Friday, January 27, 2023

Vocal Point: Speak Up, Speak Out

Vocal Point: Speak Up, Speak Out

Applications Open Now Through Monday, January 23rd

Have you ever felt uncomfortable speaking up in adult spaces, even when issues impacting you and your peers were on the line?

Do you want to step up as a leader to advocate for your generation and our collective future?

Apply to Vocal Point: Speak Up, Speak Out.

Join generations of Jewish leaders who have claimed power to speak up for the sake of individual and collective liberation.

What

Vocal Point is an exciting online leadership development opportunity to learn new tools for speaking publicly on issues you are most passionate about.

This is a two-part program.

  • Part One will prepare you to use your voice to engage in discussion across differences of background, opinion, and perspective, both on a specific topic that interests you, and more broadly.
  • Part Two will give you the opportunity to apply your skillset within the issue area of your choice.

Who

Vocal Point caters to self-identifying Jewish women, girls, and genderqueer folks ages 16-22. We are committed to including a diverse range of voices, experiences, and identities in terms of race, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, ability, and socioeconomic status/class. In addition, we seek to include young people from all walks of Jewish backgrounds.

When

Applications are open through Monday, January 23rd at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Finalists will be interviewed in early February, and decisions will be finalized by mid-February. Part One of the program will start in early March 2023, and continue through early May. Workshops are held over five Thursdays from 7:30–9:30pm* Eastern, as follows:

  • March 2nd
  • March 16th
  • March 30th
  • April 20th
  • May 4th

*time might change slightly depending on participant schedules

You will also be assigned to a smaller cohort that will meet monthly between each session (schedule to be determined, based on your availability).

Part Two of the program will resume in September and continue through early December. Meetings with your coach and mentor will take place in the fall, and will be scheduled at a time convenient for all.

Where

Because you will be learning with young people from all over the country, all work is conducted virtually via Zoom and Slack messaging.

There is no fee to participate at this time.

Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for this program if:

  • You self-identify as a Jewish girl, young woman, or genderqueer person. We welcome both cis and trans applicants.
  • You will be 16-22 years old when the program launches in February.
  • You are fluent in written and spoken English.
  • You are committed to developing your voice and leadership skills.
  • You live in a time zone that corresponds to a continental-U.S. time zone (Eastern, Central, Mountain, or Pacific). This is necessary for participation in our online meetings at the times described below.
  • You are available during the meeting times described below.

If you have questions about eligibility, please email bex@jgirlsmagazine.org.

Opportunities and Commitments

Training & Workshops

In the first half of the program, you will attend five workshops with other participants to develop your public speaking skills, learn about different public speaking forums, and hone your message. These workshops will be lead by Zoey Fleisher and Gulienne Rollins.

Each workshop is framed by women in the Biblical Exodus story: Miriam, Yocheved, Shifra and Puah, Tzipporah, and Batya*. First, you will analyze how each woman spoke up for collective liberation. Then, you will apply the rhetorical tactics these women used to address the issues you are most passionate about. Through this training, you will learn how to match varied public speaking skills to the appropriate public speaking forums and confidently express your thoughts and ideas.

*You do not need to be familiar with these women or have any prior experience with Torah study to participate.

Small Cohort Meetings & Independent Work

Between each workshop, you will meet with a smaller cohort to discuss relevant articles and practice the public speaking skills you have learned. These cohort meetings will provide further opportunities for you to learn from your peers, build leadership and communication skills, and connect your Jewish and gender identities to your activism.

Each small cohort will meet once between each session, for approximately one hour between 6-9pm Eastern. Specific times for these meetings will be determined based on the schedules of participants; therefore, you must have some amount of scheduling flexibility. If you have questions about this, please email bex@jgirlsmagazine.org.

You will also have independent work, such as developing or practicing your public speaking voice.

You can expect to spend 2-3 hours/week on independent work and group meetings.

Practicum

In the second half of the program, we will connect you with a Jewish mentor in your issue-area of interest, as well as a coach who will continue to support you as you develop your public speaking skills. jGirls+ staff and mentors will work with participants to locate concrete opportunities to speak publicly, such as panel discussions, conferences, and workshops.

Please note: while staff and mentors will do their best to match participants to suitable opportunities, we cannot guarantee placement.

Outcomes

This program offers rich opportunities for personal growth, skill-building, community-building, and leadership development. Upon conclusion of the program, you will have gained:

  • A broad knowledge of various public speaking skills
  • Tools to adapt your message to a variety of contexts and forums
  • Confidence in your ideas and message
  • Faith that your lived experiences, in congruence with your learned skills & expertise, enable you to contribute valuable knowledge to public conversations
  • A community of support, connection, and friendship
  • Mentors who are invested in your personal growth
  • Access to experts in public speaking and activism
  • Access to information about other leadership and growth opportunities

We want to be transparent: this is a brand-new project. Members of the inaugural cohort will have the exciting opportunity to help build Vocal Point from the ground up, and make decisions that affect future programming.

Next Steps

The application for Vocal Point is a Google Form that can be accessed once you complete the Start My Application section, below. We strongly recommend that you download a PDF preview of the application before you begin. Please read this document carefully and prepare all materials before continuing to the form below.

All materials and responses must be uploaded via the online application form—do not email these to us directly. If you have trouble uploading, please contact bex@jgirlsmagazine.org.

For More Information

Have questions about what participating in Vocal Point entails? We would be happy to answer them!

We are hosting an online information session on  Wednesday, January 11th at 8pm Eastern. Sign up here to participate. Joining is optional—however, it is an opportunity for us to get to know each other, so we strongly encourage you to attend.

If you cannot make the info session, you can email bex@jgirlsmagazine.org with questions, or to request a recording.

This project was made possible with support from the Covenant Foundation and other generous donors.

Start My Application

Vocal Point: Speak Up, Speak Out

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