Women and Girls Fund welcomes author Rosalind Wiseman to Easton
Article and photos by Christina Acosta
Oct 19, 2018
Reprinted as a courtesy of the Star Democrat
EASTON — The Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore on Wednesday, Oct. 17, presented an evening with Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes” and “Masterminds and Wingmen,” at the Avalon Theatre.
The “Empowering Youth and Parents: Navigating adolescent culture and how technology impacts their social landscape” presentation offered parents, grade-school kids and educators routes to navigate into the adolescent culture. Wiseman discussed how technology and social media affects a child’s self-esteem, friendships and conflict with other people.
Wiseman, whose “Queen Bees and Wannabes” was the basis of the 2004 film “Mean Girls,” used current research for effective communication skills to help parents and educators avoid common communication breakdowns between children and adults. Wiseman is recognized for helping communities transform the way they understand youth culture and create “villages” where children can thrive.
“People are hungry for what to say to their children in confusing, anxious and stressful times,” Wiseman said. “I hope to give (parents) words, so that they could have good conversations with their children. Whatever those questions are, whatever the parents are worried about or feeling, I hope that that there is something that they could talk about and they build a stronger relationship.”
During her presentation, Wiseman allowed audience members to interact with one another with the topic of role models. She also broke down gender norms to make sure the audience learned how to speak to males or females without being too pushy.
Following the program and Q&A session, Wiseman signed books and interacted with guests of the event.
In 2016, Wiseman relaunched the Owning Up Curriculum, a social emotional curriculum she wrote in collaboration with middle and high school students and the Association of Middle Level Educators. She also writes a column for the Anti-Defamation League called “Rosalind’s Classroom Conversations” and has had her work published in TIME and by CNN.
“About a year ago, we were talking about the kind of speaker we wanted this year. We wanted someone who could represent the mission of empowering women and girls,” Women & Girls Fund board member Susie Dillon said. “We also discussed the challenges the people are facing today, including technology and social media — how they impact their lives of young people and
how it presents a challenge to their parents. We hope you get a new piece of wisdom that she is sharing to us.”
The Women & Girls Fund was established in 2002 as grassroots effort to address significant local problems, specifically unmet needs of women and girls in the five counties of the Mid-Shore. To date, over $550,000 has been awarded to 84 nonprofit organizations, and the permanent endowment has grown to more than $1 million. For every million dollars raised, the fund supports up to $50,000 in grant funding each year.
Proceeds from Wednesday’s event will be used to expand the fund’s grant-giving capacity and bring future programs and speakers to the Mid-Shore.
“Many of you have attended our speaker series over the years, and many of you know we strive to use the power of pulled resources to create opportunities for women and girls on the Mid-Shore,” said Talli Oxnam, senior vice president with Wye Financial & Trust. “Wiseman has come to help the community to shift the way we think about teen’s emotional and physical well being in this ever changing digital landscape. This event has embodied our vision perfectly.”
Please click HERE to access the slides used in Ms. Wiseman’s presentation.
The Women & Girls Fund is an endowed fund that channels the pooled resources of individuals into a powerful and permanent legacy serving the needs of women and girls in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties, Maryland.