February 4, 2008 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird [caption id="attachment_1043" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="With Robyn Ochs and a fellow NYC Bi activist"][/caption] I spent this weekend in Denver, CO at the 21st Annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference for LGBT Equality (aka “Creating Change”). As Kate Clinton warned, I am recovering from the shock of re-entry into the “real world” where, in fact, not everyone is queer—nor even an ally (bummer). This was the second year I was able to attend this fabulous conference where thousands of LGBT activists gather to network, build coalitions, and share tips on how to create change. And I gotta tell ya—I’m hooked! Since I skipped the day-long institutes, my first Creating Change event was Dolores Huerta: “We Have Arrived!” Dolores Huerta co-founded United Farm Workers of American with Cesar Chavez. She immediately caught my attention when she stated that the minimum wage should be no less than $25/hour. Now that’s what I call a living wage! Huerta further captured my heart when she said, “We need to educate ourselves about each other’s movements and organizations.”
February 5, 2009 posted by adminWe asked activists and scholars in the girl’s rights movement to draft a letter to President Obama, outlining their Girls Agenda for 2009. Here’s what Nancy Gruver, founder and CEO of New Moon Magazine had to say: Dear President Obama: As Malia and Sasha’s proud father I don’t need to tell you how having daughters can give you new eyes on the world. My daughters, Mavis and Nia, are adults now. But it feels like just last week that they were ten years old and I was worrying about how to help them navigate the treacherous journey from girlhood to womanhood. We started New Moon Girls magazine together to give girls a place to express themselves and make the world better. I believe you agree that growing up should mean increasing opportunities as well as responsibilities for our daughters. It should mean increasing respect and rewards for their intelligence, creativity, and skills. It should mean they have access to equal education and healthcare, including effective pregnancy prevention. It should mean they have the freedom to walk down the street or go on a date without worrying they might be attacked just because they are female.
January 28, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters Last week we all watched as the First Family moved into a mansion built partially by enslaved people. The inauguration of the country’s first Black president has prompted historians to fill in the void in public knowledge about the contributions of African Americans to the making of American society more generally.
January 22, 2009 posted by Delores M. WaltersFirst impressions 1. Seeing the panoramic aerial view via TV satellite of the crowd of millions taken from a vantage I wouldn’t have seen if I were there. 2. Watching the man who would be our next president walk through the corridor to the ceremonial. As he walked, a self-contained smile on his face, his composure maintained as always – his stillness was almost Buddha-like. 3. After such absorption on my part, the man emerged from the shadows to an uproar in the room. What impressed me though was that when the room erupted, I realized that the women responsible for the uproar did not look at all like Barack … or me for that matter. The space at Caroline’s was not really very diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, class or even age. Despite that fact, this audience of mostly White and younger, middle aged women represented for me the millions of voters who were the reason for Barack’s victory – and ours! 4. Art, Music & Solemnity: Aretha’s soul-stirring singing of America touched me because it represented countless Blacks who now felt that this was their song too – as Americans for the first time. Another miracle.
January 21, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters [caption id="attachment_947" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Council Staff at Caroline's (Photo cred Deborah Siegel)"][/caption] On Inauguration Day, the Council staff gathered to watch the historic ceremony at Caroline’s, a club on Broadway in the Theater District of Manhattan. The White House Project kindly hosted us. I asked for everyone’s reflections. Our reactions are a mirror of the hope, inspiration and goodwill stimulated by the inauguration of the nation’s first African American president. Multiple tasks lie ahead. We at the Council intend to continue in our process of growth and change. 1) What did today mean to you as a woman, a feminist, a US citizen, etc? 2) What moment stands out in your mind as most poignant from today's inaugural; did anything you heard or saw give you chills or goose bumps? 3) If you could make one wish for the Obama administration, what would it be? As a feminist who cares about equality, I am proud to be part of a nation that has evolved, from our history, to the point where race is no longer a key defining factor of who can be elected to lead our nation. And I'm excited to feel that I've played a small part in the contestations that have led to this moment. As a citizen, I'm thrilled that this historic happening, and the president we have elected, has captured the imagination of much of the world -- a world that seems willing to once again view us as a country of possibility, where change can happen. And I'm hopeful that we now have a leadership that can appreciate and leverage this renewed global trust and good will, and that will act, with humility, as a member of a world community of nations. 2 moments gave me goose bumps:
When I looked out over the Washington Mall to see the millions gathered -- people as far as we could see - to mark and share in this watershed moment in our history.
When Obama commented in his speech that we have elected a man president who 60 years ago may not have been able to get a seat at a lunch counter.
My wish is that Obama and his team will now turn their gaze to the many ways that women and girls are still disadvantaged and exploited, many of which we as an organization will bring to their attention!
January 9, 2009 posted by adminNew years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now. Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people. I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office. The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives. Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims. With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor? Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children. I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.
January 6, 2009 posted by admin Next up in our New Year's Resolutions for the Nation--here’s a link to this post by NCRW alums Gwendolyn Beetham and Tonni Brodber. Write Gwen and Tonni, Since the U.S. has proved that anything in politics is possible, it’s time for the rest of the world to showcase its political potential and prowess! It’s more than just quantity its quality. There is a long list of women in politics who we could really do without. Some of us are still waiting for Condi to emerge from the Dark Side…What we need are men and women in politics who will deliver on the promise of gender equality. Read the rest over at Girl with Pen. This post is part of a forum
November 7, 2008 posted by Linda Basch Linda Basch: What is your vision for an Obama administration? Who are your ideal Cabinet picks? What new offices, government departments, or agencies would you like to see set up?(We invite your biggest-sky thinking here, far out of the box!)Carol Jenkins: Wouldn’t it be wonderful, given that women determined this victory, that all of the photo-ops we are beginning to see included as many women as men—as many people of color as non. The early signals about an Obama administration are crucial. This is not the time to reflexively turn to the “old hands” of previous administrations. New ideas are needed, fresh thinking is needed. The “old hands” have brought us to the brink of economic collapse.