Goodbye from Jemma, Programmes and Communications Coordinator.

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Today is my last day as YWCA Scotland’s Programmes and Communications Coordinator, and I wanted to write a parting thank you to you all for getting involved, for liking and engaging with the things I have worked on, and for supporting both myself and this organisation through some pretty difficult times – and exciting ones too!

I have grown during my time here, and experienced some pretty incredible things so here are some of my highlights and happy memories:

Last year I had the opportunity to self-fund a trip to New York to attend the 61st Commission on the Status of Women and volunteer with World YWCA.

Kara and I at CSW 61

I got to meet YWCA women from all around the world, experience the United Nations, participate in the Youth Forum’s communications (still cringing at having to high-five Ms. Lakshmi Puri, who was the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, over and over on camera) and share young women’s voices and experiences at the UK Mission to the UN. This is also a personal highlight because I met my girlfriend there and it’s SUCH a romantic story. Maybe I’ll tell you about it one day… 😉

At a time when we were just coming out of a difficult period in our organisation, and we were down to just two of us working at our Edinburgh office I decided to hand over our social media to the young, self-identifying women in our movement. We recruited a dream team of volunteers, and I’m proud that this on going presence of our young women members continues to hold us to account as an organisation that creates a platform for young women’s voices.

Caroline and I keen for Hot Brown Honey – GO SEE THEM THIS YEAR!

Back in August 2016 I worked on our Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme #FeministFest. Alongside Caroline, we delivered one of the most exciting, creative, and digital spaces in the organisation’s history. Caroline and I worked intensively throughout August to pull this off, and the lasting output from this was the beautiful poetry pamphlet RISE, which we launched last week. This beautiful publication is a collection of poetry that came out of our writer in residence Nadine Aisha’s work with #FeministFest bloggers in 2016.


Young Women Lead

My final highlight has been delivering our Young Women Lead programme. Along with my amazing colleague Tomiwa and an incredible team at the Scottish Parliament (special shout out to Hayley Forrester – she’s an absolute star) we brought a group of diverse young women into the Scottish Parliament and created a space for them to explore an issue by replicating the Parliamentary committee system. The result from this is a report containing clear recommendations for the Scottish Government on tackling sexism in schools. I feel so privileged to have worked with such a powerful group of young women! You can read the report here.

During my time at The Young Women’s Movement I have worked hard to ensure that our digital presence is both inclusive and intersectional. My goal has always been to create an online presence that makes you feel seenheard, and represented. And I want so desperately for that to continue. So, over the next few weeks our social media is predominantly going to be in the hands of our movement. You’re going to hear from our volunteers, staff, and board members, and I would love you to show them respect and kindness because, as you know, it’s not easy being a woman online.

Finally, you can keep in touch with me on social media @jemma_tracey, and please continue to take up space, and don’t let the bastards grind you down (yes, I’ve been on a Handmaid’s Tale binge).

With love and solidarity,

[Feature Image and Young Women Lead Image credit: Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body]

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