Social Action Projects, 2015-2016

Adrianna Aguayo   
Reverse the Cycle, Change the Conversation: Addressing Menstrual Equity in New York City    

The project Reverse the Cycle, Change the Conversation aimed to improve the ability of homeless women to reach a level playing field in terms of health.   

Tampon Drive that raised awareness about the challenges that stigma poses to menstrual equity and collected over $800 in donations of menstrual products. All proceeds were donated to Care for the Homeless in New York City.

Julie Ahn is an interactive web site – targeted at young millennials – with the primary goal of increasing the awareness around the lack of labeling of genetically modified foods.   

This website will be formally launched at the public film screening of the documentary “GMO OMG.” At this screening, there will be fact sheets, petitions, and a Q&A with a representative from Food and Water Watch as well as myself. It is two days before the film screening and there are 25 confirmed guests, and the RSVPs keep coming in. I have received e-mails, submissions for written pieces, as well as a couple hand-written letters that I will deliver to Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell with members of the Food & Water Watch. This website is raising awareness around the lack of food transparency in the United States, giving the younger generation the confidence to shop, eat and cook with awareness, and encouraging many to become involved in the GMO labeling campaign.

Karl-Mary Akre & Elizabeth Williams   

lensNOIR aims to promote film and media events by and about women of color in the New York City area. By encouraging audiences to support women of color filmmakers and talent, we hope that this will encourage Hollywood film gatekeepers to expand beyond stereotypes and provide women of color with a fuller range of representation. 

lensNOIR is a website devoted to showcasing monthly film and media events by and about women of color. Users are empowered to financially support their productions, which thereby sends a message to the film industry that WOC narratives are valued.

Shannon Browning & Hannah Smolar  
Get Paid (Internships)    

To combat the inequitable nature of unpaid internships, Get Paid (Internships) has four primary goals: (1) Educating students about their rights as unpaid interns at for-profit businesses; (2) Empowering unpaid interns to advocate for themselves; (3) Influencing the New York State Department of Labor to become more straightforward and to create a section on its website completely dedicated to student-interns; (4) Encouraging the Department of Labor to respond to the needs of interns.

Get Paid (Internships) is an interactive website that educates students about their rights as interns and encourages conversation surrounding unpaid internships. The site also provides resources, such as resume and cover letter help, to prepare students for competitive paid internship applications. Get Paid (Internships) is also an initiative: we want to empower students to advocate for their rights and influence the Department of Labor to take a more active role in educating students-interns about their rights.

Jillian Cardona & Farhana Jamal   

BreakingBread directly addresses the difficulties of gluten-free travel abroad by creating an online resource for the gluten-free community to learn about the firsthand experiences of people who have knowledge and advice on how to navigate foreign cities while avoiding gluten. With fresh content posted weekly, BreakingBread is the premiere source for gluten-free travel advice, tips, and restaurant suggestions   

The BreakingBread community is a knowledge-based blog written by gluten-free travelers, about their firsthand experiences, advice, and recommendations pertaining to specific cities. In a larger sense, BreakingBread endeavors to mitigate the stigma that is often associated with gluten allergies due to a lack of knowledge about what it actually is and what maintaining a gluten-free diet entails. Our goal is to reach an audience of a wide-range of ages, including young children and their parents, to demonstrate that if one has researched and prepared,  it is possible to have experiences like study abroad, which they might have otherwise precluded due to the seeming implausibility of doing so with a food allergy. 

Mackenzie Collins & Georgina Ustik   
Pass Her The Mic    

We wanted our social media campaign and blog to act together to create a platform that aggregates the work of young female artists, giving them visibility and creating a space for intelligent discussion.   

We created a social media campaign,  #PassHerTheMic, that promotes the work of female hip-hop and rap artists. Each week, we feature an up-and-coming rap artist, and throughout the week post their music, album reviews and interviews. The social media campaign will also expose mainstream music blogs that are guilty of leaving women out of critical discourse of music. Our social media campaign is on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We also have a blog dedicated to publishing content on women in hip-hop and rap. On this blog, there is information about our campaign, information on women in the music industry and original editorial content. We wanted the blog to act as an educational tool, as well as a space for discussion and new ideas.

Alejandra Figueroa   
The 1Voice Summit   

The 1Voice Summit seeks to educate students on the importance of public speaking skills and its link to the professional world with the mission of providing them with tangible skills and the tools they need to become masters of public speaking.   

The summit was a day-long conference that was intended to help high school students overcome their fears of public speaking and inspire them to use public speaking as a tool for professional advancement. The summit was also intended to serve as their opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of professions and to learn what networking is and how to network using public speaking skills. Students had the chance to network with professionals from various fields, including law, finance, and science. 

Ellie George   
New Perspectives   

The mission of New Perspectives is to give the power to the children to realize the strength of their own narratives and think of them in a fun, positive light. Through creative, freeform writing, children respond to thoughtful prompts, allowing them to share their stories, think deeper about their happiness and wellness, and reflect on the influences of the positive forces in their own lives.   

New Perspectives is an innovative creative writing program based on the core pillars of Narrative Medicine. In this therapeutic, fun way of writing, children leave happier and more connected to their surroundings through the power of their own narrative. Throughout the semester and winter break, I taught numerous creative writing workshops for 3rd and 4th graders in the New Orleans area. 

Katie Hoeger   
Radically Confident

Our mission is to create a conversation about the efficacy of the body positive movement, and promote media literacy that will aid the development of a healthy body image. Our blog and social media campaign confront the issues within the movement. Our vision is of a world where people have the tools and education they need to develop a positive body image, which will help them to become Radically Confident   

I created a blog and social media campaign, which focused on Twitter and Facebook. I had 577 unique visitors to my website, and accumulated 320 likes, comments and shares of my posts. Two of my blog entries were posted on the Endangered Bodies website and Feministing's community page. Through the publication of my blog posts on these websites I had the opportunity to engage with other thought leaders in the space, including Wear Your Voice Magazine.  Radically Confident successfully had an impact in educating people about developments in the body positive movement, and providing media literacy to help individuals develop a positive body image by giving them the tools and knowledge necessary to be critical of the images and messages presented to them. 

Dylan Kapit   
LGBTeAching for InQlusion   

LGBTeAching for InQlusion is a collection of stories of LGBTQIA people telling their stories of times that they felt excluded from health education/sex education in their K-12 experiences. I want to show these stories to law-makers and principals of schools to help them understand that the exclusion of LGBTQIA people from health/sex education has long lasting damage.   

This project is a way for people to tell their stories and hopefully make an impact on the future students in health/sex education by causing law-makers and principals to make more inclusive curricula.

Elizabeth Kelly & Emily Playfair   
Messy Feelings    

Messy Feelings supplies children with workbooks to help them express and address their feelings of emotional trauma through art therapy techniques, guided journaling, and cognitive behavioral therapy methods.   

Messy Feelings currently has two workbooks: a grief workbook and a divorce workbook. We distribute the workbooks through professionals that range from non-profit grief counseling centers to play therapists and school nurses. Since beginning the project in November, 2015 we have distributed the workbook to around 20 professionals and we project that the workbooks have reached about 30 or more children. We recently applied for 501(c)(3) status and hope to continue our expansion of the workbook format to include mental illness, incarceration, chronic pain, and other forms of emotional trauma. 

Gianni LaTange   

LADDR is a student run, pro-bono professional development network for underprivileged students looking to gain meaningful work experience, develop critical professional skills, and collaborate with socially responsible non-profits and for profit entities.   

LADDR connects undergraduates (Talent) with businesses (Partners) seeking help on short-term projects to be completed remotely, requiring under 10 hours/week for no more than 12 weeks. The flexible, and short, time commitment enables students to receive a dynamic, diverse set of experiences, while still being able to devote their energy to their studies and a paid job to cover their living costs

Talia Lefkowitz  
Crossing The Threshold Film

American women in the 21st century are demanding religious equality in traditional Orthodox religious sectors.  Catholics, Orthodox Jewish, and Muslim women who have for centuries been denied the ability to participate fully in religious services, rituals and, most noticeably, spiritual leadership, are demanding the right to a voice. 

This film tells the stories of three courageous women who are demanding equal participation and leadership opportunities within their religious faiths.  Crossing The Threshold documents the journey of these women, while exploring the barriers they inevitably face.   

Rafat Nigar     
Women Connect    

In order to help female entrepreneurs achieve success in the small business realm, Women Connect aims to connect budding small business owners with already established business owners. 

By providing women with access to a one-on-one mentor/mentee relationship, Women Connect aims to vanish the institutional and personal barriers that disallow female small business owners to grow and foster economic independence. We recognize the value of mentorship and we established Women Connect with the belief that more women could succeed in the small business realm if they had access to an experienced mentor who could help them navigate the institutional and personal barriers that female entrepreneurs face.   

Taylor Pedicone   
The Pigeon Project. Consider The Pigeon.    

The mission behind the project was three-fold: (1) foster an appreciation and respect for the birds through education of their vast and often unknown cognitive abilities and remarkable emotional capacities (like being able to recognize themselves in mirrors, detect cancers, etc.), (2) aim to make the process of helping injured pigeons easy and rewarding by providing a user-friendly breadth of resources for those who are willing to help a bird in need but do not know where to start, (3) highlight the pigeon as the definitive case study for all frequently overlooked wildlife that deserve so much more from their human counterparts.    

My project was greatly successful and elicited wonderful responses from the public, resulting in large-scale impact and changing the way many individuals think about these birds they interact with everyday.  My tag line was #considerthepigeon, and so I was touched each time an individual told me that they would never look at a pigeon the same way again as a result of my project.  Changing people's minds about pigeons was one goal of my project but there was also a more impactful message that I hoped to share. The pigeon stands for all overlooked, forgotten, neglected, and stereotyped animals. 

Ariel Rivkin
The Beautiful Brain: Empowering College Aged Women With ADD/ADHD   

The Beautiful Brain ( @thebeautifulbrain ) is an Instagram account that has three main goals 1) to spread awareness about ADD/ADHD in general 2) to highlight the positive 'gifts' and 'superpowers' that accompany ADD/ADHD and 3) to offer a resource for college aged women with ADD/ADHD to feel less confused, ashamed, and alone and instead more connected to their unique way of thinking, other resources that can help them overcome the challenges of ADD/ADHD and more connected to other young women who have similar experiences.   

Ultimately, this project seeks to provoke more thought and conversation about the existing understanding of learning disabilities. Towards the end of April, an interactive event will be held at Barnard College featuring a successful female speaker with ADD/ADHD. This event will give female ADD/ADHD college students a space to interact face to face with one another and an experienced professional ADD/ADHD female.

Adiya Taylor   
The P.R.E.P. Project    

P.R.E.P. stands for Promoting Resilience, Empowerment, and Proactivity. At The P.R.E.P. Project, I aspired to lessen the stressors incoming college students face by preparing them well and early on. The mission of the The P.R.E.P. Project is to cultivate a realistic and holistic college prep experience for high school upperclassmen    

Twenty-one high school students, all women of color, came together to investigate and discuss the lifestyle transitions one faces in college. Overall, the event provided a space to answer questions about college life, as well as a space to strengthen techniques to cope with and avoid stress. As the student participants integrate their new skills into their everyday practices, and share these techniques within their broader community, The P.R.E.P. project will have played a role in reshaping how stress is manifested and addressed on college campuses.

Catherine Vidos   
“GMO OMG”   

I wanted to convince Danny O'Donnell to vote for the GMO labeling bill in the codes committee. He was the only vote abstention in this committee during the last Assembly session and if he would have voted for the bill it would have passed out of the Codes Committee.

I showed the documentary called "GMO OMG" to non-Barnard residents of Morningside Heights.  I asked each of the attendees (I had around 30) to write a personal letter, as constituents, to O'Donnell asking him to vote in the codes committee. I got around 20 letters and I delivered them to O'Donnell. 

Sydne Wheeler-Larsen   
Gigg On, Girl Music Festival    

Gigg On, Girl Festival highlights rising women musicians in an industry that often overlooks their presence and diminishes their voices.   

Gigg Fest 2015 brought bassist Mal Devisa, punk trio Sharkmuffin, pop-punkers Diet Cig, and R&B duo OSHUN as well as Discwoman DJ’s HD & Bearcat to the heart of feminist activity uptown, Barnard College, for a day of dialogue and music (of course).  A panel with our artists, “Empowering Women Musicians”, preceded the show and opened a discussion about how women are treated in the music industry and how we can continue to change this as a community.