Press Release: Washington DC Event For Girls

Oct 20, 2016

Washington DC Event For Girls
November 8, 2016

2000 diverse Washington DC area girls come together to learn and become inspired by women leaders from around the country

On Saturday, November 12, Girls Can Do with the support of Microsoft Retail Stores will host over 2,000 young women and girls at the historic Warner Theater in downtown Washington, DC for a day of fun, education, inspiration, and “Possibility Thinking.” Answering the ever present need for strong, accomplished, and resilient female role-models, Girls Can Do seeks to empower young women and girls to think beyond their immediate reality by creating a spark of inspiration. This inspiration is transformed into action by connecting these girls with local organizations who provide year-round programming for girls – what Girls Can Do calls their Girl Partner Network.

“The purpose of the Girls Can Do event series is to ignite a spark for what is possible in girls across the country and then around the world, so they can begin to see the potential that lives inside them,” said Karen Clark Cole, Founder and Executive Director of Girls Can Do.

As well as the founder of Girls Can Do, Karen is the Co-Founder and CEO of a User Experience software consulting company, Blink UX, and is a contributing writer for

“The sky is the limit for what our boys and girls can achieve, on equal grounds, supporting each other. The work we need to do is show girls what that looks like, provide role-models for them so they can see themselves in the future. They need to see women who look like them, women who listen to them, who care about them and who inspire them. There is no shortage of these women out there, and it’s our goal to make them accessible to every girl in this country, so they have a vision to move towards.”

On November 12, First Lady Michelle Obama will open the day with a video welcome speech recorded especially for the event. Throughout the day there will be twelve, ten-minute Ted-talk style presentations by a diverse group of women leaders. Between each speaker, representative girls from some of our Girl Partner Network organizations will come on stage to share what their program offers. At each event we host 15-20 of these organizations and provide them with a table in the lobby for participants to learn more or sign-up.

To access more girls nation-wide, Girls Can Do has partnered with Microsoft Retail Stores to live broadcast the event in ten of their stores across the country. In conjunction with hosting a viewing party and providing food, each Microsoft Store will conduct a fun-filled coding workshop for girls in attendance.

At the live event, Girls Can Do will have students from DC and the surrounding areas from middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community programs. Specific schools and programs include: South East Washington, Anacostia High, Ballou High, Kramer Middle, G James Gholson Middle, Gallaudet University, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Bridges, Hillside Work Scholarship Connection, and Community of Hope.

Our program includes the following lineup:

Event Hosts:

Lauren Mims: Assistant Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Marley Dias: 11-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks

Ava Solomon: Teen D.J.


Krishanti Vignarajah: Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Lisa deWit: Department of National Defense, Senior Auditor, NW Coast Native American.

Commander Rachel Lewis: Senior Service Advisor, US Coast Guard Personnel at the National Intelligence University.

Linda Wagener, PhD: Human development specialist. Psychologist, film maker and founding Partner of Marigold Associates.

Christy Hansen: Program Manager, NASA Airborne Science Campaign Operation IceBridge. Former space flight EVA trainer.

Divinity Roxx: Solo Artist, Base player, rapper, and songwriter.

Kalisha Dessources: Policy Advisor, White House Council on Women and Girls.

Cristina Flores: Marketing and Engagement Manager, National Business Women’s Council.

Angela Martin: Special Olympics gold medal athlete in downhill skiing and swimming.

Natalie Hampton: Founder and App Designer of Sit With Us, anti-bullying lunchtime table sharing app.

Victoria Indaco: Mechanical Engineer, Tesla Motors. Baja California race car designer, builder and driver.

Diane Hansen: First Sergeant and Police Academy Instructor, Maryland State Police.

Reetu Gupta: Engineer, Marketer, and Entrepreneur. Co-Founder and CEO of Cirkled-In, student knowledge sharing software platform.

Girl Partner Network organizations in attendance:

  1. Phenomenal Young Women
  2. Community Bridges
  3. Chess Girls DC
  4.  Runway Cuties
  5. Hillside Work Scholarship Connection
  6. Cirkled-In
  7. She Jumps
  8. Community of Hope
  9. Chick Tech
  10. Zions Daughters
  11. Women of Color Golf
  12. Butterflyz Inc.
  13. YWCA
  14. Identity
  15. KIPP
  16. Lit World
  17. AMAZE
  18. YouthSpark
  19. DigiGirlz
  20. Microsoft Retail Stores Youth Programming
  21. Latinas Leading Tomorrow
  22. TechShop DC

Microsoft Stores will be streaming the event live from their stores in the following locations:

1.  Bellevue Store. Bellevue, WA
2.  Bethesda Store. Bethesda, MD
3.  Christiana Store. Newark, DE
4.  Columbus Store. Columbus, OH
5.  Kenwood Store. Cincinnati, OH
6.  Overland Store. Overland Park, KS
7.  San Diego Store. San Diego, CA
8.  Somerset Collection Store. Somerset, MI
9.  Syracuse Store. Syracuse, NY
10. West Farms Store. Farmington, CT

Event Schedule:

9:30: Doors Open

Girls enter to the music of teen DJ Ava Solomon, pickup nutritious snacks provided by Girls Can Do for free, and get settled for the event.

10:45 – 2:30: Speaker and Girl Partner Network Presentations

Twelve, ten-minute inspirational presentations with videos, photographs, and stories. Between each talk there will be a three-minute activity based presentation hosted by local organizations, and a 15-minute intermission in the middle of the day. Food and beverages will be provided at the start and part way through the day at no cost to girls.

2:45 – 3:30: Speakers Q&A with girls from the audience

Girls have an opportunity to get their questions answered with all the speakers on stage in a panel setting. Girls may line up at a microphone placed in the audience to ask questions of the speakers.

3:30 – 4:00: Individual Q&A with speakers and girls

After the panel, each speaker will be available for girls to come and meet them individually, take pictures, sign autographs, and ask more questions.


For any additional questions, please reach out to Ragina Arrington, Community Partnership Director at The event will be open and welcome to the press.



To encourage young women to have big dreams and pursue them.

To believe that anything is possible.

The purpose of Girls Can Do event series is to host events around the country and the world, at no cost for young women and girls. Our events are special days where girls come to engage, connect, and share experiences with amazing women speakers who are pursuing their dreams. At each event we offer access to dozens of year round programs through our Girl Partner Network. These programs are the “next steps” for the inspired POSSIBILITY THINKER. Find out more at