I am a developmental psychologist, researcher, mother (of two teenage boys), professor, activist, daughter. I grew up before Title IX and did not know that I could be as strong with my body as I was with my mind. As an adult, I stumbled into body competence by accident and have been pursuing it, along with my emotional and intellectual growth, ever since. I can press 540 lbs on the leg press; I have the biceps of a weight lifter. I discovered the delicious experience of doing Pilates–of being really bad at it, working and working and working and becoming really good at it, which makes me feel fantastic and makes me more effective and anchored in my life. I love feeling as strong in my body as I do in my mind.

I am someone who wants girls to know that 1) their bodies are first and foremost, THEIRS, no matter what media or other people tell them; 2) they are ENTITLED to their own thoughts, feelings, desires, emotions, no matter what media or other people tell them; 3) they are FABULOUS, no matter what media or other people tell them. I support SPARK because we are going to do what it takes to make it more and more possible for girls to connect their bodies with their minds and garner the strength that comes from this connection.

I am inspired by the work of HGHW and PBG, Lyn Mikel Brown and Megan Williams and all of the amazing girls who are making SPARK. I know that the Summit is going to be the first day of the next important social movement for diverse girls and women in this country! I know that making the world a better place for girls and women will also mean that our male allies will have to join us–and in so doing, make it a better place for themselves as well.

Find out more about Deb

Part of “30 Allies in 30 Days.” Learn more about the SPARK Summit and check back tomorrow for our next ally!