Jessica Greer Morris
Jessica Greer Morris named by Newsweek as One of 150 Fearless Women who “shake up the world” is an activist, wife, mother of twin boys, and Executive Director of Girl Be Heard, a non-profit theater company that brings global issues affecting girls center stage by empowering young women to tell their stories. Jessica, a born and bred New Yorker, who states she has “always been passionate about gender equality” speaks openly about her internal struggles as a child. “I have often been riddled by self-worth feelings and loathing…always trying to take up less space on this planet – to be thinner, to be quieter, to be invisible.” Today, Jessica’s fearless drive and dedication to “raising visibility and awareness of what is happening to girls and women everywhere” stems from her own personal story as a survivor of sex abuse, a fact she shares within the safe space of Girl Be Heard. She does this for one reason, “my story empowers others.”
Jessica who mentors and directs girls from the ages of 12 to 21 at Girl Be Heard explains that “our healing begins from telling our stories. We believe that, if you give girls a safe space to talk about their issues, it will empower them. We believe that by storytelling, you can raise the status of women because they won’t cower, they won’t be shut down and won’t devalue themselves. Rather they will feel empowered to become leaders in their community.”
The over 100 members of Girl Be Heard, ages 12 to 21, tour the globe raising awareness and visibility of issues affecting women and girls worldwide such as body image, suicide, sex trafficking, forced child marriage, teen pregnancy and violence against women and girls. With partners on the ground worldwide, the girls at Girl Be Heard are not only telling their own stories, but those of girls in other countries. Jessica has seen first-hand at how storytelling “has had a transformative effect on their lives” as well as the lives of others. “These girls are the leaders of our global movement. I believe that if we give girls a voice and allow them to speak about the brilliant things going on in their minds and to tell the real story, then we can change the world. “
In the end, Jessica reminds us, “6 out of 10 girls worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. The vulnerability of girls is universal. And I am no exception. I have risen like a phoenix from the ashes just by sharing my story and I encourage each and every one of you to do the same.”
I am a Girl documentary featuring Girls Be Heard’s Michele Breani. I am a Girl Trailer (this video will be embedded in website) A link for reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaR-UcCpZfA
To learn more about Jessica Morris and Girl Be Heard, watch I'm Sexy and I know It, Women You Should Know, and SELF Magazine's Women Doing Good Award.