Washtenaw Now News 18

Wonderful turn-out

for Second Annual Meeting! 

What a great bunch of activists we are!  We all had stories to share about the Women’s March in Washington D.C., as well as stories about area Sister Marches including those in Lansing, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor!  Thank you to everyone who supported NOW’s principles of social justice by participating in a march, and especially to Martha Kern-Boprie and Kathy Fojtik-Stroud for carrying NOW signs on behalf of our Chapter.

In addition to telling our march stories, we wrote postcards to our elected officials as the first of 10 actions – part of the Women’s March initiative:  “10 actions in 100 days”.  https://www.womensmarch.com/100/action2

Our new Board Officers for 2017 were confirmed, we adopted a by-laws change that adds 2 members to our Board, and enjoyed German Chocolate cake.  Then we worked our way through an Intersectionality exercise designed to help each of us better understand the challenges that we and others face due to circumstances beyond our control.

Changes to Feminist Happy Hour

At the organizational meeting of your new Board, we decided to change up Feminist Happy Hour to accommodate the pressing need to turn chat into action, as we did last month with our protest sign creation workshop and last week with our postcard writing action!

 Starting Thursday Feb 9 we will go back to Los Amigos Fiesta.  Social hour will kick off at 6PM.   This may also be a good time to “huddle”, which is the second of the 10 recommended actions to be taken in the first 100 days!   In our “huddle” we can envision how to transform the energy of the Women’s Marches into local and national action.

Then at 7 PM we will begin the evening’s action item, a presentation by our Intern Fatema Mohammad-Saleh about the hijab:  Why do some Muslim women wear it and others do not?  What does it mean to those who wear?  How do you put one on?  If a non-Muslim woman wears one, is it insulting to or a sign of solidarity with Muslims?  Join us and find out!  If you have a piece of fabric 90″ square, bring it.  Otherwise, scarves will be available to practice with.

Thanks  to our members  Judy Shackelford and Victoria Dykes for stepping up on short notice to staff a table at the recent progressive organizations fair:  KEEP CALM AND TAKE ACTION.    They introduced a lot of new people to WashtenawNOW, and sold our sassy buttons and bumper stickers!

Shannon Basalla is leading our action for Anti-Street Harassment Week April 2-8.  Toward that goal she has been designing great posters!  A chalking event will begin at 5 PM on Friday April 7th at the AATA Bus Depot on Pearl and North Washington Streets in Ypsilanti.  Chalk will be provided.   At 6 PM there will be a “fashion show”.  We are calling for people of various ages, sexual preference, gender identity and ability to volunteer to come wearing something you were wearing when you experienced harassment and tell us your story.  We know harassment has nothing to do with how one dresses!  Let’s make that clear to the rest of the world!
Michigan NOW Conference and Officer Elections:  March 25th, 9 AM – 5 PM, UM Flint, University Center, 400 Mill Street, Flint, MI.  There will be great workshops, speak outs and a panel discussion.   Keynote speaker Natasha Thomas-Jackson will discuss “How a Creative, Intergenerational and Intersectional Feminism will Save Us All!”  To register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/together-we-rise-crossing-boundaries-claiming-power-and-leading-change-now-registration-31363564265?aff=es2

Equal Pay Day Rally:  State Capitol in Lansing, April 25th, details to follow.

National NOW conference June 30 – July 2, Orlando, Florida.  http://now.org/about/2017-conference