How to “Girl Up” and Join the Compassion Revolution

From Chapter 1 of "Starring Celia"  Illustration by Thorina Rose
From Chapter 1 of “Starring Celia” Illustration by Thorina Rose

Have you ever heard someone say “don’t be such a girl” when you or someone around you was having big feelings?  Have you ever heard someone say “You’re okay.  Just get over it!” or “Man Up!” to try to limit those big feelings?

Having feelings is nothing to be ashamed of.  Having feelings, all feelings (even the ones that don’t feel so good), is a good thing. Having feelings makes us human, it connects us.  What if everyone knew that being a girl was a powerful, positive thing?  What if we could all “Girl Up” and face any feeling head on, say yes to it, take a breath, allow it to be, and then decide what peaceful and powerful action to take next?

What would it do for our girls?  What would it do for our boys?  What would it do for all us?

This is the work of a compassion revolution.  And this is why I am so incredibly proud to be the publisher of Starring Celia written by my partner in life and business, Allison Kenny.  This beautiful book is the perfect messenger for this revolution because it is about a girl who learns how to “Girl Up” and become the emotional superhero she is meant to be.

On Sunday, approximately 75 folks of all ages came together celebrate the launch of Starring Celia.  It was an incredible event.  We were joined by some very talented and passionate friends: Bryan Holdman, television writer on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars; Kelly Takunda Orphan Martinez, musician, recording artist, teacher and the writer of the Go Girls! Theme Song; the illustrator, Thorina Rose, was all smiles and joined Allison in signing a bunch of books; and the Living Arts Playback Theater Ensemble (of which Allison is a member) who skillfully improvised sections of the book right after Allison read them.  And, of course, there were all the kids and families – some we’ve known for years, others we were meeting for the first time – who came out to show their enthusiastic support.  It was awesome.  My favorite part was when Allison brought about a dozen kids on stage to help her act out her story of writing the book.  It was awesome to see them all share her journey of “I don’t think I can do it,” through all the fear and doubt, all the way to “I did it!!!”

Starring Celia Book Launch Collage

When I stepped out on stage to greet all of these amazing people, I was struck by the strength of this community.  Go Girls! is a movement.  We are here to ignite a compassion revolution by putting girls center stage.  There are many ways to be part of a compassion revolution and I encourage you to explore the incredible work that is being done in the world.  At the same time, I’m here to tell you that Go Girls! is the real deal and I invite you to join us.  I invite you to be part of our community where real change is happening.  Here are 5 ways you can do that:

  1. Smaller Starring Celia CoverBuy Starring Celia – If you don’t already have your copy, buy one today.  But don’t stop there. I bet some of you can think of 2-3 people who might want/need a book about a bold, brave girl.  Be generous, buy them a copy too.  You can buy it on Amazon and have them pay the shipping.  BTW, the more copies we sell on Amazon, the more the whole world will notice and that’s great for our movement.
  2. Review the Book – We have a few reviews on Amazon already and they are making a difference.  Add your thoughts.  And then share them through your social networks.  You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
  3. Read the Book with Kids in a Book Club or Afterschool Club.  Be sure to check out the Book Club Questions we include in the back of the book.  Also, for those of you who are education or youth development professionals, we have created a totally FREE 6-week curriculum that is part Book Club and part Drama Club.
  4. Sign up for Go Girls! Camp.  In the book, Celia attends Go Girls! Camp.  Celia is a fictional girl.  But Go Girls! is a real camp and, if you know a girl in elementary school, she can go to it.  We have sessions in Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.  For info and registration, visit
  5. Allison & Tesla Face OffBring Allison to your School or Community.  The author, Allison Kenny, is a very talented actor and teaching artist.  She is also a certified Kidpower instructor who leads safety skills workshops for families all over the Bay Area.  She has created what might possibly be the most creative, most unique, most engaging “book reading” you have ever attended.  All ages and all genders will walk away feeling inspired and equipped with practical social/emotional skills to help them in all areas of their lives.  You can contact me about how to bring Allison in for a school presentation or community event.

Allison and I are also working on a series of online courses for grown-ups centered around how to be a girl advocate – supporting you and the girls with the skills that you need to “girl up” and navigate all of the social/emotional challenges that keep us disconnected from ourselves and each other.  The first course, slated to premiere in May, is based on our theme OMG UR My BFF and will answer the question, “How the heck do I help my girls with all of their friendship drama?!?”

Please keep in touch with us.  Together, we can ignite this compassion revolution.