Feb 1, 2017, Washtenaw NOW Board Meeting minutes

Present:  Georgina Hickey, Cheryl Farmer, Anna Vockel, Shannon Basalla, Clare McAlister

Absent:  Margo Czinski

The meeting was called to order by our new President Georgina at her home at 7PM.

TREASURER:  Anna reported a balance of $380.26.  We have never received a check from National.  Margo will pick up where Anna left off, trying to find out when we will receive our dues distribution.  Cheryl will need to place an order for new buttons, but can hold off on re-payment for awhile.

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR:  Shannon will help us fix our website.  She will put up new Board member info, archive newsletters and Board Meeting minutes and update our Google calendar.  We decided that all of the Board members should have FB posting privileges.

WHERE TO MEET:  We discussed whether we want to continue to meet at Bona Sera and Los Amigos, or consider non restaurant spaces.  How desirable is it to have food and wine available, vs just focus on issues/activities?  We could avoid rental fees at WCC if we partner with a student group.  Georgina could look into this. If any of our members works for the County, we could use the County Learning Resource Center.   Two people could volunteer to bring snacks to non-restaurant spaces.

MEETING TOPICS:  A future meeting topic could be on gerrymandering and re-districting.  Georgina’s friend Gillian is taking a train-the-trainer course with the League of Women Voters.  We could ask SURJ to come to talk with us about putting our white privilege to work for others/giving up our white privilege.  We can continue to do events from the Women’s March:  10 events in 100 days.  Shall we invite someone from EMERGE to talk to us about running for office?  What about training for bystander interventions?  Do we want to partner with the Library on difficult dialogues?


About 35 people attended our 2nd annual meeting at the Downtown Ypsilanti Library.  We talked about the different Women’s Marches we had attended at the local, state and national level and just about everyone in the room had attended a March somewhere!  All of us wrote postcards to our US Senators and Representatives, as Action 1 of the “10 actions in 100 days.”  Then we ate cake to celebrate our 2nd anniversary as a Chapter.   

We tabled at last week’s activist organizational fair “Keep Calm and Take Action” on short notice thanks to members Victoria Dykes and Judy Shackelford, getting 46 new sign ups and netting $47 in donations.


Next Thursday at Los Amigos the first hour of our meet-up will be social and the second hour programming.  We will discuss Action 2, “Huddle.”  Our former EMU Intern Fatema Mohammad-Saleh will present a program  about the Hijab, what it means to wear and how to do it.  She will bring headscarves, show us how and people who want to do so can try one on.

We will try the back room in the Sidetrack expansion area for our March meeting, and hold it on Wednesday March 8 instead of the second Thursday.  We will discuss preparations for our anti-street harassment event, to be held on First Friday, April 7th.

At our April meet-up we will plan to make signs for the Equal Pay Day Rally at the Capitol on April 25.

We will sell our sassy buttons and bumper stickers at the annual State NOW meeting at the U-M Flint campus.  Who wants to car pool?

Planned Parenthood has a non-engagement policy.  There is an anti rally scheduled at PP on Feb 11, but it is on a Saturday so it will not disrupt patient care.  There will be a pro PP rally on the Diag.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Farmer


November 2016 Washtenaw NOW November Board Meeting Minutes

1. The November Feminist (Un)happy Hour following the election results was very well attended and people were angry. We talked about what Hillary did wrong and right and issues with the voting process itself (30-40 voters who had registered on campus but were not on voter rolls; long lines at all polling places; TV (msnbc) announced Hillary had won at 5:30!!!!).  Should we initiate something with FCC that the election not be called until after the polls close?

2. NOW’s role in fighting the hate unleashed by this Trump victory

a. Safety pin initiative.  It would mean: safety, I would stand with you

This rings hallow with some groups, but Cheryl posted it on Facebook with what it means to her and she got positive feedback from friends of color among others.

b. Are we focusing our energies on the wrong thing? Anna asks. Do we need to focus on white women? What are the conversations we want to have? Asks Georgina. With whom? How do we make them happen? We have to work very hard to activate alliances that we might have assumed we had.

What should our role be to address this hate? Instead of working on organizing events ahead of time, should we advertise more ad hoc events that arise? Does our lack of focus contribute to the problem of lack of engagement?

Georgina is willing to run for president for a year if no one else is interested. G is closer to youth, may be able to find a focus.

3. January actions

a. An Ypsilanti group (Mariah) is forming to plan an event for Jan 21st that is Ypsilanti specific. Its goal would be to create supportive, inclusive community here as opposed to protesting e.g. connecting social service agencies.

b. Should we share what is going on instead of going to the Women’s March in Lansing or the Women’s march in Washington DC?

c. Georgina was at a Planned Parenthood thing and there are lots of people who are looking for things to do. Should we help facilitate things like the PP data entry night?

Planned Parenthood would like people to go to the march in Lansing. We could provide information on that and on the local event as well as the DC march.

4. Black Lives Matter – Should we support the 10 point agenda?  Other support (joint meeting with local NAACP chapter)? Can we support the students’ efforts without supporting the 10 points specifically? Cheryl will draft a letter.

5. Muslim support – joint meeting with local Muslim group?  Hijab event? Cheryl met w intern Fatima and asked how she is feeling. At UM Dearborn they have had events of sharing hijab and discussing why women wear them. Do we want to do this at the library? Should we approach Shoshana? Cheryl will.

6. Teach-in on how to make an intervention with a bully vs when to call 911. Interfaith council for Peace and Justice has been doing one. Could we have them come and do one? Train the trainer model to spread the knowledge. Anna will email her contact and find out if they would be interested in doing a training at the library.

7. Anti street harassment initiative: Ours at the Bus Depot; International – Save the date for 2017: April 2-8 http://www.meetusonthestreet.org/action/ ; http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/ has a hotline.

We discussed whether to do Chalk art on Dec 8th, prior to the Feminist Happy Hour, which would be moved to Bona Sera, but decided it would be dark. Instead, perhaps do Chalk art on a Saturday morning.

Cost of putting up signs on the bus station property; in all the buses.  price quotes on signs, $3.50 to $15 each for up to 10 different signs.

Try to get AATA to pay for it. They may push back. We need to collect stories and present to board and invite them to work together to address the problem. Start with conversation with Jillian Ream Gainsley who is on the board (Georgina will contact her).Georgina suggests we hold an event to let people tell their stories (speak out) and invite support folks (counseling staff from U) to be there to help as needed. Venue? Project 23. Bona Sera has a basement. That might work. Or the campus. We need to make it clear that the press may be there as an individual but not as the press.

Do we want to broaden this to public harrassment of all kinds? Build alliances. More conversations and training? Let’s have another larger meeting at the library to review the slogans, brainstorm, discuss broadening the field post-election. Maybe run a buy-a-poster campaign. In newsletter, ask people who are interested in being on the street harassment task force planning committee to contact us.

8. Treasurer’s report:  any money from the National? Not yet.

9. Interns:  Event rate limiting step; calling at-large and chapter members without email addresses; Title IX

Interns have been a disappointment. They don’t seem able to follow through. They haven’t been able to get a room and a time. Fatema wants to do a program on sexual harassment and bring in men and talk about how it effects women. She wants to do it at UM Dearborn. Her plan is still somewhat sketchy.They haven’t been able to get email addresses as requested by calling people on lists Cheryl has given them. Danisha has said she might be able to fix the web site. Should we give her the keys to the castle? Georgina will email Danisha.

Danisha is interested in atypical professions for women (Policing, engineer, female surgeon)

Fatema is going to see who is following us on Facebook. Cheryl will reach out to these people and see if someone might want to become more involved.

It was suggested that Cheryl ask them to write a white paper explaining how to organize an event. They can work together on this. For now: a one-page workshop proposal including: Title, kind of location, topic, format, potential speaker.

10. Google email

11. Website. We need to ask for help.

12. Election: Perhaps Shannon Basalla would do communications position?

The bylaws include a November committee with recorder and two other people to put together slate for election. We missed that and we are the de facto committee this year. Anna has someone in mind and will bring her to next meeting. Karen (Black ex-cop from NYC) might be willing to become part of the board. We would like a more diverse board. Maybe we need a new position. Suggestion: two board members who are not officers. Anna proposed this change to the bylaws. Margo seconded. It passed unanimously.

13. There will be Pay equity event(s) in the spring. Do we want to participate? Yes.  April 8. We want to be in on it early this year.

14. $tart $mart is an excellent program. There were only about seven people at the event we promoted. Did EMU promote the event at all?!

15. Next year’s State Level NOW Meeting is in Dearborn. Georgina is willing to do her harassment workshop. There will be an election this spring. Suggest a Difficult Dialog workshop, a Bystander training event. Perhaps Interfaith Counsel on Peace and Justice will present.

16. Cities for CEDAW

Feb 1st 2016 key minutes of the meeting: 

  • The need to reach out to the members who do not have a listed e-mail address. We will be sending a postcard with the call to action i.e. send us your email along with a quick word about one of our upcoming events.
  • Figuring out how we can integrate our mailing list into Google Groups, adding a ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’ widget to the website, working on a communication plan via FB & Google.
  • Discussing a change in location for Happy Hour and events. Locations being considered Ann Arbor Brewing Company, Aut Bar and public libraries.
  • Getting together a media mailing list to send across press releases.
  • Waiting for Beth to get back on the Eden Foods initiative. Accordingly, putting together a press release.
  • Filing with the IRS
  • Waiting for the State NOW President to get back on procedure for endorsement of political candidates.
  • Plans for the National NOW Convention.
  • Reworking the letter to the authorities regarding Title IX compliance.
  • Conducting workshop on gender identities for the annual State NOW meeting.
  • Ideas for possible upcoming events – critical analysis of media coverage around 2016 elections with a special focus on Hillary coverage, micro-aggressions in the workplace

Next Steps:



– Reworking the letter on Title IX.

– Speak to the Chelsea library about the meeting room.

– Sending out the postcard to the members.

– Meeting with Jackie Goodman regarding interns, collaborations and more.

– Send Pratiksha information about events that need to go in the newsletter.



– Speak to Aut Bar and Ann Arbor Brewing Company as potential meeting places.

– Send media list to Kaitlyn & Pratiksha.

– Conceptualize workshop for State Meeting.

– Send passwords for NOW online platforms.



– Work out payment method for FB ads.

–  Speak to Traverwood library about the meeting room.

– Correspond with the national treasurer regarding IRS guidelines.



– Work out budget for FB ads and Google Groups integration.

– Add newsletter widget to website.

– Post events on FB

– Speak to Dexter library about the meeting room.

–  Work on how we can associate with Truven Analytics.



– Speak to Ann Arbor Downtown Library about the meeting room.

– Try to arrange speaker for critical media analysis event.

– Write monthly newsletter, once events and information are in.

–  Work on media awareness workshop.


Points to Ponder (before our next meeting)

Programming, Recruitment and Publicity Strategies

– Upcoming event ideas, how to communicate with members for actionable ideas

– Recruitment communication: whom are we addressing, how are we addressing them and what are our methods of reaching out

– Publicity: reaching out to student organizations to set up street teams.


If I have forgotten anything, please do add to the minutes.


Hope to catch you all sometime soon!


Good night!