SPARK Summit Agenda

When: Friday, October 22, 2010 • 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM EDT
Hunter College • 68th Street and Lexington Avenue • NY, NY 10065

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Registration and Exhibits
SPARKaction: About-Face Dressing Room Action

8:30 AM -10:15 AM
Welcome, Opening Remarks and Reel to Real

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM
Break and Networking
SPARKaction: TBD

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Panel and Workshops

Open Panel: Lessons from the Field
with Jaclyn Friedman (Women Action and the Media), Ingrid Hu Dahl (founding member of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls), Samhita Mukhopadhyay (Executive Editor of, Asha Jennings (activist, lawyer).

Hear about what works, what gets in the way when we’re trying to influence the media for the better, emphasizing the “whole girl,” positive sexuality and agency.

Workshops for Girls & Young Women Activists

Public Speaking for Activists
with viBe Theater Experience

Experience a series of vocal, physical and focusing activities to help you feel more comfortable and confident speaking up and speaking out. We’ll each write a short, bold speech and practice using new techniques to perform it.

Become a Youth Researcher: Fight For Change With Facts!
with CUNY Public Science Project Institute & The ASAP Initiative
Do you have a problem with the way the media portrays girls? In this workshop you’ll learn about Participatory Action Research (PAR)– participatory because YOU do it and action because YOU create an activist response to what your research finds. This workshop will be led by young PAR researchers and we’ll tackle YOUR problem.

FlipCam Journalism
with Shelby Knox

If the media isn’t telling the truth about girls, girls should tell their own stories! In this workshop we’ll learn what makes a good short video, how to interview your friends, and how to get a video out there when it’s done. We’ll work in small groups to record and edit a video about the issues raised at SPARK. The resulting video will be available on the SPARK website.

Powered By Girl (PBG)
with Hardy Girls Healthy Women
Learn about and use a mash-up of techniques like culture spoofing ads, blogging, and culture jamming to take on sexualized imagery with humor, satire, and creativity.  PBG teen creators will talk about how social media allows them to work in coalition to talk back to sexist and sexualized media and create space for real girls’ voices.

with The BlackLight Project
Explore SPARK-relevant issues through the written and spoken word.  We’ll work collectively and individually to create poetic responses to questions, images and scenarios. Our resulting choreopoem will be performed as a collective spoken word presentation by the group at the end of the workshop, and videotaped for the SPARK website.

Pressed for Knowledge
with Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Quirky Black Girls
In this ‘zine workshop you’ll use the resources of urgency, homegrown brilliance and whatever’s around to create your own publication!  We’ll choose an audience, a theme that connects your passions, and a work structure to create your own urgent publication.

Hard-Core Media Literacy
with About-Face
Most of us know how to critique an advertisement or other media, but we often find it difficult to explain our thoughts to others in a way that will help them change their minds. In this workshop, you’ll get tools for “reading” the media messages you see every day, in a step-by-step way. Then you’ll be able to talk your friends, family, and others through the process, helping them see your point of view. As an extra challenge, you’ll get to further understand representations of gender and sexualization in media and you’ll walk away knowing how to resist messages about body image, identity, and self-esteem.

Street Theater
with viBe Theater Experience
Select a local social justice issue and create a short performance piece that addresses the issues and offers strategies for solutions. You’ll then perform these short pieces throughout the SPARK Summit day, on the street and in the college.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Lunch and Plenary

Open Plenary: Numbers Don’t Lie!
Six prominent scientists from around the country share their latest research findings about the sexualization of girls in our culture and talk about how we can advocate for change armed with the facts!

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Plenary with Girl Activists

Girl Activists Speak Out
with Carmen Rios (Editor and blogger, The Line Campaign), Lexi St. John (song-writer, screen-writer),
Melissa Campbell (street theater activist), Cameron Diggs (filmmaker and activist), and emcee’d by Shelby Knox (reproductive rights activist).
Teen girls involved in various kinds of activist work tell it like it is.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Panel and Workshops

Open Panel: Building a Movement
with Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Founder, Quirky Black Girls), Emily May (Founder, HollabackNYC), Rachel Simmons (author & Founder, Girls Leadership Institute), and Jamia Wilson (Vice President of Programs, WMC).
What we can learn from what works and doesn’t that we can apply to SPARK movement.

Workshops for Girls & Young Women Activists

Radio Broadcasting 101
with Ladio/viBe Theater Experience
Learn the ins and outs of radio broadcasting:  how to record a segment, edit using garage band free software (if you have access to a Mac) and upload to an internet radio station OR to iTunes as a free podcast   Participants will develop interview questions and will then be given a digital recorder for the day to interview Summit attendees.  This workshop connects to all-day radio broadcasting action station

Change Your World Training
with Girls for a Change
Tired of seeing women over sexualized in our society?  Then take ACTION!  We’ll explore ways you can create change around this issue using our Girls For A Change 7 steps. We will be discussing how sexuality is misrepresented in our society and the impact it has on the lives of girls and women. We’ll take a look at women from past and present who have paved the way for change. You’ll walk away inspired, with concrete ideas, and resources you can utilize to create real change!

Shining the Light on Sexualization of Girls in the Media Coverage
with Women’s Media Center
We’ll look critically at how women and girls are represented in the media, especially within news outlets.  We will also cover how representation is directly correlated with who the decision makers are. We’ll explore what you can do to change the conversation with media literacy, advocacy and action!

Blogs Rock: Changing the World One Click at a Time
Changing the world is as easy as switching on your computer and clicking “publish.” Learn the basics of blogging from the writers of Feministing, the world’s most-read feminist publication. Topics will include the basics of blogging, why blogging matters, how girls can best use blogs to shape their world and personal testimonials from the editors at Feministing about how blogging has impacted their lives.

“Hey…Shorty” Taking a Stand Against Sexual Harassment in Schools
with Girls for Gender Equity NYC
Sisters in Strength youth organizers aim to mobilize young people to end sexual harassment in schools. We’ll define and distinguish between sexual harassment and respectful behavior, provide participants information on how to take action, and provide resources to take home.

Show and PROVE
with Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment – FiRE
Girl, is hip hop not representing you right? In this workshop, we’ll take a closer look into hip hop, including our favorite songs, videos and images to figure out our relationship to the culture. Then, we’ll remix hip hop and write our lyrics to put us back on the map the way we want to be rep’ped and get hip hop to show, improve!

Take Back the Power!
with American Psychological Association
Learn how to advocate for your views at the national level and how to make your voice heard!  Combat sexualized images of women and girls by making sure our government works on the issues that are important to you. We’ll give you the information and the tools to advocate on the national, state and local levels and spread the word to your friends, neighbors, and teachers when you return home.  This workshop connects to the Healthy Media for Youth Act action station

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Break and Networking
SPARKaction: TBD

2:45 PM – 4:30 PM
SPARKreview and Intervene in Halloween Fashion Show

Intervene on Halloween Fashion Show
A creative, scary, original response to sexualized Halloween costumes marketed to girls. Design your own costumes and send us the photos; conference attendees are invited to bring yours, and join in!

Plus, open all day long…

Body Stations
Flamenco! Yoga!  Pilates!

All-day exhibits from some of the best activist organizations in the country and book signings by Jean Kilbourne, Jaclyn Friedman, Deborah Siegel, Rachel Simmons and others!

Ladio radio station

with viBe Theater Experience
Learn radio broadcasting with a recorder & a laptop! We’ll teach you how to record a segment, edit, and upload it to an internet radio station OR to iTunes as a free podcast.  Create a question or choose one of ours and approach people at the Summit to record mini-interviews.

Commercial Land: Art in Action
with Project Girl
Create an original piece of art that both taps into your creative resources and develops your critical views of how sexualized media images and themes shape our lives.  Then present your artist statement in writing or on video. Your artistic expression will be incorporated into a communal piece that will evolve over the course of the day, providing additional visual material for the SPARK website.

Changing the conversation/Amplifying your voice
with Women’s Media Center
What you can do to change the discussion? Write for the WMC blog. Start your own campaign. Be aware of your surroundings (reporting sexism through sexism watch). Create your own media through video journalism.

Projection: “What Is Your Story?”
with Hardy Girls Healthy Women
Stop by and get your picture taken!  Become a “canvass” for the stories of girls across the country who have voiced their thoughts and feelings about the impact of objectification on their lives, and their demand for a Girls’ Bill of Sexual Rights.  Stand with other girls and help us build a photo gallery for the SPARK website.

Powered By Girl (PBG)
with Hardy Girls Healthy Women
Sick of all those Diesel “Be Stupid” ads and American Apparel “Best Bottom” contests?   Put your hands up for satire and humor.  Drop by and ignite SPARK by recaptioning sexist and sexualized ads for our online gallery, answer our poll questions, and give us your best thoughts for our blog site!

Hear a Story/Tell a Story Booth
with The ASAP Initiative
Ever wanted to tell your story about dealing with sexualization—about how you live with it, how you push back, what makes protesting hard, and important?  Ever wonder what it used to be like for the adult women in your life to be sexualized and what they did about it?  In this action station, private “booths” will have audio and video equipment available for you to interview friends and adults and have them interview you—or just tell your own story.  It’s easy to do and some fabulous young women will be available to help you try out this way of speaking out and pushing back.

Mini Ethnography
with The Blacklight Project
Learn the fundamentals of interviewing and participant observation. We’ll interview one another around issues related to sexualization and social expectations as well as engage in some participant observation and interviewing in the public space of the Summit. After gathering data, we’ll share findings and come up with a collective analysis.

Boys Will Not Be Boys!  : Male Allies SPARKing a Movement
Come see how boys and men support SPARK by already saying No! to the sexualization of girls and women.  And come tell boys and men what you would like them to do to help in a variety of ways.  See clips from films, actions and groups that show how men and boys are part of SPARK from the very beginning and help create a girl commentary about male allies.

Take Action Now Station
with Women Action Media (WAM!)
Participate in the latest girlcotts, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, texting actions and more, brought to you by Women, Action & the Media. WAM! will collect info on current actions fighting against the sexualization of girls in the media and bring you everything you need to get involved on the spot.

Petitioning 101:  The Power of Pushing Back in Numbers
Do you want to tell people, corporations, magazines, websites that you think they should stop turning girls into sex objects? One way to do this is to create a petition. At this action station, we will create several petitions, find out how to engage the people we know care about our issue—in person, on line, through texting—and then start to make it happen at SPARK!

The Healthy Media for Youth Act
with the American Psychological Association
Drop by and learn about the Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 4925), which if passed by congress will provide money to fund media literacy and youth empowerment programs.  While you’re here, contact your congressmembers and even the President of the United States to make your voice heard on combating sexualized images of women and girls in the media!

Holla Back
with Hollaback NYC
We don’t put up with sexual harassment in the school, at work, or at home – so why do we put up with it on the streets? At the Hollaback! action station, you’ll be invited to “hollaback” by texting in your street harassment stories.  The stories will be projected onto the wall, and reprinted on our blog at  By sharing your story, you will define what street harassment is, and how it’s not OK for generations to come.  So don’t just walk on past our booth, Hollaback! The world will thank you for it.

with The BlackLight Project
This workshop would focus more specifically on exploring questions related to sexuality, body image and sexualization through the young women’s own choreography. The central goal of this workshop would be to more thoroughly explore embodiment and how social expectations and young women’s own internalized feelings about these expectations impact the physical body.

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