״These are challenging times for all of us; teachers, parents and children alike. Figuring out how to navigate our world, which is shifting at warp speed, is charged with so much emotion and stress. We all want to do it the “right” way, but what is that?
Naomi Katz did not pretend to have the “answers”, but she did give us insight we didn’t have before she came, and made us think about things many of us had never pondered.״
mother of 2
״I feel more secure in knowing what I want in a relationship, and the kind of guy who I want that relationship to be with. Asking for what I want is still difficult, but I think that's something that takes time to learn. Thank you so much for creating this space for me, my friends, and other girls - I hope as many girls as possible get to have this experience!״
״I worked with Naomi to develop a program for 10th-12th grade girls at our Girls Leadership Residential Summer Program. The collaboration process with Naomi was productive and inspiring. She is clearly driven by her passion to empower girls and women, as evidenced by the way she embodies strength and resilience in her actions and in her ability to create content that pushes girls to build their inner strength and resilience.״
Chief Program Officer, Girls Leadership
My two daughters, aged 14 (8th grade) and 11 (5th grade), attend a small, private, International Baccalaureate school in CT. Naomi Katz visited our school last week as a guest speaker for the middle school students, faculty, and parents.
The ripple effect….no, maybe a better description would be tidal wave effect, is still palpable. She opened a new and very necessary conversation, challenged belief systems, and rocked our little campus.
Her speaking style is dynamic and engaging. The content of her presentations to our community provoked every emotion imaginable, and initiated a dialogue that has permeated our classrooms, hallways, offices and homes.
What is the effect of social media on us? Our children? How much is too much? Do we really make our own choices? What does it truly mean to have a “choice”? How is this tainted by ever-present peer pressure? What are the societal attributes of a “man” and a “woman”? How has society distorted what it means for men and women to be “equal”? Do same and equal mean the same thing? Are strict rules, parental controls, and surveillance of our children’s on-line activities effective parenting strategies? Are we modeling the behaviors we desire in our kids?
Naomi facilitated a beautiful process for our 12-year-old daughters. My daughter returned home excited after each meeting. I heard the same from other moms about their daughters. Naomi created the opportunity for them to speak and be heard, as well as listen to others without judgement. Even though they have been in the same class for years, the girls got to know one another in a new context. Each meeting was about a different issue, including connecting to our inner voice, body image and creating a supportive environment for ourselves.
I highly recommend working with Naomi. She has a unique ability to manifest reality. I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to meet her, and especially for my daughter having met her.
- Noa Sade
These are challenging times for all of us; teachers, parents and children alike. Figuring out how to navigate our world, which is shifting at warp speed, is charged with so much emotion and stress. We all want to do it the “right” way, but what is that?
Naomi Katz did not pretend to have the “answers”, but she did give us insight we didn’t have before she came, and made us think about things many of us had never pondered.
She challenged us to explore our own feelings about these impassioned issues and then invite others into the conversation. Naomi vocalized the importance of embracing a struggling family whose child has made a “mistake”, rather than shunning or passing judgment on them. She encouraged us to develop trusting relationships with our kids so they will continue to confide in us when they make their own inevitable mistakes, and not to be afraid of sharing our own mistakes, failures and insecurities with them.
Raising our children in today’s world is a daunting task! The subject matter of Naomi’s book and the content of her presentation are relevant and critically important! We were enormously blessed by her visit! Treat yourself to a gift and buy her book! Read it, share it, and invite her to visit you too. I promise you won’t regret it!
mother of 2
"Thank you...on behalf of my students and colleagues! Naomi gave an engaging, challenging, informative lecture in my MA course for social workers working with women in the community. Her professional approach and dramatic flair made for an unforgettable experience for the students.
The lecture went above and beyond my expectations as she was able to discuss complicated clinical issues together with current research on the topic of self-confidence, social media and sexuality among young women today.
I highly recommend Naomi as a vivacious and impressive speaker and I look forward to continuing to work with her on projects having to do with young women's health."
Director, Center for Women's Health Studies and Promotion
Spitzer Department of Social Work
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
"The complex issues faced by young women today are particularly evident in a high school setting. When Naomi brought her program to our high school, she powerfully yet gently guided an all-school, mixed gender discussion on the history and impact of social media and how it has affected girls and, therefore, all of us. Naomi clearly understands that the most lasting change comes from respectful discourse and she patiently gave all opinions and ideas her full attention. I have never seen our student body so engaged and so willing to challenge both old and new concepts of what it means to be a woman today. As an educator, I am grateful to Naomi for bringing her unique and necessary program to our school."
-Deanna Zenn, Faculty
Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island,
"I met Naomi in the context of women’s gatherings that I lead for women who work freelance. I invited her to share her story. She wove her story into the stories of young women with whom she works...and she did in such a beautiful, interesting, charismatic way that pushed me to ask more and more as I uncovered what a well of knowledge and experience she is. I enjoyed every moment."
Founder, In the Company of Women
"Naomi sparked an important conversation with our 6-8 grade young women. Naomi's experience teaching and working with students enabled a rich, invigorating, and important dialogue among students and teachers. Immediately following the presentation, our students followed her work on Instagram and started reading Naomi's book. As an educator, I am excited to continue this important work with our students and staff."
-Kate Goedeker, Assistant Principal
Unity Middle School, Oakland, CA
"I worked with Naomi to develop a program for 10th-12th grade girls at our Girls Leadership Residential Summer Program. The curriculum centered around Artivism – a fusion of Girls Leadership skills and tools and social justice concepts through the lens of art as a form of activism. Naomi incorporated works from artists such as choreographer Alvin Ailey, photographer Azzah Sultan, musicians Lido Pimienta and Blackfoot. Through these artistic expressions, we collaborated to create lessons examining concepts and tools such as microaggressions, bias, allyship and setting boundaries.
The collaboration process with Naomi was productive and inspiring. Despite the time difference and our busy schedules we were successful in finding moments to connect and engage in thoughtful and deep conversations around the content. Naomi was very efficient with her time and asked critical questions while keeping the big picture of the project in mind. Naomi communicated directly, asking for what she needed, and was also warm and inviting. She is clearly driven by her passion to empower girls and women, as evidenced by the way she embodies strength and resilience in her actions and in her ability to create content that pushes girls to build their inner strength and resilience.
The Artivism curriculum was very well received by our girls at our Summer Program. In fact, a third of our 10th-12th graders this summer are returners who experienced Artivism and despite knowing that the curriculum would not be very different from the previous summer, still chose to participate. One girl, when asked what she learned from last year’s summer program experience shared, “I have been able to identify moments in my life when my peers have used or referenced to microaggressions and I have been able to recognize them. If it’s a situation and I have the opportunity to speak up I am able to do so and when the situation does not allow me to be heard I am able to silently stand by what I know to be right and true.”
Another returner said, “I have helped inform others of some of the things we learned and lead by example for my friends to help them realize that the words they say can make a difference.”"
Chief Program Officer
"I'm taking from the weekend that everyone else has insecurities about their bodies and I am not the only one. I also liked having these discussions with other girls about these topics. I think it's a very good idea and these things need to be addressed more often."
“I really enjoyed our meetings and I think they really helped me understand who I am and how important I am to my friends. In some games we played, I really opened up to others in a way I never did before. I really appreciate what you do.”
"Not shaming myself for past experiences. Asking for what I want and deserve. Thank you! Really amazing space, girls, and leaders."
"I feel more secure in knowing what I want in a relationship, and the kind of guy who I want that relationship to be with. Asking for what I want is still difficult, but I think that's something that takes time to learn. Thank you so much for creating this space for me, my friends, and other girls - I hope as many girls as possible get to have this experience!"
"I learned that I have to take things at my own pace whether it's sexual or relationship-wise, or just in general."