SPARK Movement is a girl-fueled, intergenerational activist organization working online to ignite an anti-racist gender justice movement.
We were founded in 2010, in response to the Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. In collaboration with more than 30 partnering organizations articulating strategies to challenge the negative impacts of sexualization, SPARK was launched as a potential solution. We decided that our first public activity would be a one-day summit that would include research presentations, “action stations” for girls and their allies to push back against sexualization, multiple networking opportunities among girls wanting to channel their frustration and anger with adults who shared their commitment, and workshops to build skills through activities and training to provide girls with the tools to become leading activists. On October 22, 2010, SPARK held the SPARK Summit at Hunter College, the City University of New York. By all measures, the Summit was a tremendous success. Not only did SPARK meet our goal of raising awareness about the sexualization of girls, disseminating and calling for new research on sexualization and engaging girls as social change agents, we started a new public dialogue linking the fight against sexualization to the need for “enabling conditions” for young women’s healthy sexuality. Video coverage of the SPARK Summit can be found at http://www.sparksummit.com/category/summit/
Since then, we’ve expanded beyond the scope of the report, training girls to be activists, organizers, and leaders in the fight for gender justice.