Women’s History Month Is Here!!!

Hello there, Virginia! For Women’s History Month, I want to offer you a whole bouquet of rich sources. Why so much at once, you ask? Well, because I’m going to stay busy with women’s futures for the rest of March. I’m going to keep on with the Virginia ERA Network project, and guide our members on writing to Congress to lift that pernicious deadline and to write letters to the editors of our great local newspapers. We need to remind women that they have more at stake than they know.

First, our very own Virginia NOW Foremothers Oral History Project. You can view the videos on our You Tube channel. You can read about the project on its webpage in our site. It’s still very rough, and there’s loads of other archival material I’m going to organize and present one of these days, when I carve out more time for it. There are some real gems in here, and there’s more raw video coming soon.

Second, you know the Turning Point Suffragists Memorial Project, right? Well, check in with them regularly. They’re doing amazing work, coming ever closer to publicly memorializing the sacrifices these foremothers made for the vote. They have some spiffy new social media rocking on Facebook and WordPress.

But, that’s our local work and a history populated largely by one kind of feminist. In honor of our Young Feminists Conference, April 10-12 in Richmond, and the more complex kind of feminism embraced by many in Generation X and the Millennials, the third and fourth waves of feminism, I want to guide you to some other organizations doing a great job celebrating women’s history.

Though these sources are more than anyone can take in quickly, they are but a hint at the scope of women’s history in the US and in our cultures of origin. I invite you to begin here and explore as far your mind and time will take you. Don’t worry, there’s no quiz. Consider this an invitation to great community and solidarity.

Asian American/Pacific Islander women also have recorded their rich history. A number of good sources are in this Daily Kos article for 2012, Women of Color in Women’s History: Asian and Asian Pacific Americans, and in this historical text some of which can be read on Google Books (but which you should buy) Women in Asia: Restoring Women to History. And again, because it is our art, our stories, that keep us connected and strong for the work of change, I direct you to Vona Voices and Asian American Writers Workshop where you’ll discover and rediscover AAPI voices vital to us all.

Madame Noire has run a great profile series on African American women who don’t get much recognition, but deserve it. About.com has a well curated collection of articles on African American Women’s History, and National Women’s History Month offers a great overview of the trouble and triumph of black women in US history. An excellent source for discovering, or reading new work by African American writers is Cave Canem — go, read. I also recommend the African American Literature and Culture Society, and BlackWriters.org.

Of Jewish women in American history, there is a very thorough compendium at the Jewish Virtual Library, and the amazing Jewish Women’s Archive. Brandies and Feminist Press are cooperating to publish a series of contemporary Jewish American women writers, their work is breathtaking!!

Latina Magazine is running a great personality piece featuring 40 Latina Women Who Changed the World. Ms. Blog is taking a more historical perspective with their 5 Fascinating Latinas for Women’s History Month article. For those who want dig deeper, Powerful Latinas offers a great reading list on Latina and Chicana history. Thinking more currently, Latino Rebels is running several great features on women this month. And because our communities live more vibrantly by our arts, Lettras Latinas is always connecting us with great contemporary writing.

Gay Star News offers 11 inspiring LGBT women of history, and HuffPost ran a portraits piece in 2012 on Famous Women Who Loved Women. Among many issues facing the LGBTQIA community is the current rash of murders of trans women of color. I encourage each of you to find a way, no matter what it is, to honor all women and our history by finding a way to bring awareness to this issue, and pressure for better education and protections. It happens that this year we are experience violence against these women with greater intensity than previously. We must seize this moment. The women of this community are also fine writers. AutoStraddle recently published a list of 10 novels and memoirs by and about Black lesbian, bisexual and queer women. I would also direct you to both Sibling Rivalry Press and Lambda Literary for more great writing from LGBTQIA women.

Again, Daily Kos’ Women of Color in Women’s History series in 2012 offers terrific portraits of Native Women in our history, and Ms. Blog’s 10 Things You Should Know about Native American Women is a quick and essential read. The Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains is a good place to get familiar with contemporary issues facing Native women, as are NAWHERC and IndianLaw.org. The Open Education Database offers a list of 20 Native women authors we all deserve to know. I also recommend the poetry anthology Sing, edited by Allison Hedge-Coke, which contains poems by indigenous women through out the Americas, many in their original languages and in translation.

Hey, We’re Throwing a Great Conference and You Should Come!

Richmond NOW and Virginia NOW

are pleased, thrilled, excited, and delighted 

to invite you to our young feminists conference.

April 10-12, 2015

Richmond, Virginia

‪#‎VaYFCon2015‬

on Facebook and Twitter

10959943 10153581047388765 3754288771000252733 o 
(click)

Conference Registration, Saturday Meal Pre-Order, Get Our Newsletters

(*) Guests may also register at the door.
Cash or check only, in that case.

To Reserve a Hotel Room, Visit the Conference Page Here.

Room and Ride Share

Guests may arrange to share rooms and rides to Richmond on our Facebook event page.
Please watch the event page closely for these requests! Please be sure to protect your privacy.
Use the Private Message feature to exchange information.

For a Printable Agenda, Click Here.

Also, a complete description of the conference.

- See more at: http://www.vanow.org/join/2015-conference

Save the Date! 2015 Young Feminists Conference April 10-12

Registration Opens Soon!

Watch This Space!

Virginia NOW is excited to invite you to our first annual Young Feminists Conference. This weekend will be a chance for all Virginia’s feminist generations to meet, build or deepened friendships and alliances, and educate each other. Virginia NOW knows from its own long history that feminists of each generation bring vital knowledge, strategies, and energy to the movement. We are still working for equality and inclusiveness with outstanding business like Equal Pay, Family-friendly Workplaces, Reproductive Justice, and the Equal Rights Amendment. And, we are confronted by a bright new century of great promise and challenge.

10959943_10153581047388765_3754288771000252733_o

To make this century the century in which we get it right, we must increase the inclusion of the beloved community, deepen the intersectionality of our feminism to include more political, social, cultural, and environmental work. Feminism is the belief that women are human beings, but for us that just the beginning! 

But this won’t exist without you being a part of the process. This conference is part of a journey that started long before us, and will be here when we are gone. As we continue globalizing our technology-driven society, the intersectionality of social justice and how it affects our modern feminist movement can no longer be left out of the conversation. The elephants in the room: racism, classism, heteronormativity, ableism, the list continues. It’s time to take off our blindfolds and see the elephant.

When we get comfortable, we revert back to old stereotypes and oppression. This movement is an ever evolving process, and we are asking for you to join in the creation. When you raise up a woman, you raise up a whole nation, and we are redefining sisterhood, one conversation at a time. Will you join us?

To these ends, this two day conference will open Friday evening with a reception and happy hour, and a evening of feminist films and photo booth fun! The topics of the conference will include grassroots organizing and running for office, increasing our cultural competency for a global future and the diversity of queer politics, as well as discussions on feminist motherhood and more socially just approaches to fair housing, mental health, personal and community safety, and body positivity. We’ll close Sunday afternoon with a quick feedback session and time left to talk and visit. There could be more! We are still finalizing the agenda.

Our coordinator, Vicki Yeroian and her team in Richmond, including members of Richmond NOW, have been dedicated to coordination of this conference. The cost of the conference all goes to pay for the venue, stipends and travel for the speakers, and for equipment costs. The panels and discussions should be inspiring, challenging, and empowering. Virginia NOW’s officers and staff eagarly look forward to seeing you at the conference and strengthening our alliances and impact on the future of all the women of the Commonwealth. Please, do join us.

Double Tree Hotel 

 Conference takes place in the hotel’s Shenandoah Ballroom, 2nd Floor.

Address: 1021 Koger Center Blvd., Richmond, Va. 23235 (Actually, Midlothian).

(*) Please, register by phone and mention that you are with the Virginia National Organization for Women. Please be prepared to indicate the number and names of guests staying in your room.

Telephone: (804) 379-3800 or 1-800-222-TREE.

Rooms: All the rooms are doubles and allow up to 4 guests per room. $119 per night (Friday and Saturday). We have 40 rooms reserved for attendees.

(*) This special rate is available ONLY UNTIL MARCH 20th!!

Parking and Accessibility: The hotels offers a full compliment of accessibility features including an elevator and accessible rooms. Guests will self-park in the hotel’s parking lot. There is a covered parking foyer for drop-off and pick-up.

Meals and Snacks: Virginia NOW will provide a choice of simple bag lunches on Saturday. Please indicate your choice of meal when you register at Constant Contact. The hotel restaurant, The Midlo Bistro Cafe, is a full service restaurant with service from breakfast at 6:30 am through dinner until 10:00 pm.

Nearby Restaurants: There’s a shopping mall and a variety of well-reviewed restaurants within a few minutes walk or drive from the hotel.

 Room and Ride Share

Guests may arrange to share rooms and rides to Richmond on our Facebook event page.
Please watch this page closely for these requests!
Please be sure to protect your privacy. Use the Private Message feature to exchange information.

The 1st Woman President Needs Equal Rights!!!

Dear Virginia,

Happy ERA Monday, and Happy Presidents Day!! It’s a double day, and I have a double request of you.

First: Del. Mark Cole holds an open house at his office tomorrow, Feb. 17. Activists will be present as the weather allows,
but snow can’t stop email, or phone calls!!!

Click here for a post with a great email for Chair Cole and his contact information. Tell him the ERA MUST BE PUT ON THE DOCKET and moved into the full Privileges and Elections Committee.

Please, send the same email to Speaker Howell.

This committee is heavily resistant. We must push hard this week! On the same post, you can contact the whole committee.

When pressed, their objections tend to crumble down to traditional and fundamentalist forms of sexism. Show them that’s the only reason they could refuse us our rights.

Feel some tweetage coming on? Yeah, me too.

To tweet the House: @VaHouse.
To tweet the House GOP: @vahousegop.
To tweet the Hosue Dems: @VAHouseDems.

1st Woman #POTUS deserves full #civilrights, #RatifyERA, SJ 216 on the P&E docket!!

(*)   (*)   (*)

Second, in honor of Presidents Day, I ask you for one more action.

The fundamental political difference between the first woman president and all the men before her is that she might not enjoy fully protected civil rights under the Constitution she will swear to defend and protect.

Clinton? Warren? … Clinton/Warren?
Warren/Clinton? President Seal
Who knows.

This week, let’s focus on the Senate.

Send them this email:
Email Page for Senator Warner
Email Page for Senator Kaine
 
 
Subject: Please Support Women’s Civil Rights, Lift the Deadline on Ratification

Dear Honorable Senator _______,

You serve with women who swear to protect and defend the Constitution, but are not fully protected by it. Our nation’s daughters have long risked their lives in our wars, but are not yet fully protected by that Constitution.

On this Presidents Day, consider: our next president could well be a woman — who still may not be fully invested with the civil rights enshrined in our laws.

This is an inconsistency that should not stand for one more year. This March when Senator Cardin offers a new resolution, please sign on to support it and then encourage your colleagues to do so — especially friendlier Republicans. Cardin aims for vigorous bi-partisan support.

Ratification of Equal Rights Amendment would accomplish one civil goal: it would mend the patchwork of laws that currently tack together the rag doll of women’s citizenship.

I urge you to join which would remove the historically aberrant and wholly arbitrary deadline on ratification.

Justices Scalia and Ginsberg agree on one thing: the 14th Amendment clearly applies only to “male citizens” and “male inhabitants” of the Republic. What “rights” women do have are only supported by laws and statutes — all of which can change given a hostile political wind.

Our nation’s women are caught in a stalemate. States wait for a signal from Congress, Congress for a signal from the states. Be first, lead, honor the nation’s women with fully established civil rights. Assure us that a future female president will not be so civilly vulneralby as women are today. Send the signal — it’s time for ratification. Lift the deadline.

Let the Constitution protect and defend our women as our women do the Constitution.

With my lasting gratitude for your service to our state and the nation,
Your Name
City, State

New Foremothers Oral History Videos Up

New Foremothers Oral History Videos Up.

Aside

You’re Invited to Women’s Lobby Day, Feb. 4.

Wednesday, February 4, is Women’s Lobby Day at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond. Let’s show our strength and numbers by being there and speaking up.

What happens Wednesday? You can get an up-close look at the legislative process. Go to committee meetings, visit your elected representatives and other decision-makers, and see the House and Senate chambers. Join a terrific group of women for lunch (or have lunch on your own) and then visit the lieutenant governor’s office, arranged by the League of Women Voters.

The day starts at 8:30 am at the League of Women Voters Legislative Roundtable, 4th Floor at the General Assembly Building at 9th and Broad Streets. Legislators and advocates will address the roundtable on a variety of issues.

Please take a moment to be sure you have your delegate’s and senator’s contact information, which is here (type your address in the right corner). Please contact me if you have questions.

Important bills that Virginia NOW supports this session include:

The Equal Rights Amendment

Reporting Sexual Assault on Campuses

Repeal of Mandatory Ultrasound Prior to an Abortion

Legally Allowing Breast-feeding in Public Places

Removing Firearms From Domestic Abusers

Non-Partisan Redistricting

Expanded Definition of Stalking

Thank you for reading this and for all you do every day for equality. Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday.

Marj Signer, VA NOW Legislative V-P

ERA Vote is Monday — Sample Email, 5 to Call NOW

Click here for the sample emails and contact info.

The Vote is Noon on Monday. We have very strong opposition, and we need this vote in order to move on to the House of Delegates — where we will need to double down.

Call today and Monday. Email and Tweet your hearts out over the weekend!

Thank you, Virginia!! For all the energy you have given, and all you will give. You are the ones we have been waiting for!

For women!

Simone Roberts, your friendly Web Editor, etc., etc., etc.

Progress (partial) for Women over Guns and Stalkers

** When they know we’re looking, we win!! ** When they think we’re not looking, they’re protect a gun more than a woman.

“In a dramatic turn of events, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 10-4 today to approve SB 943, a bill that would prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, sexual battery, and stalking from purchasing and possessing firearms. The vote comes just two days after the committee initially rejected SB 943 following a controversial hearing in which Chairman Tommy Norment (R-3rd) appeared to announce the bill had been approved. The bill was later listed as defeated by a 10-5 vote in Virginia’s Legislative Information System.”

http://csgv.org/releases/2015/virginia-committee-feels-pressure-changes-vote-protect-women-guns/

ERA Vote on MONDAY: The Swing Votes and the whole Senate

ERA Vote on MONDAY: The Swing Votes and the whole Senate.

Let’s Keep the Momentum Up! — Legislation Update

It’s exciting to report some momentum in our women’s agenda. Women’s voices – and women’s votes – may be getting through to more elected officials. Please continue to contact them – there’s more to do (read on).  

Yesterday was a good day for Virginia women. A bill to restrict access to guns for those convicted of domestic violence (Senate Bill 943, patroned by Senator Barbara Favola) and another bill to expand the anti-stalking statute (Senate Bill 1297, patroned by Senator Don McEachin) passed a Senate committee.  

But, as I said, there’s more to do. A companion gun bill (introduced by Delegate Kathleen Murphy, whom NOW members worked to elect) will be heard tomorrow (Friday) in House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Subcommittee #1. It needs immediate calls. The bill (House Bill 2085) would restrict possession of guns by those convicted of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual battery, and other violent misdemeanors.

Please call and email these delegates and ask them to vote YES on HB2085 to keep guns away from domestic abusers: 

Delegate Thomas Wright  (804) 698-1061       DelTWright@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Todd Gilbert       (804) 698-1015      DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Michael Webert (804) 698-1018       DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Matthew Fariss  (804) 698-1059      DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov 

Delegate Rosalyn Tyler     (804) 698-1075      DelRTyler@house.virginia.gov

There’s also a good anti-stalking bill in the House of Delegates, patroned by Jackson Miller (HB1453). We’ve contacted Delegate Miller about our support for the bill; it should be heard tomorrow.

More great news: The ERA resolution passed the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee and will go to the Senate floor. NOW and our allies in the Women’s Equality Coalition continue to work hard to pass the ERA. Watch Virginia ERA Network for updates.

Bad news: An abortion ban bill has been introduced by Delegate Dave LaRock. The bill, HB2321, would unconstitutionally ban all abortions after 20 weeks. Elections matter! We worked hard to defeat Tea Partier LaRock. All 100 delegate seats and all 40 senate seats are up this November. Our Virginia NOW Political Action Committee (PAC) will again be working hard for candidates who support women and equality.  Stay tuned – we need your support!  

Also

Contact Board of Health
We have until February 11 to submit comments supporting the amended
TRAP regulations for women’s health centers.
Submit your comment today.
Thank you for all you do every day for women and girls.

Marj Signer, Virginia NOW Legislative Vice-President 

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 741 other followers