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Category: Feminism, Girls, Media, WMC

Congratulations To the WMC Progressive Girls’ Voices Class of 2012!

| July 18, 2012

Congratulations to our Progressive Girls' Voices class of 2012! We are excited to meet our accepted trainees this weekend. 

Progressive Girl’s Voices (PGV) is the premier media and leadership-training program for girls in the country. Representing a range of expertise and diversity across race, class, geography, and generation, participants receive advanced, comprehensive training and tools to position themselves as media spokespeople in their fields, thereby changing the conversation on issues that fill the headlines.

Progressive Girls’ Voices trainings and webinars help girls develop leadership, media, and activism skills. In 2011, Progressive Girls’ Voices graduates represented the Women’s Media Center at the Sundance Film Festival and interviewed Robert Redford, Geena Davis, Tiffany Shlain, and Danny Glover, as well as produced a video that has received thousands of views. Graduates also blog for the Women’s Media Center, bringing their unique voices to the conversation. We have also trained girls and young women bloggers from SPARK Movement and the Arab American Association of New York, among other girl-serving organizations and institutions.

Introducing the PGV Class of 2012:

Emma Jacoby Axelrod

Emma is 16 and lives in New Jersey. She is the co-author of a petition for the Committee of Presidential Debates to choose a woman to moderate one of the 2012 Presidential Debates and has been featured on MSNBC, The Huffington Post, the Star Ledger,, and NPR for her efforts.

Sage Ayan Ora Gray

Sage, originally from Jamaica, is 19 years old and lives in New York. She is a passionate vegan who enjoys exploring her creativity and artistic expression through her dance, fine art, acting, and calligraphy. She is currently studying business and management and hopes to pursue a career in the media communications.

Margaret Rose Heftler

Margaret is a 16 year-old high school sophomore in New York City. She explores media through creative writing and has won many awards for her original poetry. She is passionate about expanding access to education and has volunteered her time for organizations such as Pencils of Promise and the Guggenheim family art education program.

Brianna Henry

Brianna is a rising sophomore studying anthropology and women's studies at UMass Amherst. She hopes to one day attend law school and work with international human rights issues that affect women and children.

Navya Lakkaraju

Navya is a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick where she majors in comparative literature in postcolonial and colonial studies and minors in South Asian studies. She serves as President of the Women's Center Coalition and is currently an intern for the Women's Rights Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Katherine Lazo

After experiencing firsthand how women of color are typecast in acting roles, Katherine has moved from being on camera to working behind the scenes and is now studying advertising and marketing communication at FIT in New York City. She has her own blog on sexism, racism, and advertising, and hopes to educate herself and her peers on sisterhood and feminism. Check out Kat's blog and youtube channel. 

Taylor Palmer

Taylor is a former Teen Angel who was featured in Seventeen Magazine for her research surrounding cyberbullying. She currently attends Syracuse University and loves to discuss current events.

Briana Schwartz

Brianna is an aspiring actor at the Middlesex County School of Arts in New Jersey. She recently created a campaign at her school--the Binge Love Purge Hate campaign--to spread awareness about eating disorders in teens and women.

Emma Shakarshy

Emma recently graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a double major in English and women's studies. She has worked as a feminist youth worker in nonprofit organizations such as Girls Write Now, Strong Women Strong Girls, Teen Voices Magazine, and the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Emma is the co-creator of the feminist humor blog Humorless Feminists and is a contributing blogger at

Sofia Caballero Stafford

Sofia is the founder and chair of the Community Service Board at her high school in Manhattan. She became interested in journalism after she took a broadcast journalism class as a sophomore, and since then she has served as a teen reporter for Girl Up at the Social Good Summit in NYC and the Clinton Global Initiative and has blogged for Huffington Post Teen and MTV ACT.

Desiree Ann Wilson

Desiree works as an intern at Girl's Education and Mentoring Services and currently studies Human Services with the hopes of changing how the media affects youth.