February 27, 2010

International Womens Day Event - March 4, 2010

One night only... Check local theatre listings for a showing near you! Read this Huffington Post article for more information.

A WCC Riddle...

What do you get when you put together one of our favorite non-profit organizations and one of our favorite sources for intellectually stimulating and change-inspiring lectures?  You get Goods for Good's founder and executive director, Melissa Kushner, giving a TEDxAtlanta lecture! Congratulations, Melissa and Goods for Good! Take time to watch this inspiring and educational lecture.  

February 26, 2010

The Good Doctor - Dr. Regina Benjamin

President Obama stirred up unexpected controversy this past summer by nominating Dr. Regina Benjamin as the new Surgeon General.  The nomination of a Surgeon General rarely causes much interest, but Dr. Benjamin was all the talk nation-wide, from newspapers, to blogs, to television news shows. What was the issue? 

As salon.com's Broadsheet blog  and ABC news online asked, Is the good doctor too fat to be Surgeon General?

I think it is unfortunate that while Dr. Benjamin may not be what Americans envision as "the picture of health," such as celebrity images of ultra-thin women wearing a pair of skinny jeans perhaps three weeks post childbirth posed in downward facing dog, the conversation about her vision for our country's health care stopped there.  While some online sources such as CNN.com and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation blog shared her credentials, accolades, and vision of health care reform, especially for the oppressed and underserved, were Americans unable to actually have a conversation about how important her vision of health care is for contemporary American society?

Imagine this headline: Dr. Regina Benjamin, Obama's pick for Surgeon General, motivates thousands of Americans to volunteer throughout poor and underserved coummunites nationwide, to advocate for and provide hands-on services to those in desperate need of medical and mental health care.  OK, I admit, it is a little long for a headline, and I recognize that there are those who are sensitive and aware of  the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.  However, I would hope that more conversation would have been had and perhaps a grassroots campaign started to support the work of Dr. Benjamin and mobilize volunteers throughout our nation instead of criticizing her appearance and her health (despite no actual information about her health). Even so, let's focus on what is most important here, her recognition of and dedication to the health of all individuals and communities in need.

Instead of criticizing President Obama's nomination, let's write to him thanking him for one more step in the right direction and suggestions for organizing and supporting the work of Dr. Benjamin! Email us at the WCC with any thoughts and/or suggestions.

Girl 2 Woman - 200 Thousand for 200 Million!

     As 2010 International Women’s Day approaches with the theme, ‘Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity’ Pathfinder International believes a crucial aspect of improving women’s lives is missing in the current dialogue: reproductive health. An astounding 200 million women around the world want, but lack access to contraceptives.
     Pathfinder wants to ensure every woman can exercise that right. That is why Pathfinder is launching a unique challenge in the week leading up to International Women’s Day 2010: 200 Thousand for 200 Million. On Pathfinder’s microsite, Girl2Woman.org, are six videos showcasing the importance of reproductive health care throughout life. Every time a video is shared through Girl2Woman.org, a generous donor is giving $1 to improve reproductive health services around the world. The goal is to achieve 200,000 shares of the videos by International Women’s Day so that we can reach the more than 200 million women in need.

February 17, 2010

International Womens Day - March 8, 2010

In honor of International Womens Day (IWD) on March 8, 2010, the Women's Collaborative Circle will be posting various topics and events related to celebrating women's achivements world-wide.  It is our hope that we continue to educate and inspire the future generation of global leaders.

Internationally, there are numerous events taking place and here in the United States, the entire month of March is dedicated to celebrating Women's History Month. 

For more information about local and international events, visit International Women's Day 2010 Website
If there are any events that you are attending and would like to share with the WCC community, please post a comment on our site or email us! 

February 14, 2010

Intimate Voices - Infertility

     Infertility, from a mental health perspective, is known to have a profound effect on the lives and identities of women. In most cultures, parenthood is considered to be the norm – an expected rite of passage on the way to full adulthood. Whether consciously or not, many of us dreamed of our futures as married/partnered with children. Becoming a parent is a way to experience a “love like no other” and serves to solidify our connection to our partner, yet conveys many more benefits. It is a way to deepen our relationships with our own mothers, sisters, and friends; it is a way to connect with and participate in the larger community around us, both with and through our children; and it is an organic way of giving back to the world. A disruption in this expected life course can be devastating.

     Complicating the chronic crisis of infertility is the lack of public acknowledgment that there has been a loss. There is no baby, no body to bury, no public rituals that usually accompany a death, yet there has been an unfathomable, unanticipated loss. Compounding this is the shame that many, both men and women, experience around infertility, making it a silent loss, and rendering those suffering from it vulnerable to unintentionally insensitive comments from others. The hurt can seem never-ending.

     It is imperative that a more public discourse around infertility is set in motion.; too many women suffer alone. It is estimated that 15% of couples in the U.S. experience infertility; approximately 50% of these will never bear biological children. While there is much support around adoption and other alternatives to family building, it is important to acknowledge and mourn the losses that come with infertility, often a lifelong process.

Article written by Marni Rosner.  Marni Rosner is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, specializing in anxiety, relationship, and infertility issues. For more information you can email Marni at marni.rosner@gmail.com.
This post was inspired by an upcoming event for the organization Help Us Adopt.  Visit their site to learn more about their work and ways to get involved!

Women on Top: Loving Ourselves to Love Others

This is a workshop offered by the WCC to facilitate knowledge of our sexual selves and understand how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.  Women on Top: Loving Ourselves to Love Others, was created  to raise awareness and encourage empowerment among women about women’s health and HIV prevention.

This workshop is designed to assess, educate and empower women’s understanding of HIV knowledge and the knowledge of the safer sex risk continuum. This interactive workshop will provide women a safe and open space to assess their knowledge of HIV/STD and risk reduction behaviors, as well as voice their concerns as it pertains to their sexual health, growth and development as women of all ages.

The goal of this workshop is to enable and support women to feel empowered around their sexual behaviors and choices. The activities will encourage women to think about their personal and sexual comfort zone, increase self-awareness around the limits of their personal choices while assisting them in negotiating and discussing these limits with their partners and within the context of their relationships.


If you are interested in the WCC presenting this workshop to meet the needs of a group at your place of work, college campus, women's center or religious organization, please contact us for more information - info@womenscollaborativecircle.org, we would love to work with you!

February 13, 2010

Your Revolution...More Sarah Jones!

Lyrics to Your Revolution :

(feat. Sarah Jones)

Yeah yeah, yeah this goes out to all the women and men from New York to
London to LA to Tokyo struggling to keep their self-respect in this climate
of misogyny, money worship and mass production of hip-hop's illegitimate child,
Hip-Pop. And this especially goes out to Gil Scott-Heron, friend, living legend
and proto-rapper who wrote "The Revolution will not be Televised." Much Respect.

Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Not happen between these thighs
Not happen between these thighs
The real revolution ain't about booty size
The Versaces you buys, or the Lexus you drives
And though we've lost Biggie Smalls
Baby your notorious revolution
Will never allow you to lace no lyrical douche, in my bush
Your revolution will not be killing me softly, with Fugees
Your revolution ain't gonna knock me up without no ring
And produce little future emcees
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not find me in the backseat of a jeep
With LL, hard as hell, you know doin it and doin it and doin it well
doin it and doin it and doin it well, nah come on now
Your revolution will not be you smacking it up, flipping it, or rubbing it down
Nor will it take you downtown or humpin around
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not have me singing, ain't no nigga like the one I got
And your revolution will not be sending me for no drip, drip VD shot
And your revolution will not involve me, feelin your nature rise
Or helping you fantasize
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
No no, not between these thighs
Oh, my Jamican brother, your revolution will not make you feel bombastic
And really fantastic
And have you groping in the dark for that rubber wrapped in plastic
You will not be touching your lips to my triple dip of french vanilla,
butter pecan, chocolate delux
Or having Akinyele's dream, m-hmm a 6-foot blowjob machine m-hmm
You want to subjugate your queen? uh-huh
Think I'm a put it in my mouth, just cuz you made a few bucks?
Please brother please
Your revolution will not be me tossing my weave
And making me believe I'm some caviar-eating ghetto mafia clown
Or me giving up my behind, just so I can get signed
And maybe having somebody else write my rhymes
I'm Sarah Jones, not Foxy Brown
You know I'm Sarah Jones, not Foxy Brown
Your revolution makes me wonder, where could we go
If we could drop the empty pursuit of props and ego
We'd revolt back to our Roots, use a little Common Sense
On a quest to make love De La Soul, no pretense
But your revolution will not be you flexing your little sex and status
To express what you feel
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Will not happen between these thighs
Will not be you shaking and me *yawn* faking
Between these thighs
Because the real revolution, that's right I said the real revolution
You know I'm talking about the revolution
When it comes, it's gonna be real
It's gonna be real
It's gonna be real
When it finally comes
When it finally comes
It's gonna be real, yeah yea

***For more information about Sarah and her amazing work, activism and voice, visit her website - http://www.sarahjonesonline.com/*** 

February 12, 2010

Speaking Her Voice(s) - Sarah Jones

Sit back, relax and grab a cup of tea while you enjoy this brilliantly funny and talented woman, Sarah Jones.  Jones wittingly and intellectually takes a look at the ways in which we construct ourselves and continue to reinvent and evovle.


"Chameleon-like" barely describes the astonishing ease in which Sarah Jones slips in out out of the characters in her solo performances -- as many as fourteen personae in her off-Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel. Critics marvel not only at her ability to perfectly mimic accents and mannerisms, but also to seemingly reshape her body down to pupils and dimples in the blink of an eye.

Jones' performances showcase a biting political awareness, and she has received commissions from Equality Now, the Kellogg Foundation and the National Immigration Forum to address issues of injustice and inequality. She is the official spokesperson on Violence Against Children for UNICEF, and performs globally to focus awareness on child abuse.

"Jones, who is ... a sort of multicultural mynah bird, lays our mongrel nation before us with gorgeous, pitch-perfect impersonations of the rarely heard or dramatized." - New Yorker (source - ted.com).

Speaking Her Voice - Sunitha Krishnan on Sex Slavery

Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimilion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives.

Each year, some two million women and children, many younger than 10 years old, are bought and sold around the globe. Impassioned by the silence surrounding the sex-trafficking epidemic, Sunitha Krishnan co-founded Prajwala, or "eternal flame," a group in Hyderabad that rescues women from brothels and educates their children to prevent second-generation prostitution. Prajwala runs 17 schools throughout Hyderabad for 5,000 children and has rescued more than 2,500 women from prostitution, 1,500 of whom Krishnan personally liberated. At its Asha Niketan center, Prajwala helps young victims prepare for a self-sufficient future.

Krishnan has sparked India's anti-trafficking movement by coordinating government, corporations and NGOs. She forged NGO-corporate partnerships with companies like Amul India, Taj Group of Hotels and Heritage Hospitals to find jobs for rehabilitated women. In collaboration with UN agencies and other NGOs, she established printing and furniture shops that have rehabilitated some 300 survivors. Krishnan works closely with the government to define anti-trafficking policy, and her recommendations for rehabilitating sex victims have been passed into state legislation.

"The sense that thousands and millions of children and young people are being sexually violated and that there’s this huge silence about it around me angers me." - Sunitha Krishnan (source - ted.com)

This Valentine's Day...

Give the gift of V-Day!

Think of this Valentine's day as a day of love for yourself and women and girls around the world.  Take a moment to stop by vday.org and send a e-card with a donation in a loved one's honor and support the worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls.  You can also visit vday's website and donate a the gift from the City of Joy registry to aid in the repair and healing of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In addition to the sweet-smelling flowers and chocolate goodies, you may also want to consider putting the V in Valentine's day to work and volunteer in your community.  Come on folks, show a little love to your  neighbors! 

Or visit SASSY GOURMET's Valentine's Day Specials! A last minute gift can still be sweet!
Heart-shaped items for yours truly. The perfect sweet treat. Available in: Molasses Maple Cookies, Rosemary Biscuits, Almond Jam Dot, and Brownie Bites! Gift Wrapping is available.

Visit SASSY GOURMET Bakery! 

 Let us know in what creative, infinite love-spreading ways you spent your V-day!

February 11, 2010

Tapping Into Your Inner Goddess?!?

     Although the attention that this summer's Ms. Magazine cover received at the time of publication focused on criticizing the use of the multi-arm Indian god imagery, I think the real uproar should have been about how, despite the advances since the original image echoed in the 2009 cover appeared in the 1970s, women are still struggling to strike a balance between the "choices" that we seemingly have in our lives and the obligations to our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual selves. 
     Looking at this 2009 cover, it appears that women are still besieged and pained by the need to live up to an unrealistic and un-human, godly form.  It is as if to suggest that women are not only able and share many of these attributes, but are required to live up to a "godly" standard.  With all of the "choices" that are available to women, representations such as these suggest that really the only "choice" is to do it all at once and with "godly" perfection.  What I believe to be a more appropriate message for women is to recognize that we do have numerous talents and multiplicities, but the expectation to have to fulfill all of our potential ALL AT THE SAME TIME is equally as oppressive as the alternative definition of "choice."  A women, with all of her numerous abilities, is not a one-woman circus act, but one individual with the choice of many opportunities throughout her lifetime (READ: HER WHOLE LIFE, NOT IN ONE DAY). 
     As sad as this may seem, women themselves have internalized this message and continue to perpetuate this unreachable and oppressive standard.  The following commercial has aired for about a year now and it is one of my all time favorite examples of what is wrong with our capitalist, patriarchal society and how women continue to be violated by these messages and pass them along to each other. What would possibly make this commercial better is if Kelly Ripa came home after juggling her talk show and daytime television show jobs, spent quality time talking with her children and helping them with their homework, while the Electrolux appliances helped her equally busy and capable husband to throw in a load of laundry and make dinner for their party guests!  Just sayin'.   

Blazing Through The Blues - Blues Singers Shaping Black Conciousness

In her 1998 book Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, Angela Y. Davis outspoken social activist, feminist and trailblazer herself, uncovers an unusual source of conciousness-raising, the music of 1920's female Blues artists Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday.  Davis not only uncovers the path that these women took to obtain independent financial freedom at a time when historically, women had little if no civil or domestic freedoms.  Davis also takes an important look wading through more prominant issues of racism, to study gender and sexuality about which these women were singing.  A prominant example of these women's work is Ma Rainey's "Prove It On Me," in which she sings about her gender identity and sexual desires for women.  Davis's central thesis is to say that the women Blues singers of the 1920's had a great impact on not only giving a voice to women of the era, but the larger social and political impact on shaping the general African-American conciousness. 

Speaking Her Voice - Jacqueline Novogratz on Tackling Poverty

Jacqueline Novogratz is CEO of Acumen FundAcumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. We seek to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Our investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services – like health, water, housing and energy – through innovative, market-oriented approaches.   www.acumendfund.org.  Jacqueline's inspirational and innovative story is told in her book The Blue Sweater.

"The World Will Be Saved By Western Women" - HHDL

His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated at a 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit on September 27th in response to a moderator's question that "the world will be saved by western women."  It is this sentiment that is shared with women globally and sharing a surgence with women and men alike around the world. 

Let us spread the message of the work of the WCC and our sister groups to work with women in need all over the globe.  Wherever you live, be it New York City, Korea, Canada, Rwanda or Russia - let us hear your voice! Contact us and tell us your story.  What is life like for you in your hometown?

Take a look at this upcoming event, it looks to be a great venue for women's conciousness-raising! Visit the website and take a listen to the sister giant conference calls, they are very interesting and enlightening.