Girl Fest Hawai’i and Girl Fest San Francisco Bay Area
(17 min) This interview with Kathryn Xian of Girl Fest Hawai'i and Jessmaya Morales of Girl Fest Bay Area was given on May 25, 2007, in Sacramento, California. In this interview, Mss. Xian and Morales talk about the founding of Girl Fest and the need for art in prevention education.
Girl Fest is a project of The Safe Zone Foundation, and was initially launched in Hawai'i in 2003. Incorporating film, music, visual art, spoken word, and dance, Girl Fest brings together artists, community organizations, and activists into festivals in Hawai'i and the Bay Area that include performance, panel discussions, film and workshops for youth and adults.
Kathryn Xian is the founder of the Hawai'i non-profit 501(c)3 The Safe Zone Foundation, an organization founded to produce educational multimedia projects. She is the non-executive director of Girl Fest Hawai'i, an annual multimedia festival and conference in Honolulu whose mission it is to prevent violence against women and girls through education and art. She established a Girl Fest Bay Area chapter in March 2006 in conjunction with The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. Her collaborative advocacy and publicity campaigns have resulted in the enactment of the first State law in the Union to illegalize sex-tourism (Act 82, Hawai'i) and initiated a movement to pass Hawai'i's first human trafficking law.
Ms. Xian co-founded the Rape-Free Zone Coalition on April 4th 2005, which was responsible for enacting change at the University of Hawaii on August 29th 2005 to declare its system (10 Campuses) Rape-Free Zones and requiring all managerial and executive staff to attend an anti-sexism leadership training at Girl Fest led by Jackson Katz, former member of the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Task Force on Domestic Violence in the Military and founder of MVP Strategies; an unprecedented event in the University’s history. Xian was also awarded the 2005 Ellison S. Onizuka Human and Civil Rights Award by the National Education Association on July 2nd 2005 and also received the Soroptimists of Waikiki’s Women Helping Women Award on October 20th 2005. She also received the 2006 Soroptimists International Chapter’s Women Helping Women Award in July 2006.
Jessmaya Morales is an artist, housepainter, educator, and organizer. She holds bachelor's degrees in Art and Women's Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has lived in the Bay Area for eight years. Some of her passions are creativity in all of its forms, working toward social justice, and raising awareness about state, environmental, and personal violence against women.
Ms. Morales has worked with teen girls in foster care and special needs children, taught first grade in Honduras, helped coordinate and wrote a grant for the first queer youth camp in Santa Cruz, CA, co-coordinated an art and education program through the International Museum of Women in San Francisco facilitating workshops with children and youth all over the bay area around the topics of women's rights, body image, women and war, and literacy, and has worked on the faculty of several national youth leadership conferences. She is currently the Administrator at Equal Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm working to protect and secure equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation and advocacy. She is also the volunteer Co-Director of Girl Fest Bay Area, an annual event focused on preventing violence against women and girls through education and art.