Happy holidays from Girls Fight Back! I’m Ashley Bruce, the Girls Fight Back intern. I’ll be sending you this e-newsletter going forward, but will always include a note from Erin Weed at the end. We had the most incredible Fall Tour to date these past few months, and it’s looking like the Spring will be even crazier…in a good way! So here’s the latest and greatest news from our headquarters in Colorado…
2009 Girls Fight Back Conference
This summer we’ll be hosting the first-ever Girls Fight Back Conference in beautiful Denver. Women from across the world will come for a long weekend of self-defense and safety training that will blow their minds! Final details are still being finalized, and a formal announcement will be made after the New Year. So stay tuned…
Erin Weed nominated as “Best Female Performer”
Every year, Campus Activities Magazine names the top presenters in the college market. We literally found out TODAY that Erin Weed is a top 5 finalist for the “Best Female Performer” award! While Erin will downplay the significance, it’s a really big deal. Voting for the #1 winner starts in January, so we’ll be sending you a link to cast your vote at that time.
Spring Tour 2009
2008 isn’t over yet, and we are already gearing up for the Girls Fight Back 2009 Spring Tour. Interested in learning more about bringing Erin to speak at your school, college or business? Contact us for pricing and scheduling information. We are also seeking sponsors for the Spring ’09 Tour. If you work for a company that might be interested, we can send you a Sponsor Info Packet with all the details. Please call 1-866-GFB-2423 or e-mail us.
Stops on the 2008 Fall Tour
Just a quick overview of where Erin has traveled and spoken over the past 3 months…don’t read it too quickly or your head will spin! While on tour, she was also doing non-stop newspaper interviews, radio show chats and live TV appearances.
Texas A&M Commerce, TX
University of Illinois – Chicago Chicago, IL
Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA
New York Life Insurance Co. New York, NY
Baylor College Waco, TX
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
Missouri State University Springfield, MO
Colorado Non-Profit Conf. Denver, CO
Carnegie Mellon Pittsburg, PA
Lynchburg College Lynchburg, VA
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL
Lake Zurich High School Palatine, IL
University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
Blauer Self Defense Conf. Virginia Beach, VA
Conference on Sexual Assault in our Schools Orlando, FL
Towson University Towson, MD
SUNY- Oswego Oswego, NY
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Springs, CO
Vanguard Corporation Malvern, PA
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, IL
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
Lake Forest College Lake Forest, IL
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Fall, IA
BACCHUS General Assembly Columbus, OH
San Jose State University San Jose, CA
SUNY – Albany Albany, NY
Happy Holidays and a Fall Tour Re-Cap from Erin Weed:
On the eve of my final tour stop in Albany, NY I checked into my hotel around midnight. It was a long day of travel, originating in San Francisco. Upon check-in, the Jerry-Garcia-look-a-like desk clerk exclaimed, “Congratulations! You now have diamond status in our frequent guest program!” I responded, “Cool. What does that mean?” And he replied, “That means you travel too much. And your reward? A broken elevator and a 4 flight walk up to your room.” Ain’t my life sexy?
Indeed, in the past few months I have traveled a lot. Since the tour kick-off on August 26th, I spoke 29 times, rode on 37 airplanes and stayed in 24 different hotels. I gave over 50 media interviews and estimate that I spoke to over 20,000 people across the nation at the live seminars. Looking back over my twitter posts, I’m again reminded of Jerry Garcia with this famous quote, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” If I had to pick the strangest part? Probably the man I met on an airplane to Ohio that was a pirate…eye patch, peg leg, the whole nine yards. If you’d like to see a photo gallery of my tour, click here. (Sorry, I felt weird about asking the pirate for a picture, but in retrospect I totally should have.) But the Fall Tour was so much more than weird stuff. It also introduced me to some incredibly inspiring people. I met hundreds of survivors of violence who shared their stories with me, and also women who have fought back and escaped safely. Both stories bring tears to my eyes, as none of us should have to face these terrible situations. Meeting each of them strengthened my belief that every one of us is worth fighting for.
This Fall I also started sharing our big plans to hold the first-ever Girls Fight Back Conference this summer in Denver, and the feedback was tremendous. We’re expecting an incredible crowd of fight girls to converge in the Mile High City for the best women’s self-defense training opportunity you can get. (Stay tuned for official details after the New Year) In 2009 I will also begin looking for young women to train and certify as GFB Speakers/Instructors, since the demand for programs across the country has become too great to fill on my own. This is what I refer to as a “good problem” and I look forward to someday soon retiring myself. After all, I’m 31 years old now…my aching bones!
I want to thank our Fall Tour Sponsors, Alpha Phi and Intelius, for supporting Girls Fight Back during this tour. Specifically I’d like to thank Melissa Korb, Denise Reens and Arden Schuman. I also want to thank the 29 colleges, conferences and corporations who hosted me since September. I’m enjoying my time at home again, and trying to convince my pug Zoe that I’m not leaving again for awhile. (So far, she’s not buying it.) I’d also like to thank my team for supporting me through the tour: Camella Walraven (GFB Program Director), Ashley Bruce (GFB Intern) and Pete Lacis (Web Guru). See their photos & bios here.
In January 2002, I started giving the Girls Fight Back program around the country full time. I thought it would only be for a few months or a year, tops. But as we inch into January 2009, I’m shocked that it will be 7 years. It’s said in the religion of Buddhism, that the Buddha walked 7 steps at his birth. Now that’s an athletic baby! I feel that GFB has been similarly blessed with the ability to do incredible things in a very short amount of time. When things are meant to be, I suppose anything is possible.
During this time of holiday magic, I wish for you snow lightly falling, friends and family abounding and an angel on your shoulder wherever you may go.
Strong. Resilient. Spirited. Unified.
Founder, Girls Fight Back!
Girls Fight Back
P.O. Box 6953
Westminster, CO 80021