Values & History


Young women who can look with a critical eye at media and can tell their own stories using the tools of media are our future leaders.

Imagine if every time you passed a billboard or saw a commercial on TV, you saw affirming images of women and girls being valued and celebrated. This vision is why we do the work we do.

The core values at Reel Grrls are:

LEADERSHIP - We believe that women and girls must play a leadership role in the creation of media. We support and respect our participants (girls, staff, board, instructors, mentors and funders) as leaders and role models in their communities and in the field of youth media.

UNRESTRAINED IDENTITY - We strive to extend our understanding of diversity beyond our comfort zones. We believe in respecting cultural differences and in creating and nurturing environments that encourage people to look beyond conventional definitions of community, class, gender, race, sexual orientation, and age.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION - We believe that connecting people through shared ideas, skills, and tools is a powerful way to serve our community.

CREATIVE VOICE - We provide a safe place where there is equal access to the tools and training needed to create high-quality media production, where people can share creative energy and ideas, and where our voices are heard individually and collectively.


Reel Grrls was founded in 2001 by Seattle media educator and filmmaker Malory Graham as a project of the 911 Media Arts Center and YMCA of Greater Seattle. Malory was inspired to launch Reel Grrls after her experience teaching media production in co-ed groups of teens, finding that boys jumped at the chance to film while girls in the class appeared intimidated by technology. Malory recognized the need for a non-competitive all-girl learning environment so girls could share their ideas, build confidence, and master technology. During that first program, Reel Grrls served 15 teenaged girls. Since then, Reel Grrls has offered engaging, skill-based media training, accessible after-school programming, and summer camps to more than a thousand girls in the Puget Sound region and beyond.

Reel Grrls was awarded independent 501c(3) status in 2005.