Inclusion

GIRLS FORUM: Kathy Cloninger--Developing Girls of Courage, Confidence, and Character

February 11, 2009 posted by admin According to a recent report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United States ranks 69th in the world in female representation in our national legislature (just below Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which tied for 68th). And the situation isn’t improving quickly; it’s been estimated that if we continue adding women in Congress at the current rate, we will reach parity in about 500 years. Women are grossly underrepresented not only in politics but in business; while we make up 51.3% of the population, but we account for only 15.7% of Fortune 500 corporate officers and 2% of Fortune 500 CEOs. This is not only a flagrant waste of brainpower, it’s dangerous; a number of people have made the observation that a higher proportion of women on Wall Street might well have prevented the economic meltdown we’re all suffering from. In other words, we have a leadership problem in this country,


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GIRLS FORUM: Allison Kimmich Advises Obama to Connect Policy to Parenting

February 6, 2009 posted by admin Dear Barack and Michelle, I’m writing to you as the parents of beautiful girls, and as people who hold the future of this country in your hands for the next four years.  I know that you both take seriously your job as parents as well as the way you can shape public policy to improve your daughters’ lives.  Michelle has talked about supporting working parents and Barack has talked about fighting workplace discrimination so Sasha and Malia will not have to experience it as adults. George W.


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FAST FACT: Where Women Can Earn $20 or more an Hour

February 6, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In 2007, the nontraditional occupation for women with the largest number of employed women was laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand.


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GIRLS FORUM: Young Obama Campaign Worker Wants Equal Opportunities to Pursue Her Dreams

Februrary 5, 2009 posted by admin Dear President Obama, I was one of the “super volunteers” for the Duluth, MN area throughout your campaign. I’ve always been interested in history, culture and politics, and I had the opportunity to attend JrNYLC (Junior National Young Leaders Conference) in Washington, DC. Working on your campaign was one of the most memorable experiences of my life! It has already led me to new political experiences because of the people I met campaigning. I recently attended “Camp Wellstone” to learn more about working effectively on political campaigns. One of my supervisors, Drew Sandquist, worked on your inauguration team.


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Queers Descend Upon Denver to Create Change

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.”


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GIRLS FORUM: Navigating Girlhood to Womanhood from New Moon’s Nancy Gruver

February 5, 2009 posted by admin We 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.


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DIVERSITY WRIT LARGE: Telling the Full Story of a Capitol Built by Those Who Were Enslaved

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.


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Post-Inauguration Reflections from the Council's Director of Diversity and Inclusion

January 22, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters First 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.


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Post-Inauguration Reflections from the Council Staff

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!

--Linda Basch, President


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NEXT GENERATION FORUM: Dear Obama, THIS is What We Want

January 20, 2009 posted by admin In honor of Inauguration Day, check out this post on what women, particularly young women and women of color, want from our newly sworn-in Administration.  


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