The BETTY Effect is a new organization committed to fostering self-advocacy to advance social change. Partnering with established organizations and the US Department of State, The BETTY Effect creates musical events and tailors performance-based discussions for invited groups to promote self-expression, daring discovery, and strong community cohesion. The goal of The BETTY Effect is to help people find their voice and share it effectively, especially women and girls, the LGBTQ community, and arts activists, worldwide.
Long known for performing “SoConPop” – socially conscious generally upbeat modern music, like the theme song for the groundbreaking hit tv series about alternative love and lifestyles “The L Word” and the girl power anthem “It Girl” – the band BETTY’s primary focus has been relational, social and economic rights. Whether performing concert tours, presenting at colleges and Universities or working with organizations
sharing similar goals, like the MS Foundation, Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio, The Human Rights Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO, the Ford Foundation, Voters for Choice, NARAL and scores of others; and corporations including Apple, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble and more, BETTY has been able to spread messages of health, equality and empowerment to millions of listeners worldwide for close to three decades.
While music alone cannot change the world, The BETTY Effect recognizes that it is a proven powerful tool that has motivated social justice movements through history by breaking down barriers, building bridges, lifting defeated spirits and creating the environment for change through passionate expression. The BETTY Effect engages members of organizations to reinforce their messaging. The BETTY Effect exists to enrich lives, inspire and connect people and build community worldwide.
WHO WE ARE
BETTY is a pop music trio whose passion for music and entertainment is matched by our devotion to women’s rights and human rights. We are Alyson Palmer, Elizabeth Ziff and Amy Ziff, harmony-singing songwriter musicians who have toured and played together for almost thirty years. From spoken word to simple a’cappella to roof-raising arena rock shows, in the United States alone, BETTY has performed over 500 concerts to raise money and awareness for women’s rights, gay rights and human rights organizations to help support broad-based agendas for social change. Over the past decades, that trajectory has serendipitously led us to help design materials and run workshops on such issues as reproductive rights and responsibilities with Planned Parenthood, body image with No More Diets Coalition and self-advocacy with the US Embassy, including on a recent extended tour across India. BETTY has gone from rabble-rousing young rockers to road-experienced wise women while gaining even more enthusiasm for positive social change along the way.
Internationally, BETTY has been honored to take part in numerous cultural exchange tours as Arts Envoys for the US State Department. The tours through India, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Argentina, Mexico and the Czech Republic led to our latest self-advocacy discussion program, “RISE: Using Your Unique Voice To Create Change”. Pioneered with groups of students, poets and performing artists, community organizers and survivors of sexual trafficking in Delhi, Shillong, Kolkata, Guwahati and Hyderabad, BETTY’s program helped attendees focus on self-determination and effective expression while creating performances for self-empowerment.
“I had the very distinct pleasure to work with BETTY while I was the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania, and I could not have been happier and more pleased with the kind of program we developed with BETTY. The energy, enthusiasm, smarts, collaborative spirit, and all-around awesome-ness that BETTY brought created such a deep impact on those of us
at the Embassy, people within the LGBT community, and those in the wider social/progressive community of Lithuania, that it will be felt for years to come. BETTY is not only an amazing and electrifying rock group, they are individuals with a passionate and strong voice for change, and I’m confident they will not stop until everyone understands what seems simple to some of us:
all people no matter who they are deserve rights, dignity and respect.”
– Jon Berger, Political Officer, US Embassy Tel Aviv
WHAT WE NEED
BETTY has created a model for social change and organizing that has proved successful. The BETTY Effect was created to continue the work BETTY has been doing for close to 30 years – and to systematize the process.
- To develop a strategic plan to research the most promising opportunities, formalizing our process using music and the arts as bridge-builders and effective communication tools to further the work of NGO’s and other organizations
- To continue to develop our program, including promotional materials and outreach to like-minded nonprofits
- To write new songs for the numerous radio opportunities we have internationally and to work with human rights activists and women’s experts like Gloria Steinem to refine the “RISE” program and tailor it to different audiences.
- To continue funding international tours to underserved communities and groups working for equality, justice and social change identified by local US Embassies without the budget to afford the outreach program
WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES
- Individuals, groups and organizations come together on similar issues in order to lead to regulatory action and lasting change
- Attendees leave with reinforced messages from partner organizations, and as more effective advocates … having had fun while doing it – the scientifically proven process for greater success
- Revitalized NGO’s by music integrated into their advocacy campaigns
- Greater attention on the goals of the partnering groups from press and PR surrounding performances
- Greater research about music for social change
- Stale messaging refreshed by finding new ways of organizing, new rhetoric and the energy of new ideas from potential new members
- Individuals feeling pride and the excitement of fresh possibilities to overcome obstacles in their own lives, and those of their families
WHATS IN THE ROAD, AHEAD
BETTY has been blessed by the opportunities to watch shy or withdrawn people blossom during our workshops. Those attendees have made the experience so fun and thrilling for us that we have ceased calling them work and are piloting our “PLAYshop” program. Using entertaining games and exercises that promote self-expression, as well as some elements of the excitement of flash mob and other public entertainment opportunities, The BETTY Effect Playshops are based on the simple fact that each one of us has voice, even those of us without the ability to speak, and each of us has a right to our story.
BETTY is excited to work with trusted advisors to develop this program. Over the years, we’ve seen how music echoes and reinforces messages and how people use their own voices for social change. At a time when there is so much wrong in society we are compelled to join others to help make it right by rising up, sharing new hope through music, art and social expression. We are empowered by that and so are others. That is what the world needs right now. That is what art does.
There is nothing more inspiring than helping people realize their potential to make a difference. That is The BETTY Effect.