ROSALIND HELFAND collaborates with nonprofits and the government to create innovative programs and policies, connect communities, inspire advocacy, and address complex local and global issues. She is adept at cross-cultural communication, multi-disciplinary endeavors, community engagement, organizational development, and planning for long term positive change. Rosalind works across multiple fields spanning human rights, arts and literature, education, and the environment.

News | February 2015

The 2015 West Hollywood Debate Features High School Students Asking Candidates Tough Questions on Thursday, February 19, 2015

The 2015 West Hollywood Debate is on Thursday, February 19.

The 2015 West Hollywood Debate is on Thursday, February 19.

On Thursday, February 19, 2015 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, the US Government and History high students of West Hollywood College Prep will moderate a debate with candidates for West Hollywood’s City Council. Nine of the city council candidates will participate and take questions that the students have worked hard to develop through study of local issues and policies, and the candidates’ own positions on the issues.

It is sure to be an exciting and informative evening. The public is invited to join us at this free event!

I’m currently working with the students on developing their questions and on their presentation skills. Working with students to engage them in elections and civic processes is one of the best ways to give back and help ensure a great future for our planet. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to make some time!

More information about the event is available on West Hollywood College Prep’s website HERE.

“Stories from the Frontline: Standing Together for Reproductive Rights, Health, & Justice”–A Roe v Wade Anniversary Event for Choice–A Huge Success!

Actor Damon Gupton at "Stories from the Frontline"

Actor Damon Gupton at “Stories from the Frontline”

In January, I worked with the National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles and a coalition of a dozen reproductive and human rights organizations to host “Stories from the Frontline: Standing Together for Reproductive Rights, Health, & Justice.” Organized to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v Wade, celebrity guests including Amy Brenneman, L. Scott Caldwell, Michael Cory Davis, Damon Gupton, and Elizabeth Triplett read original narratives that chronicled the abortion experience in America–and just how difficult it is becoming to access this basic right.

The event was a huge success with over 250 people in attendance and a “Call to Action” reception where our partnering organizations actively signed people on to participate in campaigns to protect, promote and take back choice nationwide. I was proud to not only be a lead organizer for the event, but to have curated the stories, as well as developing the program and emceeing.

Photos from the event are available HERE.

And read about the event in the Jewish Journal HERE.

Seeking Funds to Run a Leadership Program for High School Girls in Malawi, Africa

Jacaranda Founder Marie Da Silva and Students

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of sitting down with two extraordinary people, Marie Da Silva and Luc Deschamps, President and Executive Director, respectively, of Jacaranda Primary & Secondary School in Malawi, East Africa. Jacaranda serves over 400 AIDS orphans, annually, and has enjoyed incredible success. Marie was recognized as a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2008 for her work. Despite the school’s success, teenage girls continue to have the school’s highest dropout rate due to various social pressures.

Working with Marie and Luc, I developed a leadership program proposal for Jacaranda to spend several months working with their students, teachers, student guardians, community leaders, and local universities to create a pilot, sustainable leadership program that continuously builds a network for the girls’ success. The program will include workshops, activities, discussions, mentoring, and community projects. Teachers, administrators, and others will participate in developing the program as we go along.

Why is this important? Much research shows that the health of a community and its environment is linked to the status and education of the women living in the community. The health of Africa is increasingly key to the health of our planet, overall, and it is critical to engage communities in creating innovative models for human development. On a more personal level, I simply believe that girls deserve to have great opportunities and I’m excited to be able to work with a school to make this happen.

Jacaranda School is supported by the nonprofit Jacaranda Foundation based in the United States. If you are interested in reading the full leadership program proposal and possibly supporting the program, please contact me directly.