10 January 2011

Weekly Round-Up: Grantees Making Waves Nationwide

Ms. Foundation's grantees have been hard at work over the last few weeks, advancing social justice nationwide. Here's a quick round-up of what a just a few of them have been up to since we last checked in.
  • The Herstory Writers Workshop scored a major victory when it was announced that stories shaped in their women and teen girls prison writing workshop would become required reading for incoming officers in Suffolk County’s corrections academy. Volumes 1 and 2 of the collection, Voices: Memoirs from Suffolk County Correctional Facilities, are now available for purchase online.
    • West Virginia Free launched a campaign to gather support for its Healthy Youth petition, which calls on the state to mandate insurance coverage of contraceptives and pregnancy care for teens. And on January 10 (today!), they held a public hearing on the implementation of the state’s health care exchange.
    • Wider Opportunities for Women announced a call for applicants to join the Southeast GREEN Institute in Birmingham, Alabama this April. The Institute will offer “best practices, guidance, and technical assistance to ten programs from across the country interested in developing or expanding green job training programs for women.” Apply today!
    • After extensive lobbying by a coalition of workers' and green-jobs groups -- including Ms. Foundation grantee LAANE -- the Los Angeles City Council voted on December 17 to adopt the Project Labor Agreement and Local Hire Policy for the Department of Public Works. The policy will set job standards, including entry into multi-year apprenticeship program; ensure the payment of prevailing wages and health insurance benefits; and require that 30 percent of these career-track jobs go to residents of the community most directly affected by any proposed development. The bill also sets aside 10 percent of jobs for workers who face high barriers to employment (including extreme poverty, lack of a high school diploma or a criminal conviction). Read more about the policy.
    • In California, a coalition that included grantee Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice was instrumental in securing an agreement from Governor Schwarzenegger before he left office to reassess his administration's watered-down Green Chemistry Initiative. The coalition is calling for more comprehensive legislation that would crack down on existing toxins in consumer products and help prevent the manufacturing of others -- some of which have been shown to have a major impact on the reproductive health and general well-being of those who come into contact with them.

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