While registration for this event is encouraged, walk-ins are welcome.

NOW Conference
The Time is NOW

The Time is NOW

Hosted by The National Organization for Women club at Princeton Day School

Who: NJ 9-12 graders
When: May 4, 2019 from 12:30pm - 5pm
Where: Princeton Day School, Fox Room & adjacent classrooms
Cost: Free (lunch and snack will be provided)

Schedule:
12:30-1:00 Registration and Lunch
1:00-1:20 Brief Introduction by the PDS NOW co-heads
1:30-2:00 Workshop Session I
2:05-2:35 Workshop Session II
2:35-2:50 Dessert
2:50-3:20 Privilege Walk
3:30-5:00 Student Narratives and Keynote Speakers

The Princeton Day School National Organization for Women club is hosting “The Time is NOW” conference on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 from 12:30 - 5:00 pm at PDS. This is the first ever conference at PDS dedicated to exposing local high school students to feminism and the five action campaigns of NOW. Attendees will get the opportunity to participate in small student-led and teacher-moderated workshops on topics such as the politicization of rape culture in the #MeToo era and intersectional feminism as it relates to race, deliver personal narratives, and hear from powerful adult figures who have had a large impact on improving women’s rights.

 

Ratify the ERA
Racial Justice

The Club

The Princeton Day School National Organization for Women club is a student-led high school club. It works on increasing discussion and awareness about feminism as well as fostering greater civil engagement within the PDS community. PDS NOW actively encourages participation of all students regardless of gender, sexuality, or race and is not classified as an affinity group to this end. The club holds discussions with affinity groups at PDS on topics of intersectional feminism, and this year, the club formalized the first ever voter registration at PDS. The faculty advisor for PDS NOW is Dr. Karen Latham, English Teacher and Chair of the English Department.

The Team

Raina Kasera, PDS NOW Co-head

Raina Kasera
Hi everyone! My name is Raina Kasera, and I am a co-head of the National Organization for Women club at PDS. I’m a senior, and I’ve been at PDS for the past 14 years. I joined NOW my freshman year to explore activism and women’s rights with a dedicated group of students and solve issues preventing girls and women from reaching their full potentials. I am particularly interested in the intersection of feminism and politics as well as women’s representation in the sciences and political sphere. I am overseeing the Advertising and PR committee. Apart from feminism, I am extremely interested in chemistry, and I lead the Science Olympiad team at PDS. My other activities include leading the Chamber Music club as well as being involved in Model UN and the Anti-Hate Teach-In initiative to tackle hate and bigotry. I can’t wait to meet you all in May, and I hope you are just as excited for the conference as I am!

Léa Namouni, PDS NOW Co-head

Léa Namouni
Hello! My name is Léa Namouni and I’m a co-head of the National Organization for Women club at PDS. I’m a senior this year who has shown her passion for activism and women’s rights since freshman year as I joined NOW and attended ever since. My love for women’s rights has shown itself through the many marches I’ve been to along with community events. I also love conversing about all political topics, writing articles and opinions, and make sure to stay on top of current events daily. I am helping plan and direct the conference along with my fellow co-heads. Additionally, I oversee the Workshops and Student Narratives Committee. I am very appreciative of all the support this conference has received and hope to see a lot of people there in May. The time is NOW!

Nina Kanamaluru, PDS NOW Co-head

Nina Kanamaluru
Hi everyone! My name is Nina Kanamaluru, and I’m a co-head of the National Organization for Women club. I will be overseeing the Logistics and Finance committees. I’m a senior, and I’ve been a member of NOW since my freshman year, when I joined in order to open dialogue surrounding women’s rights and sexism in the Princeton community. I consider myself an intersectional feminist, and I am particularly interested the rights of women who have been historically underrepresented in mainstream feminist movements, including women of color, queer women, and women in countries outside of the Western world. Outside of NOW, I have studied Women and Leadership at the Leadership Institute at Brown University and am a co-head of the PDS Asian-American and Pacific Islander Affinity Group. I am also a co-head of the PDS Science Club and captain the varsity fencing team. I am so grateful for the support this conference has received and can’t wait see you all there!

Julia Chang, Director of Outreach

Hey! My name is Julia Chang, and I'm your Director of Outreach. I’m a junior at PDS, and I've passionate about combating ignorance and the hatred that inevitably stems from it. Outside of NOW, I do government outreach for a Princeton-based environmental group and run Redefy, a youth social justice nonprofit, that seeks to make schools and communities more equitable through journalism, resource creation, and campaigns. Can't wait to see all your beautiful faces out here kicking patriarchal butt and taking names!

Divya Sharma, Assistant Director of Outreach

Hi, my name is Divya Sharma and I am the Assistant Director of Outreach. I am a freshman at PDS. I have been attending Princeton Day School since first grade and have had many valuable experiences here. I enjoy writing and have written many pieces that promote gender rights. In addition, I am part of a community organization which helps rural development, and one of its main focuses includes women’s empowerment. I can’t wait to see you in May!

Rina Sclove, Director of Advertising

Hi! My name is Rina Sclove and I am your Director of Advertising. I’m an eleventh grader at PDS, and my favorite subject is English. I’m a co-head of SLASH (Student Leaders Against Sexual Harassment) at my school, and a fun fact about me is that I spent a semester in Israel last year! I can’t wait to see you all at the conference!

Lydia Pamudji, Director of Graphic Design

My name is Lydia Pamudji, and I’m your Director of Graphic Design. I’m in 12th grade at PDS, and I’ve been here since my freshman year after coming from East Brunswick Public Schools. I do a lot of art and creative writing, and I’ve taken a lot of interest in community service and social justice/activism. I’ve done different types of work in the field of racial justice, and I’ll be holding a workshop on that topic as well. I’m really excited to see you in May!

Mehak Dhaliwal, Director of Website and Social Media

Mehak
Hi everyone! My name is Mehak, and I am your Director of Website/ Social Media. I am a freshman at PDS and have loved it ever since I got here this year. I am an active volunteer for various social causes within our community, and I have participated in multiple speech/writing competitions. Perhaps most importantly of all, though, I agree with all the causes NOW supports and the ideologies it stands for. Can’t wait to see you at our conference!

Kat Lytkowski, Director of Workshops

Hello there lovelies! My name is Kat Lytkowski, and I'm your Director of Workshops. I'm a junior at PDS, and I'm EXTREMELY excited to be sharing my love of activism with you all during this conference. When I'm not doing NOW activities, I run the PDS Dance Team, cohead GLOW (Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever), act in PDS Theater, edit articles for the Spokesman, and buy a TON of hashbrowns from the snack bar. When you meet me in May, be sure to ask me about coffee, cats, and music! My favorite things!

Hailey Young, Director of Narratives

Hi! My name is Hailey Young, and I am the Director of Narratives. I am a senior at PDS, and I have actually been at PDS for 13 years. I am involved in theatre, A Cappella, and various clubs such as Students with InterRacial Lives (SWIRL) and Student Leaders Against Sexual Harassment (SLASH). Can’t wait to see everyone at the conference!

Zoe Rivera, Director of Communications

Hi, everyone! My name is Zoe Rivera, and I am your Director of Communications. I am a junior at PDS, a school that’s filled to the brim with sunshiny humor and the creme de la creme of “overachiever culture”. When I’m not directing activist coalitions and committing to youth-led organizing work, I’m often found vocalizing well-versed, tangential sermons about much-needed reform in intersectional feminism. I can’t wait to get to know you all; cheers to our future epiphanies and friendships in May!

Raina Pahade, Assistant Director of Workshops and Narratives

Hi friends! My name is Raina Pahade and I am your Assistant Director of Workshops and Student Narratives. I am a junior and have been at PDS for 3 years. I love to create cultural feminist art that promotes new ways of thinking and opening up conversation. Can't wait to see you guys in May!

Nazareth Mehreteab, Director of Scheduling

Hi everyone. My name is Nazareth Mehreteab, and I am your Director of Scheduling. I am in tenth grade at PDS, and the great sense of community PDS embodies is something I truly love about my school. I enjoy participating in the Black Latino Student Union (BLSU) affinity group at PDS and love to write stories in my free time. I look forward to seeing you at the NOW conference!

Mackenzie ElKadi, Director of Logistics

Hi everyone! My name is Mackenzie ElKadi, and I am your Director of Logistics! I am a senior at PDS, and I’ve been going to school here since kindergarten. I do theater and acapella at PDS, and I’ve been actively participating in NOW since I was a freshman. I’m also co-head of another amazing affinity group here, SWIRL (Students With Interracial Lives). I’m so excited for the conference, and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Gaby Namouni, Assistant Director of Logistics

Hi my name is Gaby, and I am the Assistant Director of Logistics. I am a sophomore at PDS, and I have been at PDS since 6th grade. I love being a part of NOW at school as well as doing dance and playing tennis. I look forward to being a part of this conference in May.

Frances Bobbitt, Technology Advisor

My name is Frances, and I am your Technology Advisor. As a lifer at PDS, I am grateful to have been able to pursue many of my interests from a young age, from field hockey and lacrosse to architecture and this NOW conference! In middle school, I gained an interest in some of the topics that NOW brings awareness to such as LGBTQ+ rights and Racial Justice, and I was an active member of the feminist club. I hope to meet other people who value the things I do through NOW. I look forward to seeing you in May!

Katie Jain, Treasurer

Hi, my name is Katie Jain, and I am your Treasurer. I am a sophomore at PDS, and I've attended PDS since Kindergarten. I am also the Director of Journalism at Redefy, a nonprofit dedicated to combating discrimination and empowering youth with the knowledge and skills to defy stereotypes and redefine perspectives positively. I can't wait to see you in May!

Alexandra Glezer, Director of Fundraising

Hi everyone!! My name is Alexandra Glezer and I am your Director of Finance (whoop whoop)! I am currently a junior at PDS, and I am the girl who many call “Gleze” and is known for saying “sorry” and “tomorrow” with hard Os (what can I say, I’m Canadian). As Director of Finance, I am in charge of planning sales and working with the Finance committee to ensure budget goals are met to fund the NOW conference. I am so excited for the conference and am looking forward to seeing you all in May!

Nikita Bhardwaj, Assistant Treasurer

Hi, I’m Nikita, your Assistant Treasurer for the conference. I’m a sophomore at PDS, and I am deeply concerned about gender equality and the empowerment of women. I joined NOW because I believe that the stigma around feminism is a plague in our society, and the only way to destroy it is to speak up and fight for change. Outside of NOW, I let my voice be heard as a passionate advocate for women in STEM and as an opinions associate for the school newspaper. Can’t wait to see you guys in May!

Workshops

End the Criminalization of Trauma:
We live in a time in which sexual assault—something that should be a universal issue—is often turned partisan and used as a pawn in politics. The politicization of rape culture and normalization of sexual harassment among the most powerful men in this nation is horrifying. While new waves of feminism specifically targeted at imbalanced power structures seek to dismantle the institution of rape culture (especially within our government), backlash has characterized the #MeToo Movement as illegitimate and overtly political. This workshop will discuss questions regarding the partisanship around violence against women, the limits to #MeToo and “cancelling” men, and whether we should always #BelieveSurvivors through constructive dialogue on the line between politicization and justice.

Learn more: 

Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment:
How are hate crimes a product of lack of representation? What message does cultural appropriation send to victimized group? Should our government reflect the diversity of our population? This workshop will use Harkness discussion to focus on intersectional feminism and specifically the importance of the diversity of representation in Hollywood and the government in order to decrease hate crimes, assault, and other forms of violence. Other topics include cultural appropriation, the Oscars scandal, and the recent change in representation in congress. Finally, participants will discuss how an increase in representation can allow for the passing of laws such as the Equal Rights Amendment.

Learn more:

Advance Voting Rights:
Gender roles within society have a constant and prominent influence on our lives, surfacing for most at quite a young age. They eventually create a standard in our minds of the “regular” woman or man, adding stress, pressure, and expectation to individuals to live up to that “regular” standard. Combined with the inequality women face in terms of education, healthcare, job opportunity, and countless other areas, the complex nature of society’s hierarchy and traditional mindset of female roles does not encourage female participation in the voting sphere. This workshop will use Harkness discussion, free writes, and videos to analyze how the roots of anti-feminism within our modern world and stereotypes held by various communities may ultimately hinder women--and especially women of color--from achieving equality in voting and other aspects of life.

Learn more:

Racial Justice:
Racial justice is a multifaceted issue prevalent in a wide variety of fields, and it is important to consider how racial dynamics and diversity affect our own lives. This workshop will explore how racial justice affects all people, regardless of race, with a focus on women of color. Connections between racial justice and topics such as reproductive rights, violence against women in certain cultures, and the lack of women’s representation will also be explored. Participants will analyze relevant social media posts, articles, and videos to tackle these important issues.

Learn more:

Protect Immigrant Rights:
What does it mean to be an American? Has there been a time in which you felt unwelcome within a larger group? How does religion play a role in your everyday life? This workshop will use Harkness-style discussion and a series of free-writes to answer these questions and more in order to reflect upon current issues surrounding immigration and what it means to be an American. Students will also explore the current administration’s policies on border policy, the Muslim immigration ban, and the moral rights of Mexican and Muslim immigrants.

Learn more:

Speakers

Victoria Brown

Victoria Bissell Brown is an historian who has been teaching U.S. Women’s History and writing about that topic since the early 1980’s. As a young feminist activist in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, Brown was drawn to the study of women’s history because so little was known – and so much needed to be known – about the how and why of gender inequality. A Ph.D. from U.C.-San Diego allowed her to pursue those questions professionally. Now retired from Grinnell College, a liberal arts school in Iowa, she lives in the Philadelphia suburbs where she is a local political organizer. While teaching has been at the center of Prof. Brown’s professional life, she has always engaged in research and publication. She is best known for her scholarship on Jane Addams, the Chicago progressive era reformer who advocated for immigrants, workers, and woman suffrage and then led the anti-World War I peace movement, for which she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Brown has also made significant contributions to the historical literature on an understudied topic: Woodrow Wilson’s views on female education and woman suffrage. Though her career as a teacher and researcher limited Brown’s feminist activism, she consoles herself with the knowledge that her classes helped generations of students to see themselves as part of a long line of women and men who have cut into the woven rope of gender, race, and class that divides and dishonors the human community.

Op-ed: "Thanks for not raping us, all you ‘good men.’ But it’s not enough." Washington Post, 10/12/18
Book: The Education of Jane Addams (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)

 

Lauren J. Ira '00 is a Deputy Attorney General in the Prosecutors Supervision & Training Bureau in the Division of Criminal Justice. Prior to joining the Division of Criminal Justice, Ms. Ira was a trial attorney and litigated some of Philadelphia’s most complex and complicated sexual assault and domestic violence cases as Assistant District Attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit.

Some of Ms. Ira’s past experiences include serving as the City of Trenton’s Director of Policy and Communications. Prior to joining the Mayor’s staff at the City of Trenton, Ms. Ira served as Lobbying and Public Relations Associate at Porzio Governmental Affairs in Trenton. Ms. Ira has extensive experience in community outreach, relations, public affairs, politics and public policy.

Ms. Ira was a participant of the Police Chaplain Program, Leadership Trenton Fellow Program, was a women’s writing teacher at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, served as Chairwoman of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council and acted as Interim Director of Alumni Affairs at Thomas Edison State College and a Public Relations Specialist.

She participated in Run Sister Run: Women of the African Diaspora Changing the Political Landscape, through the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University and was a Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholar. Ms. Ira was a campaign manager for a candidate seeking local government.

She is an Associate Minister at Greater Harvest Worldwide Ministries under the leadership of Apostles Allen & Benita Patterson. She was formally licensed into ministry in 2009.

Ms. Ira earned a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law-Camden, a Master’s degree in Social and Community Services from Capella University, and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with dual majors in English and Women’s and Gender Studies with an emphasis in African-American studies from the College of New Jersey.

Her son Gideon, and her call to serve and advocate for justice are her greatest accomplishments.

 

 

Julie Roginsky

Julie Roginsky '91 is a founding partner and president of Optimus Communications and has two decades of public and private sector experience as an adviser for strategic communications, public relations and political strategy. She has advised Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, non-profits, labor unions, and dozens of elected officials, including Governor Philip Murphy, Senators Cory Booker and Frank Lautenberg, members of the House of Representatives and state legislators. She also served as the communications director for then-Senator Jon Corzine on Capitol Hill. Julie is a former contributor at the Fox News Channel, where she was a frequent co-host of Outnumbered and The Five. Prior to that, she was a contributor at CNBC. Until recently, she served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.

Op-ed: "#MeToo is Not a Trend, It's a Call to Action." NorthJersey.com, 12/7/17.

Follow Julie Roginsky on Twitter | Instagram

FAQ

Why did you launch this conference?
The goal of the conference is to foster greater civic engagement within local high school communities. We hope to encourage attendees to learn more about women’s rights and equality, as well as to engage in politics in order to enact change.

Is the conference free to attend?
Yes, the conference is completely free to attend! However, we are encouraging donations to Manavi, an organization that strives to end all forms of violence against women with a focus on South Asian women. You can learn more about Manavi here: http://www.manavi.org/mission-statement.html. Donations can be made on the day of the conference at the registration desk.
 

Who can attend the conference?
All high school students in grades 9-12 who attend a high school in NJ or are homeschooled in NJ are welcome to attend.

Is the conference all student-led and organized?
Yes! This event was envisioned and is organized by the student-led PDS NOW club with a special planning committee composed of PDS high schoolers. All workshops are student-led, and faculty members will be present as observers.

How many workshops can I attend?
You can attend two out of the five workshops. Your faculty advisor will receive instructions on how you can input your workshop preferences.

Where can I find workshop assignments?
Workshop assignments will be emailed to your faculty coordinator. They will also be available at the registration desk.

Do I have to prepare in any way?
All of our workshops are designed to introduce participants to feminism, so there is no need to prepare in any way. However, the “Workshop Descriptions” page of this website has a list of resources you may find interesting to read prior to attending the conference. You will also receive reading suggestions from your workshops following the conference.

Where can I learn more about the keynote speakers?
Information about the keynote speakers are located on our website. You will also find links to their personal websites and/or social medias.

Can all students participate in narratives?
Students from all high schools are welcome and encouraged to deliver narratives! A short application will be sent out to your school’s faculty coordinator if you are interested.

What if I have dietary restrictions?
If you have any dietary restrictions, please contact nowconference@pds.org to make arrangements.

Acknowledgments

The Time is NOW conference would not have been possible without the amazing support, commitment, and dedication of the PDS community. The NOW club would like to extend a special thank you to the following for their pivotal role in making this event possible:


Amanda Briski, US History
Samantha Dawson, Learning Specialist
Christopher Devlin, Buildings & Grounds
Justin Goldberg, Online Communications Manager
Kaylie Keesling, Director of Alumni Programs & Giving
Karen Latham, English Department Chair and Faculty Advisor for PDS NOW
Amy Matlack, US Librarian
Brian Mochnal, Director of Flik Food Services
Elizabeth Monroe, US Dean of Students
Trixie Sabundayo, Head of Upper School
Melanie Shaw, Director of Communications
Paul Stellato, Head of School

The NOW club would also like to thank our keynote speakers who helped make this conference a success:

Victoria Bissell Brown
Lauren Ira
Julie Roginsky

Last but not least, the NOW planning committee has been hard at work planning this conference since the fall. The PDS NOW co-heads sincerely thank the following students for their integral role in planning The Time is NOW conference:

Nikita Bhardwaj, Assistant Treasurer
Frances Bobbitt, Technology Advisor
Julia Chang, Director of Outreach
Mehak Dhaliwal, Director of Website and Social Media
Mackenzie ElKadi, Director of Logistics
Alexandra Glezer, Director of Fundraising
Katie Jain, Treasurer
Kat Lytkowski, Director of Workshops
Raina Pahade, Assistant Director of Workshops and Narratives
Lydia Pamudji, Director of Graphic Design
Nazareth Mehreteab, Director of Scheduling
Gaby Namouni, Assistant Director of Logistics
Zoe Rivera, Director of Communications
Rina Sclove, Director of Advertising
Divya Sharma, Assistant Director of Outreach
Hailey Young, Director of Narratives