"Home of the Fighting SHE-Weezels," boasts SHE Academy’s website, where a sharp-taloned, grinning weasel dons a furiously furrowed brow and a dainty pink hair bow. This combination of fearsomeness and femininity mimics the comprehensive workshops found at SHE Academy, whose name stands for "self-defense, healthy lifestyles, and environmental and economic training." Workshops prep women and girls for real-world situations, sharpening their physical combat abilities and verbal assertiveness, boosting their body images, and increasing their environmental fluency. The academy also encourages further study, sponsoring a scholarship for participants who exhibit a passion for women's rights and ecological sustainability.
Founder and president Helen Grieco is a women's advocate who used struggles from her own childhood as a springboard toward a lifetime of anti-violence activism. Combining a bachelor's degree in women's study with a master's in female-focused clinical psychology, Helen spent more than two decades as a counselor and cofounded the anti-violence organization Brave People.