Venue Requirements: Atriums, busy cafeterias, gyms, outdoor stages and other open spaces are not suitable venues for this presentation. Girls Fight Back will be teaching about personal safety & self-defense, which requires a captive audience. A large classroom, ballroom or auditorium is where a presentation of this nature needs to be held.
Sound Requirements: Wireless lavaliere microphone for presenter, handheld mic for volunteer, ability to play music on a CD before the show
Lighting Requirements: Basic Stage Lighting
Other Stage Requirements: LCD Projector connected to the sound system, screen, podium or small table on stage for props, chair on stage, and one male assistant is required for the self-defense demos during our presentations. The assistant must be identified to the presenter at least two weeks prior to the event. The assistant should be a friendly male student or faculty member to be on stage for demonstration purposes. He will not be hit, thrown, or harmed in any way. Demos are in slow motion – no tosses or strikes. A female volunteer is fine if you do not have a male volunteer.
Additional Requirements: Purchaser must provide at least one trained and certified victim advocate (or if advocate is unavailable, a counselor, advisor, or representative from the rape crisis center, counseling center, or women’s center) to be present at presentation and available afterwards as a resource to students and faculty that would like to discuss the program content or their own experiences. Purchaser must also provide a list of all campus and local resources for survivors at least two weeks prior to the event to the GFB speaker to incorporate into the program.
Dressing Room/Green Room Requirements: 1 bottle of water
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Girls Fight Back! Girls Fight Back was born in direct response to the June 2001 murder of a dynamic, athletic, and loved college student named Shannon McNamara. After Shannon’s death, her friend and sorority sister, Erin Weed, realized the need for practical and empowering options for young women to learn violence prevention and self-defense. Inspired by the way Shannon fought her attacker, Erin immersed herself in training with the best violence prevention experts and self-defense trainers in the world and, from this, developed the GFB seminar. By combining core values, a fun and empowering attitude, and the best safety and self-defense methods available, Girls Fight Back was born. This sisterhood of the traveling bad asses continues to grow and strive to make preventing violence and fighting back an approachable topic for everyone with the addition of two other great programs, Students Fight Back (gender neutral and Title IX compliant) and Fight Back on Spring Break (gender neutral and specialized with Spring Break safety tips).
The program is 75 minutes + Q&A and includes these key components:
Students Fight Back offers the same basic skills in Girls Fight Back, because contrary to what society might tell us, men as well as women can sometimes use a helping hand when it comes to learning personal safety and self-defense. And, we can all come together to be active bystanders and create safer communities. This program has a little less girl power and a strong emphasis on how we can all partner together to put an end to violence. It is gender neutral and Title IX compliant. This program is also 75 mins + Q&A. More information
Fight Back on Spring Break is a specialized version of Students Fight Back. It is also gender neutral and puts special attention on how we can be safer and look out for each other more actively on Spring Break or any time we want to be social, have a good time, or travel away from home. This program is also 75 mins + Q&A.
The Awkward Hug: How to Set Clear Boundaries, Communicate Them to Others, and Live a More Empowered Life
Have you ever participated in unwanted conversations, hugging, kissing, or even . . . relationships? Want to know how to handle the awkward without hurting someone’s feelings? We can all experience social anxiety around setting personal boundaries that work for us, but doing so is essential to living a healthy, happy and empowered life. The tools we will learn can be used every day and the practice of them can ultimately lead to making healthier choices in our work relationships, romantic and friendly interactions, and our day to day social exchanges. It can even help you avoid buying those shoes you really couldn’t afford but felt pressured to charge by a pushy salesperson. Join us for an interactive presentation designed to fine tune your intuition and take full control of your choices. This program is an interactive workshop ideal for groups from 10 to 80 people and a perfect add-on to Girls Fight Back, Students Fight Back, or Fight Back on Spring Break.
Also check out Students Fight Back!
Pay it Forward and Spread the Good Word of Personal Safety and Self-Defense
Kirkland Productions in partnership with the Girls Fight Back Team is offering a Pay It Forward special to allow colleges and universities already bringing one of our programs to their campus (Girls Fight Back, Students Fight Back, Fight Back on Spring Break, or The Awkward Hug) to host a second program at a local junior high or high school of their choice for a deeply discounted fee.
We know that reaching students at younger ages can be incredibly impactful in helping them live healthier and safer lives, but sadly, those in the greatest need of our message often have the least funding to bring us in. You can be a big part of helping future college students get this training at a younger age. In addition to being useful as a service project for your students, you will have the added benefit of connecting with a student body full of potential future students for your college or university.
For high schools reading this now . . . if you are in need of our programming and are having a hard time with funds, ask us how we can assist you in connecting with campuses in your area to propose a dual venture!
For an additional $950 to a standard contracted show, we will provide a second show on a high school/junior high campus within 40 miles of the initial show location on the same day.
For an additional $1100 to a standard contracted show, we will provide a second show on a high school/junior high campus within 40 miles of the initial show location the day before or the day after your show date.
We look forward to partnering with you in creating safer campus communities for everyone.
The team at Girls Fight Back is proud to announce a partnership with Lyft to offer one more great option to stay safe. We will be giving out free ride coupons for up to $20 for any new Lyft user at all of our events. You can also participate in this partnership now, by downloading the coupon SFBSTRONG here. You can also access this special offer by entering the code SFBSTRONG into the 'Payments' section of the app before requesting your first Lyft.
Meet the Girls:
BREE SWARTZ – senior national speaker Bree is a graduate of Purdue University, where she studied Mass Communication and Theatre, was an ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts and a Co-Captain for the Purdue Golduster Dance Team. Her self-defense training includes IMPACT Chicago, FAST Defense, adrenal stress confrontations and the GFB Speaker Academy. She is also a Certified Victim Advocate. Bree is an actress in NYC when not on the road with GFB, where she is an active member in The Community, a nonprofit theater group founded by fellow William Esper Studio graduates. Bree has coordinated and lead audition workshops for the organization to create a place for growing actors to work on their craft. During her time in Chicago, where she first became a GFB speaker, Bree mentored a young theater group in the suburbs of Chicago through classes and talks on the importance of being an artist. More recently, Bree helped coordinate an incredibly successful meditation workshop for the Clairvision School, which is a dynamic, interactive two-day workshop that unfolds a systematic method for achieving a state of inner stillness, focus and clarity of purpose. Although Bree is currently awaiting her approval for Big Sister, she finds time to work with local youth through her work with Puppetonia at Symposium Bookstore, an inner-active, educational children's show. She gets her funny-on and hones her public speaking skills through improv comedy classes at Upright Citizen Brigade in NYC. Bree finds time to "play" by spending time with friends, family, seeing shows, writing, dancing, reading and taking classes at the nonprofit Yoga to the People.
MORGAN CROUCH – national speaker Morgan Crouch graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a B.A. in Art History with an emphasis in gender & critical race. Morgan studied improv and comedic writing at The Second City Training Center and iO Chicago. She is a graduate of the GFB Speaker Academy 2013, with training in FAST Defense.
NICOLE SNELL – national speaker/booking agent Nicole received a full scholarship to Cal State Long Beach as a President’s Scholar, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Speech Communication. While at CSULB she volunteered with the Learning Alliance and worked with InterACT, a social justice performance troupe developed in response to the high incidence of sexual assault on college campuses. She is now a member of the professional InterACT team providing sexual assault prevention training for the Department of Defense and colleges nationwide. Her self-defense training includes IMPACT LA, the GFB Speaker Academy and local self-defense classes. In addition, she has completed 40 hours of Victim Advocacy Training. Nicole is also an active volunteer for Taking the Reins, a non-profit organization that teaches leadership, responsibility and confidence to underserved middle- and high-school girls primarily through horse care and riding. Nicole works as a freelance Line Producer for TV & Digital projects in her spare time.
GINA KIRKLAND – president + den mother Gina graduated from Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University with an A.A. and a B.A.. She worked as an educator and an event planner before opening Kirkland Productions, Inc., a college entertainment/speakers agency, in 2000. In 2007, she opened her second company, KP Comedy, and, in 2013, she channeled her lifelong passion for Women’s Issues into the purchase of her third company, Girls Fight Back. She is picking up the banner from the amazing Erin Weed to continue bringing the message of living a fearless life and combating violence against women to millions of young women across the country. She runs the GFB Speaker Academy, is a NOVA certified Victim Advocate, works in partnership with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office of the Department of the Navy (DON SAPRO) on issues of sexual assault prevention and bystander behavior, is a graduate of the Gavin de Becker Advanced Threat Assessment and Management Academy, IMPACT Los Angeles, FAST Defense, and currently sits on the IMPACT Los Angeles Board.
BETH TOWNSEND-SMITH – team member Beth studied Psychology with Certification in Child and Family Studies at Roosevelt University and is also a graduate of The Adler School of Professional Psychology’s Art Therapy program. She has worked with special needs children, at-risk teens, and parent education groups across the Chicago area. When not out promoting GFB, she also teaches art and science. Beth is a Graduate of the GFB Speaker Academy 2013, with training in FAST Defense.
LEAH BONNEMA – team member Leah majored in Cultural Studies at McGill University and wrote her Honor’s Thesis in Film and Women’s Studies. Huffington Post named her one of their Favorite Female Comedians and College Candy listed in her as one of the Top Ten Female Comics. She is regular on VH1′s 100 Greatest Series and has toured for the troops in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Leah is a graduate of the GFB Academy 2013, with training in FAST Defense.
ERIN WEED – founder Erin founded GFB in 2001 at the age of 23 in response to the murder of Shannon, who was her close friend and sorority sister. Erin has won many awards for her work in women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship. She was a columnist for CosmoGirl and is the author of Girls Fight Back! The College Girl’s Guide to Protecting Herself (now available in its 3rd edition). She is the creator of the GFB seminar seen by over a million women, and also the GFB Speaker Academy.
SHANNON MCNAMARA – inspiration Shannon was murdered on June 12, 2001 just a few days shy of her 22nd birthday. While the world lost an incredible human being that day, heaven gained one hell of an angel. Shannon’s story has inspired over one million women to become their own best defenders, and to live the badass life each of us were intended. And for that, we are so grateful.