Press Release

Fifth annual Girls Rock! Weekend kicks off Friday

WATERVILLE, Maine — On Friday, April 5, Hardy Girls Healthy Women will kick off a two-day celebration of girls’ leadership across the state as part of their Fifth annual Girls Rock! Weekend.

Over the course of two days, the Waterville-based nonprofit will host four different events in locations in Waterville, Augusta and Portland, all designed to recognize young women leaders who are making a difference in their communities while educating girls about important issues such as body image, pop culture media, and healthy relationships.

The first event is the Girls Unlimited Conference, hosted in Waterville at Colby College on Friday, April 5, for girls in fourth-eighth grades. More than 200 girls and their chaperones will come together to hear presentations and workshops delivered by high school members of Hardy Girls’ Girls Advisory Board. Workshops and presentations will focus on chemicals in cosmetics, music lyrics, healthy eating, and more. The Girls Unlimited! Conference is sold out, but a second conference will be held in Portland on April 27.

The celebration moves to Augusta that evening for the Girls Rock Awards at the Senator Inn and Spa in Augusta at 6 p.m. Five girls ages 13-19 will be recognized in five different categories, including Health Advocacy, Community Organizing, Against the Odds, Entrepreneurship, and Title IX/Sports Advocacy. Winners of the awards were chosen for exemplifying leadership, civic engagement, and a passion for making their communities better places for girls to grow. There are still seats available for the awards. RSVP to Hardy Girls at 207-861-8131.

On Saturday, April 6, renowned organizer and activist, Shelby Knox, will lead a workshop for young organizers called Who Changes the World? Girls! at the Wishcamper Building at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. The workshop will give participants skills and tips for building online activist communities using online tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to make change for girls and women in 2013. All youth ages 15-23 are welcome to attend the workshop, which starts at 1 p.m. The cost is $10 and scholarships are available.

Following a reception from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Atrium of the Wishcamper Building, Shelby Knox will give a lecture called Building the Global Girl Revolution, which is open to the public. During the talk, Shelby will discuss what is driving, supporting, and amplifying girls’ activism worldwide and will host a conversation about how to strengthen the global girl revolution.

Shelby Knox is nationally known as the subject of the Sundance award-winning film, The Education of Shelby Knox, a 2005 documentary chronicling her teenage activism for comprehensive sex education and gay rights in her Southern Baptist community. She has appeared on Today, the Daily Show, Hardball, and sat down with both Dr. Phil and Al Franken to discuss sex education and youth activism. Shelby travels across the country as an itinerant feminist organizer, doing trainings, workshops and civil disobedience in the name of reproductive justice and sexual health. Shelby lives in New York City, where she is working on a book about the fourth wave of feminist activism.

For more information on Girls Rock Weekend and to register for the events, call 861-8131 or visit

Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) is a nonprofit organization located in Waterville, ME dedicated to the health and well-being of girls and women. HGHW is striving to create a world where women experience equality, independence, and safety in their everyday lives.