“If you want to do something big, it’s not just you. If you work to make something grow and to share the results with others, then the thing in itself has a life… So I understand that [Feminist] leadership is related to the possibility of creating solid initiatives that last. You can go away, and the structures or whatever you have created remain, they are there.” ~ Jacqueline Pitanguy
Hello Everyone! My name is Ruby Johnson and I am from Sydney, Australia. Already I have been blown away by the spirit, courage and creativity of everyone I have met from the FRIDA Fund.
I believe in the ability of young feminists to drive transformative change locally and globally. I am particularly interested in making international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) accessible at the grassroots level to empower activists and hold governments accountable.
When growing up I spent time with my family in remote indigenous communities in Australia. Seeing some of the challenges first hand instilled in me a strong sense of social justice and commitment to human rights. Since then I have been lucky enough to work with and learn from amazing activists in many countries including Mexico, Cambodia and Australia.
I spent almost two years living in Cambodia working with UN Women in the area of governance and women’s human rights, supporting young Cambodian women’s leadership and advocacy. I also worked with Amnesty International in Australia for three and a half years in human rights activism, social mobilization and campaigning. I have a Bachelor in International Studies from the University of New South Wales, Australia and a Masters in International and Community Development with a focus on Gender at Deakin University, Australia. Prior to joining FRIDA, I coordinated a program focused on eliminating avoidable blindness in Cambodia and Palestine. Having studied Spanish for many years and with a passion for the Latin American region, I am just about to move to Oaxaca in the south of Mexico, where I will be based as the FRIDA Co-Coordinator.
I am excited that my new role will allow me to experience different parts of the world and meet young feminists making change in their communities. I look forward to learning from everyone. I hope to strengthen and build FRIDA’s capacity as an important catalyst for stronger women’s movements globally.
All the best,
Letter from our outgoing coordinator
I am excited to be writing to you after an extraordinarily busy few months. As I look back over the past three years and what FRIDA has been able to achieve, I am in awe of the leadership, solidarity and commitment exemplified by all of the feminist activists involved in FRIDA’s development. I am reminded of the ways feminists of all generations have come together both to support FRIDA and also support my own leadership. I am humbled by the expressions of kindness and gratitude I have received from feminist sisters from all over the world. Together we dreamed about creating something beautiful and relevant for ourselves and in the spirit of sisterhood and solidarity we have. My experience at FRIDA has taught me much more than I could have ever imagined which I intend to carry with me forever.
And in the spirit of youthful beginnings I am thrilled to announce FRIDA’s next generation of leadership and our new co-leadership structure. As part of of FRIDA’s commitment to innovation, new approaches and consistent self-reflection; during a long and thoughtful selection process by FRIDA’s Advisors for a new coordinator, we took time to reflect on FRIDA’s leadership structure and questioning existing structures and patterns. In this period, we acknowledged the range of skills required and the complexities associated with the Coordinator role and the pressures on young feminists to lead such a quickly growing initiative like FRIDA. We took time to think in detail about the benefits of peer learning and co-leadership. With all these reflections in mind, the FRIDA advisory team decided towards a leadership structure where FRIDA will be led by two young feminists who will work together to compliment each other’s skills, capacities and experiences.
I am very happy to announce that out of that process and selection out of 252 applicants, we have our first co-coordinator – Ruby Johnson! Ruby is an incredible young feminist from Sydney, Australia. Under FRIDA’s new structure, Ruby will guide FRIDA through its exciting journey ahead with the support of another co-leader who we will be selecting shortly. We are so excited to have found a young feminist who we are confident will take over the leadership of FRIDA with confidence and passion for mobilizing resources for young feminist organizing.
Going forward, under Ruby’s leadership and with the support of a committed group of advisors, FRIDA will continue to invest in the extraordinary efforts of our grantee partners. We have recently confirmed renewal grants to most of our grantee partners from last year and are excited to announce that we will be making eighteen new grants in 2013! We look forward to welcoming new young feminist groups from across the world including countries such as: Trinidad & Tobago, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Vietnam among others – (we will be formally announcing these groups to you in a couple of weeks!)
Young women continue to be on the forefront of social change. We are grateful to all of you – our donors, colleagues, friends, and fellow activists who continue to believe in and support us. The future of young feminist organizing is bright and all of us at FRIDA look to the future with much confidence and excitement. As we move forward, I encourage you to join me in making a gift to FRIDA today to support Ruby in her new role and to ensure that we can continue to build programs and support mechanisms that provide opportunities for young feminists to be challenged, motivated and encouraged.
Help us empower the next generation of young feminist activists by making a gift to FRIDA today.
In Solidarity and with deep gratitude,