MISSION: Project Me is an empowerment conference created by young women for young women. Hosted by Women Inspiring Strength & Empowerment (WISE) Club members, each spring, over 30 young leaders gather to learn from positive female role models, engage in self-expression, develop positive relationships with their peers. The objective of this conference is for young women to go out into their communities feeling empowered, inspired, and confident that they are leaders for positive change in the lives of young girls. Participants are encouraged to reflect on how they see themselves in their families, communities, and society in order to live their best life without feeling the need to conform to societal standards of womanhood.
OVERVIEW: During the conference, our young women engage with various artists, businesswomen, and activists throughout the community, such as Jay Mills and Kristina Gilchrist, who share their unique stories and visions of strength. Workshops included “Project-Me” and a Collective Vision Board, which prompted participants to analyze, evaluate, and educate themselves and others regarding their individual and communal identity. These connections give WISE Club members and their peers a chance to learn from positive female role models, encourage participants to view themselves as stakeholders in their communities, discuss the power of collective effort and shared strength, develop healthy peer relationships and, ultimately, become self-actualized, effectual agents of positive change.
OUTCOMES: As a result of Project Me, WISE Club now includes a Committee that mobilizes women to be active in their schools and communities as well as increase their self-efficacy to demonstrate sustained action and commitment to prevent violence against women. Committee members are responsible for showing up to planning meetings, participating in all Community Strength Projects, representing the organization in various settings, engaging peers outside of WISE club and encouraging them to participate in WISE club activities. Currently, the WISE Club Committee is working on a photography project entitled “Images of Strength & Empowerment.” They are using photography to tell stories formed around the intersections of art, culture, and social justice in the lives of youth in Washington, DC. “Images of Strength & Empowerment” will provide our youth leaders with the opportunity not just to tell the stories important to them, but to develop their creative talents.
WISE Club hosted their first conference, in April 2015, where our young women from different schools and grades came together for a day of empowerment and celebrating womanhood. To learn more check out a blog post written by StyleStamped about the event: http://stylestamped.com/project-me