We're kicking off this month's newsletter in an effort to offer multiple perspectives. My name is Cindy Casama Gerber, Associate Director at the Women’s Foundation of Oregon, and I’m thrilled that my first note reaches you during Women’s History Month.
Throughout history, women of color, undocumented women, indigenous women, Black and Brown women, poor women, disabled women, trans women, working women, and gender non-conforming people -- individually and collectively -- have made important contributions for women’s rights. We want to take a moment to recognize history-making women and more importantly, the many women left out of our history books. For me, this means remembering the stories of my ancestors -- their talents and sacrifices that imagined my current reality.
Navigating immigration, xenophobia, racism, and classism became an integral piece of my family's history of resilience and perseverance. And the same goes for countless other women, who courageously paved the path I am on. On their shoulders I stand, and through their everyday actions I draw inspiration to do this work.
I’m reflecting on my own journey and am also filled with gratitude for the women who imagined the Women’s Foundation. As we look back and move forward, I hope you will join me in shaping a truly intersectional Women’s Foundation that represents the vibrant experiences of all our communities.
Stat of the Month
Mothers are the primary or sole earners for 40% of households with children under 18 today.
Do you know of an organization with an urgent and unexpected need within the next 6 months that is responding to a critical need related to the 8 That Can't Wait? Could that need be met with immediate financial support of up to $5,000?
SAVE THE DATE on May 16, 2018 from 5:30-7:30 for our annual member celebration in downtown Portland. Members and their guests are invited to attend this spring reception where we will award $100,000 in member-selected grants.
Name: Brook Shelley Age: 33 Occupation: Senior Developer Relations Engineer Member since: 2016 (Advisory committee for Count Her In in 2015) Gender Pronouns: She/Her
Why are you a member of the Women’s Foundation? Growing up in Texas as a lesbian, and as a trans woman, I have fought against and been hurt by state and federal policies that attempt to legislate our bodies, our choices, and our love. Since moving to Oregon, I’ve continued to fight and partner with groups like the Women’s Foundation to make the lives of all women better in our state. I love the work the Women’s Foundation is doing, and the thoughtfulness they bring to reports and funding.
What’s your favorite spot in Oregon? I LOVE the forests here. Wandering around Forest Park or driving and hiking through Mt. Hood National Forest, every breath is a joy of pine, cedar, and air.
What’s the best place to eat in our great state?Recently I’ve loved Jacqueline, a seafood-focused restaurant. It’s a bit of a splurge, but their prix fixe course has brought tears to my eyes. My other favorite spot is Basilisk, which serves the platonic ideal of a chicken sandwich.
What quality do you most admire in others?Compassion. I’ve found that people who act out of love for their fellow woman behave with honesty, integrity, and thoughtfulness. Compassion makes us listen, learn, and get better.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Ending a day reading a book, with my cat Snorri.
What makes you laugh uncontrollably? Vine videos. RIP Vine.
What thought or intention would you like to leave with Women's Foundation members today? When you fight or advocate for the rights of women in Oregon, our country, or the world, make sure you’re fighting for all women, trans and cis. We all have a different story to tell, but all of us can work together to make our sisters’ lives better.
Thanks so much, Brook!
Make a Difference
Want to amplify your impact and investment in women and girls? Host a Member House Party for the Women's Foundation on May 6. Imagine a series of small, satellite gatherings held around the state on a single day, where we build community, inspire others into our collective action, and immediately participate in member voting for our annual grants. All house parties will be connected virtually via web conference as we extend our reach and catalyze momentum towards awarding $100,000 in grants at our spring celebration.
Mar 26 (7-8:30pm): Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement, Kennedy School, Portland Panel of guests -- Joyce Harris, Senator Jackie Winters, Charmaine Coleman and Charlotte Rutherford, moderated by Joy Alise Davis -- will reflect on their work in the Oregon Civil Rights Movement (specifically as women of color) and will advise on how we can all get involved to make positive differences in our communities.
Mar 29-31: 2018 Outdoor Women’s Fest, Bend Join Visit Bend, World Muse, Bend Women's March and REI in an epic weekend of events to celebrate outdoor women and the incredible opportunities to recreate in Central Oregon.Through partnerships with SheJumps, SheMovesMountains, LadiesAllRide, and Women Who Hike, everyone will have an opportunity to get outside and experience something new.
Apr 4 (5-7:30pm): Women of Color Empowerment Series: Put on Your Visibility Cloak: be SEEN & HEARD, Portland Kiran Prasad, self-help author, has through the years gathered many tools that helped her to be seen and heard and will share them with you. She is author of "A Mindful Move: Feel at Home Again" and knows only too well how major change can affect our well-being.
Apr 7 (2-5pm): SWENext DesignLab, Portland SWENext DesignLab is an experience designed to encourage girls to choose a career in engineering.
Apr 7-8: SHETalks WETalk,Portland A powerful and transformational moment when women come together for 2 days to talk productively about race and racism so they can create progress instead of pain during difficult conversations about racism. It's a weekend workshop where you learn how to be a strong and effective Ally and Accomplice for women/people of color. ALL WOMEN ARE WELCOME.
Apr 9:Telling Native Stories to Rehumanize Native People, Portland A ground breaking convergence of award-winning, distinguished playwrights. Three playwrights will participate in an AGE panel discussion! Moderated by Jacqueline Keeler, the panel will focus on social justice, and how telling Native stories can be used to re-humanize native peoples.
Apr 26 (5-7pm): Celebrating Women in Leadership: Bridging the Generation, NW Natural, Portland Celebrating Women in Leadership: Bridging the Generations is an evening of networking, discussion and dialogue among supporters of women’s leadership as we explore women’s voices with our communities and learn more about their individual paths and insights to Oregon leadership. Join with state and business leaders, students, the Governor's office, legislators and special guests to raise awareness of women’s achievements and challenges, and raise funds for the leadership development work of the OCFW, including scholarships for emerging leadership training and other opportunities that grow women’s leadership statewide.
May 20-23:New Visions for Safety, Equity, and Justice, Sunriver The Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence's (OCADSV) annual conference invites domestic and sexual violence advocacy program staff, community partners, social workers, government officials, and others throughout the state to learn, network and develop new tools to take back to their communities.
News to Know
Bitchmedia: 7 Women of Color Activists Who Are Making History What does it mean to be an activist? The answer to that question is always in flux because activism looks differently for individuals and organizations, but often, we see single leader-driven movements upheld as the standard. Women of color activists are pushing against that, instead relying on collaboration as a leadership model for progress. This list honors their work, and illuminates how they’re shifting communities every single day.
Pew Research Center: For Women’s History Month, a look at gender gains – and gaps – in the U.S. Over the past half-century, women have strengthened their position in the labor force and boosted their economic standing by making gains in labor force participation, wages and access to more lucrative occupations. But their progress on some fronts has stagnated in recent years, and large gender gaps persist at the top levels of leadership in government and business.
Global Fund for Women: 11 Things to Know About Women Human Rights Defenders Women human rights defenders are women who raise their voices, risking their own safety to continue to protect and preserve human rights for all. In DefendHer, Global Fund for Women, Just Associates (JASS), and MADRE tell the stories of 14 different women human rights defenders and their organizations and showcase the issues they face, the work they do, and the gains they’re making in their work for justice.
NonProfit Times: Gender Equity In Nonprofits Has A Way To Go Women encompass 73 percent of all nonprofit employees. In the CEO job, 45 percent are female. Of organizations with a budget of at least $25 million, the CEO is female 21 percent of the time. Female CEOs make 66 percent of male counterparts. Women of color account for 14 percent of board members.
OPB: Beaverton Mom's Quest Reveals Gender Bias In Oregon Prep Sports Nezbeda started after-school programs for equity reasons — so that less affluent kids could have opportunities wealthier students had enjoyed for years. Suddenly, she felt she had to take up the mantle for gender equity, too. The same way the district charged certain programs more, students said families were charged more for girls in school-related activities — like athletics — than they were for boys. And Nezbeda learned just how spotty the oversight is for sports and activities that seem to be under the school umbrella but are technically separate.
NBC: The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement The desire to colonize — to have unquestioned, unchallenged and automatic access to something, to any type of body, and to use it at will — is a patriarchal one. Indeed, there is no ethical consideration among these billionaires about whether this should be done; rather, the conversation is when it will be done. Because, in the eyes of these intrepid explorers, this is the only way to save humanity.
As a Women’s Foundation of Oregon member, you’re joining a community of over 800 individuals who donate their time, efforts, and/or funds to improve the lives of women and girls in Oregon.
Become a member or renew now, and you'll receive our annual membership gift - the Count Me In Calendar! The calendar offers 52 weeks of powerful actions to bolster your capacity as an agent of change for women and girls in your community.
Join us and strengthen our collective force for gender equity in Oregon.