The founder of Julia Morgan School for Girls, my previous boss, my mentor, and my dear friend, Ann Clarke, invited me to the Bay Area to sit on a panel with Holly Gordon, Executive Director of the 10×10 project and Pat Loomes, the founder of Girls Inc. These are two women I admire so much! I jumped up and down and said ‘yes’. Actually, I have a policy, never say ‘NO’ to Ann Clarke. The woman knows what she is doing.
Holly was being awarded the Freedom Award at the Bentley School. I have been following Holly Gordon’s 10×10 project for almost two years now. And now, it is has become a film, GIRL RISING— all about how girls’ education is the best thing we can do in the world. This is what Scott and I originally set out to do with Shanta’s story.
Well, Holly and I did have a lot in common. I mean, Girl Rising is a much huger thing. Like, it has a big budget and star power behind it, with the likes of Meryl Streep and Selena. The girls in Holly’s film are alive and thriving, while the girl in ours is gone. However, I believe our two project complement one another really well. They fit together like puzzle pieces. To meet her was a really big deal for me. She is smart, driven, matter-of-fact and fun. She worries about the projector not working every time she screens, just like I do.
During Holly’s presentation, I got pretty emotional actually. She just happened to show the section of the film starring, Suma, a girl from Nepal. It really hit me. ‘What if we were telling the story of Shanta and she were still alive?’ It has been a long time since I have really imagined our original idea of the film, GirlWorld. It was going to be so awesome. We were going to return to Shanta’s village to see her be a doctor. It was going to be so hopeful. Sigh….
I know Shanta’s family wishes we were making that film too.
But the good news is, Holly has the issue girl’s education covered. Girl Rising is going to be BIG. It has a super cool new distribution model. YOU, YES, YOU can get the film to a theater near you. You can hold your very own screening! Check out their website to find out how. I am going to try to do it when we get back from Nepal, but am afraid we are going to be way too busy. However, if you are interested, I would love to share in getting Girl Rising to Seattle.
At the event, I presented after Holly, and it was a real honor. I talked about how Shanta is still a revolutionary even though she is no longer here. All these girls—the girls in Girl Rising, Shanta, her sisters, Malala Yousafzai—they are all revolutionaries. And in every revolution— there are casualties. My hope is that our work will help the women in the world get through this revolution quickly and safely and not alone.
Thank you again, Ann Clarke! You make magic happen and I love that I keep getting to be a part of it!
Notice in the picture below how Holly and I ‘clicked’!
This is the panel: (left to right) Arlene Hogan, Head of the Bentley school, Holly Gordon, me, Pan Loomes, founder of Girls, Inc and Ann Clarke, founder of the Julia Morgan School for Girls and much more!