What Girls Want
It was fun!
In late January, advocates for women and girls gathered in Santa Fe as NewMexicoWomen.Org held their annual legislative reception. Attendees numbered about 250. It was a lively, friendly, delightful atmosphere and an inspiring, informative evening.
Here are some notes from the sold-out, at-capacity event.
A prominent male politician took the stage and said, "Let's face it, patriarchy can't solve the problems it created. Our best strategy is to promote women, immediately." -- from the Keynote Address *
Notes collected from all speakers --
As a society we need:
- To be investing in women and girls
- Not just jails and housing for the needy, we need health, education, opportunities
- To get together and actually talk about issues that matter
- To hear from women who are at meetings like this
- To hear from women who are not at meetings like this
- Community advocacy
- To provide life stuff: reproductive education, reproductive control, education, physical safety
- As importantly, we need to allow women and girls to create art. They need art supplies.
- To talk to women and girls
- To listen to women and girls
- To trust women and girls
What women and girls want:
- Bus fare -- to get to events, to work, to learning centers
- Resources -- housing, food money, and other basic safety nets
- Community centers
- Diapers, healthy food, babysitting
- Notebooks, pens, paper, paints and paint brushes
- Science magazines
- Beautiful fabrics
- Time to sew, to read, to research
- Computer lessons
- Safe places
- Spiritual and social encouragement
- To be talked to
- To be heard
- To be trusted
- And, again, bus fare.
Keynote speaker Teresa Younger, Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO, flew in from New York and spoke beautifully, powerfully about the benefits of supporting girls and women in the modern era. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, treat yourself, she's wonderful.
Special guests included the sparkling, effervescent Dr. Patricia Trujillo, Associate Professor of English and Chicana/o Studies at Northern New Mexico College, and the beloved poet Andrea J. Serrano, also Deputy Director of Olé New Mexico Education Fund.
Partners from OLÉ Education Fund, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Tewa Women United and Young Women United were there, also the SouthWest Organizing Project’s Con Mujeres campaign.
NewMexicoWomen.Org (NMW.O) employs a three-pronged strategy to advance opportunities for women:
- Educate: NMW.O brings public attention to the issues affecting women and girls with an eye towards influencing policy and philanthropy
- Lead: NMW.O facilitates alliances among non-profits, funders and other sectors in order to concentrate resources and foster collaboration
- Invest: NMW.O leverages philanthropic investments in programs serving women and girls statewide through our donor education and strategic grant making efforts
To donate, or to find out more about NMW.O, visit this page.