The following Activist Update is a joint communication from the Maine Women’s Policy Center and our sister organization, the Maine Women’s Lobby.
“DON’T GET FRUSTRATED, GET INVOLVED. DON’T COMPLAIN, ORGANIZE.” – Maryum Ali
Welcome to the second edition of Activist Update, your guide to activism in 2017! A lot has happened since we last took action in early January–The Woman’s March on Washington, the Maine March on Augusta, and the Women’s Walk in Portland; the nominations and hearings of many Cabinet members that will be harmful to women and women’s rights (*cough* PUZDER *cough* SESSIONS *cough* GORSUCH *cough*); and, the collaboration of activists coming together to challenge policies, educate community members regarding intersectionality and the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement, and neighbors standing up and protecting one another from racist policy proposals.
One of the most important things to remember is that this “march” is not a marathon. Our activism must continue to thrive, and we must continue to show up for the most marginalized groups in our nation. Keep moving forward!
FEBRUARY’S MISSION…IF YOU SO CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT
- KEEP ALERT Sign-up for our e-news alerts to keep informed about the issues that matter most to women and girls.
- YOU’LL WANT THIS Make sure you download and print our DC Delegation contact sheet! You’ll want this on hand for the foreseeable future (at least until midterm elections in 2018; we’ll be sure to update this list for you in the coming years).
- EDUCATE YOURSELF: SCOTUS The Supreme Court of the United States-they’re pretty important. Because they are appointed for life, our (currently) 8 Supreme Court Justices are definitely worth paying attention to. Yesterday, the announcement for the vacant Supreme Court seat dropped and without surprise, Judge Neil Gorsuch has been nominated for the position. Judge Gorsuch has proven that he will not protect women’s reproductive rights and workers’ rights as noted by his past rulings restricting women’s coverage to birth control and denying employee protections from discrimination and unfair treatment.Find the contact information for Senator King and Senator Collins here and let them know that Judge Gorsuch should not be confirmed.To learn more about Judge Gorsuch, please read this fact sheet provided by our colleagues at the Alliance for Justice.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF: POLITICS & ACTIVISM Many community members have been contacting us, looking for volunteer opportunities, opportunities to learn more about advocacy, lobbying, and activism, and further information on the development and analysis of federal and state policies. There are many free resources available online including our Action Guide and online courses dissecting the psychology of political activism and US government and civics, and soon, the Maine Women’s Lobby will be hosting lobbying and advocacy webinars (more information on this in late February). Keep yourself educated on the issues that matter most to you! We’ll be working hard to make sure we keep you updated on issues and bills that are important to Maine women and girls.
If you are looking for opportunities to volunteer, please contact Victoria at email@example.com.
- ACTION OPTIONS RESOURCES FAIR February 12 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, First Congregational-Christian Church in New Gloucester
Join the Maine Women’s Policy Center, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, UCC Equality and Social Justice, the New Gloucester Food Pantry and many more for a discussion about how you can get involved in activism in your community! This event is free and will provide you with many resources to be a changemaker in your network and neighborhood. Find your passion!
- 21ST ANNUAL GIRLS’ AT THE STATE HOUSE March 24 from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Girls’ Day at the State House is just around the corner! Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are available for this unique educational event for eighth grade girls. Contact Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- WOMEN’S DAY AT THE STATE HOUSE May 10, more details to be announced soon
- FILM + FORUM SERIES
Throughout 2017, the Maine Women’s Lobby will be hosting monthly films that examine setbacks and celebrate successes in protecting women’s rights. Each film will be followed by facilitated discussions about how we can mobilize and band together to protect our freedoms. Stay tuned for more info about our Feb. film!
BOOKS WE’RE READING AND THINK YOU SHOULD TOO
Powered by Girl:A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists by Lyn Mikel Brown (MAINE AUTHOR!)
“Drawing from a diverse collection of interviews with women and girl activists, Powered by Girl is both a journalistic exploration of how girls have embraced activism and a guide for adults who want to support their organizing. Here we learn about the intergenerational support behind thirteen-year-old Julia Bluhm when she got Seventeen to go Photoshop free; nineteen-year-old Celeste Montaño, who pressed Google to diversify their Doodles; and sixteen-year-old Yas Necati, who campaigns for better sex education. And we learn what experienced adult activists say about how to scaffold girls’ social-change work. Brown argues that adults shouldn’t encourage girls to “lean in.” Rather, girls should be supported in creating their own movements—disrupting the narrative, developing their own ideas—on their own terms.”
Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work by Gillian Thomas
“Best known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act also revolutionized the lives of America’s working women. Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate “because of sex.” But that simple phrase didn’t mean much until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job—and some took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court. Among them were Ida Philips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard—a “man’s job”; Mechelle Vinson, who brought a lawsuit for sexual abuse before “sexual harassment” even had a name; Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed “a course at charm school”; and most recently, Peggy Young, UPS truck driver, forced to take an unpaid leave while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting.”
Make a monthly donation to the Maine Women’s Lobby or Maine Women’s Policy Center at any of our events and receive a copy of We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!
PODCASTS WE’RE HOOKED ON
Work Wives: Marching for Yourself Hosted by Laurel Pinson and Annie Fox
“Annie and Laurel talk about their experiences at the Women’s March on Washington, and ask Meredith Clark (@MeredithLClark) for some advice on ways to get involved.”
Stuff Mom Never Told You: 6 Black Feminist Pioneers You Should Know Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin
“Does feminism have a race problem? How have black women shaped abolition, civil rights and women’s rights? Joine Cristen and Caroline as they recount the work of Maria Stewart, Daisy Bates, Flo Kennedy, bell hooks, Audre Lorde and Alice Walker.”
SHARE YOUR STORY
The Maine Women’s Lobby is collecting stories from community members all across Maine regarding access to affordable, quality child care services as well as paid leave. You can share your personal experiences accessing child care services here and paid leave here, or you may contact Victoria Rodriguez directly at email@example.com.
News travels fast on our social media sites. Be sure to like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Visit our events calendar to stay updated on happenings in your area!
Have a suggestion for the next Activist Update? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!