Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Advocacy and Agency

I have received a notice about an upcoming conference by MIRCI in Toronto on Motherhood Activism, Advocacy, Agency. I receive these kinds of notices quite frequently. The reason I want to share this one is because I was struck by the range of titles the speakers at the conference have written. And by the kind of work women are doing - advocacy work that is important. I'm finding it reassuring and inspiring that women are doing this work. So here is the list of Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Cindy Sheehan, Peace and Social Justice Advocate

Gayle Brandeis, National Staff, CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Tara Brettholtz, President, Mothers and More

Deborah Byrd, Lafayette College, co-editor of Teaching Against the Isms

Cheli English-Figaro, President Emerita of Mocha Moms, Inc.

Rachel Epstein, Coordinator, Sherbourne Health Centre's LGBTQ Parenting Network

Robbie Davis-Floyd, University of Texas, Austin, author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

Ariel Gore, founding editor of Hip Mama

Fiona J. Green, University of Winnipeg, author of Feminist Mothering in Theory and Practice, 1985-1995

Diana Gustafson, Memorial University, author of Unbecoming Mothers

Pat Gowens, founder of Welfare Warriors, editor of Mother Warriors Voice.

Erika Horwitz, author of Mothers' Resistance to the Western Dominant Discourse on Mothering

Amber Kinser, East Tennessee State University, author of Motherhood and Feminism

Jeanette Corbiere Lavell, President, Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC)

D. Memee Lavell-Harvard, President, Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA)

D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein, Boston University, author of White Feminists and Contemporary Maternity

Andrea O'Reilly, York University, Founder/Director, MIRCI

Karen Shain, Policy Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Wow. So, on International Women's Day, I want to say thankyou to all the women who are doing this kind of work.

And to all the people who work in agencies that provide microloans, train community health workers, dig wells, distribute mosquito nets and other work in developing countries - thankyou.

I'll end with some quotes distributed by MIRCI on International Women's Day.

"[Mama]...maintained traditional family values and still worked toward change. I have come to realize that I can be a mother, educator, wife, feminist - each identity not exclusive of the other but impacting on each other and on my development as a woman."
- Karen Diaz, Author

"Empower women and you will see a decrease in poverty, illiteracy, disease and violence."
- Michaelle Jean, Journalist; Stateswoman

"Feminism's agenda is basic: It asks that women not be forced to 'choose' between public justice and private happiness."

- Susan Faludi, Journalist; Author

"A free race cannot be born of slave mothers."

- Margaret Sanger, Nurse; Activist

For facts and figures about gender inequality, click here:


1 comment:

maternal said...

Very interesting event. Pity we live so far....
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