Ariste Metaxas, Girl Rising former Cohort Lead Educator, and Cristina Valderrama, Girl Rising Development Director, represented Girl Rising on a panel discussion with education students from Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderale. The event was hosted by Dr. Jennifer Berne, who teaches education, curriculum, assessment, classroom management, and creative writing at the university.
The theme of the event was “The Power to Connect, Collaborate, and Thrive.” They screened the original "Girl Rising" film and engaged in a robust discussion on gender equity in education
"To generate more gender equity, inclusivity, and diversity, we need absolutely everyone," said Cristina at the event, "We need educators, moms, dads, grandfathers, grandmothers, policymakers."
"I think it's really key to ask questions and listen. Because sometimes we tend to think that there's a magical solution to generate more gender equity. But in order to have more gender equity, we need to listen. Listen to students. Girls are the ones who know what they want, what they need. And we should create educational systems by listening to them.”
The panel discussion engaged future educators in exploring their own biases, prioritizing girls as live-experience experts, and challenging existing norms in classrooms that are inequitable.
One student who attended the event is quoted as saying, "I recognize now the importance of educating my students on education around the world and different cultures' views and on access to education and the gender disparities that exist. By doing so, I can instill in my students the desire and drive to make a difference."
One student and future educator who attended the Girl Rising screening and discussion, Alyssa Jane Trausch, subsequently joined the Girl Rising Student Ambassador Program, and she plans to hold a screening of Girl Rising in her hometown of Chicago. Link to Alyssa Jane Trausch’s video