The Public Science Project

Participatory research for a more just world

Spark


Dear SPARK Partners & Allies,

We’re thrilled to fill you in on the latest developments on SPARK Summit, the new social movement challenging the sexualization of girls and empowering them to become healthy, holistic leaders. As you know so well, wellbeing is predicated on creating the conditions for mind-body connections, as well as connections to one another through community, so we are grateful to be working with you toward this goal.

It’s been a pleasure for the Summit “staff” on the SPARK leadership committee, to work with so many of you in various capacities. Many of you may not be aware of what others are doing, but as soon as the day gets going, everyone will see how much work on the part of individuals and groups has gone into the Summit. As we approach the summit date, we wanted to update you on our accomplishments, action items, the preliminary agenda, and let you know how you can continue supporting SPARK before, during, and after the day of the summit on October 22.

First of all, we’d like to invite you to visit our new website: www.sparksummit.com (and we’ll also be acquiring www.sparksummit.org!).

The SPARK website includes info on:

· REGISTRATION (see below)
· Info on the SPARK initiative, latest related research, FAQs, and partners
· SPARK Summit Program/Agenda
· Updates to SPARK affiliated events, announcements, and actions
· SPARK blog (see below)
Please direct anyone who has questions to the website rather than to us directly.

Everyone can also find us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SPARKsummit) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/SPARKsummit), where you and your constituents can contribute to and follow updates and help spread the word.

The Summit program is full of great offerings!Some of you are getting inquiries from organizations that want to be on the October 22nd SPARK Summit program. The program is now FULL, but the movement is just beginning. Please send such potential partners to the SPARK website to be considered for partnership in this movement by signing up in the “join us” box. Our power to build a movement and effect change moving forward will come from expanding our coalition and growing this movement! Check out the full SPARK program here: www.sparksummit.com/program

We are also in the process of hiring a program coordinator, who will work to develop our coalition moving into and out of the Summit. We will keep you posted on those efforts, but if you have questions about the Summit in the meantime, or any ideas about events or actions that can be co-branded with SPARK before or after the Summit, please contact us via email at: SPARKsummit@gmail.com.

Registration for SPARK is live at www.sparksummit.com/registration

You can see the full program on the website here as well. Please register for the Summit now and encourage young women over 18 to register, and 14-17 year olds to register with an adult to accompany them (you perhaps?). We are looking for girls and women who want to be at the forefront, spearheading the SPARK movement! We encourage mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces, girls and their adult friends and allies, and the adults who work with them in school and after school to come together for this event and to be part of this movement. Permission slips for parents/guardians to sign for the missed day of school can be downloaded from the SPARK website.

Please register as youth and adults separately (as indicated on the registration form), and help spread the word that registration is open!

Can’t be there in person? SPARK is also a Virtual Summit!

ISIS, the fabulous nonprofit that runs the annual Sex:Tech conference in San Francisco, has very generously taken the lead in creating a virtual summit that will live stream the sessions that occur throughout the day in the plenary room (see the program). They will be using UStream to capture all of these sessions, and it will be INTERACTIVE. Please encourage teachers, universities, schools, nonprofits, and community groups to register for the virtual summit ($15 for as many people as they want to have view/participate in it at their site), so that girls and adults all over the country can participate in any or all of the day WHILE IT IS HAPPENING. It will be available and widely circulated both during and after the day of the summit.

Sending this information about the virtual summit to your constituents and partners will be an enormous lift for SPARK, and therefore all of us. If you can’t attend in person, consider your virtual attendance, as it only takes one virtual registration on one computer to bring hundreds more to SPARK.

As a SPARK partner, you can support and be part of this movement in a variety of ways!

Leading up to the Summit, to generate excitement and momentum, we will be featuring a number of SPARK partner actions! These are ways for you and your girls to participate in the SPARK movement before October 22nd. Our first SPARKaction is the About-Face Dressing Room Action. Set to run Friday, 9/24 – Sunday, 9/26 groups all over the country will be visiting stores to put up decals in the dressing rooms that say the types of things we think women ought to hear when they look in the mirror. Like, “you are beautiful!” and “That looks better on you than on the mannequin.” Check out our Facebook event (http://www.facebook.com) where our allies will be uploading pictures of their SPARKaction success all weekend long! Stay tuned for more SPARKactions!

Please SPREAD the word about registration! Send email blasts! Alert your contact lists! What better way to say that we have hit a nerve than to fill the Summit in a matter of days!

We will have SPARK bloggers on site at the Summit, and if you are in attendance either physically or virtually, we hope you’ll blog and Twitter the events all day.

You’ll see that we have a blog on the SPARK website itself. Please do contact us at SPARKsummit@gmail.com if you have a SPARK related blog you’d like cross-posted on our blog.

As a partner organization, please promote the SPARK Summit and movement by displaying the attached SPARK logo and the SPARK Summit site link on the homepage of your organization’s website or Facebook page and help to raise your constituents’ awareness of SPARK via your electronic newsletter, printed newsletter, website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other forms of communication.

A Press Kit is in development. In the meantime, please contact your local media and constituents to spread the word. If you have media connections you want us to pursue, please let us know. We will have embargoed research findings and a research lunch time panel, as well as some exciting surprise policy announcements at the Summit.

We are thrilled to be working with you on what we believe is something truly historic—a coalition push large enough to make a real and substantial difference in the daily lives of girls and women.

Thank you!

All of us on the SPARK Leadership Committee

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