After grabbing a quick Udi’s roast beef sandwich with caramelized onions, I dashed back to the tent for What Women Want: Journalists and Activists Connect Stories and Solutions. Rita Henley Jensen, Editor-in-Chief, Women's eNews, moderated the session. (They’ve been blogging from Denver this week, too.)
Sara K. Gould, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women introduced us to several women’s whose organizations have received grants from the Ms. Foundation. First, Althea Francois, Safe Streets/Strong Communities, New Orleans, LA talked about the devastation that Katrina still inflicts on New Orleans and how the city and the police department need to be rebuilt.
Mary Kay Harris, Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), Providence, RI talked about the struggles post-Katrina are representative of other crises and failed policy prescriptions across the country, and how systemic, comprehensive policy change in the Gulf Coast will ensure justice and well-being for families and communities throughout the U.S.
Rita Smith, Executive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, talked about domestic violence and pointed out that Joe Biden had sponsored the Violence Against Women Act. She pointed out that domestic violence services like shelters didn’t exist in New Orleans for three years after Katrina and are finally being replaced.
Jacy Montoya, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Denver, CO discussed how Amendment 48 and 46, on the ballot this November, will affect choice and affirmative action for women in Colorado. She believes that getting out of our “single issue silos” and getting people to talk about multiple issues helps them form allies in the social justice arena.
Liz Abzug, President and Co-Founder, Bella Abzug Leadership Institute also spoke. She said we need to take back our rights and power and the greatest opportunity is with Obama. She also believes that Biden is good for famlies, and that we need to get Obama into the White House so he can sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.