Diane Birch
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Diane Birch

Portland, Oregon, United States

Portland, Oregon, United States
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Posted on 04-04-12
On April 17, influential supporters will celebrate the non-profit’s inaugural Voice Your Verse Campaign, benefiting girls’ education sponsorships & leadership worldwide

April 2, 2012—She’s the First, a non-profit organization that mobilizes social media and student leadership to advocate and fundraise for girls’ education worldwide, releases its first book, If the World Were My Classroom (Studio Alchemy; paperback; On Sale April 7, 2012; $15) in partnership with acclaimed poet Azure Antoinette, taking National Poetry Month from the page to the global stage. To commemorate, the inspiring “Voice Your Verse” poetry fundraiser will be held on Tuesday, April 17, from 7-9 p.m. at the revered Poets House in New York City. The event will feature performances from If the World Were My Classroom, followed by live music from acclaimed singer-songwriter Diane Birch, an auction, and book signing. 100 percent of proceeds from the event and anthology sales will sponsor girls’ education in eight developing nations.

The evening will be hosted by anthology editor Azure Antoinette, a poet Oprah had handpicked for the first-ever poetry issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, and will feature special guests Tina Chang, the first female poet laureate of Brooklyn; She’s the First chairwoman Karen Karpowich; Jess Weiner, the Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador; youth advocate Jade Iovine and her mother Vicki Iovine, a widely published author and philanthropist; teen philanthropist/speaker Bosilika An and her mother Elizabeth An, CEO of House of An, the title sponsor for the anthology; and students of the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, who will perform international poems from the anthology and their original work.

The fundraiser, which will be broadcast on Livestream to a global audience, is the culmination of a three-month campaign that began in February with a simple prompt over social media channels If the world were your classroom, what would you teach a girl? More than 7,000 girls around the world turned their answer into verse and submitted for possible inclusion in the anthology, now available for presale at shesthefirst.org/anthology.

She’s the First founder and president Tammy Tibbetts said, “She’s the First thrives on creatively collaborating with others to sponsor girls’ education. On this sixth anniversary of National Poetry Month, Voice Your Verse gives everyone a chance to unleash their inner poet and get involved, online and offline, to not only teach a girl, but to learn from her as well.”

The cornerstone of the campaign was a poetry contest with the scholarship social network Zinch.com, which awarded winner Julia Solano, 18, from Hayward, California, a $500 scholarship. Chegg for Good matched the award with a $500 college sponsorship for Jancy Vincent Paul, a graduating senior whom She’s the First sponsors at the Shanti Bhavan School in India.

“Submissions for the Voice Your Verse Poetry Contest were truly inspiring!” adds Anne Swane, CEO of Zinch.com, a Chegg company. “The creativity displayed by all 7,000-plus entrants was testimony to their talent and their passion for supporting girls' education worldwide. The poems were candid and personal, chock full of insights about overcoming adversity and realizing potential. The empowerment that comes from connecting young people intent on improving themselves and the world around them is clear.”

Tickets to the fundraiser start at $75 on voiceyourverse.eventbrite.com and include complimentary wine from Bodegas Riojanas, delicious food from Financial District favorites, Ryan Maguire’s and Cowgirl Seahorse, and desserts from Georgetown Cupcakes. For interviews, please contact press@shesthefirst.org. To learn more about the campaign, click here. - She's The First


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