Girls International Club


Girls International is a club at CB South that focuses on uplifting and empowering members, interacting with and reaching out to the community through fundraisers, and developing new ways to spread awareness.

Girls International was founded in 2016 by Emma Kienzle, a student at the time, and Madame Chemin, a French teacher at South. Emma Kienzle asked Madame Chemin to assist a club for women’s social issues, and Madame agreed to be the supervisor.

“I kind of liked her idea because American society is very self-centered, I think. And being from another country, you know I come from France, I was very touch by the fact that she was looking beyond the borders of the country, of the US,” Madame Chemin said. “She was really kind of keeping a grasp of what was going on in the world which is not something that you see a lot of in teenagers these days, so I liked her ideas and she wanted to educate mainly.”

Girls International is run by juniors and co-leaders, Lynn Choi and Macie Mitnick. Lynn Choi said she became one of the leaders of this club to “create a safe space for people who feel they don’t have a voice and to reach out and support to the community.” She added, “I wanted to do something that would have an impact and being a leader of this club can help make influential changes.”

Girls International is ran as a democracy: everyone has a say and can share their ideas and thoughts. This method of leadership creates a positive environment for its members, which is designed to make everyone comfortable.

“To me, Girls International provides a safe space for all. No one person is better than another, we are all equal. Locally, nationally, as well as internationally, women’s rights are either under attack or non-existent,” Macie Mitnick said. “This club enables all of us to use our voices and make any possible difference we can. Instead of staying silent about gender equity issues, we can do the complete opposite through this club.”

Though there is confusion around the name, since it only mentions girls, anyone can join regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and more.  Madame Chemin said, “I would like to see some guys join the club.”

By creating a community of people who support and care for each other, the club unifies and brings everyone closer. The club’s origin began with the topic of feminism but has now spread to many other important topics involving other groups of people facing difficulties, such as equality, discrimination, sexism, racism, and misogyny.

Macie Mitnick said, “Girls International is extremely collaborative and emphasizes working together because we recognize how every voice brings a different, diverse, and unique perspective which provides more representation for all different kinds of people throughout the club.”

Girls International focuses on diminishing stereotypes and creating an environment where people are treated equally.

“Creating an environment where people feel safe to be who they are without having to worry about their appearance or anything else is extremely important. Everyone deserves to be treated as equals,” Lynn Choi said.

Bringing awareness to controversial or overlooked topics is also prioritized. Another major topic in Girls International is body positivity and promoting that not everything on social media is real. On the Girls International Instagram feed, member Maya Tokmajian wrote, “Comparing yourself to others (especially people on social media) is one of the most detrimental habits to develop. Instead, try to remind yourself that everyone is perfect in their own way and just because you don’t look like someone else does not mean you aren’t just as beautiful!”

To stay involved with the community they use their Instagram account to post information and interact with its followers. Junior Savannah Troy said, “I joined the club to bring attention to different issues. I wanted to help both the people in the school and the people in our community.”

To join the club, email one of the leaders or join the remind. “I like to see them [members] being obviously involved… speak up and don’t be afraid because it’s a club made for students so if you have an issue bring it up,” Madame Chemin said, “We can maybe talk about it and help you. And yeah, somebody who believes we can actually
make a change.”

Scheduling community service and fundraisers to help raise money and spread awareness is the next step for the club. “Club meetings thus far have consisted of speculating on fundraising ideas, meaning ways to fundraise as well as what to fundraise for. We made bracelets for A Women’s Place initiative during the month of October where they are selling them to raise money in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Macie Mitnick said. “We are planning on being involved in as many school events as possible to spread the message of this club, as well as make people who might not be aware that we exist informed about us.”

Girls International consists of meetings about every other week on Tuesdays, for 45 minutes to an hour. This time is used to create ideas for future fundraisers or events, and to talk about important social issues that may affect certain people in the community.