Girl Rising (PG-13): An Impetus for Social Entrepreneurship

Thank you May Herr for sharing this photo.

Thank you May Herr for sharing this photo.

Last week my students in 7th and 8th grade Girls’ Leadership Club hosted their second annual movie night, raising awareness surrounding modern women’s issues around the globe with their presentation of Girl Rising. I am always so proud of these girls, whether they’re hosting a summer children’s camp in rural Costa Rica or spending their Friday night at school with their families and me in order to learn more about what the average 12-year-old girl’s life on planet Earth is really like in 2014.

The PG-13 rating is a bit of an overreaction in my opinion. While the parents were present at the movie night, I would have felt entirely comfortable showing the movie directly to the students and then addressing any remaining questions afterwards. The documentary does an amazing job of presenting the issues artfully and conscientiously, without being graphic. The girls  do indeed come away from the movie with an awareness of serious issues like sexual violence and sex trafficking, arranged marriages, teen childbirth and illiteracy, but the movie does not depict the actual scenarios. I chose this movie not only because the parents recommended it to me, but more so because it was released in 2013. With Girls’ Leadership Club I am always trying to drive home the fact that these seemingly archaic issues are actually glaring problems today. At 100 minutes the movie is a good length for middle school movie night, and the structure of the movie – nine vignettes narrated by actresses like Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez and other well-known personalities, provide natural stopping points for intermission. I hope more schools will screen this movie in their communities.

Where does social entrepreneurship come in with all of this? One leaves this movie with a sense of wanting to go out immediately and solve the world’s problems. Screening this movie coincided with my budding efforts towards setting myself up as a social entrepreneur. As you’ve seen in an earlier post, I’ve started taking jewelry lessons at Workshop,  and since then I’ve been formulating a plan to sell my creations at places like my favorite Treasure Island flea.

My latest handmade creation in copper and turquoise.

My latest handmade creation in copper and turquoise.

My plan is take all my proceeds from sales of these earrings and similar pieces and send the funds to organizations worldwide, either new or with whom I’ve volunteered  before, to help them continue on in their missions to grant children’s greatest wish– to go to school. Access to education for all children – both girls and boys,  is arguably the single best way to fight against  the prejudices and abuse women face.

Pair of earrings #2

I even made the ear hooks by hand, too!

My next step is to start saving up for more jewelry classes over at RAC: Richmond Art Center over in the East Bay. I’m so excited to learn new metal techniques like weaving and a niche technique they are calling “Yemenite filigree.” I can’t wait to learn more nuances of this cool craft- wish me luck!


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