I Went To UGA's #DayOfTheGirl Conference Panel And Here's What I Learned

This past Thursday was International Day of The Girl, and all across the nation people celebrated the meaning of “girl power.” Here at the University of Georgia, the Tate Student Center and the UGA Letter Project hosted a panel of professional women from the Athens community to come and speak about their work with girls in the local community. This is what these women, Heather McCormick, Rachel Greb and Brittany Williams, had to say.

Heather McCormick

Heather McCormick, a graduate of UGA, spoke about her advocacy for women and girls in sports, especially at the collegiate level. She described herself as a “Title IX Recipient” because it was through a sports scholarship that she was able to attend college. McCormick has worked with the Women’s Sports Foundation, an organization founded in 1947 by Billie Jean King to encourage and help young women involved in sports, and she has met with many different politicians and professional athletes about issues facing young women in collegiate sports. She also works as regional director of development in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations. 

Rachel Greb

Rachel Greb is the co-founder of a community outreach program in Athens called Strong Girls. Strong Girls is a community service group that works with elementary and middle school girls in a way that allows them a safe way to share their voices. The organization focuses on teaching leadership and conflict resolution, as well as how to deal with bullying. Greb explained that this kind of work helps to teach young girls how to use empathy, especially when the world tries to teach them to tear down other girls as they grow older. In the future, she wants to be able to work with more underserved populations in Athens so that all girls will have the opportunity to feel welcome in the Strong Girl community.

Brittany Williams

Brittany Williams is a counseling and human development services doctoral student here at the University of Georgia. She helped develop #CiteASista, which is a program meant to help doctoral students who are women of color attain their degrees. The program centers around garnering recognition of the books, articles and research by women of color so that more and more women of color will be cited in academia. One of Williams’ goals is to create a way for young women to attain their PhD without sacrificing mental health in the process, since many women of color who successfully graduate leave with a score of mental health issues due to the stresses of having to work twice as hard as their counterparts. Williams and her program are also very active on social media, as well, so make sure to check out their hashtag, #SisterPhD. 

Happy International Day of The Girl, and remember, #StrongGirlsLiftEachOtherUp!