Be A Community Ambassador
The community ambassador program is open to anyone in the U.S. and Canada who would like to lend their time, skills or resources to further the Half the Sky Movement within their communities. There are over 550 community ambassadors in 47 states.
The first thing community ambassadors do is organize a screening of the documentary. After that, ambassadors are encouraged to contribute their personal skills and interests to build awareness of the issues facing women and girls and promote gender equality at home and abroad.
Each ambassador commits to at least two actions per month –– large or small –– to spread awareness and initiate actions that empower women and girls across the globe. These actions include hosting fundraisers, signing petitions, volunteering and organizing panel discussions –– and any other creative ideas you might have!
Ambassadors are invited to speak on our monthly Google+ Hangouts, write guest posts on our blog highlighting their initiatives and suggest actions for the larger ambassador community. Below are some star ambassadors who have taken the lead on select initiatives.
Crystal Lake, IL
A dancer and performer throughout her childhood, Charisse came to Middle Eastern dance as a mother of two looking for a little "me-time," and found herself freed and empowered by the physical mastery it required, its humor, sensuality and profound emotion. Now a professional belly dancer, she dedicates her life to sharing that same transformation through movement with women throughout the country as an instructor and performer. For the Half the Sky Movement's Flex for Women's Health week, Charisse organized a Zumba-thon in her local Elgin, Illinois, belly dance studio, with proceeds benefitting Edna Adan's Maternity Hospital in Somaliland. Learn more about Charisse and her quest to change the world one shimmy at a time at ShimmyShazam.com.
On August 2, 2010, Meredith's Facebook status read, "Half the Sky is such an important book for people to read. In fact, I believe this so much so that if you promise to read the book, cover to cover, I promise I will send you a copy of the book to read. Any takers? :)" That post was all it took. A dozen people took her up on her offer that very day. A few weeks after shipping them out, friends began sharing the various ways in which they answered the call to action –– funding Kiva loans, donating to the Edna Adan's Maternity Hospital and Somaly Mam Foundation and sponsoring a woman through Women for Women International. "My friends held up their end of the bargain and read the book cover to cover. Several 'paid it forward,' giving their copy to another friend to read. I’m reminded of one lit candle igniting the flame in another, thereby increasing the size of the Half the Sky Movement." Meredith has hosted three screenings of the film and is planning her fourth.
Great Barrington, MA
After reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Caroline started Sisters for Peace, a giving circle based out of Massachusetts. “I choose an organization to highlight and then a large and growing group of us –– who live all over the United States and Canada –– pitch in and donate,” she says. Sisters for Peace has donated over $9,000 to many different NGOs thus far, including a year of education for three children at Urmi Basu's New Light school in India. The group also does volunteer projects and helps people in their community, such as cancer patients and survivors of Hurricane Sandy. The giving circle is completely volunteer and 100 percent of the funds go to the designated charities. They are planning a screening of the documentary for March 2013.