The Seventh Annual Last Girl AwardsVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Honoring grassroots activists fighting child sex trafficking
Save the date for the Seventh Annual Last Girl Awards, hosted in partnership with Apne Aap. This year's event will highlight global grassroots constructive action to eradicate child sex trafficking and recognize individuals who have stood up for The Last Girl.
The celebration features a keynote conversation with writers and activists and an awards ceremony recognizing their accomplishments. This is followed by an exciting dance performance honoring the artistic contributions of South Asian female temple-court artists by renowned Kathak and contemporary dancer Parul Shah. The night closes with a reception in the Garden Court Cafe.
The celebration is inspired by the young adult novel, I Kick And I Fly, "a propulsive social justice adventure by renowned activist and award-winning documentarian Ruchira Gupta." I Kick and I Fly will be available for signing before the event.
Book Signing, I Kick and I Fly with Ruchira Gupta
The Last Girl Awards and Activist Panel Discussion
Dance Performance: ‘history of unforgetting' draws inspiration from a 2,000-year-old tradition practiced by South Asian female temple-court artists. This work pays tribute to the artistic contributions of female temple and court artists who have been denied recognition. In this excerpt, Shah explores the fragmented identities, displacement, and resiliency of female artists who have suffered under colonialism and patriarchal rule.
“Parul Shah danced a “Chasing Shadows” solo that brought the house down. Her sources are splendidly hybrid: contemporary dance, the Kathak technique of north India, the female temple-court artists of south India. They are, in fact, her subject. You could feel what her program note stated, “the inner struggle of a woman who wants to move forward but cannot because her shadows are not only her past but the only identity she knows.” - Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times, NY
Choreography: Parul Shah
Music: Nicholas Leviere
Performer: Parul Shah
Anne K. Ream is the founder of The Voices and Faces Project, a global testimonial writing program for survivors of gender-based violence and other human rights violations; the co-founder of World Without Exploitation, the national coalition to end human trafficking; and the author of Lived Through This, a critically praised memoir that documents Anne’s multi-country journey listening to sexual violence and trafficking survivors
After finding her own freedom from abuse and sex trafficking and thriving in her late 40s, Catherine Ann Wilson founded Stop Trafficking US. to stop grown-ups from sexually exploiting children — the precursor to sex trafficking and much more. Stop Trafficking US works to educate the community through a variety of strategic conferences with national experts, which are free of charge for all participants.
An Academy Award winning producer for Best Documentary Short for Period. End of Sentence., Melissa Berton is a Los Angeles based teacher and the founder and executive director of The Pad Project, a non- profit organization dedicated to the principle that “a period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.” She is a Los Angeles based teacher, writer, and speaker.
Mykola Kuleba is, a Ukrainian social and political activist and founder of Save Ukraine NGO, aids war-affected families and kids. Former Children's Rights Commissioner (2014-2021), he advocates and established "Save the Children" in 2000. With a European University degree, his collaborative commitment garners global recognition for children's rights and charity.
Rana Abdelhamid serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Malikah, a global grassroots movement committed to building safety and power for all women through self-defense, healing justice, community organizing and financial literacy. She is one of youngest serving board members of Amnesty International USA. She has been named a Truman Scholar, and has received both a NYC Council Proclamation and an International Youth Advocate award by the UNAUSA Foundation.
Parul Shah: ‘history of unforgetting'
PARUL SHAH, artistic director of the parul shah dance company, utilizes performance and education to promote cultural awareness and explore stories around identity. With a deep commitment to shining a light on marginalized communities, her stories highlight the oppression of women and practices that undermine human dignity. Her repertoire takes inspiration from her classical training in the North Indian classical dance tradition, Kathak while building on the dance form’s mythological storytelling roots to explore contemporary narratives. Shah has presented her work around the world and at home to critical acclaim, including at the Kennedy Center: Washington D.C, Jazz at Lincoln Center: NYC, Asia Society: NYC, the Japan Forum Foundation: Tokyo, The United Nations Development Program: England and U.S, Suvarna Parva: India, Ahmedabad. She is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, NJ and Marymount College, New York City.
Apne Aap is an NGO working to end sex-trafficking with grassroots initiatives in India, headquarters in New York, and consultative status with the United Nations. It has supported more than 20,000 prostituted and at-risk girls, women and their family members since its foundation in 2002, by Emmy Award winning journalist Ruchira Gupta and 22 women in prostitution.
A Family Martial Arts workshop, Power Hour, is affiliated with the event and also inspired by Ruchira Gupta's I Kick and I Fly. The event has been postponed to the Spring.