A message from the President of the US Section of the
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

President's Corner Banner
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
November 24, 2015

"We are learning that a standard of social ethics is not attained by traveling a sequestered byway, but by mixing on the thronged and common road where all must turn out for one another, and at least see the size of one another's burdens."
                                  -Jane Addams, Democracy and Social Ethics, 1898

Dear Members:

These few words: "...where all must turn out for one another...." encapsulates the Call to Action for WILPF US. On December 10th, Human Rights Day, could we make it
Humane Rights Day?

Listen to Women 
Every day here in Iowa we have presidential candidates sending out sound bites and instilling fear, even in people who I thought were reasonable. Seeing and hearing this so closely and so often in my home state of Iowa (first caucus state and one of those who are asking for us to turn away from Syrian refugees) has given a real sense of urgency to get out our voices as loudly and as often as possible. Our branches and at-large members can take a lead in doing just that. Let us know what you are doing, like ideas for a motto (maybe "Yearning to Be Free" or something that resonates with seeking shelter in US), Buttons, Ribbons, Teach-ins to be shared - please send to program ASAP: program2@wilpfus.org alerting Odile Hugonot Haber and Maureen Eke. United we prevail! 

Continuing on: it's been a while since I've written from my corner, so I've picked some highlights for a Thanksgiving Buffet of some of my recent journeys for WILPF US. And please, if I forgot to mention people I should have, let me know!

Des Moines, Iowa 
WILPF US Program Retreat

Peace Flame, Des Moines, Iowa
Program Retreat Attendees in
front of Peace Flame, Des
Moines, Iowa
Seventeen WILPF US members met together for an early October weekend of work on an agenda for the future. We were appropriately holding meeting in a restored Fire House (Rev. Chet Guinn hosted) turned into a PEACE meeting place. A special thank you to the WILPF Des Moines Branch, Chet is a long-time member, for the catered evening meal and the hosts for our housing - all gratis of course. Odile Hugonot Haber and Maureen Eke, program chairs, ran the meetings, Marybeth Gardam's (co-chair GROWING WILPF!) extensive survey of the branches served as an essential foundation for evaluating and planning program and there were breakout sessions for gathering ideas and solutions to problems, such as communication between individual members, branches and national board/office. Three goals for the next 3 years emerged through these discussions as well as a look at the way we communicated as human and humane beings, i.e. microagressions. The following are those goals; further reports and inputs with be forthcoming, so keep your eyes on the prize! 
Program Retreat
Program Retreat: sitting. Lamia Sadek. Managing Director; standing left, Odile Hugonot Haber, right, Maureen Eke,  Program Chairs
  • GOAL 1: Strengthening WILPF through an improved communication outreach strategy: This addresses membership development and improving communications internally and externally.
  • GOAL 2: Actively growing WILPF and more effectively engaging branches. This addresses recruitment strategies and identifying ways of strengthening membership and linkages.
  • GOAL 3: Advancing Peace, Justice, and Human Rights by connecting members and branches with strategies for system change, working more collaboratively within our organization by linking more members at large and branches to issue committees, and engaging in actions that would make WILPF more visible.
Portland, Oregon Branch Gathering
September 26, 2015

Portland Branch
Portland Branch support of GROWING WILPF! 

I lived in Seattle for two years, and my kids and I still go back, so Portland was like coming home. The branch has new co-presidents, Brandy Robinson (back row extreme left) and Natasha Beck (back row second from the right), both energetic and full of ideas. The event started with members following the inspiring Walk of Heroines on the Portland State University campus. Visit this webpage to read names of several WILPF members. I talked about the power of solidarity exemplified by The Hague 100th. Portland branch carries much of the same sense of solidarity through trials and tribulations that all branches face today. Karen James reminded us of our legacy through Portland's Grace De Graff, who was on the boat in 1915. Kudos to the Raging Grannies and also Barbara Drageaux and Mary Rose for all their work. Another smaller evening gathering was hosted by Bill and Sara Tattam (foremother Marjorie Tattam was named on the wall) and invited donations along with the giving of great music by local musicians. My home hosts, Linda & Ralph Schmoldt, and I ventured out on a 4 ½ mile walk along the Willamette River. Going out to visit branches, walking and talking, ensures getting a better perspective on what we as branches and national can do to work together. All of this gives the rest of us HOPE for the future!

Philadelphia Branch Meeting
November 15, 2015

Liberty Bell
Coming to Philadelphia felt like home too...our Foremother. I was hosted by Mary Day Kent and Judy Elson and treated to welcoming conversation and insightful dialogue from members. Judy also hosted the meeting where I presented my journey to The Hague and a vision for our future as an organization dedicated to building a movement of solidarity with women around the world. The branch members presented me with a list of twelve questions which I think would interest other branches. I'll send them separately in December, along with my abbreviated answers...you know how we WILPF women love to talk! Again, meeting face-to-face, hearing what the branch is doing, especially during our transition period, was and is vital for all of us. We can use the California Cluster meeting, the Program Retreat, and events in Portland and Philadelphia as exemplary communications. It takes courage and patience when talking with each other, and face-to-face allows for a building site, a bridge for example, to ground ourselves in civil discourse .

Board News

JAPA Update
In the continuing effort to keep you updated on JAPA/WILPF issues, although you may know by now, Linda Belle, Executive Director and JAPA Board members, Barbara Reed and Anita Pulier have resigned. I have spoken with Tura Campanella Cook, president of JAPA, and she has assured me that they are moving on with integrity and hope. You can address your questions to her at turacook@gmail.com.

Board Resignations
WILPF Board resignations of Millee Livingston, Treasurer and Ann Fleischli, at-large member. Because those two resignations were "published" and sent to selected members, I will make them available, as well as the responses, on request at president@wilpfus.org .

Annual Appeal
POWER UP! Annual Appeal coming soon to your mail box! Loyalty and Solidarity are the key factors in sustaining WILPF's infrastructure. Keep hoping, dreaming and doing!   Click here to make an online Annual Appeal contribution.

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