Deb Gordon’s guest was Shreya Malena-Sannon, Interim Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project, which was founded in 2001 to promote leadership among young women and to strengthen and empower them to affect change in their lives and in the world. The organization initially served 16 young women from a Brooklyn apartment and has grown to now serve hundreds in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Newark, New Jersey.
Ms. Malena-Sannon, a passionate advocate for female-oriented causes and initiator of Sadie Nash’s Power, Identity, and Privilege core class, discussed the importance of creating an inclusionary environment that embraces the diversity of all its members including transgender youth, those in foster care systems, teen moms, and youth in the criminal justice center.
Ms. Malena-Sannon also discussed how Sadie Nash works with public schools and social service agencies to bring leadership classes into diverse communities and help young women redefine themselves as leaders. In addition to the Sadie Nash core classes around leadership and college prep, the organization offers a Summer Institute which sends students on field trips and provides exposure to female leaders in varying career fields, to not only allow them to gain a better understanding of the career, but inspire them to pursue careers they might not have otherwise considered.
The Sadie Nash curriculum is also comprised of creative classes such as dance and poetry, as well as networking classes that discuss relationships, health and other issues facing young women. Ms. Malena-Sannon stated that an integral part of their work is to address issues of sexism, racism, and homophobia, to reinforce the fact that oppression of any kind is an injustice, and to help these young women create change and bring social justice to all people.
To learn more about Sadie Nash Leadership Project and the upcoming schedule of classes, visit www.sadienash.org.
–Deb Gordon/Fresh 102.7
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