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JESSICA GREER MORRIS

It is my opinion that the root of all problems that encompass the empowerment of women stems from the adolescent and preteen/teenage age groups. Although it’s never too late to begin a change to a more fulfilling and empowering life, it’s important we keep in mind there are young women all over the world so desperately in need of guidance, support, and a “voice.” The effects of not addressing these issues are evident in the complexities and issues that arise later in these women’s lives. Violence, discrimination, poverty, and lack of education and opportunity, are just a few of the problems that become transparent later in their lives, and these issues just then become that much harder to address after the fact.

Jessica Greer Morris, who has been named one of Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women, alongside Nobel Peace laureates, heads of state, Oprah, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie and Hillary Clinton has found an amazing way to address the needs of these young women, and be proactive, rather than re-active in doing so.

Morris began a program called “Project Girl Performance Collective”, an empowerment performance troupe for girls 12-21. The initiative was designed to motivate young women to foster change in their own communities, and find a sense of themselves and what their passions are at an early age. In addition, this program “creates a safe space for girls to write and perform their own work to overcome the violence, gender discrimination, poverty and lack of opportunity that is all too prevalent.”

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The problems with the younger generation of women stems from issues with self-esteem, self-assurance, and self-confidence. What Morris has adapted is a theater performance that gives these young ladies a voice. It gives the girls means to be brave, assertive, and conscious leaders. They begin leading at this young age, and these women will potentially be the change agents of tomorrow; the role models and leaders for the next generation of women who will also be in need of a strong mentor. What an amazing cyclical phenomenon this will create – Women empowering themselves, so that they can empower the next…Truly remarkable work – and exactly why Morris exemplifies a “Women as Change Agents.”

Not only has Jessica Greer Morris begun this program PGPC, but in addition, she has combated several other issues targeting women and their rights as women and as humans. She is also a principal at Man Up, a global, youth-led campaign to stop violence against women that she helped to launch in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup with 100 young activists from 25 countries. The qualities that encompass these women are the qualities we wish to instill in the younger generation. We need these characteristic in our leaders, because these are the qualities that evoke change.

In picking one of these “150 fearless leaders”, Jessica’s story spoke to me on a very personal note. What I was looking for was one of these women who shared some of the same passions as myself. This was the most closely related. I think the answer to our problems with empowering the female race lie in the fact that we need to address the issue at an earlier age, and with a creative & interactive approach. Jessica Greer Morris did exactly that. She is exactly what I think defines an “agent of change.”

If you would like to read more about this amazing women and her journey at empowering women, feel free to click on the link below. It is a candid one –on-one interview with Morris where she explains her work and her accomplishments.

http://www.uvm.edu/vq/?Page=news&storyID=13664&category=vq-media

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