NOW News Thursday, January 5, 2017

Officers for 2017
President: Principal spokesperson and administrator of the chapter

Georgina Hickey is a professor in the History Department at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.  She one of the original group of smart, caring feminists who convened in the spring of 2014 to re-organize a local NOW chapter, and has at one time or another assumed the responsibilities of every other office!  She has most recently been vice president, and as such now rises to assume the role of president under our by-laws.

Our slate of candidates, all unopposed, to be voted for by acclamation:
Vice-President: Assists the president, presides over president’s duties in the absence of the president, next-in-line to be president.

Anna Vockel is a registered nurse at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, served as Washtenaw NOW’s treasurer, and is raising her two daughters to be feminists!

Recorder: Takes minutes & keeps a record of all meetings.

Cheryl Farmer is a retired physician and the former Mayor of Ypsilanti.  She led the re-organization of Washtenaw NOW and served as its first president.

Treasurer: Keeps financial records

Margo Czinski is a retired English as a Second Language teacher and most recently served as our recorder.

Communications Coordinator: Manages the chapter’s external communicationsShannon Basalla is an artist and has been leading our anti-harassment initiative.
At-Large Board Member (2 positions):  Assists in the planning and coordination of programs and actions

Candidates will be announced at the meeting if the proposed bylaws change is approved by the membership.

Last month’s Feminist Happy Hour was marked by animated discussion of our anti-street harassment campaign, a teach-in sponsored by Standing Up for Racial Justice (February 4th), and the marches scheduled for January 21st. Mark your calendars for our next Feminist Happy Hour on Thursday, January 12th at Bona Sera, 100 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, from 6-8 p.m. Among other topics, we plan to discuss the upcoming marches resisting rolling back the rights of women, minorities, religious groups and immigrants. In addition to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on the 21st, there will be a march in Lansing and events right here in Ypsilanti. We will brainstorm ideas at the Happy Hour and supplies will be available for creating protest signs for whichever march we are planning to join.
 Saturday, January 21st, will be a red letter day!!!

Choose from one of 3 peaceful protest marches planned to stand up for women’s rights:

1) Washington D.C.:  77 organizations, including NOW,  are collaborating to host  this march. All the appropriate permits have been obtained. It will begin at 10 AMand start at Independence Ave and Third Street SW. For further information, go to: https://www.womensmarch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2169332969958991/
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/27/womens-march-on-washington-dc-guide. The local Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice has arranged for buses:  www.icpj.org

2) Lansing, Michigan:  Rally on the Capitol steps in Lansing from 1-3 PM onSaturday, January 21. There will be music and speakers, including gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, Lavonia Perryman, Dizzy Warren and Gretchen Driskell.
The march will be followed by The Women Organize Michigan Summit at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. Details can be found at marchonlansing.org

3) Ypsilanti, Michigan: March for Love, Resilience and Action :  This ad hoc group plans a procession route that will pass by and honor Ypsilanti locales significant to the movements for civil rights, women’s equality and human rights. It will conclude in a performance space where our people power will be celebrated as WE inaugurate OUR vision for an interconnected future. The procession will begin at1:00 PM.  For details, go to
https://www.facebook.com/loveresilienceactionypsi/

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dear Feminist Friends,

Advertisements

Monday, January 6, 2017

Dear Feminist Friends

We’re looking for a member who plans to participate in either of our local “Sister Marches” to carry one of our official round NOW signs. Your Washtenaw NOW Board members are all going to Washington DC or to Lansing for the Saturday Women‘s Marches, so we won’t be available to do so locally. If you are planning to attend a local march, and would be interested in representing our Chapter by carrying a sign, please contact me ASAP.

Local March details:

Ypsilanti: The March for Love, Resilience and Action begins at Noon at Bona Sera Café, 200 West Michigan Avenue. The procession route will pass by and honor Ypsilanti locales significant to the movements for civil rights, women’s equality and human rights and conclude back at Bona Sera with a celebration of our people power. https://www.facebook.com/loveresilienceactionypsi/

Ann Arbor: Gather at 1:30 PM outside the Federal Building at the corner of Liberty and Fifth. The March begins at 2 PMand ends at the Diag for a rally. For details, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1260030690742284/

NOW is the oldest and largest feminist organization in the country. We have been working on issues of equal rights and inclusiveness for 50+ years. Surprisingly, many in the younger generation are unfamiliar with NOW. We hope to remedy that as our Chapter becomes larger and more active!

Thanks for your consideration!

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!
SAVE THE DATES!
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

Women of Ypsilanti’s Historic African American Community

We were enlightened and entertained at our January 14th  First Annual Meeting by historian Matt Siegfried’s excellent presentation on Women of Ypsilanti’s Historic African American Community!  In case you missed it, Matt has shared his PowerPoint slides with us.  The data are all there, but we are sorry for you  if you missed out on the energy and enthusiasm that Matt brought to the presentation!

View the Powerpoint here.

Washtenaw NOW News #17

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

If you have been following your Washtenaw NOW chapter activities on line, but have not yet participated in an event, here are your next opportunities to meet some of the other passionate feminists in our county!

Thursday January 14, 2016 from 7-9 PM our First Annual Meeting will pre-empt our usual Feminist Happy Hour!  This meeting will include a dynamic program with local historian Matt Siegfried speaking about some of Ypsilanti’s amazing African American “foremothers.”  Elections for Board officers for 2016 will be held, we will discuss possible actions for the New Year and we will celebrate with cake!   The meeting will be held at the Ypsilanti Historical Museum Archives at 220 North Huron Street in Ypsilanti (NOT at Bona Sera this time).

Nominees for the 2016 Washtenaw NOW Board are:

Cheryl Farmer                                   President

Georgina Hickey                              Vice President

Anna Vockel                                      Treasurer

Pratiksha Menon                             Recorder

Kaitlyn Witjes                                   Communications Coordinator

Thank you to our Nominating Committee (Pratiksha Menon, Chair, Elena Chesney and Kaitlyn Witjes)  for putting together this slate, and for writing the informational email and letter about the elections process that went out to all paid members on November 29th.  Since no additional nominations came in from the general membership by the December 13th deadline, there are no contested positions and we will have a voice vote by acclamation.

This year already promises to be interesting and informative!  You will want to save the dates in your calendar for the following events:

Political Empowerment Summit for Women: Monday January 25, 2016 from 9 am-12 pm, location on the EMU campus to be determined.  The brainchild of EMU student Giovanteey Bishop, this event will include State Representative Kristy Pagan, State Senator Rebekah Warren, and Yvonne Gamble – Vice President of Development for the National Women’s Political Caucus as speakers. EMU, Washtenaw NOW, AAUW/Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood and MI-ACE’s Ready to Run will be co-hosting.  As soon as I have the exact campus location, I will update you.

Speak Out Against Domestic Violence:  Thursday January 28th, 2016 at 6PM, location on the EMU campus to be determined.  Hosted by Washtenaw NOW, this important and informative program was developed for us by EMU student Samantha Campbell, one of our two NOW Interns last semester.  The program will feature Chloe Roland, EMU Social Work Undergrad and member of the Michigan Army National Guard, sharing her experiences with domestic violence within the military.  This program will also benefit Safe House.  Attendees who are able may wish to donate any of the following needed items:

  • Pens, paper, coloring books, toys, 3 ring binders, crayons, or markers
  • Toiletries such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes/toothpaste, lotion, toilet paper, wash clothes, towels, hand towels, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, or Feminine hygiene items
  • Any baby products such as disposable diapers, baby powder, baby lotion, diaper rash cream, formula, or baby wipes

Pregnancy Risks among Black Women: Tuesday February 9th, 2016, from 6:30-7:30PM.  Hosted by Washtenaw NOW, this important and informative program was developed for us by U of M student Asia Paige, the other of our two NOW Interns last semester.  OB-GYN Dr. Timothy  Johnson will be our featured speaker.  Come and learn about pregnancy risks that black women face disproportionate to those faced by other women in the United States, how to help prevent these risks and the resources that are available.   The program will be held in the Connector Multi Purpose Room at U of M’s West Quad dorm, 541 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI.

I hope to see you at one of these exciting events soon!

Cheryl Farmer MD, President

Washtenaw NOW

Washtenaw NOW News #16

NOW email Image

Edition 16, 11/9/15

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

This is the opportunity of a lifetime to level the playing field and earn the salary you deserve, and it’s all free!  In just two hours, this one evening $TART $MART course will teach you practical skills for negotiating a reasonable salary and benefits. Learn how to aim high yet be realistic!  What’s important?  How do you make the ask effectively?  For more information on course content, highlight and right click to open this hyperlink: http://www.wageproject.org/files/WhatIs$tart$martWorkshop.php

A collaboration of Washtenaw NOW, EMU and AAUW, the next $TART $MART course will offered at Eastern’s Halle Library Auditorium on November 19 from 7-9 pm.  Class size is limited to 40, so register early!  Participants MUST register in advance.  There can be no “walk-ins”.  Here is the registration link for the program:  http://goo.gl/forms/jbKClnXVu2

Parking for the Halle Library is most convenient in Lot D4 on the EMU parking map.  It will be FREE, thanks to AAUW.   Follow the link if you need a map of the campus (The library is building twelve:  https://www.emich.edu/parking/documents/parking_map.pdf  Light refreshments will be provided courtesy of  your Washtenaw NOW Chapter!

Get paid what you are worth!   Questions?  Please call the staff at the Women’s Resource Center at  734-487-4282.  See you there!

Cheryl Farmer MD, President

Washtenaw NOW

Washtenaw NOW News #15

NOW email Image

Edition 15, 11/6/15

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

November’s Feminist Happy Hour will be held this Thursday the 12th from 7-9 PM in Bona Sera’s lower level.  This quieter environment worked very well last month for our animated discussions on topics that ranged from women in the Ohio legislature who are fighting back with proposed laws to control men’s bodies, to the challenges of raising a teenage daughter, to my exciting trip to see former NOW President Ellie Smeal inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.  Kathy Fojtik-Stroud won the drawing for the commemorative champagne glass from the Induction luncheon.

Bona Sera, for those who have not previously come to this monthly event, is located on the corner of North Washington and West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti.  It is a block from the bus stop, and there is plenty of parking nearby.  If stairs are a problem for you, an elevator is available.  However, using it requires the assistance of a staff member with a key.  So if you plan to attend and wish to use the elevator, please let me know in advance so that those arrangements can be made for you.  I hope you can join us for this friendly, informal opportunity to chat with like-minded progressive feminist women and men!

Our U of M Intern Asia Paige has drafted a “culturally competent calendar” for us!  The idea is to identify those 3 or 4 really important holiday dates that are celebrated by each of the major religions, during which NOW meetings should not be scheduled.  She has also listed secular holidays to avoid.  Please check this draft (see attachment) and let me know if we have overlooked anything.

We can now welcome a second Intern, Samantha Campbell from EMU!  Asia and Samantha (see attached photo) drafted the letter we just sent to at-large members of NOW who reside in the Washtenaw County zip codes, inviting them to choose our Chapter.  Their next project is to identify the Title IX Coordinator for each of the public school systems in Washtenaw County, as a first step toward assessing the schools level of compliance with this important legislation.

Elections are coming!  At present, all of our Washtenaw NOW Board members are volunteers.  However, under our by-laws we will form a Nominating Committee this month, submit names to the membership next month, and hold a real election for Board members for the first time ever in January!  Pratiksha Menon is our volunteer Recorder, and the Recorder chairs the Nominating Committee.  The other two members of the committee are appointed by the President, and I am in the process of doing this.  You must be a paid member of the Chapter in order to stand for election to office.  Please contact Pratiksha if you are eligible and interested!  pratikshamenon@gmail.com

We can be proud that we have now mailed over 850 signed postcards in our Eden Foods initiative!  The issue is under active discussion by the new Food Ethics Committee of the Ypsilanti Food Co-op.  I am a member of the committee, and we are currently researching how other co-ops across the country handle social justice issues like this.  Stay tuned…

I attended my first State Coordinating Committee (SCC) meeting last month.  This committee consists of the State Board members and the Presidents of each of the Michigan Chapters.  We discussed pending legislation to further control women’s bodies, which we oppose.  Ideas were proposed for the annual meeting and spring workshops.  Nina Muckenthaler, State Administrative Vice President, would love to hear from you if you have ideas for a workshop or would like to help plan the meeting.  Contact  ninamuckenthaler@yahoo.com  Also, if you have you read a good feminist book or seen a good feminist movie lately, please write a review for the next State NOW newsletter and submit it to her!   SCC members also talked about State NOW co-promoting Chapter activities planned around the celebration of Roe v Wade on January 22nd.  Our Chapter should probably begin thinking about what we would like to do on that date, which falls on a Friday next year.

Lastly, do you know a woman who would make a great elected official?  Would YOU?  We need more progressive feminists to run for office at all levels, from school board to city council to state and national office!  Check out this interesting program that helps you know how to run successfully!

https://www.facebook.com/sheshouldrun/

Cheryl Farmer MD, President

Washtenaw NOW

Washtenaw NOW News #14

NOW email Image

Edition 14, 11/4/15

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

Washtenaw NOW is in the early stages of planning  a media awareness workshop to educate teenagers in the Ypsilanti Community School system about the dangers of the messages that media constantly bombards them with. The idea is to create holistic workshops which will focus on gender equality issues and maybe ignite the minds of a few budding feminists.   Currently, this looks like it could be 4-sessions across a one month time frame.

We are looking for volunteers:  educators, psychologists, media practitioners, doctors  and anybody who is passionate about these issues to serve on this committee and be a part of the project .  We need you to  contribute with feedback, suggestions, ideas for guest speakers and anything that you think will make this a more effective endeavor!

Below is our draft outline so far:

1) The Women’s Movement & You/’Her’story

What: The idea behind this is to reveal how some of the privileges we take for granted today were the brainchild of the feminist movement’s efforts. We could specifically focus on developments in education.

How:

– We could start off with the facts in a ‘Did You Know?’ (for instance, talk about Title IX, women not allowed to participate in sports, standardized tests designed to favor boys, etc. )

– Move into brief snippets of the women who made big strides in education and how they did it.

– We can end with contemporary women role models (ideally women who middle-schoolers would find cool and have probably not heard about via media), making the case for how important the women’s rights movement is and giving the students someone to aspire towards.

2) That’s Not Me or Anyone I Know

What: The idea behind this is to debunk gender stereotypes in the media. Get to the bottom of why women are portrayed the way they are.

How:

– We can pick up the oft-used stereotypes from popular culture and critically analyze them

– Discuss positive examples of multi-dimensional women characters

– Present statistics on under representation of women in media (off-screen) and link it to the portrayal on-screen.

3) #NoFilter

What: This would deal with toxic body images and the need to love themselves the way they are.

How:

– Focus on current media outlets and practices and the promotion of unhealthy body images

– Give a snapshot on the beauty industry and how it is linked to toxic body image

– Talk about the dangers of fat-shaming, eating disorders and possible long-term effects. Give them ideas on how to love themselves the way they are.

4) Embrace the F word  

What: The idea behind this is to give them ideas on how they can empower themselves.

How:

– Speak of what constitutes rape, sexual harassment, etc.

– How to go about reporting issues

– How to stand up for yourself and support others

If you are interested in being a part of this important project, please contact Pratiksha Menon at pratikshamenon@gmail.com  We will be setting the date for our first organizational meeting soon!

Cheryl Farmer, President

Washtenaw NOW

Washtenaw NOW News #13

NOW email Image

Edition 13, 10/31/15

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

Would you like to get paid what you are worth?  To see the wage gap between men and women closed in your personal career field?  In your lifetime?  Then you will want to sign up for this FREE one evening $TART $MART course!   In just two hours you will learn practical skills for negotiating a reasonable salary and benefits. Learn how to aim high yet be realistic!  What’s important?  How do you make the ask effectively?  For more information on course content, highlight and right click to open this hyperlink: http://www.wageproject.org/files/WhatIs$tart$martWorkshop.php

The next $TART $MART course will offered at Eastern Michigan University’s Halle Library Auditorium on November 19 from 7-9 pm.  Class size is limited to 40, so register early!  Participants MUST register in advance.  There can be no “walk-ins”.  Here is the registration link for the program:  http://goo.gl/forms/jbKClnXVu2

Parking for the Halle Library is most convenient in Lot D4 on the EMU parking map, and will also be FREE!   Thank you to AAUW for covering the cost of parking passes for attendees.   Follow the link if you need a map of the campus (The library is building 12):  https://www.emich.edu/parking/documents/parking_map.pdf

Light refreshments will be provided by your Washtenaw NOW Chapter!  Please call the staff at the Women’s Resource Center at  734-487-4282 if you have any questions.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime to level the playing field and earn the salary you deserve, and it’s all free!  See you there!

Cheryl Farmer MD, President

Washtenaw NOW

Washtenaw NOW News #12

NOW email Image

Edition 12, 9/30/15

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

For October’s Feminist Happy Hour,  we have been invited back to Bona Sera’s lower level!  This is a quieter environment that will be more conducive to conversation.  If stairs are a problem for you, an elevator is available.  However, using it requires the assistance of a staff member with a key.  So if you plan to attend and wish to use the elevator, please let me know in advance so that those arrangements can be made for you.  Bona Sera, for those who have not previously come to this event, is located on the corner of North Washington and West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti.  It is a block from the bus stop, and there is plenty of parking nearby.   Always held on the second Thursday of each month, this meeting will convene on October 8th from 7-9 PM.  Were you astonished by the poor treatment of women in England 100 years ago, as depicted in the movie “Suffragettes?”  Are you interested in the status of Title IX compliance in your local school system?  Is Hillary’s campaign for President going the way you had hoped?  This is our opportunity to discuss those issues and more with like-minded progressive feminist women and men!

Please welcome our new Intern Asia Paige, a bright and energetic University of Michigan student majoring in Political Science!  She will be working with our Chapter on outreach, issue initiatives and event planning this semester.  I have invited her to attend our October Happy Hour so that we can all begin to get to know one another.

The State NOW Fall Newsletter is out, and our Chapter has several articles in it.  If you have not yet received a copy in the mail, there will be

extra copies available at our Happy Hour next week.  Have you read a good feminist book or seen a good feminist movie lately?  Nina Muckenthaler, Administrative Vice President at the State level, would love for you to write a review for the next newsletter!  You can submit it to her at ninamuckenthaler@yahoo.com

We still have a few vouchers available for the new movie “He Named me Malala,” which screens at the Michigan Theater tonight at 7PM.  If you are interested, please call me ASAP at 734-481-1804 to arrange to get one.  See the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ghiYve6k68  Each voucher will admit two people.

We welcomed Barb Fuller  to our last general meeting.  Barb, who has been involved in democratic politics and “MI List” behind the scenes for many years,  announced that she will be running for Gretchen Driskell’s seat in the 52nd District!  You go, girl!  We can be proud that we have mailed over 700 signed postcards in our Eden Foods initiative!  Our bank account currently stands at $546.95.  After the business meeting, we  watched the movie “Miss Representation.”  A lively discussion followed.  One of our members expressed an interest in planning an event for local middle-schoolers, to help them sort through these body image issues that can be so toxic.  Let me know if you would like to work on the subcommittee that will be planning this media literacy event.

Can you help our Chapter with cultural competence?  I made the faux pas of scheduling our last general meeting on Yom Kippur, and would like to avoid similar problems in the future!  I know the top dates on the Christian calendar to avoid would be Christmas Eve and Christmas, Easter and Good Friday.  What would be the top dates to avoid on the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu calendars, etc?   Any help you can give will be appreciated!

See you soon!

Cheryl Farmer MD, President

Washtenaw NOW