Empowering All Girls- Young Women Lead Conference September 24-25, 2020


Dr. David J. Childs
Northern Kentucky University

There is still much work to be done in the area of women’s studies and women’s rights. Society has continued to treat women as second class citizens. And often the struggles of women are compounded when they are from a minoritized group and of a low socioeconomic background. In this way, the glass ceiling is real for women and minorities. The US education system has long been complicit in perpetuating the inequality of women. Social studies educators as well as textbooks publishers have largely omitted the discussion of women in history, as well as the study of their many accomplishments. In many classrooms even today, serious discussions of women are an afterthought. Thus, it is very important to provide opportunities that empower women and to let girls know that opportunities are available for them as well. Girls today need as much inspiration and encouragement as possible. That is just what conference coordinator Dr. Kimberly Clayton-Code has set out to do with the non-profit Young Women Lead. There is an upcoming virtual conference September 24-25, 2020 and folks can register here.

The conference website states that “High school girls and their chaperones are invited to join us for this minds-on, interactive virtual conference designed to inspire these young women to believe in their qualities and strengths, and to challenge them to believe in a higher level of personal growth and development. This year’s conference will feature award-winning presenters Julie Marie Carrier, Maryam Rehman, Nivaal Rehman, and Monique Coleman.”

Links for further Information:
Young Women Lead Upcoming Conference Details
Mission and History of Young Women Lead

Democracy and Me Articles as a Part of Women’s History Series
Part One- A History of Women’s Right to Vote and Other Teaching Resources

Part Two (Women’s Rights)- Intersectionality, Race and Gender: Understanding how Race and Socioeconomics affect Women’s Life Experiences

Part Three (Women’s Rights)- The Womanist Tradition and Domestic Workers in the Early Twentieth Century US

Part Four (Women’s Rights) – Bringing Awareness to Violence Against Native American Women

Part Five (Women’s Rights) – Can we Talk About this in Class: Unpacking Some Complexities of the Me Too Movement


  1. I had the opportunity to attend Young Women’s Lead in high school and it was one of the most valuable experiences I had that year, as I would be off to college the following year. I feel as if every young woman should attend LEAD. The guest speaker that year had discussed the mental health of young women; we also went through different stations where there were several leading businesswomen in our tri-state area on a panel who discussed how they utilize their degree in their industry. We did a vision board activity and did several exercises as a whole, the point was to show that we women are not alone. While you do not get the full experience of attending different panels on campus; the fact that it is virtual allows more young women the opportunity to attend.

  2. From a teaching perspective, it is undeniable that the lack of female representation is felt. Often times, lessons will include notable contributions, but these will be unceremoniously tacked on to the end of a lecture, their presence often relegated to a footnote or a bit of trivia rather than an important part of history. It is not only imperative to mention these accomplishments, but to actually develop upon them and dedicate time to outline the stories of women throughout history. Whether intentionally or not, historical texts utilized in schools often omit or only sparingly include the influential roles played by women. Doing so can reinforce this concept that the female gender is somehow inferior or does not deserve the same credit as men, considering that their achievements are kept in their shadow. I believe this conference is a wonderful idea in that is raises attention to a key issue and encourages the involvement of female students across the nation. It is always worth listening to and understanding the voice of both genders. Bringing more of the female story into history can not only assist in limiting negative perceptions on gender, but it can also engage women who can now identify with figures in history.

  3. Democracy and Me Response #3 (Empowering All Girls)
    The topic of this article is something that I feel very strongly about, the article does a wonderful job of addressing an issue that is very much still alive. The article also supplied some amazing resources about the inequality of women, women’s empowerment, and current events/organizations that are fighting for women. Just 100 years ago the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. 100 years may seem like a long time but in terms of history it is a blink of an eye. Think about it, there are still people alive today who are 100 years old; there are women alive today who lived in a time (although they were children) when women did not have the basic right to vote in our country. Dating all the way back to 1848 with the first women’s right convention, women have been fighting for equal rights of education and professional opportunities, today we are still seeing this battle take place. (www.archives.gov)
    Yes, many things have gotten better since 1848, women can vote, chose their career paths, have equal opportunities for education, and they can even become the president. The problem is, even though they have the opportunity to do all of these things, the opportunities at hand are still not equal. We see wage differences, omitting of women’s history (as mentioned in the article), and a large underrepresentation of women in government. Without women the world could not go on, there not only has to be a continuous push for change, but action being taken that eliminates gender gaps and gives women the equal empowerment they deserve. This article once again does a great job addressing many of the saddening issues women face, but it also gives hope for a brighter future and ways we can accomplish this, specifically in the the education field.

  4. This is an amazing article pointing out some important points that future educators should strive to include in their classroom. I was honestly inspired as I read, “Social studies educators as well as textbooks publishers have largely omitted the discussion of women in history, as well as the study of their many accomplishments. In many classrooms even today, serious discussions of women are an afterthought. Thus, it is very important to provide opportunities that empower women and to let girls know that opportunities are available for them as well. Girls today need as much inspiration and encouragement as possible”. I agree strongly with the statement and it isB one of the main purposes that I decided to become a social studies teacher myself. I aspire to be that teacher in the classroom that makes everyone feel included as well as make history interesting to learn and teach what is important such as women in history.

  5. I agree that there is much still to accomplish in women’s rights. I think as teachers, we need to keep this on our minds while teaching social studies. We need to make our students think about equality and what it really looks like.

  6. I agree with the idea that there is still much to be done in the area of women rights in our modern day, especially in the classroom. Nowadays people are to quick to assume that women rights has come as far as possible. The facts however, are that this is not the case. It is important to teach not only the girls, but also the boys about women studies and rights. As educators, we need to keep it on our radar as something of value to teach our students since any topic is only as important to students as we, the teacher, make it in the classroom.

  7. I enjoyed this article a lot. It really brings to light an issue that is rarely addressed- the lack of education on women’s history. In my K-12 experience, there was never a time that I felt like a woman’s story was taught for more than a mere moment in passing. As teachers, it is our job to create reflections for our students to identify with. Little girls should be shown strong women who’ve positively impacted the world; this will provide an example of the unlimited potential they might have if we just inspire them. It is so important, in today’s society, that young women get as many opportunities to be exposed to growth opportunities.

  8. I definitely agree with the statement that women’s history has not been taught. Looking back to my time in public school, there was no teacher that put a real focus on women’s history or their impact. The only teacher I had that ever really tried to incorporate this impact came in my very last year of history classes. This was an AP class and I can see where this focus could be left out in a course that was not as in depth. Even in college, there was not a huge emphasis on women’s history in a non-women’s history course. As teachers, we need to do a better job at being more inclusive and teaching all history.

  9. I agree with your article, in that women and other minorities have not been recognized for all that they have accomplished throughout the many, many years in history. I never really thought about it, but in reality most history book we read and documentaries we see are highlighting some male, whom is typically white. I am sure today we still do not know of the many accomplishments that women and other minorities. have accomplished in the past. As well as, I am sure that some accomplishments that have been seen done by men, were actually stolen from women and/or other minorities. Just last week in Dr. Child’s EDU-312-001 class, one of my peers presented a lesson to where they highlighted a women whom may or may have not helped during a war. My peers explained as if it was seen as a myth, when in reality it was very likely that it did occur by a women. It amazes me how little knowledge in history that we know about women and other minority groups. I know that once I am teaching, I will for sure make a point in teaching the importance of women and minorities rights, and accomplishments throughout history.

  10. I was happy to read an article that focused on women’s contributions especially in history. As a young woman, I didn’t feel confident until I attended my all girl’s high school. Our motto was, “Women making a difference.” I felt so empowered by that statement even as a young teen unsure of who I truly was. I completely agree that we need to discuss women’s history more. One of the most interesting classes I took in high school was “Women in America.” This class showed the powerful influence women had in American history from colonial times and through World War II. During that time period women contributed greatly to society by fighting for our right to vote, have real jobs, and own property. I believe all schools should require a class like “Women in America” or fit these topics into the curriculum. It’s important that we discuss the history of women and minorities as much as the male history in America.

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