International women’s organization to start chapter at Northwestern

Annie Bruce, Reporter

A chapter of I Am That Girl, an international female empowerment nonprofit, is launching at Northwestern in early November.

NU will host its first I Am That Girl meeting Nov. 6, joining more than 100 chapters worldwide participating in what the organization’s founders call a movement to turn female “self-doubt” into “self-love.” The nonprofit has chapters across the U.S. and in several other countries such as Canada, France, the United Kingdom and Lebanon.

“The whole point behind That Girl is building self-appreciation through building community,” said local chapter leader Fallon Schlossman, a Medill sophomore. “It’s basically a matter of trying to create a space for all of the various corners of Northwestern’s female population to gather together and talk about both big issues that are happening in the world … and things that are happening on campus and in our personal lives.”

At meetings, which will take place once or twice a month, students will have the opportunity to talk about various topics relating to the world and campus life. Schlossman said conversations will be framed through compassion, contribution, collaboration and communication.

Weinberg junior Arielle Cooper, who has helped Schlossman with marketing for the organization, said she thinks the group will give women a chance to have genuine discussions with peers.

“There aren’t necessarily forums for people who wouldn’t consider themselves hardcore feminists or something like that to just talk and figure out what being a woman means to them,” Cooper said.

At the first meeting, attendees will Skype with a member of the organization’s international team. Schlossman said she hopes to eventually bring female professionals to campus to take part in the discussions and share their perspectives.

“Rather than scheduling speakers, (it’s) more like having people come in to contribute to the conversation,” she said.

I Am That Girl was founded by Alexis Jones, who also penned a book of the same name, at the University of Southern California in 2008. She was joined by co-founder Emily Greener, and over the last few years, the nonprofit has spread across the globe and gained more than 150,000 members.

While the organization focuses on female empowerment and features a pledge for women on its website, there is also an I Am That Guy pledge to encourage men to support these conversations as well.

Schlossman said she hopes the organization provides students with opportunities to grow both as individuals and as part of a community. She said she’s also excited to be part of a group that provides a new framework to discuss women’s issues.

“I’m a feminist, but (I Am That Girl) is kind of a spin on feminism that makes it more accessible to everyone,” Schlossman said. “Feminism can sometimes be a weird, exclusive club because a lot of people don’t know what the word actually means. It’s a way of redefining it, and everyone can be that girl.”

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