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Mass NOW is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Feminism in Action Grant, Grey Bates, a student at Emerson College.

The Feminism in Action Grant seeks to inspire young feminists to improve the lives of women and girls by creating an education-based project in Massachusetts. Bates, and her project partner Jessica Weaver, will use the $3,000 grant to create 2121, a role-playing tabletop card game designed to foster political imagination in young women and to promote dialogue about issues of gender and identity in political representation.

The game is named after the year in which the U.S. will achieve gender parity in federal political representation without significant intervention. The goal, they said, is to address gender disparity in political representation by encouraging young women to consider running for office.

“We believe that over a century is too long to wait for gender parity, so we designed a game that sparks political interest in young women in high school or college through providing players exposure to information about running for office and women in politics, and the opportunity to role-play as prospective candidates,” said Bates and Weaver. “Whereas other programs offer training for already politically ambitious young women to plan their runs, this project targets young women who are civically inclined, but not necessarily politically engaged – a market of potential untapped political leaders.”

The duo will produce eight copies of the game—including a facilitation guide and research compendium—which will be distributed in four high schools and four colleges across the Commonwealth. Educators will receive training on game facilitation and evaluation, including how to analyze responses and how to hold subsequent focus groups with students. Educators will then be responsible for creating a lesson plan that complements the game.

A final prototype of the game will be created based on feedback from students and educators, and it will be printed and distributed to multiple organizations, including Strong Women, Strong Girls, the AAUW, and the Mayor’s Office for the Advancement of Women.

For more information, email Grey Bates.