Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shero Quoted

"When I am assertive, I'm a bitch. When a man is assertive, he's a boss." - Nicki Minaj

Help us raise $8K by the end of the year!

Five years ago, we started the Younger Women’s Task Force, creating the first-ever network of women in their 20s and 30s. Today, YWTF has grown to more than 7,000 members in 30 states. Through its eight chapters, YWTF works tirelessly to advance the rights of younger women, empowering them to create change in their lives, their workplaces, and their communities.

In 2010-with your support-YWTF:
· launched a project to research sexual assault on George Washington University’s campus.
· organized its first-ever chapter-based younger women’s leadership conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
· published more editions of Younger Women’s Movement, the only newswire focused exclusively on younger women’s issues. YWTF members read about everything from human trafficking to women’s health and learned how to take positive action on these and other issues.

Through such programs, YWTF offers diverse groups of younger women a space to build their own, unique leadership capacity. We are proud of the organization we’ve created and all that we have accomplished since 2005. But there still so much more to do and YWTF needs your help more than ever!

Our goal is to raise $8,000 by the end of the year. That’s what we need to continue building the next generation of women’s leaders.

Will you contribute $10 or more to meet that goal? It’s a small but critical investment in the future.

Your tax-deductible donation allows us to support the communities where YWTF works. $10, $25, or $50 now means thousands more young women will find their voice. Please help us tap the unlimited potential of women just like you!

Thank you for your generosity! With your help, it’s going to be a bright New Year.


The Leaders of the Younger Women’s Task Force

PS. You can give a gift to YWTF in honor of a woman who has made a difference in your life or the lives of others! YWTF will send your special personal e-card informing them that you have made a donation in their name. Just be sure to write her name and email address under “Dedication” when you donate online. If you'd like to donate the Atlanta chapter, please put Younger Women's Task Force - Atlanta in the "designation" line.

Greek News

A trans student at Trinity University in Texas will rush the Texas Zeta Chi sorority. Here’s the letter Dean of Students David M. Tuttle released regarding the rush:

Dear Greek Council Leaders,

The Zeta Chi sorority has determined that it would welcome a male student, who self-identifies as transgender, to rush their organization. The group -- and the student, Kwame -- are clear that he may or may not be extended a bid offer. Fraternities and sororities consider all dimensions of potential members and have every right to consider exceptions to their single-sex status. This student's overall identity, character, and personality - which includes being transgender - will be considered in the selection process. All students are invited into fraternities and sororities based on their wholeness as people. It will work the same in this situation. The University has watched this situation with interest and stayed out of it, other than to offer counsel and support through CCI staff members. Those staff members have researched how this is handled elsewhere and implications for Trinity and its students and groups. We would have supported any decision by Zeta Chi. Under the leadership of President Sarah, the group has undergone thoughtful consideration of the group's values, the feelings of its members, and the opinions of alumni. As with last year's diploma debate, the students learn from the educational process of weighing information and reaching well-considered and articulated decisions. Such issues aren't theoretical, but also personal and emotional. What terrific preparation for life after college!

Zeta Chi has made its identity distinctive for embracing all students, regardless of sexual identity. This may be why this is the first group to grapple with these complex issues related to transgender identity. In my experience, our students and fraternities and sororities have a strong record of welcoming students of different backgrounds. I urge all Greek organizations to follow the lead of Zeta Chi in discussing such issues. I hope all members of fraternities and sororities join the administration in supporting the women of Zeta Chi and all students of less common backgrounds.

(Kwame and Sarah have reviewed and approved this message.)
Mr. David M. Tuttle Interim Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students - Trinity University

Monday, November 29, 2010

Free (Your) Mind

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation.” – Robert H. Schuller

Inherently curious as a generation, millennial younger women are eager to continue our betterment far after graduation, but an obstacle faced by many of us is access to financial resources. Often, with student loans and rent and car payments to cover, there can be little leftover cash for things like education—and that’s those of us with regular salaries, not to mention our unemployed or underemployed peers. So where’s a girl to turn to learn when her pockets are empty? Check out a few free resources for your career development:

The interwebz: With the number of doors to open on the Internet, it becomes challenging to know which knob to try. Pay special attention to what your mentors and networks recommend. Here are a few spots to try out now: Spark and Hustle and the Top 100 Free E-books for Business Students and Entrepreneurs, or get certified in inbound marketing for free through HubSpot's Inbound Marketing University.

Your local library: The library is often a forgotten resource. Think audio books for your commute to work, free lectures, and—oh, yes—books galore. Most libraries require proof of residence to authorize your membership. For many public libraries, you’re not limited to what they have on their shelves; through inter-library loans, it is possible to request books and materials from other nearby libraries, ready for your pick-up at your local branch.

TED talks: In 2007, the TED website was redesigned to specifically allow content from their spectacular talks to be accessed globally. From the TED (Technology, Education, and Design) website: “Over the years, TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Billy Graham, Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, Bono. Yet often the real stars have been the unexpected: Li Lu, a key organizer of the Tiananmen Square student protest; Aimee Mullins, a Paralympics competitor who tried out a new pair of artificial legs onstage; or Jennifer Lin, a 14-year-old pianist whose 6-minute improvisation moved the audience to tears.”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Voice of Younger Women-Breaking the Silence

The Voice of Younger Women-Breaking the Silence
The Voice of Younger Women-Breaking the Silence The Younger Women Investing Guide: Strategies for Success Friday November 26, 2010 1:30 PM Show call in phone number: (914) 338-1224 Guest Speaker, Aneshia Y. Smith, ITATI.

Empowering Ladies in the Stock Market Learn answers to your investing and personal finance questions:
  • What are the keys to successful investing strategies? 
  • What can younger women do to leverage money management through investing? 
  • What is the most important thing younger women should focus on to get ahead in their financial future?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Does Leadership Mean to You?

The Younger Women's Task Force - Atlanta wants to know what leadership means to you. Comment below. The best response earns you a gift.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete?

TIME and the Pew Research Center partnered up to see what role marriage has in America's future. According to the study, "In 1960, two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008, just 26% were," and four in ten people surveyed said marriage was becoming obsolete. Not surprisingly, younger women and men are more accepting of this trend than older generations. The study links marriage to socio-economic and racial factors, pointing out college graduates are now more likely to get hitched than their high school-educated counterparts, and 32% of African Americans are likely to tie the knot, compared to 56% of whites.

Another aspect of the study worth examining is the public's views on demographic trends. 69% of the public believe single women having children is bad for society, and 43% think cohabitation before marriage is a no-no.

These trends give rise to questions about how valuable marriage and family will be in America's future. To what do you think we can attribute the current hesitation toward holy matrimony? Comment below.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get to Know Your Board: Lauren Zink

Name: Lauren Vanessa Zink. People always call me Laura by mistake. I’m considering switching to Vanessa, but I can’t decide if that’s too strange, going by a brand-new name.

Age: 25.

Where do you live? I currently live in Midtown. I have to admit it makes me a little bit of an ITP snob.

How long have you been involved in YWTF? Why did you join? I found YWTF on PINK Magazine’s website of women’s organizations in September of 2010. I was so excited to find a group that was dedicated to younger women. It felt so much more accessible to me than some of the other women’s groups I’ve stumbled upon. I came to a meeting and loved it; everyone’s so friendly, and I’ve been learning a ton.

What’s your role in YWTF? I am the Director of Marketing & Communications for the chapter and the A.S.C.E.N.D. Conference Co-Chair. You can reach out to me at lauren.ywtf@gmail.com.

What is your profession? By day, I’m a writer/editor with a consumer reports publication. I have a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. One job has never really been enough for me though. Prior to moving to Atlanta, I worked as an interactive producer in Knoxville, and I still volunteered doing marketing for a local performing arts venue. I love learning and growing professionally. Challenge me, I say!

What other forms of activism are you involved in outside of YWTF? I’m one of those women that was born to volunteer. When I’m not doing work for YWTF, you can find me donating blood to the American Red Cross, boxing food at the Atlanta Food Bank, walking for diabetes, doing art projects with kids at Woodruff, handing out flyers for performing arts venues, cutting off all of my hair for wigs for cancer patients.

What does the word feminism mean to you? I think traditionally, feminism has sort of a negative connotation, like, “Here’s a bunch of angry, bra-burning women,” which is laughable, obviously. How many women do you know that would define themselves like that? Hopefully the Younger Women’s Task Force can help change that perception.

What three issues do you care the most about? You’d be hardpressed to limit me to three issues—I care about everyone and everything, really. There are a few things that stand out to me as being important social issues in our country right now. I think we need to make sure we keep arts programming funded and available to our students. (I might be biased on that one, being that I was a huge choir geek in high school.) Secondly, since I moved to Atlanta, homelessness has really become a large concern of mine. Not only do homeless people have to deal with lack of food, water, shelter, health care, money, but then we have horrible, atrocious predators out there that are purposely inflicting violence on them. It makes me so angry to hear those stories. This behavior is inhumane, and there should be strict and swift punishment for it. Then, lastly, domestic violence and abuse—it is never okay.

Who is your shero? Why? My mom for kicking butt and taking names as the single mother of two children, finishing grad school with flying colors while she was raising us, and working her way up to a top position in her field by not following any rules but her own.

What are your hobbies? Singing really loudly until someone catches me and I feel embarrassed. I also love musical theater, volunteering, reading books on growth and development, yoga, traveling when I can save the cash moneyz to do so, and spending time in Piedmont Park.

What are your top three favorite movies? Moulin Rouge for the music and visual stimulation, Crash for the story, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s for Audrey Hepburn.

News Roundup: Paycheck Fairness Bill

By now, you have probably heard the Paycheck Fairness Bill failed to pass in the Senate this past week.

From the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the legislation: "The persistent gap between men's and women's wages demonstrates the need for legislative change," according to a statement of administration policy released Tuesday by the White House. "This bill would address this gap by enhancing enforcement of equal pay laws."

How do party lines come into play on this Bill? Find out from the Huffinton Post.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Learn More About YWTF

What is YWTF-ATL?
In 2009, Terica Scott founded YWTF-ATL to serve the City of Atlanta and its suburbs. Through the YWTF-ATL, she strives to bring together professional, forward-thinking, diverse, and successful women in order to build a unified force to address the issues facing younger women in our communities.

What is the Younger Women’s Task Force (YWTF)?
Founded in January 2005 by Alison Stein, YWTF is an international, diverse, and inclusive grassroots movement dedicated to organizing younger women and their allies to take action on issues that matter most to their lives. YWTF is a project of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) that works both within and beyond the women’s movement, engaging all who are invested in advancing the rights of younger women aged 20-39.

What is the national organization of YWTF?
YWTF-ATL is the tenth chapter established nationally. Currently, there are 13 YWTF chapters based in the United States and Canada. The national office for YWTF is located in the headquarters of the NCWO in Washington, DC.

How is YWTF-ATL organized?
Terica Scott is the Chapter Director or the chief administrative officer of the chapter and oversees the Board of Directors and all chapter activities. The Board of Directors executes and manages the work of the chapter. The chapter membership helps to shape chapter programming, focus areas, and events. The current Board of Director positions are:
• Chapter Director
• Membership and Outreach Director
• Fundraising Director
• Communications and Marketing Director
• Programs and Events Director
• Policy and Advocacy Director
• Partnerships and Strategic Alliances Director
• Operations Director

What is the mission of YWTF-ATL?
YWTF-ATL is committed to promoting and implementing programs and policies for the benefit, empowerment, and growth of younger women aged 20-39 so that they may thrive as productive, active, healthy, and prominent members in their communities and personal lives.

What is the vision of YWTF-ATL?
The vision of YWTF-ATL is to enrich the lives of younger women through the following efforts:
• Promoting Consciousness among Members and Community
• Advocating for Diversity and Inclusion
• Promoting the Empowerment, Education, and Integration of Younger Women in Atlanta Society
• Establishing Opportunities for Mutual Mentoring and Sharing
• Advocating for Economic Justice
• Promoting Strategic Resource Sharing and Building
• Promoting Relationship Building
• Exemplifying Sisterhood and Sisterly Relations
• Participating in Community Building Efforts
• Maintaining a Local Focus for Activities and Projects
• Organizing and Executing Grassroots Efforts and Collaborative Approaches

How often does YWTF-ATL meet?
YWTF-ATL chapter meets on the second Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m. For the most accurate location information, please visit website.

How do I become a member of YWTF-ATL?
Chapter membership is open to any person who believes in the mission of our organization. It’s easy to join! To become an active financial member, simply fill out the YWTF-ATL Membership Application and submit membership dues. Membership applications can be downloaded from our website. Send applications to YWTF-ATL Membership Application, P.O. Box 2141, Lilburn, GA 30048. Membership dues can be paid in cash or by credit card (add 4.5%) by mail, in person, or online.

What are the membership dues to join YWTF-ATL?
Membership dues are set annually and are 100% tax-deductible. The current due structure is:
• $30 for a one-year membership that expires on 12/31/10; or
• $20 for a one-year student membership that expires on 12/31/10 (valid student ID required upon application).

Once I become a member, how can I get involved in the work of the chapter?
YWTF-ATL has seven committees that concentrate on the operational functions of YWTF-ATL. These committees include: Communications and Marketing, Fundraising and Development, Membership and Outreach, Partnerships, Programs and Events, Policy and Advocacy, and the A.S.C.E.N.D. Conference Committee. Members are strongly encouraged to participate on committees. Each committee is led by its respective YWTF-ATL Board of Director and meets regularly to perform specific duties to support chapter operations. All committee planning and activities must be approved by the YWTF-ATL Board of Directors. In addition to committees, members are encouraged to participate and attend monthly chapter meeting, event, and program activities.

What are the current chapter programs?
YWTF-ATL produces a wide range of activities that include social and networking events, career development events, educational seminars, community service projects, and fundraisers.

What types of programs will the chapter plan and implement?
Generally, the chapter will plan policy and advocacy initiatives, chapter activities, community service projects, and events related to the focus areas, mission, and vision of the chapter. The current YWTF-ATL Focus Areas include: Career and Mentoring, Education, Environment, Violence and Younger Women, and Women’s Health. These areas of focus were determined by our members.

What are SIGs?
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) help to plan, implement, and carry out the work of each of the five focus areas outlined above. SIGs meet during monthly chapter meetings. Chapter members are welcome to participate in SIGs. Unlike committees, SIGs may be led by active, financial chapter members. All SIGs activities must be approved by the YWTF-ATL Board of Directors. The current SIGs include: Career and Mentoring, Education, Environment, Violence and Younger Women, and Women’s Health. To join or lead a SIG, please contact the Programs and Events Director for the chapter.

How do I learn more about the chapter?
• Contact us at ywtfatlanta@ywtf.org
• Come to a chapter meeting
• Check out our website
• Become our fan on Facebook
• Follow us on Twitter
• Listen to our podcast

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ascend, Entrepreneurs! Today is Your Day

Happy National Entrepreneurs' Day! This new holiday was declared by President Obama to recognize the hard work of entrepreneurs throughout the United States:

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 14 through November 20, 2010, as National Entrepreneurship Week. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this week with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 19, 2010, as National Entrepreneurs’ Day.”

In honor of this day, the Younger Women's Task Force - Atlanta presents to you Social Media Success tips from award-winning author and Spark & Hustle founder Tory Johnson. Take a few minutes to read her great insight into succeeding - whether you're starting a new business, trying to grow your client base, or looking for a job.

Photo credit: Francesco Marino

Say NO to Violence Against Women

UNIFEM's Say No campaign is uniting women everywhere to end violence against women.

From their website: "Say NO  records what individuals, organizations and governments worldwide are doing to end violence against women. Whether you volunteer at a shelter, donate, reach out to students or advocate for better policies – every action counts."

Pay special attention to their action feed to see how citizens around the world are saying no.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book It to Book Club

As YWTF-Atlanta prepares for the new year and a new round of book club, let’s spend some time learning about food as it relates to the environment. Watch Mark Bittman on what’s wrong with what we eat. Stay tuned for 2011's book list, including Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Comment and let us know what you would like the chapter to read this year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leadership Wednesday

Recommended leadership reading: The 21 Indispensible Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow by John C. Maxwell. Available on Amazon. In this title, Maxwell clearly defines the traits leaders need to be effective, as well as provides action items to help you improve these qualities in yourself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Under the Knife

The most popular procedures requested by teens are laser hair removal, liposuction, and breast augmentation. How can we change the way our society perceives beauty?

Photo credit: Ambro

Monday, November 15, 2010

Congrats, Tina Fey! Love, an obedient white girl from the suburbs

Famously bespectacled and celebrated funny woman Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last night. Huzzah.
According to Jezebel:
Fey said she hoped that after being the first, second, and third woman to do things, "women are achieving at a rate these days that we can stop counting what number they are at things." That said, "Only in comedy is an obedient white girl from the suburbs a diversity candidate."

Read more: http://jezebel.com/5690206/tina-fey-wont-cry-because-shes-a-stone+cold-bitch#ixzz15NLOjp3l

YWTF Networking Tip #1

Networking tip: If networking intimidates you, find an event hosted by an organization where you already have something in common with the other attendees. Great examples include an alumni happening or an industry trade show. There, you just gave yourself an ice breaker. Feel better?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Special Deal for YWTF at PINK's Empowerment Conference

It's Nearly Sold Out! But there is still time to register for PINK's 6th Annual Fall Empowerment Event! Learn success secrets from NY Times Best Selling Author Emily Giffin, Newell Rubbermaid Group President Penny McIntrye, MetLife Distribution VP Pam Blalock and Carol's Daughter owner Lisa Price.
Details Here: http://www.littlepinkbook.com/live-events

Special Price For Our Members
Use this code when you register: YOUNGPROFES
It's $60 vs. the regular $90!

Sign Up to Receive Little PINK Book - from the creators of PINK Magazine - Enjoy Career Wisdom Daily - right from your InBox.

Calling All Creatives!

The Younger Women's Task Force needs ambassadors on all campuses in Atlanta and the surrounding area for the spring semester. We're looking for smart, social, female college students in their 20s and 30s that can help us promote our events, especially our A.S.C.E.N.D. Conference in March 2011. This is your opportunity to serve on a fun street team and build your résumé! It's a very encouraging environment where your promotional ideas can come to life. The more creative, the better! Email Lauren at lauren.ywtf@gmail.com. Include your college campus in your message.


Photo credit: jscreationzs

The A.S.C.E.N.D. Conference Has a New Date

The A.S.C.E.N.D. Leadership Conference for Younger Women will be in the spring on Saturday, March 26, 2010 at the swanky 103 West. Tickets include a full day of leadership and empowerment training, a gourmet lunch and dessert, gift bags with swag, and parking. We even have special ticket prices for our V.I.P.s (YWTF members and students.)

We hope you will rise higher with us!

More pics of the glamorous venue

"Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast." – Shakespeare

As any younger woman juggling life’s responsibilities knows, burnout can strike hard and at any time. When you’re approaching warp speeds, darting from work to dinner to a networking event, who has time to think about pumping the brakes? But slowing your roll is key to keeping healthy, as large amounts of stress combined with little rest can culminate into bigger problems like sickness, confusion, even cardiovascular disease.

Here are a few quick tips for keeping stress at bay:
1.    Get more sleep. To stay healthy, women should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
2.    Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps flush toxins from your bod, as well as reducing the risk of infection or disease.
3.    Try deep breathing. If you can't step away from the situation, try deep breathing to help you calm down. It decreases your heart rate and helps your muscles relax.
4.    Exercise. Exercise increases production of happy neurotransmitters called endorphins.

Next time you're feeling overwhelmed by life, remember to decelerate - before you crash.

Photo credit: Michal Marcol

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

International Women’s Media Foundation Awarding Three $20K Grants for New Media - WebNewser

International Women’s Media Foundation Awarding Three $20K Grants for New Media - WebNewser

Spider-Girl, Spider-Girl, Doing Whatever a Spider-Girl Does

Have you heard the news? There will be a new female superhero in the Marvel mix. Here's an excerpt from Jezebel's article on the 16-year-old Spider-Girl:

Says writer Paul Tobin, "When I was growing up there were so few well-written female characters in comics (and most other media) and that bothered me. It definitely was all about the sexuality, rather than the individuality, and I'm now proud to be a writer during a time in comics when a lot of writers, both male and female, are putting those old one-dimensional writing styles to rest."
Good thing. I was starting to think it was weird the only butt-whooping female character I found compelling was Chloe Moretz of Kick-Ass. First an 11-year-old girl, now a 16-year-old girl. Maybe soon someone can make one we 25-year-olds can relate to. 

Photo credit: Promotional art for The Amazing Spider-Girl #1. Art by Ron Frenz.

Chapter Buzz: Divas in Defense

1 in 6 women will be a victim of sexual assault in her lifetime. The Younger Women's Task Force and Divas in Defense want to make that number zero. Join us to learn the self-defense basics at this special event - just in time for the holidays, when festive drinking and retail parking lots provide increased risks of danger. Please bring $7 in cash at the door to help support the cause.

Time: Saturday, December 11 · 10:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Toco Hills Library 1282 McConnell Drive Decatur, GA

Monday, November 8, 2010

Quick Fact

Women own around only 1% of the world's land.

Photo credit: Francesco Marino

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shero Quoted

"Don't agonize. Organize." - Florynce Kennedy

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Seth Godin on Laziness

Best-selling author Seth Godin recently wrote a fantastic blog post about laziness and its connection to fear. (He's a pro writer, so you know it's good.) We have all heard that showing up is half the battle, but lately it seems like plenty of people aren't even inclined to do that anymore. Well, that's good news for you, actually, younger women readers. In a time when everyone's got an excuse, honoring your commitments will get you noticed. So follow through - you've just started, and you're already ahead.

Stress Tip #1

77% of women said that smelling a natural scent made them feel less stressed, according to a study conducted by Degree Antiperspirant.

5 Ways to Help Save the World – Literally

1. Take public transportation or carpool.

2. Use paint with no or low VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

3. Unplug your appliances when not in use. Think your phone charger, lamps - even your microwave.

4. Buy fewer beverages in cans and bottles. Try a reusable water bottle or thermos instead.

5. Install a low-flow shower head.

Photo credit Filomena Scalise

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breast Cancer in Younger Women

According to Web MD, only 7% of breast cancer occurs in women under 40, but: “Diagnosing breast cancer in younger women (under 40 years old) is more difficult because their breast tissue is generally denser than the breast tissue in older women. By the time a lump in a younger woman's breast can be felt, the cancer often is advanced…In addition, breast cancer in younger women may be aggressive and less likely to respond to treatment.”

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently assembled an Advisory Committee to increase knowledge and awareness of breast cancer in women under 40 as well as promote early detection. For more information, visit the CDC online.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

18 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowd

The White House Project is an organization with a goal: to put women in leadership positions. Diverse women. Empowered women. Women that know the importance of speaking up and standing out in order to shake it up. From their website, here are a few ideas from their list of 18 ways to stand out in a crowd:

1. Don’t take your passions lightly. Invest your time in whatever it is that you love. Are you totally into reading mystery novels? Are you happiest on the soccer field? Whatever your thing is, become an expert. You never know when one of your talents could help you start a business, rise to the top, or help you get into college.

4. Give the 411. Make others aware of the issue that matters to you. The best place to start is your group of friends, your youth group, or your school. Start small conversations about issues at lunch or over coffee. If your friends aren’t aware, inform them. Raising awareness about issues starts from the ground level.

10. Take matters into your own hands. Have you noticed that the cafeteria food is not up to par? Do you find yourself wishing for bigger lockers and more time between classes? Be a problem solver. Commit to improving the world around you. By writing letters, scheduling meetings with school officials, or rallying a group of concerned friends, you can make a difference.

What Has Obama Done?

We're not voting for President today, but on election day when politics is on the forefront of your mind, check out this website to remind yourself what President Obama has accomplished in the first two years of his term.

If you're scurrying out the door to hit the polls, we've posted a few achievements for you now:
  • Expanded hate crime law in the US to include sexual orientation through the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • Extended Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees
  • Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers
  • Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America's Veterans

Young People That Rock

  • Congrats to Marisol Valles for your new director of municipal security role in Mexico!

  • We've all been exposed to religious people that preach hate instead of love. These college kids did something about it. Remember: your voice is just as important. 

Photo credit: Pixomar

What Can We Accomplish in Five Years?

During the 2000 Millennium Summit, the United Nations convened to decide the global issues that need the most attention. The Millennium Development Goals were born: 
  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality rate
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development
What can we do in America to help achieve these goals before the 2015 deadline arrives?

Photo credit: dan

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lady Liberty? Women Hesitant to Run for Office in the U.S.

Political Strategist Stacey Chavis’s résumé rivals the Grapes of Wrath in length. Chavis is the former Southern Regional Director of the White House Project, Deputy Finance Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, Board member for United Way Metro Atlanta – Women’s Leadership Council, and graduate of Yale University’s Women’s Campaign School. Oh, and she runs her own political consulting, strategy, and training firm. In short, Stacey is an expert in politics, particularly in the area of women running for office. 

At Saturday’s Policy Forum 2010, Stacey educated the Younger Women’s Task Force about the state of our union and how the U.S. measured up when it comes to women in political office. “Did you know that the United States of America is 82nd in the world for women in elected office? We’re behind Mexico, Pakistan, and China.” You remember China, right? That country with a history of female infanticide is beating the United States in the number of females in elected office. “Women make up 55% of the voting population here. That means if women wanted a woman in office, we could make it happen,” said Chavis.  

So what keeps America’s women from running? “There are a number of factors at play here. It could be fundraising. Traditionally, women have a very hard time asking for money, which is how you fund your campaign. It might be that women are caretakers in relationships, and the children come first. Women often have to think about having dinner on the table every day at 5 pm. It’s hard to manage a campaign when you’re worried about your family. And some single women are worried that men will be intimidated by their run for office,” Chavis explained. 

Midterm Election Candidate and our own Policy and Advocacy Director Carry Smith spoke about her experience with her current bid for office. “It’s a challenge, running for election in the boys’ club. You would think that in our state sexism isn’t still prevalent. Well, it is alive here…People ask me if I have children, why I’m not married. It’s none of their business, but they still ask. Then the whispers start. My skin has gotten so thick since I began this race.” 

Even with the pressures Smith is facing on her campaign, it isn’t deterring her from running for election. In fact, the only way to combat these stigmas is to encourage women to stand up and fight for political office. Says Smith, “Women don’t have to simply coexist—we can lead.”

Photo credit Paul Martin Eldridge