How Girls Achieve

Sally A. Nuamah, Northwestern University

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 12:00pm
300 Wallace Hall
Princeton University Community: Faculty, Fellows, Students, Staff

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Members of the Princeton community receive priority; members of the public are welcome if space is available. Lunch is provided.   

Please join us for a lunchtime book talk with Sally A. Nuamah, to discuss How Girls Achieve.

From Harvard University Press:  "This bold and necessary book points out a simple and overlooked truth: most schools never had girls in mind to begin with. That is why the world needs what Sally Nuamah calls “feminist schools,” deliberately designed to provide girls with achievement-oriented identities. And she shows how these schools would help all students, regardless of their gender.  Educated women raise healthier families, build stronger communities, and generate economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Yet millions of disadvantaged girls never make it to school—and too many others drop out or fail. Upending decades of advice and billions of dollars in aid, Nuamah argues that this happens because so many challenges girls confront—from sexual abuse to unequal access to materials and opportunities—go unaddressed. But it isn’t enough just to go to school. What you learn there has to prepare you for the world where you’ll put that knowledge to work.

A compelling and inspiring scholar who has founded a nonprofit to test her ideas, Nuamah reveals that developing resilience is not a gender-neutral undertaking. Preaching grit doesn’t help girls; it actively harms them. Drawing on her deep immersion in classrooms in the United States, Ghana, and South Africa, Nuamah calls for a new approach: creating feminist schools that will actively teach girls how and when to challenge society’s norms, and allow them to carve out their own paths to success."

Sally Nuamah
Professor, School of Education and Social Policy
Northwestern University

Sally A. Nuamah completed her Ph.D. in political science at Northwestern University in June 2016. She has held fellowships and faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Princeton University and Duke University. Currently, Dr. Nuamah is a professor (tenure track) at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern university. Her first book, How Girls Achieve, was released by Harvard University Press in April 2019. Her work has recieved several academic and public awards. Most recently, Dr. Nuamah was named Forbes Magazine 2019 "30 under 30 in Education", bestowed the 2019 Clarence Stone Award from the American Political Science Association and awarded the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, aka "the Brainy Award.

In addition to her work in academia, Dr. Nuamah is the founder of an award winning organization, the TWII FOUNDATION, which provides scholarships for girls in Ghana to be the first in their families to go to and through college. Her documentary film based on this work, Herstory, is currently distributed by Discovery Channel and has been recognized by the White House Council on Women and Girls. For more info visit:


Co Sponsor(s): 
Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies