The final cohort for the Girls Talk Back summer leadership program, sponsored by AAUW Honolulu Branch, Ceeds of Peace and Women’s Fund of Hawaii, came to a close with the final showcase on July 30, 2021. There were 29 girls along with 10 mentors who participated in creating action plans to address community issues.
Anna Viggiano and Younghee Overly along with Scott Nishimoto from Ceeds of Peace and Leela Bilmes-Goldstein, Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Hawaii, were the team that planned and sponsored Girls Talk Back for the third year in a row.
Scott is a father, husband, and bedtime storyteller living in Kaimuki. He’s also the Executive Director for Ceeds of Peace, a local non-profit devoted to raising peacebuilding leaders. As the father to his daughter, Elle, he has a deep personal responsibility pushing him to bring his community and the world closer to this goal of peace, as distant as it may sometimes seem.
Leela Bilmes-Goldstein, PhD
Leela is Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, a grant making foundation dedicated to supporting women and girls statewide. Leela also serves as a Trustee for Abilities Unlimited Hawai‘i and on the Board of Directors of Hawai‘i Friends for Restorative Justice. She was honored to be named one of PBN’s 2018 Women Who Mean Business for her non-profit work and is deeply passionate about social justice. Recent unforgettable experiences include participating in the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., bringing civil rights activist Susan Burton to O‘ahu, interviewing feminist author Roxane Gay onstage at the Hawai‘i Theatre, receiving a message of support for Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i from Oprah Winfrey, and seeing the Na Pali Coast for the first time.