. To be able to bring that message to this high school on such an important day was incredibly humbling. I was completely inspired by their spirit.
During the conclusion of my presentation, an administrator told me that CNN Live was in the building and they wanted me to extend the program so that they could cover some of the material. Though Girls Fight Back has been interviewed on CNN in the past, this was my first time on the channel!
At the end of the presentation, about 40 students came up to the stage to ask more questions. They were eager, curious, and extremely driven to learn as much information as possible about safety, self-defense, and how to get involved with our program. I met several students who are working on volunteer projects for women’s empowerment and providing services to people with disabilities. It was clear that these students and their dedication to outreach, activism, and human rights have created a tidal wave of a movement and it isn’t going anywhere. They are leading the charge and I couldn’t be prouder to have been a part of history. Thank you to everyone who made the day such a success!
Girls Fight Back expanded to include Students Fight Back in 2015 and has since expanded into the corporate market with a program called SAVE (Standing Against Violent Encounters). This program addresses the need for safety, boundary setting, empowerment and self-defense within the professional environment and is fully customizable to meet a wide variety of organizational objectives. For those interested in managing uncomfortable situations with peers, co-workers, friends and family, we offer an educational series called “The Awkward Hug” that covers how to set boundaries and communicate them in a respectful and socially acceptable way while still honoring your feelings.