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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." These words by Margaret Mead, noted anthropologist, remind us that engaged citizens can start a movement, improve the health of our communities and bring about change. The April 14 CIVICS ACADEMY provided an opportunity to learn more about how to achieve this through civic engagement.
The Women's Foundation, NE Appleseed and the YWCA hosted this event for participants who were able to learn about Neighbor Works Lincoln and the Civic Health Index from Nebraskans for Civic Reform. Then a panel of elected officials explained their roles in our community and how to engage locally. Many thanks to Annie Mumgard - Lincoln Public Schools Board, Jane Raybould - City Council and former Lancaster County Commissioner, NE State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks and Kim Taylor-Riley - Director of Equity, City of Lincoln.
Future Civics Academy events will be announced here and on email.
WOMEN in LEADERSHIP
On September 3, 2015, the Women's Foundation hosted a luncheon to celebrate those in our community who contribute to the improvement of women's lives through education, advocacy and outreach. "Women in Leadership" took place at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel from 11:30am-1:00pm. Once again, we presented the leadership awards that were a tradition with the Women's Commission: (1) the Alice Paul Award, given to a woman whose life's work reflects her dedication to the struggle for women's equality, was awarded to Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, a long-time community volunteer and activist and now dedicated state legislator (2) the Erasmus Correll Award, given to a man who has exhibited outstanding commitment to issues affecting women, was presented to Scott Young, the Executive Director of the Food Bank (3) the Sojourner Truth Award, given to young women who attempt to enhance the quality of life for girls or women through volunteer efforts and/or community involvement. There were two Sojourner Truth awards given this year. One to Becca Brune, a community activist and chid advocate with Nebraska Appleseed. The other was awarded to Kamryn Sannicks, a senior at North Star High School who has already become involved in political campaigns.
Miles to Go: Women Activists Reflect on the Road Traveled
In the summer of 2013, The Women’s Foundation of Lincoln/Lancaster County began a video/audio project using oral histories to highlight individuals who were active in fighting for gender equality in Lincoln during the 1970s and early 1980s. The interviews were done with women who made important progress towards equality for Nebraska, each centering on salient issues, such as education, economic independence, legal standing, intimate partner violence, childcare and reproductive health. These twelve include women who were active in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Commission on the Status of Women and the Nebraska Coalition for Women. The footage has been edited to log interviews and select clips for 2-minute audio montages aired daily on the radio station KZUM (89.3) during Women’s History Month.
The Foundation’s goal for this project is to preserve the voices of women who fought for significant gains and to showcase activism: our purposes are to educate young people about local history that has a direct bearing on the rights they currently enjoy and to inspire them to continue fighting against injustice. Interviewees and areas of expertise include Ada Munson and Virginia Walsh, Nebraska Coalition for Women; Chris Funk, first Executive Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster Commission on the Status of Women; Lynn Roper, advocate for Title IX implementation; Ina May Rouse, the Displaced Homemaker Act; Marcee Metzger, former Women's Center director and Executive Director of Voices of Hope; Rosemary Machacek of New Directions Center; Helen Moore, second director of the Women’s Studies program at University of Nebraska Lincoln; Beatty Brasch, Executive Director of the Center for People in Need and long-time friend of Lincoln's first woman Mayor, Helen Boosalis; Natalie Olson, former officer of the Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission; Linda Pratt, former Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Nebraska; and Mary Jo Ryan, advocate for early child care legislation and licensing of care centers.
We have produced an hour-long documentary comprised of interviews, archival materials, and other narration or historical information. The premiere of this film was held on September 30, 2014 at the Ross Film Theater.
Curriculum entitled "The Struggle for Women's Equality" has been developed and is available to schools to be used in classrooms across the state. The film is currently on DVD and is available to the public. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for copies.
Listen to the two-minute audio segments here:
Ada Munson and Ina May Rouse
Lynn Roper & Natalie Olson
Mary Jo Ryan
Chris Funk & Virginia Walsh with Kathie Uhrmacher
If you are interested in viewing the full length videos of the original interview you may find them here.
Mission: The Women's Foundation of Lincoln & Lancaster County is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides resources for educational programs, advocacy, and services that promote equality and social justice for women.
Projects - Past and Present: Some of the projects that the Women's Foundation has sponsored are: The Women and Money Conference provides valuable financial education for women to help them in areas like budgeting, savings, investing and planning for retirement.
Real Women Run is an initiative to encourage and support women who are interested in political life and/or running for public office.
Lincoln Women's Voices: A History of Activism is an oral history project. Women who were activists during the 70's and 80's were interviewed about the changes that came about in the women's movement.
A "Women at Work" Conference was held on Saturday, October 4 at the UNL City Campus Student Union. This conference combined some of the Women and Money subjects, popular in previous conferences, with those that involve Women in the Workplace. Topics included Equal Pay, Flexibility in the Workplace and Non-Traditional (STEM) Jobs for women and handling of personal finances and planning for the future.
History: In 1977, the Friends of the Commission on Women was established to support the Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission and was one of the first "Friends" organizations in the country. While the Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission was defunded in 2007, Mayor Chris Beutler formed the Mayor's Commission on Women because there is a continuing need in our community for women's voices to be heard. The Lincoln Mayor's Commission on Women currently consists of 15 women and men who advise the Mayor and his office on the issues that pertain to women and families in Lincoln. The Women's Foundation, which was started in 2012, aims to aid the work of the Commission as well as the creation of other projects that serve women and their families in our community.