14 February 2011

Grantee Round Up: Grantees Making Waves Nationwide

Across the country, Ms. Foundation grantees are hard at work, advancing social justice every day. Here's a look at just some of what they've accomplished over just the last few days.
  • Grantee Win Alert! On February 3, Critical Resistance’s New Orleans chapter helped advocate for and eventually pressured the City Council to shrink the size of the notorious Orleans Parish Prison. In the face of plans to build thousands of new cells at OPP, CR helped win an order to cap the jail size at 1,400 and decommission existing jail space with a unanimous vote by the Council. Watch this video to learn more about their efforts -- and congrats to all involved!

  • On January 29 and 30, BABES Network-YWCA joined local community partners to put on a 2-day advocacy training for people living with HIV/AIDS. The event -- which attracted a majority of women attendees -- equipped participants with the skills to advocate and communicate effectively around HIV issues, with a special focus on the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and their families. “Many of the men in the training commented that they had never understood the perspective of low income women living with HIV until this training," noted Amelia Vader, Program Manager for BABES, in a recent email to supporters. "Women are making a major impact in the HIV community in Washington State and our current collaborations are... providing more opportunities for their voices to be heard by the broader AIDS community.”
  • Grantee Young Women United helped bring more than 1000 women and families together for a march to demand dignity and justice for all communities. The 1000 Women March, which took place in Santa Fe, N.M. on Feb. 11, sought to bring a broad range of pressing issues to the attention of lawmakers, and promote civic participation among New Mexico's women and families. In particular, marchers demanded a place at the table when decisions concerning the welfare of women and families are being made, in pursuit of a “frank, direct, and permanent dialogue with the Governor." That's what we call daring to be heard! Keep up the great work!

  • On Feb 10, grantee Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) hosted Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, for a roundtable discussion of sexual violence in the military. Based on information obtained during her visit with SWAN, Ms. Manjoo will present her findings and recommendations in an upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council. “[Ms. Manjoo's] visit reminds us all that the United States is not immune from human rights law," Anuradha Bhagwati, Executive Director of SWAN, noted. "Human rights law applies to everyone by virtue of being human beings and when you join the military you do not sign away your humanity."
  • In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Ms. Foundation sexual health education grantee AIDS Alabama joined with local partners on February 7 to sponsor a day of HIV testing, prevention-education and programming for the Black community. The goal was to mobilize the community around four specific focal points -- education, testing, involvement and treatment -- in order to stop the disease in its tracks. In a state where African Americans represent 26% of the population, but make up 64% of all reported HIV/AIDS cases, targeted initiatives like these are nothing less than essential; kudos to AIDS Alabama for keeping it real.
Action Alerts and Opportunities
  • The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is ramping up its campaign against the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3), releasing a toolkit for action. Tell Congress to stop attacking women's rights and freedoms -- NOW!

  • Choice USA is mobilizing their young constituents to rise up in opposition to both the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3) and the Protect Life Act (HR 358) -- together known as the "Stupak on Steroids" agenda. They are urging young people to take action in the following ways: 
    • Share this video on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #layoffthejuice 
    • RSVP for Choice USA's National Policy E-Briefing on "Stupak on Steroids," scheduled to take place on February 15 at 9:00pm EST
    • Participate in their National Youth Call-In Day on February 17 -- more info on this one to come.

  • NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is gearing up to send advocates to a Lobby Day in Olympia on February 28. This year, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and its allies are working on legislation to counter the rising tide of misinformation spread by “crisis pregnancy centers.” Their aim is to ensure that "all women, regardless of income, have access to unbiased information about their reproductive health care options.” If you're in the Pacific Northwest, join them in the cause!

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