Our Founder


Kelly Murray believed in girls, avidly.  She believed that a girl could be truly successful only if she connected with a deep and genuine sense of herself, only if she developed a confident, unflinching authenticity of spirit.  Kelly knew that such vibrant self-understanding would also bring a grounding sense of accountability and responsibility which would empower a young girl to not just look inward, but outward.  She believed that a young girl fueled by this genuine sense of self could evolve into a young woman who indeed has it all, or, at least, all that matters:  a robust personal, professional, intellectual and spiritual life.  Kelly lived her life as a vivid testament to these beliefs.  A devoted wife, mother of six girls, psychologist, tenured professor and author, she managed, in the midst of it all, to maintain an abounding joy and curiosity.  As if that wasn’t enough, Kelly was also able to be what is often all too rare:  a true and trusted friend to many women, celebrating their strengths, accomplishments and choices even when they conflicted with her own.  It was Kelly’s belief in these ideals, and in the limitless potential of girls, which led her to found this organization.  We lost Kelly in 2009 when she and her seven-year old daughter, Sloane, were killed suddenly during a violent summer storm.  GirlsUp is her legacy.  It is our proud privilege to carry it on.