Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
Shout-out to ALL the women who are running for Congress in November. As of now: 476 women have filed to run for the House in 2018 (compared to 272 who filed in 2016). Such a cool stat!
Marta Minujin is an Argentine artist who was recently awarded the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award this past March, celebrating her long career in the Latin American and Global art scenes. She got on my radar recently when I saw someone post a beautiful picture of her The Parthenon of Books exhibit that took place last summer.
This exhibit was located in Kassel, Germany on the site of a Nazi book burning. Comprising of over 100,000 once-banned books shaped as a replica of the historic Athens Parthenon, it served as a powerful symbol against censorship. It was the second time she created this replica, the first being in 1983 in Buenos Aires using books banned by the military dictatorship of Argentina.
Former Navy pilot (reaching the rank of lieutenant commander) after being turned down by the Air Force, Tammie Jo Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the Navy three decades ago, flying the F/A-18 Hornet in an time when women could not go on combat missions.
Tammie eventually side-stepped into commercial flying, becoming a part-time pilot at Southwest Airlines. On April 17, 2018, the passengers of Flight 1380 were lucky enough to have her in the cockpit. The engine failed on the Boeing 737, flinging debris from a fan blade into the plane. Tammie was calm and collected, making an emergency landing.
Those who followed the results of this week’s Boston Marathon probably already knew this was coming: FIRST US WOMAN’S WINNER SINCE 1985!
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALYSSA JUSTINE HARKER
Such a huge congratulations to Desiree Linden, who battled through some really nasty Boston weather to win the marathon. Trudging through the cold and slowing down so her teammate could have a restroom break, Desiree cruised to win by more than 4 minutes.
“Honestly at mile 2, 3, 4 I didn’t feel like I was gonna even make it to the finish line,” Linden said, via Roxanna Scott of USA Today. “I told her [Flanagan] in the race, I said if there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might just drop out.”
You have to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon, so Sarah Sellers had to have at least one marathon under her belt before the main event. It turns out, one was all she needed. Completing in just her second marathon, Sarah was the runner up. She ran the race without sponsors, and only signed up because her younger brother was also racing. The Arizona nurse plans to use the $75,000 prize money to pay down student loan debt.
I missed last week, so we’re double-dipping this week with two outstanding #WCWs.
I am so proud of the students all over the country that are stepping up and driving the national conversation around gun violence and gun culture in the US. I am especially impressed how the affluent kids from Douglas are recognizing and owning that the national stage they have isn’t often afforded to those who have to live with gun violence every day (mostly those that are Persons of Color and from poorer neighborhoods). These kids have chosen to share the stage and raise those voices. Enter Naomi Wadler.
Naomi was the youngest speaker at the March for Our Lives protest in Washington D.C. At 11 years old, Naomi gave a passionate speech about how women of color are disproportionately affected by violence, and yet get little to no media attention.
This years March Madness had a lot of action, a lot of upsets, and a lot of me gloating because I won my groups bracket challenge for the second year in a row. But my favorite story of the tournament was everyone fascination with Sister Jean, the 98 year old Catholic sister who has been chaplain to the Loyola of Chicago Men’s basketball team since 1994. Beloved by the students on campus, Sister Jean was a principal, coach, and teacher at schools in California and Illinois before being hired at Mundelein College, an independent women’s college that eventually merged with Loyola. For 81 years, she’s been a sister in the religious order of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin (BVM).
REALLY cool story about how an Illustrator working on a children’s book took to Twitter to help identify the only woman at the 1971 International Conference on the Biology of Whales (who happened to also be the only person “not identified”)
Spoiler Alert – the woman (Sheila Minor Huff), ended up being really dope.
Anybody that knows me can tell you that I have a few borderline-obsessions: coffee is absolutely one of them.
Alyza Bohbot took over the family business, Alakef Coffee Roasters, when she was 29 and saw that the company was struggling. One of the first things she did was start a sister company, City Girl Coffee Company, which makes it a point to fight gender equality in the coffee industry. She was adamant that a company that took a strong social stance could not only be profitable, but that social justice advocacy could be their greatest marketing tool.
City Girl Coffee gets its beans from farms that are owned or managed by women, and donates 5% of all profits to Orgs with similar stances (including International Women’s Coffee Alliance and Café Femenino). City Girl has a VERY strong online sales presence, and is slowly but surely moving into Midwest markets, getting into more and more grocery stores and co-ops.
In 1995, country music legend Dolly Parton started a local non-profit to help foster literacy in Sevier County, Tennessee. She started this program thinking of her father, a smart man who was unable to go to school because he had to work at a very young age to help provide for his family. He never learned to read or write. After remarkable success at the local level, Imagination Library quickly grew at a national level, now mailing at a pace of 1 million books per month to children in the program. This past week, Dolly was invited to the Library of Congress to celebrate the program’s 100 millionth book delivery.
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are now behind us, and there was a great showing from the kick-ass women representing the US. Below are the medal winners:
Gold: US Women’s Hockey
Probably my favorite event/results. The US Women’s Hockey team won gold for the first time in 20 years, preventing rival Canada from reaching the top podium spot for a 5th consecutive time. Added cool fact (not that it needed any): this win came on the anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, when the US Men’s Hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics, preventing their rival from moving on to the gold medal match, and potentially winning top honors ALSO for the 5th consecutive time (US went on to win gold).
Gold: Snowboarding – Women’s Slopestyle
Silver: Snowboarding – Women’s Big Air
Gold: Snowboarding – Women’s Halfpipe
Gold: Alpine Skiing – Women’s Giant Slalom
Silver: Alpine Skiing – Women’s Alpine Combined
Jessica Diggins & Kikkan Randall
Gold: Cross-Country – Women’s Team Sprint Freestyle
Lauren Gibbs & Elana Meyers Taylor
Silver: Bobsled – Women’s 2-Man Competition
Bronze: Figure Skating – Mixed Team
Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell, Maia Shibutani (who also got bronze in Figure Skating – Mixed Ice Dance), & Alexa Scimeca Knierim
Bronze: Snowboarding – Women’s Halfpipe
Bronze: Freestyle Skiing – Women’s Halfpipe
Bronze: Alpine Skiing – Women’s Downhill
Bronze: Speed-skating – Women’s Team Pursuit 6 Laps
Heather Bergsma, Carlijn Schoutens, Mia Manganello, & Brittany Bowe
Sherry Johnson was raped when she was 8 years old by multiple men in positions of power within her family’s religious institution. She was pregnant and gave birth at age 10, and was married off to one of her rapists at age 11. This did not happen in some hard to imagine, rural area of India or Afghanistan, but in Florida, USA.
Sherry’s story is at times an unsettling read (trigger warning), but I still highly recommend taking time to read it, because this blog post won’t do it justice at all.
Sherry is now sharing her story and spearheading efforts to call on Florida legislators to change current laws that allow young girls to be coerced into marriage via loopholes (permission from parents/judges). She hopes to help Florida become the first state to abolish child marriages (200,000 in the US in the last 15 years, 87% of which were young girls). The original bill proclaiming 18 to be the legal marriage age, no exceptions passed unanimously on January 31, but a similar bill was introduced last week to allow exceptions for pregnancy of 16 and 17 year olds.