28 May 2009

Outrageous Act: Demand Health Service and Materials in English and Spanish

To ensure your health, demand that your doctor’s office provides materials and service in both English and Spanish.

Bibiana Martinez, Community Mobilization Intern, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

27 May 2009

Applied Resource Center Releases 'Race and Recession' Report

The Applied Resource Center has released a compelling report on the economic crisis and its effects on people of color. "Race and Recession: How Inequity Rigged the Economy and How to Change the Rules" uncovers root causes of long-term racial inequities that fed into the economic crisis. It proposes solutions to change a system that threatens future generations.

Their short video introduces the issues addressed and the voices of people affected.

Race and Recession: How Inequity Rigged the Economy and How to Change the Rules
Download the Full Report [pdf]
Download an Executive Summary [pdf]

See also: Women of Color Policy Network Releases Study on Race, Gender, and the Recession: Job Creation and Employment

20 May 2009

Recognize an Outrageous Original: Gloria Steinem

As the Ms. Foundation for Women recognizes Gloria Steinem’s 75th birthday on May 21, we ask you to make a contribution in her honor. Help the Ms. Foundation further her legacy of building grassroots action.

Read Gloria’s words (our emphasis added) from her letter to attendees at the Women of Vision Awards:
The Ms. Foundation has grown to a staff of 35 whose President, Sara Gould, is a national pioneer of women’s economic development. It has also grown thanks to the expert help of 15 board members, including men who not only care about wives and daughters, but understand that there is no such thing as democracy without feminism. It has inspired the spread of local women’s funds across this country and in other countries, and earned the support of individuals and foundations by multiplying the human benefits of every dollar given.

Yet Ms. has never sugar-coated the fact that having greatly increased the amount of charitable dollars going to projects for women and girls still leaves this sum at less than ten percent of corporate, foundation and individual giving. Most important, it has never lost its personal link with the diversity of women and girls on the ground who know best what they need, and are infinitely creative about how to achieve it.

I think that, for all of us, this is the best gift: Ms. has kept its spirit, its soul, and its ability to link rather than rank; a rare thing as institutions grow. Ms. has successfully made the journey from a dream with only money enough to last a few months to a reliable, deeply-rooted, transforming source of energy that we can include in our wills and bequests with confidence.
Make a gift to help further Gloria’s legacy.

19 May 2009

Recognizing Outrageous Actors: 2009 Women of Vision Awards

This week the Ms. Foundation holds its 21st Annual Gloria Awards: A National Salute to Women of Vision where we will recognize three grassroots leaders and an individual and corporate donor who are each committing outrageous acts for simple justice. These women exemplify, in Gloria Steinem’s words, “women and girls on the ground who know best what they need, and are infinitely creative about how to achieve it.”
  • Naina Khanna, Director of Policy and Community Organizing at Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Disease (WORLD), supports, educates and mobilizes women living with and affected by HIV/AIDS to advocate for policy change that meets their unique and, often, unmet needs. Naina recently co-founded the U.S. Positive Women’s Network and is the youngest leadership team member of the Ms. Foundation’s National Women and AIDS Collective. Her work results in better prevention, treatment and care programs for women and their families across the U.S. [Read more.]

  • Gina Womack, Director and Co-Founder of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), is an impassioned community organizer dedicated to creating a better life for all of Louisiana’s youth, especially those involved in or targeted by the juvenile justice system. With chapters across the state, FFLIC builds the leadership of parents and others to share testimony and advocate for the rights of youth and families, including an end to the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Under her leadership, FFLIC has helped reduce the number of juveniles in detention in the state from 2,000 to 541 between 2000 and 2007. [Read more.]

  • Kirbie Platero is the recipient of the Marie C. Wilson Young Woman’s Leadership Award. Kirbie, member of and organizer at Young Women United, is a 19-year old activist, mother and artist working to secure reproductive justice for girls and women. She recently helped lead a successful campaign in New Mexico that brought young women of color to advocate before state officials for the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in public schools. [Read more.]

  • Bonnie Schaefer, Woman of Vision and Action Award recipient and former co-chair & co-CEO of Claire's Stores, Inc., is being honored for her strong commitment to issues affecting women and girls in the U.S. and around the world—from human trafficking to women's visibility in the media. Bonnie serves on the Host Committee for the Women's Division of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and she is a new member of Women Moving Millions, a partnership of visionary donors and the Women's Funding Network. [Read more.]

  • MAC AIDS Fund and Executive Director Nancy Mahon, recipients of the Corporate Philanthropy Award, are being honored for the Fund's crucial support of women and HIV/AIDS advocacy. Their partnership with the Ms. Foundation has been critical to the success of the National Women and AIDS Collective, the first and only national policy coalition led by and for HIV positive women in the U.S., formed in 2005 by the Ms. Foundation's Women and AIDS Fund grantees. [Read more.]

More on the 21st Annual Gloria Awards: A National Salute to Women of Vision.

18 May 2009

Women of Color Policy Network Releases Study on Race, Gender, and the Recession: Job Creation and Employment

Our colleague, C. Nicole Mason, executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, has authored a sobering report, the first in a four-part series on the impact of the economic crisis and recession on women of color, their families and their communities.

The series focuses on effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the first report focuses on job creation and employment. It finds of the nearly 4 million jobs created or saved through the Act, only 917,675 will go to African-Americans and Latinos. An additional 1.7 million jobs would have to be created and go directly to Blacks and Latinos to cut the unemployment rate in those communities to Administration's projected national rate of 6.5 percent by 2010.

The study also finds:
  • Of the jobs created or saved, African-American and Latino women will receive an estimated 420,991 and African-American and Latino men will receive 496,684

  • African-Americans and Latinos are under-represented in the industries targeted through the Reinvestment Act. Black and Latino men comprise 5.1 percent and 8.4 percent of those working in targeted industries. Black and Latino women make up 5.9 percent and 5.6 of those working in targeted industries

  • Of the targeted industries and occupations identified as green, African-Americans and Latinos comprise less than 25 percent of those employed

  • Although women will receive nearly half of the jobs that will be created through the Act, they are under-represented in higher-wage occupations and in targeted industries

  • White women will receive an estimated 1,377,879 jobs through the Reinvestment act; a figure nearly 70 percent higher than for African-American and Latino women combined
C. Nicole Mason says, "During this time of great economic need and distress, it is important to consider the most vulnerable in our society. To ensure that everyone recovers successfully, the Administration will need to dedicate significant and additional resources to communities hit hardest and to those with the least safety nets."

Download the full report [pdf].
Download an executive summary [pdf].

See also: Race and Recession: How Inequity Rigged the Economy and How to Change the Rules

15 May 2009

Sara K. Gould in Discussions About Immigration and Women

Sara K. Gould, Ms. Foundation for Women president and CEOAs discussions about immigration reform, health care reform and the economy dominate conversations in Congress and legislative halls nationwide, we're thrilled to have opportunities to join leading grassroots and national policy experts to discuss the current reality faced by immigrant women and their families and the policy and organizing solutions that are most needed to ensure human rights and social justice for immigrants throughout the U.S.

On Thursday 14 May 2009, Sara K. Gould, President & CEO of the Ms. Foundation and Sylvia Henriquez, Executive Director of Foundation grantee the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) appeared on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC in New York City. The radio session followed their appearance at the release of a new poll on women immigrants conducted by New America Media. On the panel, at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C., Sara and Sylvia were joined by: Olga Vives, Executive Vice President of the National Organization for Women; Karen Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center; and Angela Kelly, Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress.

(Download the complete poll Women Immigrants: Stewards of the 21st Century [pdf]. Learn more about the poll, including an audio commentary by Sandy Close and Richard Rodriguez.)

Listen to or download the Brian Lehrer Show appearance

Download mp3 recording.

08 May 2009

Outrageous Act: Tell Your Legislators to End Funding for Abstinence-Only Programs

Advocates for Youth, a Ms. Foundation grantee, is calling for support of President Obama’s budget eliminating abstinence-only-until-marriage education programs. They ask you to write to your Representative in the U.S. House and your U.S. Senators urging their support for the funding elimination. Ask your representatives to support the elimination of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Outrageous Act: Football Hall-of-Famer and Feminist

Don McPherson says that being a black man, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, a member of the Ms. Foundation Board of Directors and a feminist always leads to an outrageous conversation.

07 May 2009

Sara K. Gould and Dusti Gurule of Ms. Grantee Latina Initiative Honored by Women's eNews

Sara K. Gould, Ms. Foundation for Women president and CEOWe are thrilled that Sara K. Gould, Ms. Foundation for Women president and CEO, and Dusti Gurule of Ms. Foundation grantee Latina Initiative will each be honored with a 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award by Women's eNews at their annual gala this evening.

In "Activator with Leverage," Women's eNews celebrates Sara K. Gould's pioneering contributions to the field of women's economic development, her critical stewardship of the Ms. Foundation and her passion for "making connections to build larger constituencies...that can hold our new government and president accountable to the vision he put out."

In "Grower of Latina Power," Women's eNews recognizes Dusti Gurule's trailblazing efforts to build the grassroots political power of Latinas in Colorado. Her organization, Latina Initiative, and Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) have teamed up to run "Latinas Increasing Political Strength" (LIPS), a collaboration funded by the Ms. Foundation that "engages young Latinas in Denver in community action and civic participation." Latina Initiative's advocacy was key to last year's defeat of Colorado's Amendment 46, a regressive initiative that would have seriously undermined affirmative action and civil rights.

Congratulations Sara and Dusti, and thank you for your visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to social justice for all women, families and communities nationwide!

06 May 2009

New York City Council Honors Ms. Foundation Co-Founder Gloria Steinem

In a Council session on Thursday, May 6, Members of the New York City Council Women's Caucus presented the following proclamation in honor of Ms. Foundation Co-founder Gloria Steinem and her 75th birthday.

The Council of the City of New York is honored to pay tribute to Gloria Steinem, on the occasion of her 75th birthday, for being vital force in the struggle for the rights of women, and the co-founder of Ms. Magazine, the Ms. Foundation for Women, The Women's Action Alliance, The National Women's Political Caucus, Voters for Choice and the Women's Media Center; and

WHEREAS: Gloria Steinem's great looks and aspirations to tap dance her way out of her native Toledo, Ohio, plus her top-notch journalistic skills, gave her the credibility to go undercover as a Playboy Bunny and expose their poor working conditions and low wages. She followed this with many consistently provocative magazine articles and also shared her signature satirical wit by writing the "surrealism in everyday life" segment for David Frost's TV show, "That Was the Week That Was"; and

WHEREAS: Gloria Steinem became a founding editor of New York Magazine in 1968 and one of our nation's first female political commentators with her column, "The City Politic." Her article "After Black Power, Women's Liberation" earned her the Penny-Missouri Journalism Award; and

WHEREAS: Gloria Steinem collaborated with Bella Abzug, Flo Kennedy, Robin Morgan and countless other feminists for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the creation of the 1977 National Women's Conference. Even today, Ms. Steinem crisscrosses the country and the globe as a tireless organizer and passionate advocate for equal pay, reproductive rights, feminist political candidates, and organizations that fight domestic violence, pornography, and human trafficking; and

WHEREAS: Ms. Steinem was a backer of Marlo Thomas' "Free to Be You and Me" album, TV special and books. She was also among the first to recognize the brilliance of the future Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. Ms. Steinem's own best-selling, life-changing books include "Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions" and "Revolution from Within: The Book of Self-Esteem"; and

WHEREAS: A tremendous catalyst for societal change, Ms. Steinem and her consciousness-raising slogans remain as popular and powerful as ever. A few of her sayings include: "If a man could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament;" "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle;" and "We are becoming the men we wanted to marry." Ms. Steinem will again enlighten us with her forthcoming book, "Road to the Heart: America as if Everyone Mattered"; now, therefore

BE IT KNOWN: That on behalf of all of the Members of the New York City Council Women's Caucus, we honor Gloria Steinem for her extraordinary activism and visionary leadership, and and wishes her the very best on the occasion of her 75th Birthday.

Signed this 6th day of May in the year Two Thousand and Nine.
For the Entire Council
Council Member, 6th District
Council Member, 16th District
Council Member, 34th District
Chair, Women's Issues Committee
Council Member, 41st District

04 May 2009

Outrageous Act: Help Your Employer Address Domestic Violence

Maya Raghu, a senior staff attorney at Ms. Foundation grantee Legal Momentum asks you to check if your workplace has educated workers about domestic violence. If not, find a local domestic violence organization to offer the needed instruction.

01 May 2009

Outrageous Act: Write/Sing a Song for Simple Justice

Grantees at a Ms. Foundation meeting in New Orleans, March 2009, sing original lyrics about outrageous acts to the tune of “Bingo.”