Senior Social Action Projects
The news can often feel overwhelming and confusing. In a time where it is critical to hold elected leaders accountable, it is important to have a trust-worthy news source for students to get the facts in order to stay informed. NextGen News is a digital news station that breaks down top headlines into five fast facts to make the news more digestible and relatable for the next generation.
Providing students a path to better care.
A new technology platform to empower younger women in Blockchain! Alinea means a new way of thought, and we seek to inspire just that. As an organization dedicated to educating young women on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, we hope to foster a community, spark discussion, and empower the future. With the new wave of innovation accompanied by blockchain technology, it is crucial that women participate as key players and join in on revolutionizing industries from agriculture to the arts.
Senior Social Action Projects
Eat. Pray. Learn.
Gabriella Sobol '18 and Jessica Reich '18
Eat. Pray. Learn. is an online resource center and community forum that seeks to promote accessibility and transparency of religious resources for Muslim and Jewish students on Ivy League college campuses. Eat. Pray. Learn. strives to foster interfaith dialogue between these two religious communities as a direct response to the societal rise in Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, and overall divisiveness. Our website allows current college students, as well as prospective students, to educate themselves about the religious resources and communities available on each of the Ivy League campuses, and encourages interfaith activism by pooling these resources together under one umbrella. The site has three main elements, as the name suggests: Eat has information on religious dietary restrictions and provisions, Pray has information on religious services and spiritual leaders, and Learn has information on academic accommodations and university policies. Our organization also hosts interfaith lunch and discussion events on these campuses, to create face-to-face spaces for continued interfaith dialogue. At Eat. Pray. Learn., we strive to promote diversity, inclusion, and respect, both within our company and through promoting these values on college campuses for students of different faiths. Join us, so that we can all eat, pray, and learn together.
Sarah Kim '17
Partnership: Cerebral Palsy Foundation
FeminAbility aims to break the glass ceiling that exists within feminism; it is the newest revolutionary movement that all women should partake in. Our vision is to create complete fluidity between feminism and disability. We do this by transforming the institutional and social barriers that exist in feminism into an accessible bridge that can be crossed by women of all abilities. We dig much deeper into the surface by sharing the untold stories of feminism, which are ugly in the most beautiful ways. We are a fierce group of real women with disabilities who are awaking the world with our loud voices, unapologetic boldness, and unique mobilities.
Mission: Remembering the ladies!
Of the two most used high school American history textbooks, women make up only 2-3% of the content. What results is 51% of the American population feeling underrepresented in the dominant historical narratives. Enter herstoric: a chic, streamlined mobile platform that allows people to take their education back into their own hands through a series of curated "women's walks" throughout NYC. By providing people with a fun and engaging way to reclaim their history, herstoric aims to refill the gaps in the American narrative by showcasing the women who have helped shape the country.
Take a Byte Magazine
Xonatia Lee '19
Partnerships: Black Girls Code, Global Kids
Take a Byte Magazine is an online magazine that aims to introduce young African American girls to African American female technologists. The lack of diversity and access to the technology field are some of the major reasons why young African American girls lack exposure to African American female role models in technology and, inherently, want to work less in this field. In fact, among all students taking the AP Computer Science class, only seven percent were African American girls in 2017. Yet, only two percent of African American girls were actually taking the exam at the end of the year. Already African American girls are at a disadvantage for future computing education and careers because they are not taking computing classes or see role models for them to look up to. As the saying goes: “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” Without some proof that professional opportunities are open to African American girls and women, many of them will never take even small steps toward a rewarding career and social mobility.
Take a Byte Magazine features a few African American female technologists in the different sectors in technology through a Q&A with each person. These women have different levels of experience, job titles, and companies that they work, which open students to the variety of paths into this field. My vision is for every African American girl to be able to imagine and see themselves in this magazine.
Break The Sound Barrier
Claire Walter '19
Partnerships (informal): HearAllComposers, Listening to Ladies
A campaign for more diverse and equitable programming. In the 2016-2017 seasons of the 85 major and regional American orchestras, only 1.3% of music was by women. There is a perception that this is because there have historically been so few female composers — but even among works by living composers, they still only accounted for 10.3%. Break The Sound Barrier provides the resources — letter template, scripts, and a map with contact information of hundreds of American orchestras and operas — to educate and amplify women's musical voices, calling for a more equitable future for the sonic landscape.
Expanding the conversation around the realities of womanhood. Pretty, Angry: The Podcast expands the conversation around the realities of womanhood. Through our weekly episodes, we create a space for conversation and discussion that’s accessible, palatable, and enjoyable for women, by women, and about women’s issues. Join us as we investigate, articulate, and determine: what is the reality of womanhood today, and what the hell are women yelling about?
Rachel Andres '19
Shining a spotlight on women, people of color, transgender, and gender nonconforming creative leaders in theatre. Encouraging audiences to support their work.
Spotlight On provides weekly Broadway, Off-Broadway, and NYC-area performance suggestions, promoting the work of women, people of color, transgender, and gender nonconforming writers, composers, choreographers, producers, and other creative leaders. Our digital platforms encourage theatre audiences to make intentional and powerful decisions with their dollars and support the work of creative leaders who are underrepresented in the industry.
Jacqueline Bernstein '17 and Talia Cuddeback '17
Male experts are quoted up to five times more than female experts as sources for news articles. The FemSource seeks to showcase women experts in their fields as sources in news articles in order to overcome the existing gender bias. Our vision is to reveal the power of women as credible sources in all news topics. The FemSource website platform will pull articles that specifically feature experts and leaders who are women from news and media outlets. In doing so, we link to the article and include a short summary of it, citing the name of the women being sourced. In addition to our website, we will have a weekly email subscription service called FeMail that will include the most significant articles featured on our website from the past week. We are committed to distributing cutting edge content featuring current women leaders and experts to help and encourage tomorrow's women leaders and experts reach similar successes. We recognize that the news is a significant shaper of people's perceptions and by drawing attention to women experts, we hope The FemSource will not only break down societal inequalities, but also inspire news outlets to use the powerful female voice when creating their content. We will not only target people who are newsreaders, but also will target the source by reaching out to reporters and editors who are distributing news content.
Dimes & Sense
Eleanor Cornell '19 and Natalie Trono '19
Partnerships: Lean In (leaninatcu.org)
The (Financial) Future is Female. Educating Now for Empowerment Later. Our digital platform, Dimes and Sense, educates college-aged women facing critical first-time personal finance decisions about financial literacy, enabling them to make informed choices now and empowering them to be independent later. Women globally are less financially literate than men, negatively affecting their lifelong earning, saving, investing, and retiring success. While some products have sought to meet this need for professional women with established careers, the market for college-aged women at the very start of their professional journey is currently unmet. By targeting this group and informing their current financial decisions with our online education curriculum, we strive to set women up for a lifetime of financial success, thus enabling them to live better lives.
Dimes & Sense is a financial literacy community powered by women. We arm college-aged women with the tools and advice to face first-time personal finance decisions. Our online community and educational content is shaped by the stories of the professional women, prominent leaders, and students that we interview. Whether you are an expert, curious about personal finance, or do not even know what questions you should be asking, Dimes & Sense is a place to be inspired by, and for you to inspire.
Jean Riley Frazer '18
Colleges, which are educating the brightest minds in our country in every subject and topic imaginable, are overlooking the one thing that is arguably the most important to teach their students: financial literacy. No one can be successful in any field if you do not know how to handle your money properly. This is where Smarter Money comes in. Its purpose is to provide the basic information needed to prepare someone for financial independence in the quickest and most easily accessible way.
Dash - Filling in the period blanks
Rashi Jain '18
Partnerships: WIN shelter system, LenaCup
Dash is bringing more menstrual hygiene products to homeless women in New York City. The aim is to make connections between businesses and shelters to empower homeless women to be healthy and hygienic.
Impact: Donated 2335 pads and 612 tampons to WIN. Launching a menstrual cup program with an educational workshop on use and storage of these cups as a means to give homeless women a sustainable way to manage their period long term. The pilot program will take place at East River Family Center in early May of 2018.
Erica Becker '17
GyKNOW eliminates stigmas surrounding reproductive health through educating and preparing young women for their first gynecological visit.
long story short
Catherine Hoang '19
Partnerships: Shout Your Abortion, Planned Parenthood Generation Action
An online op-ed publication about women’s everyday experiences with reproductive rights, from OBGYN visits to activism.
Pinpoint: A Digital Solution for Improving Access to Sexual Health Resources
Julia Pickel '19 & Kiran Singh-Smith '19
Partnerships: American Sexual Health Association
A digital toolbox for accessing safer abortion and contraception.
Young women ages 16 to 24 have disproportionately high rates of unintended pregnancy. Lack of access to reproductive health information and clinical resources has resulted in roughly three million unintended pregnancies a year, with one third of girls getting pregnant unintentionally before the age of 20. We created Pinpoint to empower young women with the information they need to feel confident about sexual health decisions and options. Our vision at pinpoint is to create a digital toolbox for accessing safer abortion and contraception. Aimed at women ages 16-24 of all socioeconomic levels, sexual orientations, race/ethnicities, etc., pinpoint is the only app that compiles accurate and comprehensive information on women’s sexual health, contraception, and abortion all in one place. The app includes comparisons of birth control methods, verified statistics on contraception effectiveness and side effects, clinic maps, health policy and insurance details, and guides for talking to your doctor, parent, or child.
Maria Elena Garcia '18
Women of color are grossly underrepresented in elected office. A reason is that women are not nominated, encouraged, or promoted to go after these leadership positions. This lack of encouragement can be seen in girls and women. Nominating a woman to run is powerful. For my project, I am creating a website showcasing Latina leaders who have ran for office, a form for people to nominate women online, as well as creating a social media campaign in Spanish and English. I am also partnering with VoteRunLead and Latinas Represent for my project. I hope to increase the number of Latinas nominated to run for office while highlighting the strong and diverse leadership within the Latinx community.
Karen Reppy '19
Local matters educates and inspires NYC college students to get involved in local politics. Through a website and social media campaign, local matters highlights the importance of local politics to our day to day lives and breaks down how different issues are controlled at the local level. With issue specific pages, visitors to the website learn how their elected representatives can impact issues they care about, like affordable housing, women's reproductive health or immigration. They can also access resources to get involved! Lastly, we ask people to take the pledge to get involved in local politics, whether that be to just having a conversation with a friend about a local issue or attending a community board meeting.
Tiana Pidgeon '17
Partnership: Columbia University Department of Computer Science (Professor Adam Cannon).
Basicbits is an entertaining online study resource with a mission to retain college-aged women in their introductory Computer Sciences courses.
Surbhi Lohia '19 & Maddie Wu '19
Link to Podcast: https://radiopublic.com/compilher-empowering-the-next-gen-85wwNP
Partnerships: Computational Science Center at Barnard, Womxn in Computer Science at Columbia University
CompilHER is a podcast series aiming to help high school girls learn more about computer science. We have interviewed a range of young women in tech whose relatable yet aspirational stories will inspire all. Combined with our website of resources for young women looking to get into the computer science field, we hope that CompilHER will create a virtual community for women in tech to support each other.
Data Privacy and Technology Ethics Initiative
Wallace Kalkin '18
Our mission is to safeguard consumer wellbeing. We work to ensure that users’ needs are prioritized over the interests of the companies themselves. Our goal is to put humanity and community in the place of first importance, allowing technology and business to rightfully serve us instead of the other way around.
Arlena McClenton '19 and Rhea Nagpal '19
Partnerships: Brown University, Princeton University
Preparing first gen students for college and success, one mentor at a time. firststep provides tailored mentorship to first generation students by matching first gen high school students with first gen college students who attend the universities they are considering. We chose this method of matching so that students have knowledge of the institutional resources their chosen university provides, from the students’ perspective. Additionally, our program supports first generation students of all ability levels. Our mentors offer guidance to their mentees from the time that applications are due in the fall through college decision day in May.
Lead On Creations is a disability-run organization that creates and distributes children’s books and educational materials about the history of the disability rights movement and its’ characters. Our objective is to reduce ableism and instill pride in the strides of the disability community through education. The name of our organization comes from disability activist Justin Dart’s famous slogan, “Lead on!” and hence is a calling to continue learning about and making disability history. This is the value of Lead on Creations: we are the first to focus on the education of children around disability history knowing that they are the next generation of disability advocates. Lead On Creations recently published its first book, Lead On: an illustrated poem of the American Disability Rights Movement.
Navigating the IX
Leora Einleger '19, Emily Mahan '19 & Mia Lindheimer '19
Partnerships: Puberty Concierge, the Heschel School and Being Barnard
Empowering students through knowledge of their rights. At Navigating the IX, we believe that Title IX education should begin before students step foot on campus. We believe in empowering students by endowing them with the confidence and knowledge they need to feel comfortable advocating for their own rights and the rights of others.
Through our high school curriculum, students are introduced to the concepts and vocabulary of Title IX and begin to understand how this seemingly distant federal law can be a source of empowerment. Students will know when an uncomfortable situation is a potential violation, be prepared to stop it, report, and heal. We are piloting our program by educating 70 high school students on Title IX in college. We are also working as consultants to Needham High School gender rights clubs (including groups such as Take Back the Night and Amnesty International).
Speaking at GOSO
Hannah Ahn '19
Partnerships: Getting Out and Staying Out, Barnard Speaking Fellows
A workshop that teaches confidence and presentation skills to young people from the ages of 16 to 24 who have come into contact with the criminal justice system, “Speaking at GOSO” introduces Barnard students to peers from different walks of life while providing valuable experience in direct service, educational planning, and social work.