Keepin’ it Safe in the Backyard of The Big Apple

Living in New York City, you think you know most of the major spots nearby. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the very quaint and beautiful Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, right across from my backyard. It’s a lovely campus with a spectacular view of The Big Apple, but even more impressive students!

Stevens Institute of Technology welcomed Students Fight Back! and made the statement that a safer campus is a priority. Being a male-dominated school, I applaud Stevens Institute for taking initiative. It speaks to the very loud voice of our young generation that both males and females want equality, and are on a mission to end violence for all. In this spirit, we talked about being an active bystander and looking out for each other, why assuming someone is a “creeper” based on stereotypes is actually putting yourself in a more harmful situation and of course, we kicked some serious ass. It was a stellar event from start to finish!

Thanks so much Stevens Institute of Technology for letting Students Fight Back! be a part of your community. Looking forward to visiting my neighbors again soon! Until next time….


Light and Love,

GFB Bree

Stephen F. Austin FIGHTS BACK!


Stephen F. Austin State University is such a cool crew, with contagious energy and that serious FIGHT BACK! spirit. I got to see this not only during our seminar, but in on-campus events surrounding my presentation.

As we point out in our program, no matter how safe a school, neighborhood or city might be, violence is unfortunately something that touches all of us. SFA saw this first hand, with an attack on campus several days before our seminar and one literally the same night I was speaking on their campus. The students told me all about it, and how in both cases they believed the attacker was not a student. Scary stuff. But the INCREDIBLE news is that in both instances, the women fought off the attacker and were able to get away.

Hell. Yeah.

See what I mean about that fight back spirit? The truth is this can happen on any campus, and I’d like to give Stephen F. Austin a standing ovation for taking the initiative to make their campus a safer place by educating students with programs like Students Fight Back! Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your brave community and most importantly, for fighting back.

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And a special shout out to Student Activities Association, one of the hardest working campus organizations I’ve seen! They did such a stellar job planning the event, getting badasses in seats and getting the community hyped up about making the campus safer. You all are making a difference, truly. Can’t wait to come visit you all again reeeeeeeeal soon!

Love and Light,

GFB Bree

St. John’s Fisher College wraps up the 2015 Tour


St. John’s Fisher College wrapped up the Girls Fight Back! and Students Fight Back! 2015 Tour… And man did we finish hella strong. We had over 70(!) students at a non-mandatory event (FYI that’s like winning the Super Bowl in student event planning when it comes to an “issues and ideas” event, in case you didn’t know). Yep, this crew was seriously SO much fun!

Sometimes a crowd can take a little time into the program to warm up… I get it, I mean, we are talking about some serious stuff here but in a totally different way. We make it REAL talk. Person to person. So there can be some resistance. Not this crew at St John’s. We were vibin’ right outta the gates!

I quite possibly laughed harder and had more fun than any other event this year! It was amazeballs working with students who were so eager to learn, excited about making their safe campus an even safer place and being their own best protectors in any situation! Before I left, they were already talking about ways to take “next steps” and bring on more intense seminars. This gang is the group of students you look at and feel hopeful & grateful for the future of our society. They truly blew me away!

And of course none of this would have been possible without Claire and the SJFC Feminist Caucus and sponsors going the extra mile to raise funds, planning their pants off and being the hostest with the mostest. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your hard work and heart-warming hospitality. I HAVE to come visit you all again… You made my season! Till next time…


Love and Light,

GFB Bree

Central Community College


I recently embarked on a road trip across Nebraska, hitting several community colleges along the way. One of my favorite schools on Tour de Nebraska was Central Community College. We had a packed room in the middle of the day right around lunch time… Not an easy thing to do. But that’s because Nicholas Freeland is a baller and was a big part getting the sister community colleges involved, as well as filling the room full of badass students.

Along with putting on an exceptional event, the students in attendance at CCC were excited, eager to learn and full of excellent questions. One of the questions brought forth was during our “Being an Active Bystander” section. The student was very concerned about stepping in to physically help another if a heated argument or bullying situation was on the brink of becoming physical. Excellent point… And we at Students Fight Back! are NEVER encouraging you to put yourself in a more harmful situation. Simply getting help or making a phone call to the appropriate authorities so a professional can intervene is being a GREAT active bystander. This keeps you safe while still looking out for each other, ya dig?

Thank you for being so engaged and asking this important question CCC crew- and for having me to your beautiful campus. You all are rock stars and I can’t wait to visit you all again soon. Until next time…


Love and Light,

GFB Bree

Sunday Morning “Kicks” – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo!

What were you doing on Sunday morning? Sleeping? Reading the newspaper? Well if you were one of the more than 700 new sorority members at Cal Poly SLO, you were in the Chumash Auditorium eye striking and groin kicking your way to empowerment with Girls Fight Back!


The New Member Education event started off with a presentation by SAFER, Cal Poly’s primary resource for addressing sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking.  They showed my favorite “Tea Consent” video and really set the crowd up for the Girls Fight Back material.  I love it when allies join together with us during events, because as a united voice we are so much louder at combatting violence and rape culture in our society.


Taelor, the VP for the Panhellenic Association was a strong supporter of the GFB program and was supremely awesome before, during and after the event!  She even arranged to have a member of the IFC executive staff, Kevin, act as my demo “creeper”.  It was incredible to have a man that is so passionate about our cause be a part of the show and he did a great job!  Women and men have to work together to truly end violence in our world.

We practiced our verbal strategies and learned how to recognize when someone is disrespecting our no. We clarified that consent should be an enthusiastic HELL YES!  And of course, we practiced our badass ballet moves. Make no mistake, these ladies were supremely bad ass…their invisible creepers got their butts kicked!  And when I asked everyone to stand up for the last badassballet practice, I heard several women in the front row announce “oh hell yes!” and were the first to jump up into ready position.  You go girls, that enthusiasm is contagious!


Thank you so much for inviting me to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and letting me be a part of your college experience while empowering your new Greek Members.  I hope you all know how incredible you are, how much power you have and how you all deserve to live an awesome life with NO APOLOGIES!  Remember to look out for each other and please go forward peacefully.

GFB Nicole

The Booming Market of Sexual Assault Prevention on Campuses

For years, we at Girls Fight Back and Students Fight Back have promoted training that teaches women to trust their instincts and be their own best protectors.  Studies show that this is still the most effective method of preventing sexual assault.

We are happy that in the years since our inception, awareness has grown and programs have been put in place to encourage bystander intervention and help us all to look out for each other.  The programs, apps and products mentioned in the article below are all utilized to assist in preventing sexual assault, and that is a very good thing!  Go public awareness!  We love it!

Ultimately, while we definitely think there is room for ALL OF THESE APPROACHES, the problem of sexual assault on college campuses exists NOW and in addition to these other approaches, we have to teach women how to take care of themselves.  It isn’t victim blaming, it is just practical.

Here’s the NPR article I mentioned, check it out!

-GFB Kat

Let the SUNYshine in! SUNY Potsdam – Loving Life!

SUNY Potsdam 9.25.14“I love this job!” Those were the words I exclaimed out loud to myself (yes I talk to myself) while leaving SUNY – Potsdam after an amazing turnout for Girls Fight Back! Man, we had so much fun! Of course we got our intuition on, kicked some ass and had real talk. But we did it all while having a hella good time. That’s why I think GFB rocks so much… you can learn to be your own best protector and empower one another while still loving life. And it’s pretty amazeballs to do both.

Thank you SUNY – Potsdam for the incredible energy and life you brought.. You let the SUNYshine in. (Mmmm that’s cheesy!)

Truly, I was honored to be a part of your vivacious community!SUNY Potsdam 9.25.14 Pic 2
Love and Light,

GFB Bree




The day of love. Hallmark or not, even as badass women, the holiday evokes some kind of feeling from all of us. Whether you cry when your father leaves you a voicemail in an attempt to make you feel better because he got sad at the thought that you don’t have anyone on Valentine’s Day (yes, I’m still waiting for this phone call again this year.. thank you Dad for your thoughtful effort) or you wake up early, giddy because you can’t wait to surprise your lover with the gift you’ve schemed up. Regardless, this day doesn’t go ignored.

However, today my feisty friends, I started viewing St. Valentine’s special day quite differently. I have decided that I am choosing to love myself the way I love someone I’m in-love with.

That’s right. I’m going to fall in love with myself. Now before you get all judgy on me, this isn’t a conceited, take “selfies” of myself all day kind of love (puke). Allow me to explain.

Not too long ago I was in a wonderful yoga class when I had a moment of “holy crap, I get it.” Very zen, I know. But there were several things that lead up to this “ah’ha!” light bulb. First, the energy in this specific class (Yoga to the People) is so giving and inspiring. Basically, badass soul brotha and sistas unite.

Second, prior to my epiphany, we were in a strenuous pose for the third time (chair-pose for you yogis out there). And as everyone’s thighs are burning and it is showing on our faces, the instructor says something to the affect of “now take this energy you’re feeling to stay grounded and send it to someone who needs it today. Maybe it’s someone special in your life, maybe it’s the person you flipped the bird to who cut you off this morning or maybe it’s yourself.” Immediately dismissing her suggestions, I knew I wanted to send it to my momma, because, well, I think she deserves the world. But I didn’t even THINK of myself (and I hadn’t flipped the bird.. yet).

Now several minutes later, I’m laying on my mat as we are in a the few final poses of class, which are very relaxed. And I suddenly start… crying. Yep, I’m that cool person crying next to you in yoga. You’re welcome. But it just hit me all at once: What if I could love myself the way I love others? Now I know, I’ve heard it before, “love yourself.” But what would it be like to truly be in love myself? Treat myself with compassion, kindness and understanding. Give myself a break the way I do others. Instead of beating myself up because, well I seem to find a million different reasons, what if I truly adored myself the way I’ve adored men I’ve been in love with? Believe in myself and encourage myself the way I do for the loved ones in my life. Wow. That could be pretty wonderful, huh?

Still resistant to the idea? Think of it in relation to the instruction you get while waiting to take off for a flight. The flight attendants are describing that in the very rare event there is a loss in cabin pressure (aka the plane is crashing) they instruct you to first put on your oxygen mask and then assist those around you. That’s right, even before your children. Because if you pass out trying to help others, including your children, you’re pretty much useless.

So if we take care of ourselves first, love ourselves fully as if we are in love with ourselves, imagine all the good we can do for others. Imagine how much more love we can give to others if we are full. It’s limitless!

Thankfully, I’m surrounded by a beautiful group of people right now and one in particular is leading me on a journey of healing. Literally the day after my yoga class, we talked about self-love (there are no coincidences). So this concept, although I’m working on it, is something I am truly accepting.

And I challenge all of you strong, independent women to embark on this journey (because it is a process that takes work) and give yourself permission to genuinely fall in love with yourself. Just try it out. See how it feels. Stop yourself mid-beat-myself-up-session, and treat yourself the way you would a dear friend, a lover or a family member. Go look in the mirror and say “I love you!”

Love your beautiful, strong, badass self and know you are taking a step towards being a happier you. Which the world not only wants, it needs.

Happy Valentine’s Day from us to YOU.

With love,

GFB Bree


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


The GFB Team wishes to extend congratulations and a warm welcome to the Speaking Team to Leah.  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 Leah.

Leah is based in NYC.  She majored in Cultural Studies at McGill University and wrote her Honor’s Thesis in Film and Women’s Studies.  When she isn’t representing GFB, you can see her on the stage as a comedian.  Huffington Post named her one of their Favorite Female Comedians and College Candy listed in her as one of the Top Ten Female Comics. She is also a regular on VH1′s 100 Greatest Series and has toured for the troops in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.  She already has some events booked for Spring 2014, so coming soon to a campus near you . . . . meet Leah!

Baby Leah

GFB – Girl in Progress Leah


GFB Girl Today – Leah –  Junior Speaker


University of Arizona FIGHTS BACK!

The Wildcats of University of Arizona hosted my first Students Fight Back program on the #BYOB12 Tour. My hats off to the Panhellenic team for hosting GFB, but mostly for embracing our idea of FIGHTING BACK!

During my visit, I learned within the last year there had been attacks at UofA, including a student being sexually assaulted in the back of taxi by the driver. Scary, huh? This story stuck out in my mind because, let’s be honest, I can remember a time or two when my friends and I poured ourselves into a cab after one too many cocktails. So naturally, this story scared the crap out of me.

But after talking with the PanHellenic rep, I learned that although students may have had that initial shock, they weren’t going to let these assaults keep them living in fear. They weren’t going to stop going out or stop taking cabs. Instead, these fierce Wildcats wanted to know what they could do to protect themselves. How could they fight back?

And thus, they made the ever-so-wise choice to bring GFB in house to gain some seriously empowering ass-whoopin’ skills.

We didn’t tip-toe around the real world of college life either. We broke it down. Real talk. Yes, most assaults on campus occur when alcohol is involved and yes, alcohol affects your decisions. But it doesn’t mean you can’t go out without being attacked. It just means you need to go out smart: Trust your intuition. Don’t leave your drink or take one without seeing it poured, whether it is apple juice or gin & juice. And ALWAYS go out with friends, go home with friends… People that got your back.

But we not only talked the talk, we walked the walk with some lethal groin kicks and palm strikes. Oh yes, we went balls-to-the wall, so to speak.

These Wildcats took the first steps in leading a safer life. They didn’t shy away in fear after their peers had been attacked, but instead made the bold choice to be their own best protectors, while still enjoying college life. And that, my friends, is fighting back.

So thank you to the guys and gals of University of Arizona for hosting GFB. But most of all, thank you for reminding everyone that even after tragedies, on our own time and in our own way, we not only can, but we must fight back!

Baylor University.. I love you.

Traveling across the country for GFB, I get to meet a lot of fun, new people. But sometimes I get to make those much-needed pit stops at schools where, well it’s kind of like that favorite hang-out spot… everyone know’s your name. This is how I would describe my second stop of the BYOB 2012 Tour at Baylor University.

After having us in their house for several consecutive years, Baylor University knows all about GFB. And boy, do they make you feel welcome. With personalized T-shirts (photos to come), Dr. Pepper Floats and shouting out The Badass Ballet they’ve memorized.. all I’ve got to say is, Baylor University… I love you.

Eat, Drink and be Married!

I have done all of the above this past few weeks! It’s been non stop planning and partying around here. Having 98% of our guests coming from out of town, we made our wedding a 3 day event- at the end of which everyone knew everyone. I realized that the main reason people cry at weddings is because they’re so overwhelmed with all the love in the air- and not just the bride and groom. It’s so amazing to bring your circle of friends and family together and it makes me happy to see old friends from high school sending messages to new friends I met in LA or here in Seattle that they now count as their own.

My fabulous new husband and I took a road trip from Seattle to Sacramento for the wedding of a good friend the week after our celebration. There’s something really soothing about a road trip with junk food , satellite radio and someone you love. My husband was a Marine who now has a pretty ..umm…interesting job in the security world. I could tell you more but I would have to kill you 🙂

We talked a lot about how lucky we are, something perhaps with our careers and experiences we’re both more aware of than most. We talked about a lot more ( approx 1400 miles worth of conversation) and ended up having a really great time down the coast. It made me think that perhaps every once in a while it’s a good idea to take a long drive with the people in your life and focus on your own luck…and love.

The fabulous ladies of GFB ..we couldn’t resist.



Wow. That’s really all I can say after spending a week traveling to conferences. Erin spent time talking about NACA and all of the amazing people there, so I won’t get too detailed about that. Her showcase was awesome and preceded and followed by equally awesome speakers.  They had me at “Hello”. I cried the whole time. It made me so grateful to be in this unique “club” of people where everyone is working to make a difference and spread their message. It also made me realize how fortunate GFB is to be so successful…there are A LOT of options for students to bring speakers to their schools!

My next stop after NACA was NGLA (Northeast Greek Leadership Association) in Hartford, CT. It’s been a long time since my Alpha Xi Delta days and I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by that many letters being in one place at one time. I was presenting Greeks Fight Back at this conference. I love this program for many reasons, but mainly because no matter what your personal thoughts might be about the Greek system, I believe they are one of very few organizations on a college campus that can shift the balance of their school.  If the message they choose to send is positive, then there is no telling what can be achieved.

Of course, I was again in good company with some great speakers. Mike Dilbeck was the keynote speaker, discussing his Response Ability Program and as Erin mentioned previously…he is wonderful and his message powerful. I got the opportunity to watch Mark Sterner present his program DUI: A Powerful Lesson. I actually have no words for that and will let you do your own research. I think that program should be required at every school in the country! There were also great programs from Jessica Pettitt, Travis Apgar, Brian C. Johnson (thanks for letting me borrow your speakers) and T.J. Sullivan among others.

I also got the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Alpha Xi Delta leaders from all over the Northeast. I had such a great time and learned the valuable lesson that the vegan option is never the way to go. Thanks ladies!


It was a great trip from Boston to Hartford and back! Thankfully the weather stayed clear and sunny with no snow! I’m hoping for the same in South Dakota next week!!