The following Activist Update is a joint communication from the Maine Women’s Policy Center and our sister organization, the Maine Women’s Lobby.
“THE MOST COMMON WAY PEOPLE GIVE UP THEIR POWER IS BY THINKING THEY DON’T HAVE ANY.” -Alice Walker
JUNE’S MISSION…IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT
Welcome to the fifth edition of Activist Update! Your daily phone calls, emails, and personal testimonials in the Maine State House have been helpful in protecting women’s rights! Now that it’s almost officially summer in Maine we won’t be too upset if we don’t see you on the frontline of every rally or public hearing. But before you get too comfortable spending every moment of down time at Crescent Beach, we would like to remind you that summer is a great time to organize and prepare to support and oppose bill that are up for debate in our state. Here is your month’s mission:
- URGENT: A dangerous bill that is part of national effort to chip away at abortion rights is headed to the Maine Senate. LD 327 could be voted on as soon as this morning. Please take a few minutes to call 1-800-423-6900 to leave your Senator a message urging them to vote NO on LD 327. More details can be found at the link below. It is vital that our Senators hear from us now.
- Attend an event you wouldn’t normally attend. In fact, make it your mission this summer. Every two times that you attend an event for an issues or issues that are important to you, try attending one event that focuses on an issue you have been avoiding, neglecting, or have just been to busy to really focus in on. Below, you will find a whole host of amazing events! Start with these two:
- Join us at Bayside Bowl on Tuesday, June 27th at 5:30 to 7:00 PM for a happy hour meet and greet. It’s a great opportunity to get to know an organization advocating for women and girls in our state and to meet other like-minded, supportive young women. We’ll have light refreshments, a cash bar, and lots of information about how to get involved! Bring your friends and allow us to introduce ourselves. We can’t wait to see you there.An RSVP isn’t required, but to let us know you are coming so we have a sense of how many people to expect, you can RSVP at http://bit.ly/MWLBayside.
- Join the Maine Women’s Lobby for a screening of Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights at Merrill Memorial Library on Thursday, June 29th at 5:45 PM.The film will be followed by an interactive discussion about how you can get involved in activism in your community. Refreshments will be served. Donations are welcome, but not required!Through the personal stories of several former black female Civil Rights activists, Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights unearths the lesser-known story of black women’s political marginalization between the male-dominated Black Power movement, and the predominantly white and middle class Feminist movement during the 1960s and 70s, as well as the resulting mobilization of black and other women of color into a united Feminist movement.Reflections Unheard is a feature length documentary, and the first of its kind to focus exclusively on black women’s contributions and experiences during the Civil Rights era. Running Time: 81min. See the trailer here!: https://
- Host a monthly film screening in your home or in a community space for your network! The Maine Women’s Lobby is currently screening films and hosting discussions around the state. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Victoria at email@example.com.
2017 LGBTQ+ Health Conference: Trauma and Resiliency — Friday, June 16 — 8 to 5 PM
Hosted by the Health Equity Alliance at Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine in Portland. Join in for a day of knowledge sharing and community building around LGBTQ+ health, trauma, and resiliency. Tracks available at this year’s conference include Primary Health Care, Transgender Health, and further tracks focused on Community. CME/CEU credits will be available. Register here.
BOOKS WE’RE READING AND THINK YOU SHOULD TOO
This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe
“Gabourey Sidibe—’Gabby’ to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This Is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex ‘talker.’ And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”
“Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true.”
Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker
“Dr. Willie Parker grew up in the Deep South, lived in a Christian household, and converted to an even more fundamentalist form of Christianity as a young man. But upon reading an interpretation of the Good Samaritan in a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he realized that in order to be a true Christian, he must show compassion for all women regardless of their needs. In 2009, he stopped practicing obstetrics to focus entirely on providing safe abortions for the women who need help the most—often women in poverty and women of color—and in the hot bed of the pro-choice debate: the South. He soon thereafter traded in his private practice and his penthouse apartment in Hawaii for the life of an itinerant abortion provider, focusing most recently on women in the Deep South.
In Life’s Work, Dr. Willie Parker tells a deeply personal and thought-provoking narrative that illuminates the complex societal, political, religious, and personal realities of abortion in the United States from the unique perspective of someone who performs them and defends the right to do so every day. He also looks at how a new wave of anti-abortion activism, aimed at making incremental changes in laws and regulations state by state, are slowly chipping away at the rights of women to control their own lives. In revealing his daily battle against mandatory waiting periods and bogus rules governing the width of hallways, Dr. Parker uncovers the growing number of strings attached to the right to choose and makes a powerful Christian case for championing reproductive rights.”
PODCASTS WE’RE HOOKED ON
With Friends Like These Ana Marie Cox, political columnist and culture critic, sits down with liberals and conservatives, pastors, writers, activists, and other people you should know for an open, funny, in-depth conversation about what divides us – a show about listening instead of arguing.
Nerdette Hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen talk to people about their obsessions: from science to science fiction, great lady nerds of history to Beyoncé. Because what the world needs now is not another superhero, but for the glasses-clad alter ego to make you a podcast.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
If you have any tips, suggestions, and/or want specific information on activism that has not been covered in this edition, please email Victoria at email@example.com!