Hardy Girls Healthy Women is a non–profit organization committed to changing the culture in which girls are growing. We connect girls with the people and resources that help them transform their surroundings into safe havens; and we empower girls with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and a platform for activism.

As an organization, we have spent the last ten years finding out what happens when you listen to girls and take them seriously, when you empower them instead of treating them like victims, and when you work side by side with them to challenge the cultural narrative that pits girls against one another, promotes unrealistic body and beauty ideals, and sexualizes girls from a very young age, blurring the lines between childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

I co-founded HGHW in 1990 with Karen Heck and Lynn Cole, two amazing activists.  In our ten years of working alongside girls, we’ve found that when you trust girls, when you provide opportunities for them to connect with one another and when they have access to strong, smart role models, girls thrive.  Girls aren’t the problem, they’re the solution.

Hardy Girls’ programs and resources are being used to support girls’ healthy development in 38 states, 5 countries, and by more than 15,000 people via our mailing lists and networks.  Additionally, with our new Training Institute, we are educating people from around the country in our approach to working with girls.

In 2010, Hardy Girls launched Powered by Girl (PBG) an edgy

girl-driven online media literacy and activism campaign designed to educate teen girls about the impact of media in their lives and give them new knowledge, creative tools, and opportunities to talk back to media and demand more realistic and positive versions of girlhood.

In 2010, I helped to initiate the SPARK (Sexualization Protest Action Resistance Knowledge) Summit and movement, a growing coalition of partners and thought leaders united in their determination to challenge the sexualization of girls and to work collectively to demand girls’ rights to embodiment and to healthy sexuality.  Working with Hardy Girls, one of the leadership organization, I helped to develop the SPARKTeam of youth bloggers and have been creating SPARKits–media literacy and activism projects inspired by and co-branded with our partner organizations.  One of my favorites is Projection.

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