YWCA NYC Girls Symposium – A Force for the Future

Friday March 31, 2023


A Force for The Future

The YWCA of the City of New York (YWCA NYC) works to eliminate racism, empower women, and stand up for social justice by providing leadership and advocacy training for young women in culturally diverse communities. Our Women’s History Month Girls Symposium is truly a “Force for the Future”.

The main event will take place in-person on Friday, March 31, 2023. Together, attendees will engage in dialogue around the theme of “A Force for the Future,” which aims to drive conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusivity across all facets of life.

At a time when communities are mobilizing to challenge systems of racism and oppression while facing disinvestment and an unparalleled health and economic crisis, we at the YWCA-NYC are focusing our efforts on shaping the futures of our young people.

  • The 2023 YW-NYC Girls Symposium will convene school age girls and gender non-conforming youth from across New York City. This includes students from 8th through 12th grade.
  • Students will attend workshops centered on leadership, wellness, career development, stem, and much more.
  • Meals and swag bags will be provided for in-person sessions.

For more details about this event email: [email protected]

Workshops Offered:

Workshops-Social Justice 

Women in Hip Hop

Sabine Blaizin is a producer, DJ and event planner, and founder of Oysasound Productions. Her company features artists, music, and events highlighting the intersections of the cultures of the African Diaspora through the syncretism of traditional rhythms & electronic music. This workshop will be led by Sabine, and will cover the history of Women in Hip Hop and Hip Hop as a medium for social change.

Bystander Intervention Training- Girls Initiative Participants and Staff

This workshop touches upon topics and skills on how to eliminate racism, gender oppression, and sexual violence. Sessions also teach the causes of bias-motivated harassment and effective strategies for safely intervening in a public situation.

Community Food Advocates

Join fellow student activists in a student workshop run by Community Food Advocates. Their mission is to ensure all New Yorkers have access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate foods through equity-centered, high-impact public policy. Explore how the government has a fundamental responsibility and an unmatched capacity to end poverty and its consequence: hunger. 

Go Run! Women in Politics

This panel will hold an impressive group of women in politics. Join Judge Dweyne Paul, Janet Peguero, Anika Michel, Ashmi Sheth, Dana Rachlin, and Stefani Zinerman in a discussion about their careers, outreach, and mentorship.

Community Outreach

Join community-based organizations in a dynamic discussion about their work and outreach in New York City. Explore the work of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, and the Harriet Tubman Effect, as they discuss the important services they provide for their communities and beyond. 

Workshops – Leadership

The Power of Storytelling

Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination. Antonio Rodriguez will lead this important discussion surrounding the art of storytelling, and how students can use the power of storytelling to create social change in their communities. 

The Art of Public Speaking

The workshop will be led by Taryn Delanie Smith, Miss New York 2022. Taryn will focus on public speaking, and confidence. Smith will encourage students to use their voice to bring positive change to their community, and speak from within the heart. 

Women in Leadership

This series of round table discussions will split student groups into pairings with prominent women in leadership. Students will engage in conversation with their mentor, and explore the different career paths available to them post-graduation. 

Young Professionals

This panel will showcase a group of young professionals, thriving at the beginning of their careers in New York City. Students will engage in a discussion about how our young professionals achieved their accomplishments, and took the workforce by storm! 

Workshops – Skill Building

College Access 101

During the 60-minute interactive workshops, Valone Brown Jr. will provide information, stimulate critical thinking and encourage reflection on why High School students should attend College. College can be daunting, but College Access 101 will aid our young people in gaining the knowledge they need to succeed. 

Geek Girls Maker’s Workshop

Our Geek Girls are on a mission to eliminate the gender gap in technology. This introductory computer science workshop, led by Trish Barton, allows participants to learn through hands-on real-world projects on creative coding, physical computation, electrical engineering, and graphic design through a feminist lens. Regardless of their prior involvement in the field, participants learn about STEAAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Activism, and Math) within the context of social identity and community. Participants also develop leadership skills and explore topics such as identity, activism, and much more. 

Top Ten Finance Tips All Teens Should Know

This financial literacy workshop will split students into groups with a finance professional. Students will explore how to automate your savings, keep a budget, and learn how to invest in their future as a young person growing up in New York City! 

Workshops – Health and Wellness

Create your own Beauty Standards with Self Inc. 

SELF Inc. is an organization that provides girls of color in NYC a safe space to explore their passions, talents, beauty and culture. This workshop will help build our student’s confidence, and offer them the support they need to be content with who they are and how they feel. 

Liberated Movement: Yoga for Beginners

Join YWCA consultant and Yoga expert Jenneca Ferros in a workshop designed to open the mind and body. Students will participate in a beginner Yoga exercise session.

Afro-Caribbean Dance

This movement workshop will allow students to explore dance and movement in safe space under the guidance of Cumbe Dance Theater.  Express yourself in a feel-good dance class designed to raise cultural awareness,

Theatre for Social Change

viBe Theater will host this workshop, delivering useful techniques for collaborative art-making, specifically and intentionally with girls and young women of color. Many girls and young women of color face unique challenges in finding safer spaces to express themselves, uncensored and untethered by restrictions on what they say, how they speak, and/or mis-perceptions about their capabilities. viBe’s performing arts and professional development programming provides a platform where they can amplify their voices, and “Speak Truth to Power,” by creating an artistic response to the world around them.


9:00 AM to 4:00 PM


Bank of New York Mellon | 88 Murray Street

Sponsorship Information:

Susan Madon at [email protected]


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