WE ARE THE INITIATIVE FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS
Founded by Monika Nikore and Martha Caldwell, Initiative for Women and Girls uses a depth inquiry method to address and mitigate the emotional, mental and material effects of systemic inequities women and girls encounter. Our proprietary approach prepares women and girls to be agents and advocates in a rapidly changing world. Our need-based scholarships ensure access for all girls while delivering a high-quality curriculum.
MONIKA NIKORE: Co-Founder
Born and raised in India, Monika credits her parents for instilling in her the courage to define her own path. An expert in purpose, Monika spent 6+ years at BrightHouse partnering with Fortune 500 C-Suite on purpose-driven transformation to grow people profits, and social impact. An inveterate interdisciplinary, Monika's professional experience spans management consulting (aligning strategy, culture and brand), social impact, international business, media, branding, and photojournalism. Her work with women focuses on articulating their purpose, navigating bias, and building psychological reserve. As a photojournalist, Monika documented identity issues unique to immigrant women when media on the topic was still scarce. She provided extensive coverage on women and girls for the United Nations and has covered stories for AP, CDC, AJC, Christian Science Monitor, Airone, Mirabella, Stern, Atlanta, U.S. News & World Report, to name a few. Monika is deeply grateful to be a "mom", and for her amazing family and friends. View full profile.
MARTHA CALDWELL: Co-Founder
A veteran teacher, consultant and author, Martha draws the power of story to make the psychological dimensions of social bias visible. Through working with stories, her students gain confidence and agency. Her articles on adolescent identity development and equity education have appeared in Middle School Journal, Independent School Magazine, Greater Good Magazine, Youth Today, and EdWeek. She is the co-author of Let's Get Real: Exploring Race, Class and Gender Identities in the Classroom and a founder of iChange Collaborative, a professional development consulting group. Martha has also trained with the Emory-Tibet Partnership in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training. She enjoys independent films, live music, and spending time with her exceptionally bright and adorable grandsons.
GREG CHANGNON: Theater Instructor
Greg taught at The Paideia School for 15 years, where he curated his students' experiences into original plays, using classic texts (Fahrenheit 451, Lord of the Flies, 12 Angry Men) as a framework for modern revisions. SLUR, created with his JH students, was adapted by the Alliance Theatre, and toured Georgia public schools. Greg was featured in Poets & Writers magazine for his innovative work infusing theater and playwriting into his classroom. An Off-Broadway production of Greg's story “How the Nurse Feels,” will open in June 2018. Previously, it was developed as a musical by the Disney Musical Theatre Workshop. His fiction has appeared in the North American Review, Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops, and Best New American Voices. Greg was playwright-in-residence at The Galloway School and is a teaching artist at the Alliance Theatre. Greg was a stay home dad when his two daughters were younger. He is most proud of his fearless daughters.
TALLY JOHNSON: Voice and Narrative Instructor
Tally teaches Women’s Literature, Environmental Literature, and Ethics at Paideia High School, and Composition and Literature to ninth graders. At Paideia, and at Emory, Tally has participated in Cognition-Based Compassion Training. She is working with the Emory-Tibet Partnership to pilot and integrate the Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning curriculum in high school classes. Tally received her Master of Education from Harvard University. She began her career in education with the Peace Corps in Mongolia. After teaching 10 -18 year olds and monks at the local monastery, she returned to Atlanta to work with newly-arrived refugees, followed by a decade of teaching in Atlanta public high schools. Her passion is in finding ways to integrate her love of literature and the English language with social, emotional, and ethical learning.
DANIELLE STEWART: Art and Movement Instructor
In addition to her love of giving back to the community through her nonprofit, Community Empowerment Foundation, Inc., Danielle continues to pursue her passion for research, teaching and learning through her innovative educational consulting company, In School Spirit, an organization committed to igniting a more positive and well-rounded academic experience for students of color. As a consultant for iChange Collaborative, Danielle facilities professional development for educators in practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion. An artist with a Bachelor's degree in Communications: TV and Video Production, Danielle brings a breath of interdisciplinary experience. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, crafting and clowning around.
GINGER BIRDSEY: Art and Movement Instructor
Ginger, a veteran teacher and celebrated, award winning artist, grew up in a family of artists, writers, and storytellers. She has taught ceramics, mixed media, painting and drawing to students of all ages. Informed by her work with children, her art reimagines narratives of childhood, memories, and dreams. Working in an intuitive manner, her students are encouraged to explore their worlds using stories and writings. She uses animals, the figure, and everyday objects to create both the serious and humorous stuff of life. She has volunteered as an artist-in-residence at the Create Your Dreams foundation and the Paideia School, and taught at the Callonwolde Fine Arts Center. Her work can be found at dk Gallery and on her website. She loves to garden and when not there, she is beach combing, crabbing or kayaking in coastal Georgia.
RUTU CHAUDHARI: Art and Movement Instructor
Rutu brings 17 years of experience to teaching yoga. She received her first teaching certification in 2003, and holds a 2,000-hour certification in alignment-based yoga, yoga therapy and meditation. She is the director of Atlanta's premier Yoga Teacher Certification Program, as well as the owner of a thriving yoga studio in Atlanta called All Life is Yoga. Rutu is also the Executive Director of The Dharma Project, whose mission is to bring self-care practices to organizations and communities that have are or have experience high levels of stress or trauma. She has participated in the Civic Innovation Fellowship and Sara Blakely Fellowship to receive mentorship and leadership training for The Dharma Project. She was voted Creative Loafing’s best yoga teacher of 2017.
PHILIP EHRENBERG: PlayScapes: Game Narrative
An Atlanta-native, Philip is an independent serious game designer with a keen interest in interdisciplinary projects and empowering underserved voices and communities. Most of his previous games work is with the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab at the University of Chicago, where he designed educational board, digital, and alternate reality games about STEM topics, and sexual and reproductive health. These projects frequently had him working directly with and teaching game design to southside Chicago high schoolers. He's currently working on a suite of educational board games for a national STEM curriculum developer.