Last night I went to a benefit for Global Girl Media (www.globalgirlmedia.org), a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls from underserved communities to learn and apply media tools to tell stories through their own perspectives. About 100 girls, women, boys and men jammed Impact Hub, a former industrial space now a mezzanine-rimmed work space, in downtown Oakland, where actor and humanitarian (Aren’t we all?) Danny Glover proclaimed, “We need to change the narrative.
“When we look at the world through the eyes of women,” he added, “that’s how we change the narrative.”
Makes sense. Former CNN news anchor Valeria Coleman Morris told some stories about her career, and then everyone broke into groups managed by partner organizations. I joined the Black Girls Can Code table, where a 12-year-old girl instructed me to code a speech-to-text program by using natural-language instructions.
“You learn fast,” she said encouragingly when I made my first correct move without her telling me what to do. This made me realize how condescending adults must often sound to kids, but even though I knew she was just trying to make me feel good, it made me feel good.
Coding is not my forte, and I’m not sure it’s a great skill to teach kids – What does one learn except how to give a machine orders? -- but it sure beats the course in home ec I was required to take when I was 13 and learned how to burn everything from chocolate chip cookies to the apron I was wearing.
Global Girl Media just launched a broadband channel for young women to shout out blog posts and share videos (www.GGMN.tv). A high school girl interviewed me at the Saturday night event about the Ellen Pao sex discrimination suit against Kleiner Perkins, so my rant will probably appear on this channel if it’s not too outré. But that’s probably OK with the girls at GGM, who are changing the way we expect young women to behave in ways that could inevitably change world culture as well.