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
February 12, 2016

Dear Members: 

More snow and ice, but Iowa survived the relentless chilling rhetoric that occurred during the caucus. It reminded me of the Howard Zinn quote: "To be hopeful in bad times is not foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives." Hopefully.

Ballots: Postmarked by March 5, 2016 
Ballots for the election of the WILPF US Board should have arrived at your doorstep. If you haven't received yours by this weekend, then Tuesday would be a good time to check with the national office on your membership status and address accuracy ablondin@wilpfus.org.
 
Also, on the ballot is the request for membership approval of a base-line donation of $35.00.
Please remember we send WILPF INTERNATIONAL a $2000.00 flat fee and then $15.00 for each member. Therefore, we make no money or go in the hole at the $15.00 rate.

In addition, WILPF US Membership Development Chair LaShawndra Vernon explains: " During the last board meeting the board agreed to advance a membership dues increase to $35.00. Based on the feedback we received from many branches about sustainability we agree that a dues increase would help support the needs of local branches while ensuring the US Section is able to pay dues to International. Increasing the minimum dues amount is only one step in a strategy to redesign membership dues in a way that fits local branch needs. If membership votes in favor of the increase, the Membership Development Chair will work with individual branches to design their dues structure to raise funds to support branch activities."  

Members Presenting at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 
New York March 12-19

What has the Empowerment of Women and Girls Got to Do with Sustainable Development? Perspectives from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom US (WILPF US)  Monday, March 14, 6:15 pm  
Church Center for the United Nations (CCUN)

Panelists:
Maureen Eke, Professor of English, Central Michigan University, WILPF US Program Chair, 2015 WILPF US Local2Global (CSW) 
Lamia Sadek, PhD (ABD), WILPF US Managing Director, International Development and Relief Worker, Women's Rights and Gender Justice Advocate and Activist
Mary Hanson Harrison, PhD (ABD), President WILPF US Section, consultant WRITE Now!, Board Member-Stop the Arms Race PAC
 
In this parallel event, panelists share their experiences and work in addressing Goal 5 of the new Sustainable Development Goals (2015) which targets the empowerment of women and recognizes the need to also empower young girls to become future leaders. Panelists address the lack of significant progress on transforming women's roles in the world today and the urgent necessity of empowering young girls and other marginalized groups. Recommendations on programs, actions and strategies are presented to sustain that empowerment.
 
Expanding Gender Equality, Unbinding the Gender Binary  
Monday, March 21, 2016
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Church Center for the United Nations (CCUN), New York   
 
Panelists:
Brandy Robinson, Associate Professor and 2014 and 2015 WILPF US UN Delegate (CSW)
Yee Won Chong, Strategist and Founder of Say This Not That and 2012 TEDxRainer Speaker
Shawna Wakefield, Associate at Gender at Work and Women's Rights and Gender Justice Advocate and Activist
 
This parallel event will offer a unique insight into transgender and non-conforming gender dynamics and how these dynamics play into gender equality, rather in society and institutions. Solutions will be explored to offer how going beyond the 'gender binary' can ultimately aid in challenging the traditional structure, notions and norms of restrictive gender roles. How the feminist perspective and human rights framework offer hope to the transgender and non-conforming gender dynamics is also presented.    
Time to Start Thinking: Congress 2017! 
The summer of 2017 really isn't that far away and we are looking for a branch to host (hopefully in the Western states) and for those members who are interested, even excited, to be shaping this very important gathering of WILPF US women. We will be sending out RFP to branches shortly, so be on the lookout. There has been some interest shown already!  
 

Yours in Solidarity and Service 
Mary Hanson Harriston Signature
Mary Hanson Harrison
President
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
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