Clarkie of the Week: 10/23

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Clarkie of the Week: 10/23

Eliana Stanislawski | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Eliana Stanislawski | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Eliana Stanislawski | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Eliana Stanislawski | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

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Eliana Stanislawski | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Eliana Stanislawski | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Eliana Stanislawski is a sophomore International Development and Social Change major from Washington, D.C. She’s Canadian-American, considering minoring in theatre, is psyched to be a Clarkie, and is passionate about empowering girls.

Scarlet: So you’re in a play right now!

Eliana: I am, Disciples! It runs [Tuesday] through Saturday night, and my cast is Wednesday night, Friday night, and Saturday afternoon.

Scarlet: How long have you been involved in theatre?

Eliana: I’ve been doing theatre for a long time. I’ve been doing it since, well, REALLY since high school, but I’ve been doing it for a long time. Some of the favorite things that I’ve done – I was Aunt Spiker in James and the Giant Peach, which was so fun. I was Essie Carmichael in You Can’t Take it with You, which meant I had to be a terrible dancer, which was something that came naturally to me and that was really fun. I got to study acting for a summer at Carnegie Mellon, which was a really really fun experience, so I kind of got the chance to do different things, like monologues for different shows and scene studies. And at my old school, I was in House of Bernarda Alba. I was Martirio, I got to have a hunch back, which was really fun. And then I’ve done some student-written stuff, I’ve directed, and I’ve written plays that have been staged. So yeah, now I’m here and I’m in this show!

Scarlet: You’re the head of the U.S. Action Team for Day of the Girl. How did that come about and what should people know about Day of the Girl?

Eliana: So yes, I am the head of the U.S. Action Team for Day of the Girl, which means that in 2010 me and a bunch of my friends started the U.S. Movement to make Day of the Girl an official commemorative day. Shortly thereafter, the UN declared it, which [we weren’t involved with], but we took up this campaign and we got over 100 proclamations in counties and states across the country, all championed by girls. That was the point: It was supposed to be youth leadership, and that’s kind of behind everything we do, is putting girls at the forefront and girls in charge so that we make use of the day instead of a day just being a day. We treat a day like a movement and a day like a revolution and so we put the girls in charge. So we had the proclamation project, and then the next year, after lots and lots of work, the Obama Administration declared Day of the Girl. This year, we had several successful rallies across the country which we had fundraised for… and then we had girls apply, and it was all about tackling specific gender inequality issues in your community… Then, if they demonstrated really strong leadership abilities and lots of determination and were excited, we gave them a grant of about $300 to subsidize the cost of their rally and they had an official Day of the Girl-supported event. And then each of the people of the Action Team kind of took on some rallies as theirs… I was mentoring Atlanta, Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida, both of which went really well.

Scarlet: So the difference between International Women’s Day and Day of the Girl is the youth focus?

Eliana: Yeah, feminism tends to focus less on the issues of children, and when it does, it doesn’t necessarily do so in a holistic way. And it’s really important to start while people are young, right? It’s really important to begin the process of empowerment and repair while people are still young. And so if we focus more on girls’ issues, which we feel are still neglected, then we can fix that. And so the difference between International Women’s Day and International Day of the Girl is that Day of the Girl tries to really focus on what youth can do, because it’s not always talked about. Plus, our movement is 100 percent youth led.

Scarlet: Cool! So you just transferred into Clark, how has the transition been?

Eliana: Oh, it’s been amazing. This is an amazing, amazing place. Like I love it so much, I can’t even tell you. It’s like night and day with my old school. It’s really – everybody here is so kind and so genuine and so passionate and conscientious and just excited and it’s great and I love it! I think very highly of this place.

Scarlet: How can people get involved with Day of the Girl?

Eliana: If anyone wants to become involved with Day of the Girl, there are so many opportunities. You could apply to run a rally for next year, you could write for our blog, we have lots of opportunities to have your opinions published, and we welcome all opinions and all backgrounds. You could become an issue expert for us and contribute to our understanding of different issues. There are so many ways that you can help. You can visit dayofthegirl.org or email me at [email protected]

Thanks for the interview, Eliana!