NOW Foundation Reaches Out to Young Women at Lilith Fair Tour


by EB Nesbitt, Field Organizer

NOW Foundation interns Amy Drayer (working behind table) and Anna Ekindjiah traveled with the Lilith Fair concert this summer to promote the Women's Health Project and Love Your Body Day.  Photo by Anna Ekindijah.

Anna Ekindjiah, a recent graduate of Scripps College in California, and Amy Drayer, a senior at Scripps, lived a young feminist's dream from June through August.  They toured across the country with the Lilith Fair, spreading information about the NOW Foundation's important work on women's health issues while listening to—and sometimes watching—some of today's most popular women performers.

As part of its education programs aimed at young women, the NOW Foundation's Women's Health Project sponsored an information table at the successful women's music festival concerts this summer. The two interns traveled to over 50 Lilith Fair events to promote the project.

At first, the interns' jobs may sound like an easy way to spend three months, especially with the benefit of free passes to all the concerts. However, as many NOW members, staff and interns who pitched in at different cities witnessed, the energy and dedication Ekindjiah and Drayer put into their challenging, yet exciting, assignment was endless.

The NOW Foundation table was one of the most visible booths at Lilith Fair. Colorful signs, posters, buttons, and brochures quickly drew a crowd when the gates opened each afternoon.  Concert-goers stopped to ask questions, sign petitions and purchase merchandise.

"We told everyone about what activities were going on for Love Your Body Day on September 25th—media images demonstrations in New York City, actions against the cigarette industry in the south—and then encouraged them to put together their own event!" Ekindjiah said.

"We got a lot of questions and comments on Love Your Body Day," Drayer added. "Hearing so many ideas from young women made us more determined to learn as much as we could from the people we met."

Even though they lived out of their car, visited several cities each week, spent their days in the hot sun and bunked at night with people they had just met, Ekindjiah and Drayer still faced every new show with the same enthusiasm as the first.  Along the tour, NOW members welcomed the women into their homes and came to volunteer at the booth.  Having local NOW activists assisting them helped the interns build lasting ties and networks for the Women's Health Project.

Ekindjiah reflected on their summer: "This internship was an important way to reach out to the young feminist high schoolers and college students, many who have mothers who are NOW members and recognize the NOW logo on signs at the table. We built a crucial constituency across the country for our Foundation's Women's Health Project!"

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