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Jan 15

Moments of Voice for Malala
Malala Yousufzai, a fifteen year old Pakistani blogger, has been using her voice ...

Nov 27

Information and Communication Technology
A new article in The Guardian explores how information and communication technology can be used to empower girls worldwide. ...

Oct 2

Half the Sky
AUDACIA participants will be interested to see this new piece of work from Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn ...

Aug 17

10.11.12 International Day of the Girl
Thanks to the tireless efforts of AUDACIA participant Plan International, and its partners, the United Nations has declared October 11, 2012 to be the first-ever International Day of the Girl. ...

August 3

DFID Girls’ Education Challenge
DFID, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, is sponsoring a Girls’ Education Challenge. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AUDACIA, the Global Forum for Girls’ Education?

AUDACIA, the Global Forum for Girls’ Education, an initiative of Emma Willard School, is a two day invitational conference, which took place in New York City September 26-27 2011.

The raison d'être of AUDACIA is to garner resources for programs and practices that hold promise for eradicating the barriers – poverty, violence and prejudice – that prevent some ninety million school-aged girls from receiving a quality education or any education at all.  The AUDACIA forum focused on secondary school and adolescent girls with equal attention paid to factors associated with access and quality. AUDACIA will identify and encourage investments in pathways that will enable millions of girls who have been denied an education to obtain one in settings that are safe and nurture their intellectual, emotional and physical development.
Participants studied the latest research findings and best practices concerning education and gender equality, social and economic change, and violence prevention.  Educators, human development and human rights professionals, religious leaders, philanthropists, country leaders, policy makers and other experts made presentations. 
Philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, inventors and corporate citizens had an opportunity to explore and commit to strategic financial investments and collaborations with organizations that are fostering systemic and sustainable change, which benefit girls and the societies in which they live.
Other interested people will be able to access information from AUDACIA and obtain copies of presentations, reports and other materials developed for AUDACIA on the AUDACIA Web site.
What is AUDACIA’s core purpose?
AUDACIA’s core purpose is to garner resources for programs and practices that hold promise for eradicating the barriers – poverty, violence and prejudice – that prevent some ninety million school-aged girls from receiving a quality education or any education at all.
Who is AUDACIA’s target audience?

AUDACIA’s target audience is philanthropists, foundations and other grant-making institutions, businesses, technologists and entrepreneurs who want to invest significant resources in proven or very promising practices and programs that ensure access to a quality education for girls everywhere, especially in countries where this is not considered a right.
Who does AUDACIA benefit?

AUDACIA benefits girls and the societies in which they live by providing research on best practices and encouraging investments in programs of superior merit.
When and where will AUDACIA be held?
The first AUDACIA forum was held in New York City September 26-27, 2011.
What are the objectives of AUDACIA?
1.Showcase 15-20 well-documented best practices in select developing and industrialized countries
2.Showcase 10 well-documented promising practices in developing and industrialized countries
3.Form, or at least set the stage for, five collaborations that promise systemic social, economic and cultural changes on behalf of girls’ equity in countries in which they have limited access to a quality education
4.Form, or set the stage for, five collaborations that hold promise for increasing gender equality in education in countries with universal access
5.Create a significant financial prize that is awarded to one or more organizations with interventions that have effectively fostered gender equality in education
How will the objectives of the 2011 AUDACIA forum be measured?
1.The showcasing of best and promising practices will be a core part of AUDACIA’s programming.
2.On day two and in the morning of day three there will be a segment during which new or planned collaborations are announced.
3.A standardized memorandum of understanding will be signed and periodic evaluations via conference calls or meetings will take place in the balance of 2011 and in 2012.
4.The Council of Advisors will be asked to identify the best of the best practices according to pre-established criteria and will determine the financial prize.  Financing for this prize will come from grants and sponsorship fees paid by AUDACIA’s co-sponsors and partners.
What are the issues that will be the focus of the 2011 AUDACIA forum?
Topics were drawn from a list including:
  • Research on personal, social and economic benefits of education for girls
  • Components and benefits of successful systemic change in education practices and policies
  • Components of successful philanthropy and social ventures
  • Issues affecting equity versus equality in education for girls 
  • What constitutes a girl friendly environment
  • Economic and cultural barriers and interventions
  • Dealing with violence and reconciliation in varying contexts
  • Opportunities for religious and cultural leaders to foster change
  • Communication as an intervention
  • Education policy made real by financial policy
  • Practitioners and investors: models of effective collaborations
  • Opportunities for new technologies
  • Opportunities for media
  • What girls in developing, emerging and developed economies want from education
  • Forging sustainable collaborations between practitioners and philanthropists

What is the governance and staffing structure of AUDACIA?

AUDACIA is an initiative of Emma Willard School.  Head of School Trudy E. Hall led its initial conceptualization.  Emma Willard is providing start-up financial and in-kind support. AUDACIA’s Executive Director, Dr. Donna L. Blackwell and her assistant, Robyn B. Naeher are full time Emma Willard employees with an office on the campus.

A council of advisors provides program oversight, expertise in best program practices and philanthropy, and assists in obtaining speakers, sponsors and partners.
What is the financial structure of AUDACIA?

Emma Willard School is AUDACIA’s fiscal sponsor. All contributions earmarked for AUDACIA will receive the tax benefits of the Emma Willard School IRS 501(c)(3) designation. 
Co-sponsors and partners are actively being sought so as to broaden interest and support for the Forum. The Emma Willard School Board of Trustees has approved AUDACIA’s current policies and practices.
Who will be invited to speak at AUDACIA?

The presenters will represent a balance of experts who can speak to successful education and human rights practices and policies, promising new ideas and directions, strategic philanthropy, role of religious and cultural leaders, role of media and opportunities for new technology. They will represent religious, secular, education and humanitarian organizations; business and social entrepreneurship; philanthropy; invention and technology; and the news media.
Who will be invited to attend AUDACIA?

People who are implementing effective practices that can be replicated or scaled up and philanthropists, corporate citizens, inventors and social entrepreneurs who want to learn about them and contribute financial and technological resources will be invited. Members of the council of advisors and a special committee comprised of Emma Willard students, faculty and alumnae will be invited to attend also.
How many participants are expected?
We anticipate 200-250 people from around the world to attend in person. Thousands more are expected to join via the Web.
What is the operating cost of AUDACIA?

The budget for AUDACIA is available for persons who are interested in contributing significant financial support to AUDACIA.
What is the cost of attending AUDACIA?

Organizations attending the forum will receive an information kit that includes the cost of registration. Every effort will be made to minimize this cost for participants who represent small non-profit organizations.
How will AUDACIA be funded?

Individual contributions, registration fees, grants from foundations, and corporate sponsorships will fund AUDACIA. Emma Willard School, the founding sponsor, is providing seed money and serves as the fiscal sponsor for charitable contributions and sponsorship fees.
Will AUDACIA be advertised?
AUDACIA will be advertised online and via notices to relevant individuals and organizations. A marketing communications plan for other media is being developed.
Will there be a media and public relations component?
Yes.  Members of the news media will be invited to participate as presenters and as reporters.
Are sponsors being sought?

Yes.  Corporations, foundations and individuals that have a commitment to advancing education, gender equality, human rights, human development and anti-poverty initiatives are being sought as sponsors.
Are individual contributions and foundation support being sought?

Yes. A number of individuals have already contributed to AUDACIA.  We continue to seek contributions from individuals, and grants are being sought from corporate and private foundations.
Who has endorsed AUDACIA?

Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M. Tutu and Mrs. Leah Tutu have endorsed AUDACIA and agreed to serve as honorary chairpersons.  Additional Advisory Council members include Elizabeth Colton, Emma Willard Class of 1966 and Founding President of the International Museum of Women, Meera Gandhi, founder of The Giving Back Foundation, Marcia Gillespie, an award winning writer and leader in the women’s movement, Holly Gordon, Executive Director of 10x10: The Girls Education Project, Dr. Gay McDougall, international human rights lawyer, MacArthur Fellow, and Independent Expert on Minority Issues at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Kavita Ramdas, Senior Advisor to the Global Fund for Women, Dr. Nahid Toubia, the first female surgeon in Sudan and founder of RAINBO, and Jane Wales, Emma Willard Class of 1966 and Co-Founder of the Global Philanthropy Forum.  Additional Advisory Council Members, Planning Committee Members, Sponsors and Speakers can be found on the Web site.  Other prominent persons concerned with gender equality and education will be invited to endorse and lend their support to AUDACIA.

Does the work of AUDACIA relate to the work being done by the United Nations, UNICEF and other United Nations affiliates?
Yes.  Representatives of the United Nations and UNICEF will be consulted and invited to make presentations at AUDACIA.
Will there be a webcast or web streaming of AUDACIA’s proceedings?

No. Videos from the forum will be posted on the AUDACIA Web site as they are available.
Who will be able to access the Web version of AUDACIA?

The Web site for AUDACIA will be available to any interested person. However, schools, NGOs, country leaders, faculty and students of education, international relations and policy, human development organizations and agencies, foundation staff, staff of corporate sponsors, and the news media will be contacted and encouraged to register for the online version of AUDACIA so they can follow the proceedings in real time.
Will AUDACIA’s topics include those that affect countries like the United States where there is universal access to education? 
Yes.  AUDACIA will include discussions on gender equality in education and single gender education in countries with universal access.