With “a pre-existing attitude of anti-feminism” according to rising senior Julia Lee, Trinity School’s Girls Learn International (GLI) Chapter in New York City seeks to provoke interest in and awareness of feminism in the school community.
In just the last year, Trinity’s chapter has orchestrated a slew of events towards this goal including two Girl Rising movie screenings, collaboration with the environmental club on eco-feminism, and a visit and speech from Kathy Spillar of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), GLI’s parent organization. Further engagement with the greater student body was facilitated by “Lunch and Learns” and opening letter exchanges with students at their partner school, Tembea Girls’ High School in Kenya to the entire student body. Their leadership is equally shared rather than hierarchal, lending to greater cooperation and collaboration within the club and amongst the 8 student heads according to Lee. In the past year, they have raised almost $6000 towards their partner school, the Tembea High School , as well as towards Afghan Connection and 10×10. These are all organizations tasked with improving education conditions around the world for girls.
Lee was drawn to the club by their particular emphasis on global education reform and says she did not identify as a feminist before joining GLI. GLI has shown her that “every issue is in some way a feminist issue because girls face so many unfair barriers to achieving their dreams and being accepted into society, so we need to support them in any way that we can.” Now, Lee sees the need to expand feminist issues if the movement is to engage millenials, a generation “unconvinced that [feminism] is relevant and important.”
Along with establishing a biweekly feminist newsletter, the Trinity School GLI chapter will be hosting Eleanor Smeal, President of FMF and Ms. magazine next year. The upper school Chapter works together with the Trinity middle school Chapter, which has been around even longer, and is led by Facutly Advisor Ginn Norris. It is exciting to know there is a younger set that already recognizes feminism and women’s rights issues.