Happy Women’s History Month!

NCWU Commemorates Women’s History Month

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March is Women’s History Month! Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to follow our series on Twitter @NCWU and Facebook. We will also join the community and our members as part of three events:

On Sunday, March 23, NCWU, along with members NC Moms Rising and AAUW NC, will co-sponsor the Women’s History Month celebration, Remarkable Women, Remarkable YOU! at the Marbles Children’s Museum in Raleigh. This event is to honor the accomplishments of women in history, as well as emphasize the work that still needs to be done to ensure economic security for families in North Carolina, using fun, educational activities to engage the kids on this issue. While the children are learning about women’s progress and contributions, we will educate their parents about how they can get involved in ensuring that their daughters have the same opportunities as their sons. Local elected officials will be present at the party and will read stories about remarkable women in history. We will have fun craft tables set up and activities for the children as well as snacks. Media will also be invited to attend. It promises to be a fun and educational event for all!

On Tuesday, March 25, NCWU president Tara Romano and NCWU founder Anne Mackie will be on a panel at Meredith College’s screening of “Show Up, Speak Out: The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen.” Some of you may know of Ms. Knudsen, a lifelong feminist activist based in Raleigh. The panel will discuss women’s history from a personal perspective and women’s community activism. If you are in the Raleigh area, please consider attending the event, which is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, March 26, the US Army Research Office in Durham will host its Women History Month event, “Celebrating Women of Courage, Character and Commitment,” and they have asked NCWU to be a part of it. President Tara Romano will speak at that event!

We always welcome the opportunity to participate in community events so we can spread the word about the work NCWU and our members are doing every day to improve the lives of women and girls in NC.

 

March is National Social Workers Month!
March is National Social Workers month! This year’s theme is “All People Matter”, something we definitely fully support here at NCWU. Social workers many times provide the crucial links to safety net resources needed by both our most vulnerable citizens and also by those who are facing short-term struggles (while in the hospital, for example). Very much considered “women’s work” although plenty of men are social workers, this field can suffer from the notion that women want to do this hard work because they are the “caring” gender, and that this nurturing nature will make up for those in the field being regularly under-resourced and overworked. Even if one cares deeply about what she or he does—and many social workers do—one still needs some support to be able to do the job well.
Thank a social worker for the hard work they do every day, being the ones helping out those society would often have us forget. And help them out too: advocate for fair, compassionate policies that will make their jobs easier!
Introducing Women NC’s 2014 Fellows, Our Next Leaders in Gender Equity!

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Member WomenNC recently hosted its annual UN Fellowship Dinner, showcasing their 2014 CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) Fellows. Since WomenNC started this fellowship program in 2010, NC students have used this opportunity to tie the local to the global, taking the worldwide CSW theme and connecting it to issues facing women in North Carolina. These connections have formed the basis for the students’ research, covering topics such as: maternal care; violence against women; human trafficking; rape culture; women and careers; health care access for rural women; feminism; women and technology; and the political participation of women. This year’s CSW theme is “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (Mdgs) For Women and Girls”. The MDGs are a set of goals created by UN members to focus their collective efforts more effectively as they worked to tackle some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues. (Read more here.)
Information Sessions on the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)
Open enrollment for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ends March 31. If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time. And if you have questions about the process, help is available right here in North Carolina! Although the NC General Assembly opted neither to expand Medicaid nor create a state health marketplace, North Carolina is at a high rate. That is partly due to the work of the community organizations who have stepped up to help their fellow North Carolinians navigate the system and get covered.Three of those organizations enrolling North Carolinians are NCWU
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members—Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, Planned Parenthood of North Carolina Health Systems, and local chapters of the League of Women Voters North Carolina. And you can still call on them for help! (Read more here.)

NCWU President Touts the Power of Coalitions
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President Tara Romano headed out to WNC earlier this month to connect with our members and supporters there. Member YWCA of Asheville provided the meeting space, and members Ratify ERA NC and AAUW NC co-hosted, bringing women’s groups together to discuss the power, and challenges, of coalitions, and how to build a more inclusive women’s movement in North Carolina. One of NCWU’s strengths has always been to provide a more complete picture of the how women are doing in North Carolina, using our members’ expertise on specific issues to create a composite that shows how the issues intersect and interact. Coalitions create a shared language around values that can bring in more people than a single issue, and can propose more comprehensive, lasting solutions. But it can also be a challenge to honor all the issues equally that are represented in the coalition, and to decide on courses of action. But all who attended—there were two separate sessions—felt coalitions were crucial to moving our work on a progressive women’s agenda forward.We appreciated this opportunity to connect more with our members. If any other members or community organizations would like one of our board members to speak to their organization/constituents, please contact us (info@ncwu.org)!
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • Have you heard of The Shriver Report? It’s billed as “a comprehensive, multidisciplinary look at how American families live and work today, giving clear insight into one of the most important social trends of our time: the emergence of women into all areas of society”. They’ve partnered with HBO to premiere the documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck” on March 17th at 9:00 pm; sign up to host a screening party. If you cannot host or attend a watch party, register at the Shiver Report for a FREE streaming event.
  • Attend the webinar, “Leveling the Playing Field for NC Women” on March 21st at 12:00pm, with guest presenters Kate Wright from the Center for American Progress, Alexandra Sirota from member NC Justice Center, and the staff at member Women AdvaNCe to learn more about the issue and hear how NC women can act now to create change and improve the lives of women and families. Attendees will be invited to submit questions for our panelists in advance of the webinar.
  • Calling all women with something to say!Attend an Op-ed Writing Workshop co-hosted by member Women AdvaNCe and The Working Group in Feminism & History at UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at UNC’s Hamilton Hall UNC. In this hands-on and interactive workshop, participants will learn how to write and circulate short opinion pieces intended for a broad public audience. You will learn about the conventions of writing op-eds, analyze what makes a good piece, get tips on placing op-eds, and start putting words on paper! Learn more and RSVP here.
  • Join Planned Parenthood as they rally for women’s health on Tuesday, March 25th at the US Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments from two challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. Women across the United States should have access to affordable birth control without their bosses having a say in that decision, which is why you’re invited to ride with them to Washington D.C. There will be buses leaving from Raleigh and Chapel Hill. This promises to be an exciting and historic day – reserve your seat now.
  • Join the NC League of Women Voters on March 25th at 7:00 pm. for the presentation of “The Dollars and Sense of Charter Schools.”
    – Nancy Cox, a Durham Public School Board member, League member and former classroom teacher, will lead participants toward an understanding of the complexities of the charter school legislation as it relates to funding, citizen oversight and accountability.
    The meeting will be held at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, Durham. The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Parking is available.
  • Join member NARAL Pro-Choice NC for their annual Susan Hill award, honoring provider, researcher and advocate Dr. David Grimes. Thursday, March 27th at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill.
  • Looking for a fun way to support abortion access for more of North Carolina’s women? What’s more fun than bowling for abortion access? The Carolina Abortion Fund is hosting their annual Bowl-A-Thon on April 13 from 2 to 4 pm at AMF Durham Lanes. The Bowl-a-Thon is a nationwide series of local events that allow community members (you!) to captain your own bowling team, participate in a kickass national event – and raise money to help women and girls pay for abortions they couldn’t otherwise afford. The Carolina Abortion Fund is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that helps those who are seeking an abortion but cannot afford the full cost. The Fund operates a helpline that people seeking financial assistance for an abortion can call at any time. The truth is: the Carolina Abortion Fund would need a budget of $375,000 per year just to meet the needs of those who call our helpline. Our current budget is a fraction of that number and our funding constraints mean that we say “no” to callers much more often than we can say “yes.” Help us try to change that!
  • Join member NC Justice Center for their annual Defenders of Justice Awards on Tuesday, April 22 at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill. We are proud that three of our members are being recognized for their valuable contributions to the lives of North Carolina women, and honored to be partners with them. Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina and Planned Parenthood Health Systems of North Carolina are recognized for their public policy and advocacy activities as they worked to ensure reproductive justice for women in the state. The League of Women Voters – North Carolina chapters in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Piedmont Triad were also recognized for their contributions to public policy and advocacy. Their work addressed voting rights, Affordable Care Act implementation, immigration reform, and progressive tax and campaign finance reform. NC Moms Rising is recognized for their grassroots empowerment activities, using creative methods to advocate for issues such as investing in public education and the rights of mothers in the workplace. Learn more about the awards ceremony here.