March 8 – International Women’s Day Celebration

The Power of Voice Through Books (Public Speaking, Gender, Blog, tags for Women)– Zora Neale Hurston Our local UN Women Chapter has been celebrating women’s voices in film at the TWE film festival for the past 20 years - but what about books? The power of women’s voices through the written word? This year we’ve taken it on, and what could be better than Zora Neale Hurston to start us off? For International Women’s Day on March 8th, we invited Dr. Deborah G. Plant to talk about the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston. Plant is an African American…

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Panic Buttons, Technology, and Women in India

Can a ‘panic button’ on a phone really help deter violence in India? Last April India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced the government’s order that by 2018 all phones include a panic button and GPS. And this February, pan-India installation of panic buttons was slated to begin. Since then, a debate has raged about whether this is really a step forward to stem the tide of violence against women and girls. There are a host of technical and access issues, of course. Most phones in India do not include GPS. Feature phones would be reconfigured…

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#MeToo 2019 – Bookstore1

Professor Philip Wagner, Julie Jennings, Chris Serio Martin, E. Scott Osborne Crystal ball, anyone? Where is #MeToo going in 2019? Its already morphed considerably from its 2006 foundations (thanks, Tarana Burke,) but what's next? Bookstore1 hosted our GulfCoast Chapter (USNC-UN Women) for a Community Conversation Sunday, January 14, to look at #MeToo. With the help of Professor Phil Wagner (our local expert on masculinities!) and Julie Jennings, recently back from six years in South Korea, we tackled this head on. Clear-cut answers we had few of, but we did have lots of great ideas and great book recommendations for more…

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In Our America

Some reflections for the tumultuous time that is America today. This is not an overnight, temporary crisis. We are entering a period of full-on internal warfare: another generation is about to find their days, their lives, marked by demonstrations, activism, and violence. It will get worse before it gets better. Now is the time for activism; it is not the time to sit by, watching, civilly expecting someone else to defend our rights. Think this sounds overly dramatic? I think not. The tea leaves are all lined up. If the world calms and you can slip into a life untrammeled…

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Dining For Women Conference

Dining For Women Knowledge is Power Conference May 4-5 US Institute of Peace, Washington DC Over 300 chapter members, leaders, grantees, staff, and volunteers gathered in Washington to celebrate DFW's 15th Anniversary and help plan the future. The energy, sharing, laughter, and learning could not be beaten! Safe to say we all wanted the weekend to continue - how many conferences can you say that about? See more on DFW's Facebook and website and, if you're not a member already - find a Chapter near you and join now! As one wonderful grantee said at the beginning of her panel remarks,…

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Our 19th Annual Film Festival!

The Through Women's Eyes (TWE) Film Festival was back at the Sarasota Hollywood 11 this April, bigger and better than ever. Once again we partnered with the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) and our fantastic line-up of 19 short and six feature TWE films included: "On Her Shoulders," a riveting documentary about Nadia Murad, a Yazidi in Northern Iraq "Half the Picture," Amy Adrion's exploration of women in Hollywood, and, of course, "RBG," the full-length feature which reveals the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg before, well, before she was notorious! I'm delighted to add that RBG won the audience choice award for the entire…

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UNIFIED at UNA Tampa

  United Nations Association (UNA) in Tampa/St Pete hosted UNIFIED, a Gender Equality Live Art Event in July. I was delighted to help our sister UN agency by moderating a panel of fantastic women: Lorna Taylor, CEO of Premier Eyewear and Chair of Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA); Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida; and Beth Houghton, Executive Director of St. Petersburg Free Clinic.  Thanks to the entire team at UNA for such a great event.  

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Education and Thought

Believe it or not, Chris Hedges wrote this in 2011, when our current political climate was nowhere on the horizon. When you think about education and what it should do, contemplate this afresh: The truly educated become conscious. They become self-aware. They do not lie to themselves. They do not pretend that fraud is moral or that corporate greed is good. They do not claim that the demands of the marketplace can morally justify the hunger of children or denial of medical care to the sick. They do not throw 6 million families from their homes as the cost of…

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Delhi Metro: GBV Conversations and Theater

In Delhi, change initiatives are going straight to the people! And what better place to start than the metro? Volunteer students from Delhi University, all men, are taking up posts at ten metro stations and talking to commuters about gender equality, patriarchy, and violence. Organised by the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), it's a small but necessary start to raising awareness. Volunteers are also helping individual victims by providing a toll-free support line for help and more information. And, near and dear to my own heart, the CHSJ is releasing a book of four plays about gender-based violence…

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