Powered by Girl

Behind every ‘exceptional’ girl is…a movement! Kudos to Lyn Mikel Brown for identifying the architecture that lifts up the next generation of feminists!

– Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, authors of Manifesta and Grassroots

A playbook for working with and training girls to be activists of their own social movements.

 

Armed with a rich array of online media platforms, seemingly endless reserves of creativity, and a keen sense of justice, girl activists are getting things done. But scholar and activist Lyn Mikel Brown knows that for every provocative news story about one “exceptional” girl out to change the world, there is a strong network of passionate adults and seasoned activists behind her.

Drawing from a diverse collection of interviews with women and girl activists, Powered by Girl is both a journalistic exploration of how girls have embraced activism and a guide for adults who want to support their organizing. Here we learn about the intergenerational support behind thirteen-year-old Julia Bluhm, when she got Seventeen to go Photoshop free; nineteen-year-old Celeste Montaño, who pressed Google to diversify their Doodles; and sixteen-year-old Yas Necati, who campaigns for better sex education in the UK. And we learn what experienced adult activists like Joanne Smith of Girls for Gender Equity and Dana Edell of SPARK Movement say about how to scaffold girls’ social-change work. Brown argues that adults shouldn’t encourage girls to “lean in.” Rather, girls should be supported in creating their own movements—disrupting the narrative, developing their own ideas—on their own terms.

Editorial Reviews

I am a huge fan of Lyn Mikel Brown’s; her partnerships with girls and support of their activism are nothing short of revolutionary. Powered by Girl explains how she joined forces across generations to make change—and, even better, how we can too!

– Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape

Powered by Girl is a godsend for everyone who parents or works with girls. Girls are passionate about making the world a better place. But when they try to do so, obstacles appear that adults need to help with. Lyn Mikel Brown shows us how and challenges us to go far beyond vague good intentions by building genuine, respectful, mutually trusting relationships that succeed in making change both out in the world and inside ourselves.

– Nancy Gruver, Founder, New Moon Girls

In an increasingly commodified feminist movement, Powered by Girl offers insight into how girls and young women can reimagine a movement rooted in political activism, and gives activists the tools to do so in an intergenerational and inclusive way.

– Julie Zeilinger, Founding Editor, FBomb

Brown offers us a powerful and urgent critique of the media generated ‘kick-ass girl,’ a mythical girl who supposedly needs no one but herself to change the world. Behind the scenes, Brown shows us how real girls and women can truly kick some ass by working together on jointly constructed actions for social justice. An essential read for those who want to create a more just and humane world and want girls and women to lead the way. Read it right here, right now!

– Niobe Way, author of Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendship and the Crisis of Connection

In this bold, inspiring book, Lyn Mikel Brown investigates the realities and possibilities of intergenerational activism—and does not shrink from the challenges. A blueprint for intergenerational feminist work, Powered by Girl offers multiple strategies for adult women to build hopeful, respectful activist relationship with girls, all the while acknowledging the complexities of grassroots politics today.

– Anita Harris, Research Professor, Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University

The development of honest dialogues between adult allies and girls is the key to social change—and recognizing that girls are the most qualified experts of their experiences is critical to their activism. Lyn Mikel Brown’s book accurately captures the benefits—and challenges—of how to nurture our next generation of change agents.

– Clarice Bailey and Charlotte Jacobs, Girls Justice League

Powered by Girl is the essential manual for anyone working with young activists—from youth workers to seasoned mentors. Lyn Mikel Brown presents the necessary skills for adult allies to be supportive and effective backseat drivers while girls do the steering.

– Wendy Lesko, President of Youth Activism Project and Co-Founder of School Girls Unite

Highlighting the collective dimensions of girls’ activism, Powered by Girl is an important corrective to over-simplified discussions of girls’ empowerment. Brown’s passionate call for intergenerational collaboration engages with the challenges and rewards of this kind of activism, demonstrates a profound respect for girls’ knowledge and expertise, and asks all the right questions about how adults can better support girls in the struggle for a more just world.

– Jessica K. Taft, author of Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas

Brown offers us a powerful and urgent critique of the media generated ‘kick-ass girl,’ a mythical girl who supposedly needs no one but herself to change the world. Behind the scenes, Brown shows us how real girls and women can truly kick some ass by working together on jointly constructed actions for social justice. An essential read for those who want to create a more just and humane world and want girls and women to lead the way. Read it right here, right now!

– Niobe Way, author of Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendship and the Crisis of Connection

If you teach, mentor, or work with girls, you need to read Powered by Girl. Full of stories and strategies, it’s a must-read manual for nurturing agency, sisterhood, and critical consciousness in girl activists. Adults will learn when to step up and when to step back, how to cultivate inclusiveness and truth telling among girls, and how to develop the most fertile conditions for girl activism to flourish.

– Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl

Powered by Girl is a compelling narrative and rationale for feminist intergenerational practices with girls, dismantling ageist models of girls’ programming, and making visible the diverse ways coalitions of girls and their allies are pushing forward a new feminist agenda. An important book for all interested in girls’ studies and girls’ activism.

– Amy Rutstein-Riley, PhD, MPH, Principal Investigator of The Girlhood Project at Lesley University

If you’re committed to working with girls—and I mean really working with them in every respect, through all the messy beauty of their activism—Powered by Girl is an essential read.

– Loretta Ross, Co-founder of SisterSong

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