Who We Are

Collectively empowering and celebrating women in America.

American Daughters was founded in January 2017 by a group of women living in Kansas City, who aspire to empower and celebrate women locally and beyond. By supporting and connecting women through the American Daughters Collective and by exposing young women to greater opportunities and resources through the American Daughters Academy, more women will claim their space and their future.


Meet the Co-Founders


Sarah Gilstrap

President & Treasurer

Sarah is an environmental scientist at an engineering and consulting firm in Kansas City, MO. She earned her master’s degree at the University of Kansas in Environmental Science. She is proud to know so many talented, thoughtful women in Kansas City and works to connect women to learn with and from each other. Sarah enjoys sharing good food and traveling with her husband and hanging out with her three boys.


Jen Lacy

Director of Education

Jen is a high school science teacher in downtown Kansas City. She earned her PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She is passionate about creating personally meaningful learning experiences for her students and AD Academy participants. She works with school, community, and neighborhood partners to develop the American Daughters Academy curriculum.

When she's not teaching high school students, she enjoys taking walks in the River Market and spotting trains with her son, Abel, watching documentary films, and reading.

Board of Directors

Sarah Gilstrap - President/Treasurer

April Anderson - Secretary

Jennifer Lacy - Director of Education

Jessica Jaskiewicz - Director of Design


Academy Committee

Sierra Stites

Jennifer Murphy

Design Committee

Elsa Rainey

Amanda Fuson

The Collective

The American Daughters Collective is comprised of American Daughters members and supporters who work together to support women across Kansas City. Your participation in the Collective allows you to:

  • connect with other American Daughters and our partners.

  • experience and celebrate the social, cultural, and academic work of local women.

  • share and promote your work. 

  • search for other members who may be able to help you with your next project.

  • learn about opportunities to organize and volunteer at community events.

  • support and work with Academy students.

To find local women and men who support women's leadership and have unique knowledge and skills to help you meet your goals...

Search the Collective → 


Many high school students are unaware of the cultural and educational resources available to them or have narrowed visions of what’s possible for their future personal or professional lives due to familial responsibilities, economic challenges, and limited transportation. American Daughters was created to foster young women to step outside their neighborhoods and communities to explore new perspectives, meet different kinds of people, and expand their idea of what’s possible.
— Sarah Gilstrap, President & Co-Founder


Frequently Asked Questions


Who can participate in American Daughters events and the Academy?

Anyone who identifies as female is welcome to participate in American Daughters events and the Academy. Many of our events are also open to men who understand and support feminist values. If you have any questions about participating in any of our events, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.


Can I volunteer at your next event?

We are always looking for helping hands and are excited you would like to help!


Is American Daughters affiliated with the Daughters of the American Revolution?

No, American Daughters is not affiliated with the Daughters of the American Revolution. American Daughters are the daughters of all women, and we honor those women who advanced women’s rights and roles throughout American history.