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The Bella Bulletin JANUARY 2018

Alumnae Spotlights and Artwork We interviewed our alumna Anastasiya Tsoy and we are also showcasing the amazing artwork by our very own Rachel Mintz.

How to Market yourself in 2018

BALI @ The Women’s Marches Read about the experiences of our BALI Alumnae and BALI Executive Director Liz Abzug.

Read our new article about marketing yourself. It was written in collaboration with BALI Board Member Deena Baikowitz. Anyone looking for anew job or internship – make sure to take a look!

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Table of Contents This month in women’s history………………..3 A Letter From Liz ……………………………………4 This Month at BALI…………………………………5 How To Market Yourself in 2017..........................7 FEATURED Article of the Month………......……..9 Featured Headlines of the Month………………10

Class of 2017 Leader of the Month……………..12 ALUMNAE Spotlights ..............................................13 Trailblazer Tribute................................................15 Political Opinion Editorial ..............................16

Enrichment opportunities ................................18 BALI STAFF & Board of Directors……….……....20 BELLA BULLETIN STAFF …………………………......21


Women’s History of the month:

JANUARY

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A Letter from Liz Abzug Dear Supporters of BALI, I am so gratified by the work and events that our BALI trainees, interns, staff, and alumnae have engaged with since last summer's training. From October to when we co-sponsored the UN International Week of the Girl and Day long summit held at United Nations Headquarters to the recent women’s marches – I am very proud of it all. Special acknowledgements to Martina Perez who spoke in front of all the young women in attendance regarding the need to protect and expand DACA. Thank you to all of the girls who came to our Holiday/ Reunion. I loved hearing of your experiences in college and of your recent endeavors. In May we said goodbye to our long-time Program Coordinator and member of the BALI tribe, Ebony Wilkinson. After working several years for BALI, she has moved on to a new position at the Ford Foundation. In September, we were pleased to add our newest staff member, Program Coordinator Gabriella Valette. We are extremely happy to have Gaby on our team and for Ebony’s new job. Oriela Baliaj, our senior program associate, did a fabulous job leading this last summer's successful twoweek intensive training program. Though the only staff member at the time, she had the support of our summer interns and managed to put on yet another session of our leadership and debate training program. And I am proud to report for the second school year, BALI is running a year-long after-school program at the Mott Haven Village Preparatory Academy High School. The program started in October and will run until June. Many thanks to my staff, our senior empowerment and motivational trainers Valerie Jeannis and Vanessa Cordorniu for once again inspiring, empowering and creating beautiful workshops. Just last month, our BALI Girls represented us at the Women’s March. In NYC, our girls held signs for gender equality and made our BALI presence known in the vast crowds of marchers. At the same time, I was thrilled and honored to be one of many speakers at the NJ Women's Rally held in Morristown New Jersey. To read more about it, check out our “This Month at BALI” article.

As for the future, in May we will hold our Annual Bella and Bella Fella Awards fundraiser; please keep a look out for the announcement of this year's honorees and a surprise new fabulous party venue! For the first time ever, this summer we will hold TWO separate cohorts of our BALI intensive leadership and debate training program. Our two-week intensive and a one week intensive. As always, our programs will be offered at no cost. This summer we will also be collaborating with the Lower East Side Girls Club. Both BALI and LESGC staff are looking forward to working in partnership with high school girls from all over the city to inspire and assist them to become better leaders. This is our first year to have an electronic newsletter, the Bella Bulletin. A huge thank you to our terrific and creative editor-in-chief Gisselle Rodriguez Benitez and her hard-working section-editors Wilma DePass, Adriana Rodriguez and Zoe Donovan. We now have a cutting-edge online magazine, that reports on worker and girls rights issues and other issues of social justice that BALI and other girls young women are facing at this time. Several of you Bali warriors have contributed thoughtful and insightful pieces on issues of great concern such as DACA, political correctness, and the importance of listening to each other. So the final message I want to leave you with for now is this: we must continue our fight to achieve full gender and racial equality, we must persist and resist when we must do that we can finally break down barriers and systemic discrimination and to create a more just, loving and peaceful world! My greatest hope and I believe it is girls and women who will, in fact, be the most competent change makers of the 21st century!

Here’s to equality for all,

Liz Abzug BALI Founder and Executive Director


Starting The Year Off With The BELLA ABZUG Leadership Institute

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Last month, our BALI alumnae represented us at Women’s Marches near and far. Most of our girls attended the march in NYC while Maia from the 2017 cohort marched in San Jose! It was great to see our girls walk in unity with millions of driven women and allies.

Liz, our CEO and Executive Director was a speaker at the NJ Women’s March. We are extremely proud of her! We asked Liz and one of our alumna, Martina, to share their experiences! “I will admit it was a little scary for me to speak to 20,000 people (women, men, boys and girls of ages) at an outside rally on an icy winter day! But in the true Abzug tradition, I tried to speak proudly, loudly

and make a difference by speaking for full gender equality, for DACA, against the systemic sexual harassment and abuse which has finally been exposed primarily because of the "me too" and "times up "movements. I also spoke of the need not only fight against all injustice but to take action and organize. We need to make sure that in mid-term elections to defeat those politicians who are trying to set the clock back to the terrible discrimination people of color and

women suffered in the 1950's before the passage of some of our most protective civil rights laws in the 1960's and 1970’s.” – Liz “I attended the Women’s March with a few friends after our college program had ended. We quickly designed some signs to present throughout the march. I chose the phrase “no person is illegal” because it represents a current issue that I am very passionate about and I felt like it paid homage to my speech

back in October at the UN for International Day of the Girl. It was an incredible experience. I even shed a few tears because being surrounded by so many passionate people truly got me emotional. I can’t wait to attend future marches and protests!

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How To Market Yourself in 2018 • •

Let’s start with why? The way we market is critical as we seek jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, references and new clients.

Talk about your interests and passions Give examples of situations where you have taken initiative • Have a professional demeanor and exhibit openness to learn and work hard • Let people know about your experiences in school and work and how they have shaped who you are Whether you’re with clients, employers, coworkers or even strangers, what people remember about you is valuable. In interviews, your impression can make all the difference. Set your goal: what do I want this person to learn about me? Why am I a good fit for this position? Keeping this in mind, be honest. If you believe you are a good fit, it is up to you to prove that to the employer.

The Basics: • What do you have to offer? • How can you be an asset to others? • Who can use your skills? • How do you find them? To get ourselves out there, we need to have purpose. We must think about what skills and attributes we possess that can make impacts in our workplaces and communities. Ask yourself, what comes natural to me? What do I enjoy doing? What have I enjoyed learning? What would I enjoy spending time doing? From here, go on and see who needs your help. Talk to your networks – whether it’s your friends at school or your peers at BALI. Talk to adults you know and tell them about your goals. You never know who has a connection who you can help, or who can help you.

Build relationships: • • • •

What do you want people to know about you?

Networking is about who you know, who knows you, and what they know about you Connect with people in industries and jobs that interest you Attend educational programs and networking events Use social media to present a professional image to the world Share your work and volunteer experiences and use it for research

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Invite people to lunch or to get coffee • Grow your networks by connecting your friends Effort is key. Making and maintaining relationships is critical to your career and success. Whether its in person meet-ups or social media interactions, find a way to engage.

Be Proactive! • •

Offer to photograph an event in your industry Volunteer to work registration tables at women’s conferences • Teach someone about social media or computer techniques • Help edit videos for school or for local organizations Continue to offer your skills to others! Even if it is not always financial compensation, you can work on your skills and meet others.

Be a resource to others: • To teach • To share • To support You get what you give! Do your best to help others in your network. If you meet someone looking for an intern or volunteer, put them in contact with someone who could be an asset to them. Help girls younger than you. Share your advice and experience!

Special thank you to Deena for sharing her expertise with BALI! Connect with Deena on social media @fireballdeena.

Check out Fireball Network’s coaching programs and workshops on networking, marketing, branding, and presentation skills. Fireball Network at FireballNetwork.com And follow on Instagram @fireballnetwork.

“You never know how the next person you meet can change your life.”

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Featured Article of the Month This Women’s March, Remember Who’s ACTUALLY Been Showing Up By Katie Mitchell, contributor to Bustle January 19, 2018 One year after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the second annual Women’s March will take place this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. Like last year, hundreds of thousands of women are expected to participate in the national event and at sister city marches across the country. This year’s Women’s March theme focuses on voter registration in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election. In addition to being the kickoff for a national voter registration drive, the Women’s March has cemented itself in American history as a protest against the patriarchy. Often when we discuss protesting, the conversation tends to skew toward who “shows up” to the protest and who doesn’t — but showing up is more than wearing a pink "pussy" hat and toting a clever sign. To really be an active participant in the resistance, one must show up beyond Women's March 2018— and remember the Black women who have consistently been doing so. Last year's Women’s March was a historical event and is considered the largest one-day demonstration in U.S. history, so I’m not suggesting that participating in it was innately frivolous. But, it is not lost on me that many of the same white women who patted themselves on the back for attending the first Women’s March were complicit in Donald Trump's rise to power by remaining silent as he campaigned on a platform of xenophobia. Of course, there are white women who have been showing up and putting in the work since long before Donald Trump was even on the campaign trail. But if the election of Donald Trump was the first time you woke up to America's systemic racism, you haven't been paying attention. And as you continue to unlearn unconscious white feminism, it's important to remember, listen to, and learn from the people who laid the groundwork for you. One of the tenets of white feminism is not including the specific experiences of women of color in your understanding of how sexism affects people differently. After producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by dozens of women, sparking the #MeToo movement, many (previously silent) women began campaigning for a more nuanced discussion of how rape culture impacts women. Rose McGowan, one of the most visible faces of the movement (and speaker at the Women's Convention), was criticized for suggesting replacing the word "women" with a racial slur, which many people thought implied McGowan's privileging of white women. This lack of nuance was the case as far back as first-wave feminism. Susan B. Anthony, one of the most famous white

feminists, once said, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot" for Black people and not for women. White feminists — which does not necessarily mean feminists who are white — have always had a problem with intersectionality. The only difference now is that it can be easily documented on Instagram and Twitter. But Black women show up when it’s not convenient or Instagrammable, and we do so consistently. In Alabama, Black women overwhelmingly voted for Democrat Doug Jones (98 percent), tipping the election in his favor, while the majority of white women (63 percent) voted for Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. Black women were roundly "thanked" across social media for "saving" liberals who couldn't vote in Alabama, but that isn't the same as payment for continuing to show up again and again. Following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Roni Dean-Burren, a Houston native, coordinated a way for folks to donate directly to Black women who were affected by the storm. As of Sept. 1, 2017, #SupportBlackWomenHOU had raised over $30,000 in direct donations. On her website, Dr. Dean-Burren states, “Being about this work — dismantling oppressive systems, challenging places of privilege and caring for the least of these — means being about people." Showing up means doing the necessary work to help those who are often ignored in their time of need. It’s been time to respect the fact that Black women have been showing up in every worthwhile instance — regardless of how much attention their actions will receive. There are more ways to uplift women than attending a march or protest, and I’d argue that while the Women’s March is important, participating in it is a low bar. The real work comes from what you do during your daily life. Do you challenge microagressions and racist policies at your workplace? Do you correct family members who dismiss the legitimate grievances of people of color, or do you remain silent to keep the peace? When a queer person calls you out for perpetuating homophobic or transphobic ideas, are you quick to defend yourself? Or are you more concerned about listening, understanding, and changing your behavior? The revolution isn’t going to be pretty. Folks in power don’t willingly give up their power without a fight. Black women have taken the lead in organizing and direct action initiatives, but it’s time for white feminists to step up and do substantive work that goes beyond one day.

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Headlines of the Month Disagreements on DACA and Border Security Lead to Government Shutdown From Saturday, January 20 to Monday, January 22, the federal government experienced a shutdown due to disagreements between Republicans and Democrats on DACA and border security. A tactic used many times in modern history by both parties, the majority of Democrats in Congress voted against this fiscal year’s government funding law as a way to push the senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican party to establish a permanent DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) act. The program put forward by the Obama administration in 2012, was supposed to be terminated by March 5th, but has been temporarily continued as a result of a recent courtorder. The shutdown came to

an end after a bipartisan group made a temporary government funding law that will last until February 8th, which some Democrats agreed to under the condition that Senator McConnell would bring forward the immigration debate in mid-February.

An Early Venezuelan Presidential Election In an attempt by the socialist party of Venezuela to maximize its power, it was announced on January 23rd that presidential elections will be held this April, rather than this December. Critics accuse the Venezuelan government under President Maduro of holding unfair, early elections that would effectively cut short the momentum that could have been made by the opposition party, which has so far be

en unable to unite behind one candidate. A current struggle faced by the opposition party is that many of their ideal candidates have either been banned from running, exiled, or imprisoned. The day after the earlier election date was announced by the Venezuelan government, President Maduro revealed that he was planning on running once again for the presidency. Maduro was chosen in 2013 to be the successor of Hugo ChĂĄvez, and has since led Venezuela into a devastating economic crisis resulting in food shortages, hyperinflation, and other complications. Although many Venezuelans are disappointed in their government, Maduro is said to be relying on the inability of the opposing party to organize to earn him votes.

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Larry Nassar Sentenced to 40-175 Years in Prison

Record-breaking Nominations for the 2018 Academy Awards

January 24th, Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes against 156 women. The sentence comes just after a seven-day hearing in which each woman came forward to testify about their abuse by Nassar. Among them were gold medalists Simone Biles, Jordyn Wieber, and Aly Raisman, who also demanded an independent investigation into how Nassar was permitted to continue working after several complaints about him had been made. Raisman accused both USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee for denying support to the victims of Nassar, causing three senior USA Gymnastics board members to resign. Despite the traumatic experiences of 156 women that were revealed in court late January, an overwhelming sense of solidarity and support was said to have been felt among the victims testifying. They have been referred to as an army, led by “five-star general” Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast who was the first to publicly accuse Nassar for sexual abuse. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the judge who sentenced Nassar, has also been credited with her undying support of the women testifying, giving everyone enough time to tell their story.

Slowly improving since 2015’s #OscarsSoWhite, the 2018 nominations released on January 23rd made history in several categories. Jordan Peele is now the first AfricanAmerican to be nominated for directing, writing, and Best Picture all in the same year for his film Get Out. Greta Gerwig, director of Ladybird, has also become the fifth woman to be nominated for directing, and Ladybird, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, all films featuring female leads, have been nominated for Best Picture. In addition, Yance Ford has become the first trans

director nominated for an Oscar for the film Strong Island. Although many strides have been made in terms of black and female representation, there is still a long way for the Academy Awards to go according to actors like Gina Rodriguez. Rodriguez and several other members of the Hollywood community have criticized this year’s Oscar Nominations for featuring almost no Latinx or Asian artists. The National Hispanic Media Coalition protested on February 5th, the same day as the Academy’s Oscar Nominees Luncheon. As said by Rodriguez: “Visibility is humanizing. Invisibility is dehumanizing.”

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CLASS OF 2017: Leader of the Month

"I wish people understood that feminism is the belief that ALL women are equal to males no matter what race, religion, ethnicity, or sexuality they identify with. I commit to speaking up about what I believe in." --Serena Sewdat, 12th Grade Robert F Kennedy Community High School

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ALUMNAE SPOTLIGHT: Women in action After

Anastasiya

Tsoy Class of 2014 BALI has always given a pathway for young women and girls to succeed, and achieve their goals. Anastasiya Tsoy, MA a 2014 BALI grad, is nothing short of a perfect example of this. As one of the oldest BALI members in her class, Anastasiya felt that she was able to reflect quite effectively upon the way teenage girls think and mature, especially how they became more thoughtful throughout the two weeks. “Every part of BALI became my favorite memory,” she remarks. “I met an incredible group of young, passionate leaders who grow up every day.’” Anastasiya also says that being older allowed her to really take advantage of everything Liz had to offer during the program. “I got to meet her more personally and professionally; had a chance to observe how she works and gained some mentorship skills. She was and still is My mentor..” A mentor which, Anastasiya said, would’ve been

BALI,

Anastasiya

received

her

master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and was then able to get her dream job at the American Psychological Association (APA). Not surprisingly, she works at Women's Programs Office at APA. She also got married, and relocated to Washington D.C. Now,

Anastasiya

Washington

serves

Professionals

as for

a

President the

Study

of of

Psychoanalysis in Washington, DC. She is still passionate about women in leadership, and as the result, she works on International Leadership Network (ILN) project with Dr. Jean Lau Chin from Adelphi University. Anastasiya’s advice for other BALI grads? “As my mom says to me, “Be a sponge! and absorb everything that BALI offers. You may not realize now, but BALI gives a really solid foundationof knowledge and skills that are so helpful in adult life. Also, always remember that in 15-20 years there will be another generation of women’s leaders, and maybe one of them is sitting next you, so always keep in touch with Your BALI Sisters.”

very difficult to find in her adult life. A few years after BALI, when she began applying for jobs,

We love reading about our alumnae!

Anastasiya realized how lucky she was to be a

To submit an update on your

mentee to Liz, who had a “very tangible presence in the leadership world.”

successes, CLICK HERE and then go to Alumna Spotlights!

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Rachel Mintz Class of 2014 Thank you to Rachel Mintz for submitting these amazing pieces to showcase in this newsletter. Zoom in to see the incredible detail. If you want to submit at to our next issue, email gisselle@abzuginstitute.org!

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Aly Raisman Gives Emotional Speech Condemning Larry Nassar, and various USA Gymnastics Organizations Original article from CNN, by Eric Levenson, read more at http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/19/us/larry-nassarsentencing/index.html TW// Sexual Assault On Friday, January 19th, decorated olympic athlete Alexandra Raisman gave a powerful testimony in court during the sentencing of disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar, who is accused of the sexual assault of dozens of gymnasts, mostly minors, has listened to dozens of his victims’ stories, during his weeklong sentencing. Raisman, who was part of both the “Final Five” and “Fierce Five” groups of female American gymnasts, used her statement to not only discuss her own personal struggles because of Nassar’s abuse, but also to call out the toxic culture that USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee has perpetuated, throughout the exposure of Nassar’s crimes. “They have been quick to capitalize on my success," she said. "But did they reach out when I came forward? No.” Raisman expressed her frustration with how the organizations have handled the scandal, especially their pressure on victims to not come forward, or face consequences. Many survivors’ stories were ignored, and they faced consequence if they spoke out. Raisman’s frank words came on the heels of fellow gymnast Jordan Wieber, who competed with Raisman in the 2012 Olympics. Wieber bravely came forward and stated that “even though I'm a victim, I do not and will not live my life as one.” The women continue to come forward and share

their painful recollections, and strive for better conditions for the safety of current and future gymnasts.

Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies aged 96 Original article from BBC News by Joel Gunter, read more at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada42787869 The woman in the iconic photo that many, from celebrities, to girls on halloween, have recreated for the past few decades died last Tuesday, her image surely to be remembered as a symbol of female strength. Naomi Parker Fraley, the woman discovered in 2016 by Professor James Kimble, as “Rosie the Riveter” was only a face in a magazine for years, no name attached to the photo of her in a denim shirt, red bandana, and flexed arm, with a firm “we can do it!” right above her head. Photographed by J Howard Miller in 1943, the Parker Fraley didn’t become a symbol until decades later, however, no one knew who she was until Professor Kimble sought out to identify “Rosie.” The Professor had serious doubts that Geraldine Doyle, the woman previously thought to be “Rosie,” was really her. When Doyle died in 2010, Kimble began his search, and found Naomi Parker Fraley six years later, who as a twenty year old worked with her sister Ada at the Alameda Naval Air Station, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Kimble found a photo matching that of “Rosie the Riveter,” accompanied by an article about the Tulsa, OK resident. Upon her recognition as the real “Rosie,” she gave an interview with People Magazine, stating “The women of this country these days need some icons; if they think I'm one, I'm happy." 15


Political Opinion Editorial: The Voices of our ALUMNI

Celebrities for 2020? Averill Wong BALI Class of 2017 I remember when Kanye West declared he would run for president in 2020 at the 2015 VMAs and immediately #Kanye2020 started trending. My first reaction? I scoffed. Because in my head, I thought, “What does a rapper know about immigration laws and foreign policy? What does he know of health care reform and does he have negotiation skills?” And the answer to those questions is he probably knows close to nothing. But I realized listening back to Kanye’s speech and to Oprah’s more recent speech at the Golden Globes, that celebrities are the leaders of this social change that we are approaching. They are the ones pushing our society for gender equality, mental health awareness, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental sustainability, health care reform, and getting strong public support. And in this day and age, the amount of influence a famous social figure holds is almost insurmountable. Maybe that’s why everyone is currently in love with the idea of Oprah as our next president. However, I still fear that when it comes to the actual processes of running a government, celebrities will severely struggle. Our current president is a prime example. How can you have someone with no political background and education decide the welfare of 323 million people? Instead, I encourage celebrities to think how they can motivate the next round of politicians who share the same values to fight for change. I encourage them to think how they can use their influence to educate voters and inspire them to be more politically active. The political environment that Trump created has pushed Americans to be more involved with politics, which is something that we truly might have needed. Celebrities should be the leaders in raising

awareness about the issues that concern us that we might not be aware of. Most importantly, I think Oprah, Kanye, Meryl Streep, and all the famous names who care about our society should endorse politicians who can effectively bring change and do everything they can in their power to elect them into office. Because the politicians are the ones who can truly get the job done, but the celebrities are the ones who pave the path for them.

How You See her Body Stavroula Kostas BALI Class of 2017 I don’t know many girls who don’t have Instagram, a social media platform that is famous for aesthetics. All pictures uploaded, from food to scenery, are only perfect things. Female Instagram models are famous for being skinny, pretty, tan, perfectly made up, nearly naked, smooth and hairless. They seemingly have no natural imperfections: no stretch marks, no cellulite or acne. But these pictures are not natural; they are labored over for hours just to find the perfect lighting and the perfect angle. Then, they are photoshopped to cover unattractive parts of a natural body. Many girls and boys are not fully aware that a lot of what is posted on Instagram is unnatural. My generation has grown up seeing perfectly photoshopped images, so we don’t realize that imperfections are natural. Especially among young girls, negative body perception is caused by images like these, and can lead to poor body image. From here comes a cascade of problems. Overall, the percentage of mental illnesses among youth has increased in my generation: eating disorders, depression, suicide, and anxiety are no longer uncommon. There is no easy cure to mental illness, but a good first step is to begin by not filtering and photoshopping images so that 16


natural "vulgarities" are visible to impressionable minds. This movement has been making some large strides. A Swedish Instagram model, Arvida Bystrom, posts photos with a girly aesthetic. But her photos have a twist: she does not shave her body hair. In one campaign for Adidas, she is pictured in a pair of Adidas sneakers and a corset dress with her legs to the camera, showing her leg hair. In another picture from the same campaign she posted saying that she had received rape threats because of her leg hair. Despite the threats, she has continued to post photos with her body hair, and received comments of encouragement from women praising her perseverance. Another famous model that has helped normalize the image of a natural female body is Ashley Graham. She is an American plus size model, and a prominent advocate of diversity in the industry. She has appeared on the cover of fashion magazines, from Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, to Glamour and Elle. She worked with Mattel to design a Barbie of herself, which she customized without a thigh gap. Another famous model, Winnie Harlow has Vitiligo, a skin condition that causes loss of skin pigment, especially around the mouth and eyes. On January 15, 2018 the drugstore chain CVS released a statement that it would stop using airbrushed photos to sell its products. "The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established," said Helena Foulkes, the president of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President of CVS Health. CVS aims “to present positive and authentic images of women that reflect their individual characteristics and personal distinction." Other companies like American Eagle, Dove, Revlon and Glossier are also making similar steps, using plus sized models and untouched photos in their campaigns. According to the New York Times, “French Parliament published two new decrees aimed at protecting the health of models, preventing anorexia and promoting transparency around digitally retouched photographs. Models there need a doctor’s certificate to certify they are fit to work, and

employers can be jailed or fined 75,000 euros, or about $91,500, if the rules are breached.” As awareness about the issue surrounding unrealistic and unhealthy body images in marketing, and the negative influence it has over diverse body types spreads, governments and corporations are making changes in the modeling industry. Unlike many girls, I do not have Instagram. At first, it was because I was not allowed to have it, but as I grow older and more aware of my body, I am thankful that I don’t have it as a source for comparison. I have struggled with an eating disorder, and I still struggle with negative body image, but I’ve come to realize that I have unrealistic standards that stem from unrealistic portrayals of women’s bodies in all media. If there was one thing I could make every woman know is that she is beautiful in her own way. No stretch marks, tummy, body hair, pimples or cellulite can take away from that.

Thank you to our contributors of the month, Averill and Stavroula!

If you would like to submit a piece: CLICK HERE. 17


Looking for Enrichment Opportunities? Black Girls Code offers programming and events in coding for African American girls. Brotherhood/Sister Sol offers afterschool and summer programming in relationshipbuilding, self/global awareness, social justice, leadership development, and more. Some of their programs are gender-specific. ChickTech offers programming and mentorship in STEM for high school girls. Curious Jane offers classes and summer programming in science, theatre, arts and crafts, and more for girls. Digital Girl, Inc. works at high schools to provide programming in STEM and offers tech workshops for the community. Girl Be Heard works in high schools to teach girls about gender, race, and class through theatre, and offers workshops and performances. Girl Vow offers education, mentorship, advocacy, and life skills training for girls. Girls for Gender Equity offers programming in community advocacy, leadership, and social justice for girls. Girls Inc. offers programming in statistical analysis, economic literacy, leadership and community action, STEM, media literacy, athletics, sexual health education, substance abuse prevention, self-defense, and more for girls ages 6-18. Girls Leadership offers Parent & Daughter workshops, parent education, and summer day camps for girls entering grades 4 and 5. Girls on the Run offers a physical activity based youth development program for girls in grades 3-8. Girls Who Code offers afterschool and summer programming in coding for middle and high school girls. Girls Write Now offers mentoring programs in writing, digital media, and college preparation for girls.

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Click on programs names For More Info! GOALS for Girls offers year-round programming, a summer intensive, weekend forums, and internships in STEM for middle and high school girls. LOVE Mentoring works at high schools to deliver small-group mentoring for young Latinas. Life is Precious offers individual and group counseling, arts therapy, academic support, and nutritional and fitness activities to prevent suicide among young Latinas. Lower Eastside Girls Club provides programming in STEM, business, art, leadership, and advocacy, as well as mentoring for girls in grades 6-12. NYC GREAT! offers programming and mentoring in college and career readiness for high school girls. NYU GSTEM is a six-week summer program for high school girls during the summer between their junior and senior years who have high aptitude in STEM subjects. Powerplay NYC works in elementary, middle, and high schools to offer afterschool programming in physical activity and healthy living. Sadie Nash Leadership Project provides afterschool and summer programming in leadership and social justice for girls ages 14-22. Soul Sisters Leadership Collective works in schools to offer workshops to explore issues faced by young women of color. Vibe Theatre Experience offers theatre and media programming for girls ages 13-19. Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls offers afterschool and summer music programing for girls. YWCA provides programming in leadership and advocacy, STEAM, career and college exploration, and more for girls.

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BALI Staff

Liz Abzug

Oriela Baliaj

Gabriela Valette

Founder & Executive Director

Senior Program Associate

Program Coordinator

BALI Board of Directors Liz J. Abzug, Founder/Executive Director Erica Forman, Board-Chair Meg Holzer, Secretary Cynthia McKnight, Treasurer Erica Forman, Chair Eija Ayravainen Gloria Steinem Joanne Davila Maya Catherine Popa Maya C. Popa

Claire Reed Harold Holzer Jonathan Greenberg Judy Lerner Liz Cooper

Betsy Scheinbart-Norton Jerry Goldfeder A.J. Lederman Kylie Reiffert Kai Gilchrist 20


The Bella Bulletin Staff Gisselle Rodriguez Benitez Editor-in-Chief School: Northeastern University Major: Economics BALI Class of: 2016 Email: gisselle@abzuginstitute.org

Wilma Abam-Depass Section Editor School: Croton High School Grade: 11th BALI Class of: 2017

Zoe Donovan Section Editor School: Bard Early College Grade: 11th BALI Class of: 2017

Adriana Rodriguez Section Editor School: Brown University Major: Political Science BALI Class of: 2016

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