Hello WILD Sisters and friends,
As the holiday season and the end of the year approach, we want to give you all an update on what is going on at WILD and what we have planned for next year.
First some bad news: Our wonderful Organizing Director
Ruthella Logan had to step down due to medical reasons. We will sorely miss her, and we wish her the best. She brought great new energy and ideas to WILD.
Now the good news: Board President
Terry King will be dropping off the Board and taking on the Organizer role on an interim basis, at least through the 2020 Summer Institute. After that we plan to hold a broad search for a permanent replacement. With her long experience as Board member and President, Summer Institute teacher, and member of numerous committees Terry has unparalleled knowledge of the inner workings of WILD: what we stand for and what we do.
We are also welcoming a new member to our Board at this time.
Stephanie Dennis has been an enthusiastic WILD participant and facilitator for several years. We look forward to working with her.
Next Year’s plans - Save the Dates!
We have begun planning our programs for 2020, and can now let you know the dates of WILD in the Winter and the Summer Institute
- WILD in the Winter will be on the morning of Saturday, March 14, location TBA
- The Summer Institute will be held at Worcester State University the weekend of June 26-28. The theme will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.
As you know, planning WILD events is a very participatory process. We invite all of you to take part by joining one of our planning committees (see below under Volunteer Opportunities)
Please support WILD
WILD survives on the support of its community of participants, volunteers, fans and benefactors. In this holiday season,
please contribute what you can to keep WILD financially healthy
. Any amount is helpful. We will be sending out a separate fundraising appeal, but you don’t have to wait for that! You can send a check to WILD at 108 Myrtle Street, 4
floor, Quincy MA 02171, or you can donate online from our
by clicking on the Donate Now button and following directions.
- Curriculum Committee: This committee plans the workshops that will be offered and recruits the teachers. It also holds a training session for women who are going to teach at the Summer Institute.
- Program Committee: This committee plans everything but the workshops for WILD in the Winter and the Summer Institute. This includes, for example, inviting speakers, planning the Friday and Saturday evening activities and Sunday graduation.
- Anti-Oppression Committee: This committee plans the ant-oppression workshop at the Summer Institute and the caucuses, and recruits women to lead these activities.
- Fundraising Committee: This super important committee is not tied to the Summer Institute or WILD in the Winter. It works with our fundraising consultants to raise the money we need to keep WILD going.
- To volunteer for any of these committees, or to volunteer to help in the office or any other way, please send an email to WILD at email@example.com
A Labor Heroine
We end this newsletter with a little biography of a labor heroine from the past, because we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We plan to make Labor Heroines a regular feature of our communications.
Lucy Parsons was born around 1853 in Texas, of mixed African American, Native American and Mexican ancestry. Little is known of her early life, but it is probable that her parents were slaves. She was orphaned at age three, and then raised by her maternal uncle. Around 1870 she met Albert Parsons, a former Confederate soldier turned radical Republican and married him in either 1871 or 1872.
Forced to flee Texas because of their mixed marriage, they settled in Chicago in 1873 and became heavily involved in the revolutionary elements of the labor movement. Lucy [wrote] articles about the homeless and unemployed, Civil War veterans, and working women for
, and gave birth to two children within the next few years. Known as a powerful writer and speaker, Parsons played a crucial role in the worker's movements in Chicago. In 1883 she helped found the International Working People's Association (IWPA), an anarchist-influenced labor organization that promoted revolutionary direct action towards a stateless and cooperative society and insisted on the equality of people of color and women. Parsons became a frequent contributor to the IPWA weekly paper
Although Parsons was primarily a labor activist, she was also a staunch advocate of the rights of African Americans. She wrote numerous articles and pamphlets condemning racist attacks and killings. In 1886 Parsons and the IWPA worked with the other unions for a general strike in support of the 8 hour work day. Beginning on May first, the strike involved close to 80,000 workers. Five days later, at a rally at Haymarket Square in support of the strike, a bomb was hurled at police after they attacked the demonstration. The police blamed the IWPA and rounded up anarchist organizers, including Albert Parsons. Lucy Parsons took the lead in organizing their defense, and after they were all found guilty of murder, she travelled the country speaking on their behalf and raising money for appeals. In November of that year her husband was hanged, along with three other defendants.
After her husband's death, Parsons continued revolutionary activism on behalf of workers, political prisoners, people of color, the homeless, and women. In 1892 she published the short lived
, which attacked lynchings and black peonage. In 1905 she participated in the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World, and also published a paper called
. In 1927 she was made a member of the National Committee of the International Labor Defense, an organization that defended labor activists and unjustly accused African Americans such as the Scottsboro Nine and Angelo Herndon. After working with the Communist Party for a number of years, she joined in 1939, despairing of the advance of both capitalism and fascism, and unconvinced of the anarchists' ability to effectively confront them. After almost 50 years of continuous activism, Parsons died in a fire in her Chicago home in 1942.