Girl Conferences Powered by Women Are on the Rise

Girl Conferences Powered by Women Are on the Rise

by Danyelle R. Carter


At Spelman College, one of only two historically black women’s colleges in the nation, I am a senior majoring in comparative women’s studies with a concentration in girls’ advocacy and activism. I spend a lot of my time perusing through sites such as to stay engaged locally and nationally.

Prior to 2015, I struggled to find conferences that centered on girls until I attended the National Women’s Studies Association. At the conference, I attended NWSA’s Girls and Girlhood Caucus, which promote research, scholarship and activism(s) on girls 18 years of age and under. Through the caucus, I have learned of several upcoming conferences that promote girl culture and the importance of not speaking for girls but empowering girls to speak for themselves.

Here are 3 upcoming conferences powered by women who empower girls:


International Girl Studies Association Inaugural Conference, April 7-9, 2016

The inaugural conference seeks to bring together researchers and students working on girls and girlhood in any part of the world and in any discipline or interdisciplinary field. Girl Studies has become one of the most dynamic academic fields, encompassing a vast array of disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches. This conference aims to bring together scholars from across the world to explore experiences of girlhood, recent developments within the field, investigating new questions and revisiting historical issues.

Topics include: Histories of girlhood Global girlhood(s), Intersectional girlhood, Queer girls, Representation of girlhood, Intergenerational girlhoods, Girlhood and consumption, Mediated girlhoods, Girls and feminism, Girls and sport, Girls and politics, Girls and digital media, Girls and activism, Girls and literature, Girls and popular culture, Girls and sexuality, Girls and health, Neoliberal girlhoods and Ethnographies of girlhood.



Black Girl Movement: A National Conference, April 7-9, 2016

Black Girl Movement: A National Conference is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.


Know Her Truths: Advancing Justice for Women and Girls of Color Conference, April 29, 2016

This conference is part of an initiative to develop a meaningful research agenda on women and girls of color. Conversations will address what we know about the lives of women and girls of color, the deficits in our knowledge, and the meaningful ways in which increased knowledge about the lives of women and girls of color can influence our policy and political landscape. What should a national research agenda for women and girls of color include? How do we include multi-sector partners? How do we establish models of accountable, community-based research? How do communities, policy makers, foundations, and other representatives access research to affect change?

If you are passionate about girls and girlhood and want to become more engaged in either research or activism or both—all of these conferences would be a great way to delve into being a champion for girls.


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