Campus Ambassador Program
About the Program
Campus ambassadors work on the issues from the PBS documentary series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Our program encourages students to do work both internationally and locally focused on education, sex trafficking, economic empowerment, maternal health, gender-based violence and forced prostitution. We offer suggested campaigns and events for these students to run on their campuses and we also provide a forum for discussion on our group Facebook page and in our bi-weekly Google+ Hangouts.
Though we regularly send out campaign ideas, interesting opportunities and suggested events, we encourage our campus ambassadors to tailor this program to their own community and to run the campaigns and seize the opportunities that compel them most. We also encourage creativity — we love to hear innovative ideas on how to take action! Read more about featured campus ambassadors below.
George Washington University
Meet our campus ambassador Rachel Landau! She partnered up with fellow ambassadors Sarah Sawyer, Lynda Cuevas and Emily Isaac to organize a screening at George Washington University, which drew over 130 participants. Following the showing, an all-star panel hosted a discussion on the documentary. Speakers for the panel included Melissa Hillebrenne, deputy director of Girl Up, Dr. Amita Vyas, director of the Maternal and Child Health Masters in Public Health Program at George Washington University, and three experts on public health and international affairs. Landau reflected on the evening, saying, "We thought that we would utilize the amazing resources around DC... Our panelists' expertise added a dimension to these issues that one 40-minute condensed version of the documentary could not. We all learned so much, not only from the documentary, but especially from [everyone's] experiences and insights."
Congratulations to Erik Edelmann, our campus ambassador from Cornell University who managed to recruit the highest number of students to the program! Edelmann focused on having face-to-face discussions with people whom he thought might have potential interest in the Half the Sky Movement. His first step was reaching out to the philanthropy team of his engineering fraternity and his host organization, Girl Effect Club, before engaging students from neighboring schools. Edelmann's efforts won him a ticket to New York City to meet Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. "At the screening party I felt that everyone there had made some sort of serious physical and emotional investment in the creation of the documentary or the development of the Half the Sky Movement as a whole," Edelmann said. "The whole night was inspiring and surreal and made me realize that there is so much more for me to get involved in and excited about with Half the Sky in the future."
Say hello to Lily Womble, our campus ambassador representing Millsaps College! Not only did she draw more than 200 people to her screening in early October — which is over 20 percent of her student body — but she also started an amazing education initiative. Womble and her team will visit elementary and middle schools around Jackson, Mississippi, to hold "Girl Empower" sessions. The program will initially teach girls how to empower and encourage one another through confidence-building activities, then will shift focus to explore how the students can empower girls without opportunity around the world. It also will incorporate immersive "read-along" plays, clips from Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, and the opportunity for students to write letters to girls in the developing world. "I want to grow a new generation of girls that not only is aware of the status of girls in the developing world, but a generation that is empowered to make a difference," Womble says.