As a teacher of women’s studies I often talk about “the gender lens”—the notion of adopting metaphorical spectacles to view the world so that you start seeing things through a special filter and with a special light.
Women’s History Month is over for this year. But I confess I haven’t been in much of a celebratory mood. March 8th (2011)was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The UN theme for the celebration was “Equal Access to Education, Training and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women.” Ironically, this March was also the 100th year commemoration of the tragedy of the Shirtwaist Triangle Factory Fire in New York City. On March 25, 1911, 146 people died from a fire caused by unsafe workplace conditions.
The second annual Women in the World summit started on Thursday with a welcome from Tina Brown, Editor in Chief of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, who hosted the event, and ended with a farewell on Saturday. Watch the video
Seeing wet noodles in bags in the “toad-food” department of Ingle’s, I was suspicious. But today I found the same thing all over the tofu department of GreenLife, so I decided to try them.
Womansong is Asheville’s oldest and largest women’s chorus which started almost 25 years ago. Over time more than $45,000 from proceeds from concerts and donations have helped women in transition make new beginnings.
At a recent concert, Womansong performed the song “Help Somebody.” A line in that song captures the philosophy of the New Start Program (NSP), Womansong’s charitable arm: “Got plenty and then some, what do I do…I go out and help somebody get plenty and then some, too, that’s what I do.”
For more than twenty years the New Start Program (NSP) has provided grants to fill the gap for women in need when other funds are not available. More recently, the Womansong NSP has begun funding scholarships to help women improve their lives and better their prospects for meaningful employment.
In 2009, the NSP set up the first annual New Start Scholarship at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to assist a woman entering a degree program. The recipient of that scholarship in 2010 was Katonya Owens (pictured at Scholarship Luncheon at A-B Tech with co-chair of the New Start Fund, Nita Walker.) Katonya is working on two Associate Degree programs in Automotive Systems Technology and Heavy Equipment Technology.
In December 2010, the NSP established eight more scholarships, four at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and four at Haywood Community College to be awarded to women entering non-degree diploma or certificate programs. Generally, these programs can be completed in a shorter time period so that recipients can more quickly find employment. Additionally, Womansong has set up a special fund at both A-B Tech and Haywood Community College to help students who are in need of assistance pay for the initial immunizations required for their programs.
Womansong is committed to the New Start Program and believes that by giving these women a hand, the women, their families, and their communities are all uplifted.
For more information about Womansong, upcoming concerts, and the New Start Program, please visit www.womansong.org. Press Release from Marilyn Hubbard, Womansong Publicity, 828-686-9010 firstname.lastname@example.org Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need more information. Thank you.
They Teach It at Stanford
“I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker from the department of psychiatry said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriend. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.”
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”.
Six-year-old Mehran Rafaat is like many girls her age. She likes to be the center of attention.
In Ordinary Time
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
Year after year I await forsythia, thrilled
to see the tiny fireworks.
I spy the peony’s purple velvet
fronds in quiet explosion.
But since I’ve been alive
there has been a backstory that competes
with each emergent spring.
It’s a black story that drains color from the sky.
Do you know the story
about the accidents, the nuclear accidents?
Soon I expect to see daylily, lilac,
viburnum’s miniature and burgeoning bouquets
waiting to flourish.
Life goes on…
The story begins
in New Mexico, nineteen forty-five
the Soviet Union and Japan,
then Baneberry at Yucca Flat
and Three Mile Island
and Zaragosa, Spain
and Tokaimura, Japan
Ordinarily it’s true that crocus, jonquil and quince quietly
arrive live flourish
no accident life
goes on…ordinarily that’s true.
©Jean Cassidy Asheville, NC March 29, 2011
A poem of thanks to all those folks at www.NoNuclearWasteinWNC.com who are working to disseminate the word throughout our regional community about the proposed dumping of nuclear waste in WNC and what we can do about it.
Dear Mountain Friends and Neighbors,
There is great concern about the transport and dumping of High Level Nuclear Waste here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Here’s more information. www.NoNuclearWasteInWNC.com
Celebrating International Women’s Day: Reflections from Natalie Portman, Maya Angelou and Other Renowned Women By Marianne Schnall
For the centenary of International Women’s Day this week, Marianne Schnall samples assessments from a wide range of women on where we stand around the world. Click here for A Woman’s Place song by Sara Thomsen
The resolution sends a strong message to a largely hostile state legislature that Asheville recognises the contributions of an LGBT citizenry that is three times larger than the national average and that the city values this sector of its population.
They Teach It at Stanford
“I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker from the department of psychiatry said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
“It’s a noble goal that science should be apolitical, acultural, and asocial, but it can’t be, because it’s done by people who are all those things.”
“The control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man.”
Inspired by the women she met at the Omega Women and Power Conference, WMC’s Jamia Wilson explains why their visions of spirituality belong at the heart of feminism.
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