A message from the President of the US Section of the
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
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C O M M U N I T Y  *  C O M M I T M E N T  *  C O U R A G E
April 2016

Dear Members: 

Good news facts, good for WILPF US:
  • Received $25,000 grant from Craigslist
  • Received $50,000 pledge from Yvonne Logan (tax deductible through PDF)
  • Received Leadership Board Training grant for three years from Peace Development Fund
  • Paying assessment to WILPF International on 1136 membership 2015
  • Membership now up to 1470 and more coming in!      
  • Extensive branch and member surveys available upon request: Marybeth Gardam mbgardam@gmail.com and Mary Bricker Jenkins  mbricker@temple.edu 
Spring has definitely sprung! After days of protesting and arrests at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Democracy Spring! brings together new pressure to overturn Citizens United and institute new campaign financing laws with hundreds of organizations; the grassroots is on the move. By the way, two protestors who were arrested were recipients of WILPF Des Moines's Strong Feisty Woman award, Frances Moore Lappé and Wenonah Hauter!

Democracy and grassroots activism also live in WILPF US and we need to celebrate the election open to all members. There was a time not too long ago that this was not possible. The president was elected by the board! I want to thank all of you who voted and practiced what we preach. Thank you for the honor of being elected through this democratic process and thanks to Barbara Nielsen and Theresa Coté for standing up and being counted. And thank you to our newly-elected board members (*see below)!

CALL TO ACTION today: Pick your passion!

We are asking all WILPF US members to step up and get more involved with our Standing Committees and/or Issue Committees:
  • Standing Committees: Development, Membership Development, Finance, Personnel, Nominating, and Program;
  • Issue Committees: Advancing Human Rights, Corporations v Democracy, Cuba /Women & the Bolivarian Alliance, Disarm/End Wars, Earth Democracy, Middle East.
WE NEED YOUR EXPERTISE, YOUR WOMAN POWER to keep on getting grants, renewing and recruiting new members and, most of all, to be able to GET THE WORK DONE! It's time to roll up our sleeves for democracy and do it together! Please go to our website and connect with committees that are doing your passion!
CALL TO ACTION today: Need VOLUNTEERS asap (although some positions are paid)
  • eNews editor; contact Joan Bazar, newsletter@wilpfus.org
  • Peace & Freedom editor (paid); contact Candace Perry, editor@wilpfus.org
  • Membership Development (1 year position); contact Laura Dewey, Nominating Chair, for job description, deweylaura@att.net
  • Join the Congress 2017 Congress Committee (contact Laura Dewey, Convener)
CALL TO ACTION today: Congress 2017
  • Planning Regional Meetings in preparation for Congress 2017? Please send questions and/or comments to our Managing Director, Lamia Sadek.
  • A note to branches from Laura Dewey, Congress 2017 Convener:
Traditionally, the congress has been rotated through different regions, and the West is next in line. According to the Branch Survey, these branches are Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, Fresno, San Jose, Santa Cruz, SF/East Bay, Phoenix, and Tucson. If you think I've missed an active branch, please let me know immediately.  

  • The board will determine the location and dates of the congress, but the second or third week of July (Thursday through Sunday?) might be an ideal time. (There is a democracy convention in late July/August that might present a conflict for some of our members.) If your branch is interested in hosting the congress, your branch would need to do the following three things by May 20:
    1. Determine whether you can form a site committee of at least 8-10 members (knowing that some people will put in more hours than others);
    2. Find a location that's available in the summer (identify specific dates of availability) and can accommodate our needs (see attached document for details on requirements);
    3. Identify members in your branch who would be good candidates for the paid position of congress coordinator. Ideally, the coordinator should be a member of the host branch, but this isn't absolutely necessary. 


    Hosting the congress may seem like a daunting task, but there's a wealth of information and support from others who have worked on previous congresses. As coordinator of the 2014 congress in Detroit, I found the experience to be tiring, educational, and gratifying. And I met a lot of wonderful people along the way. I hope your branch will consider hosting the congress. 

    The deadline for submitting proposals to me is MAY 20
    . [ Request For Proposal]


    By popular request there will be an ALL MEMBER CONFERENCE CALL on Thursday, June 23rd at 6pm pacific, 7pm mountain, 8pm central and 9pm eastern. Members will be asked to register in advance and get a pin number to access the call. A committee is meeting to plan an agenda to keep folks focused and moving forward. 
    Some of the topics being discussed for agenda items include:
    1. How to use programming and activism to recruit members
    2. Methods for developing leadership at the branch level 
    3. Creating opportunities for at-large members to connect more with branches and WILPF US 
    4. Methods for sharing resources, strategies and solutions between branches
    5. Planning for regular regional in-person or virtual meetings/events
    If you have agenda items you wish to include in such a meeting, or wish to be on the planning committee, please forward them to mbgardam@gmail.com as soon as possible.   
    New Board Members: WELCOME!  
    Maureen Eke - Program Chair; Dixie Hairston - At large position; Marybeth Gardam - Development Chair; Laura Dewey - Nominating Chair; Mary Hanson Harrison - President; Jeanmarie Bishop - Treasurer. Unfortunately, Jeanmarie Bishop has resigned and LaShawndra Vernon, past Interim Treasurer, was appointed unanimously by the board to fill that very important position (one year term).

    We learned last week that former WILPF US Board member, Ann Fleishli, died in Arizona on March 20 of cancer. We all send our condolences to her family and loved ones and to our WILPF US Sisters in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Yours in Solidarity and Service 
    Mary Hanson Harriston Signature
    Mary Hanson Harrison
    WILPF US Section 
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom/US Section
    11 Arlington Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617-266-0999 | www.wilpfus.org