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A Publication of the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County
Anne Barga, “Green Buddha (Tara)”
Motherhood Beyond Stereotypes
Voices Around The Table Mark Your Calenders: Lunafest
The Woman’s World Local Perspectives: Women’s History Month
Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney’s Quill What’s in a Name
The recent rain has seemed to rejuvenate my spirit as I watch our community turn green and flourish. And maybe it’s the rain, but lately I’ve been feeling rather earthy, which is a difficult feeling to explain, but the other day, I told my friend that I felt like rolling in the mud just to be closer to nature. While my comment did garner an odd look from her, it was incredibly true. I’ve been craving the outdoors, and so despite the rainy weather, I’ve been taking long walks, hiking up our beautiful mountains, and getting some sand in between my toes. This is all, I’ve decided, an attempt to become more centered in spirit and quieter in mind—something that nature teaches us on a daily basis. And I think this is what spring is all about. As winter ends (oh wait…did we have a winter this year?) and spring approaches, we typically clean out our houses and get organized, but I find this the perfect time to also clean my mind of distractions and become a bit quieter in my daily thoughts. And in doing so, I will try to fill my mind with thoughts of gratitude, which is something that this issue of Women’s Press does as well. March is Women’s History Month, and we devoted a section in the paper to celebrating inspirational women. If you know someone who is an inspiration to you, say a silent thank you for this person. Could you imagine how different you might be if not for her influence? This month we also look forward to LUNAFEST! The event takes place on March 7th at the SLO Library. For the small cost of $8, please join us as we watch short films by, for, and about women. The event has been circled on my calendar for a month now, and I just can’t wait to feel the kinetic energy in the room as we watch, learn, and explore filmmaking at its finest. Finally, I encourage you to send us your thoughts and comments about our humble paper. In our next issue, we will have a local perspectives section celebrating Mother’s Day. Though this holiday is often viewed as “hallmark-y”, I challenge you to go beyond the obvious. In such a critical economic time, when so many of my friends and family are currently without employment, I have been inspired and moved to see communities of women come together to help each other. And so I think of mothers as not just women who have born children, but of women who have taught, encouraged, helped, lead, and supported, and really been the foundation for which all has been built upon. Send in your articles, letters, poems, and anything else you might think of about this topic. We would love to share your stories, furthering our commitment to you and those in the community. By Hilda Heifetz I’ve been saving a clipping from our local newspaper about a woodcarver who donated to our nearby park a sign showing his version of a ‘crane.” This was in tribute to what he believed was this bird’s habitat. Well…we have diligent and informed bird watchers in this area (Morro Bay, California is a bird refuge). There was an immediate outcry by them to let the woodcarver know that cranes don’t live here…but great, white EGRETS do! I can sympathize with the artist’s discomfort. As a matter of fact, several years before when I first moved to Morro Bay, I was raving to my new neighbors about my numerous encounters with the beautiful white cranes. They lost no time correcting me, that I must be referring to egrets. Their indignation made my mistake seem like a major offense against all egrets and that I was obliged to make amends. To write (right) the wrong, a poem emerged which seemed to allay my guilt and then was filed away. Somehow the woodcarver’s gaffe inspired me to bring out my poem and go public. For better or verse, I share my original:
Owed To An Egret… An Apology
I send my regrets To all egrets If I caused you pain By calling you “crane.” (It took more than I knew To identify you!) It is lots of trouble To have a bird double Who looks much the same But is different in name? I won’t be a botcher again Upsetting bird watchers again And I’ll never forget You’re known as “egret”! Dear bird, this ode to you is owed to you. Now, I cannot leave this confession without including my reflections following this experience. Having a predisposition to see the sublime in the ridiculous and vice versa, I also find my tongue likes to be in my cheek but also needs to wag with great seriousness. It was inevitable that I would ponder: “What’s in a name?” Even before I was introduced to William Shakespeare’s “he who steals my good name, steals that which does not enrich him, but makes me poor indeed” –even before that, I was shocked to learn that our Native Americans were not consulted about what they wanted to be called, but were named “Indians” by misguided explorers who thought they had landed in India! I have also learned that in the mysticism of the Kabala, a person’s name contains his destiny. In human beings the name seems to become the “self,” so that my friend, when asked who she is, promptly answered “Sarah!” Even more extreme that Shakespeare, to whom the loss of a good name is only impoverishing, taking Sarah’s name away could deprive her of her very existence. Do we go so far, as in the case of the egret, as to believe his life depends on correctly identifying him? Have I become ridiculous? The carver as well as the rhymester, meaning no harm, have been treated to the world of distinctions and differences. And the egret, by ANY other name, is still a beautiful bird and unimpressed by name calling.
Letter to George, the Night Before
By Judith Bernstein Note: I grew up in the house that George Putnam and Amelia Earhart lived in (Rye, NY), first in a “menage a trois” when he was married and she single, and later when he divorced his wife to marry her. So I have always been fascinated by the story of her life. She was a true ‘free spirit’ and wrote a letter to George the night before her marriage setting out some conditions, and letting him know he could still opt out. I imagined this letter in a poetic form. It’s the bite of marriage that I fear, markings left by teeth, a dog collar ‘round my neck (where once a silk scarf flowed) that say I have an owner. G.P., til now you’ve called me by my name, Amelia Earhart. Let that not change once we are wed. Our union’s not in names, nor written on a parchment scroll, nor sanctified by minister or state. Just as in passion’s moment we forget ourselves, mingling our sounds and smells, then reluctantly pull apart, taking back once more those places that were briefly bound, just so in marriage let us treasure times that bind, but also time apart. And sometimes sitting in my room alone, I forget for few moments I’m at home, and adjust my goggles at La Guardia field, reliving that delicious fear that leaves my arm pits wet, and then the rush of rising upward through the air then leveling off and floating with the currents. I may stay aloft past dark, then land for dinner. The clink of silver, the taking in of food and wine, the flight of words across the table feed our spirits as the meat our bones. Then let us drink a toast to marriage, regretting nothing we have left behind, celebrating what we bring together
About the Cover Artist
Anne Barga’s paintings have been described as containing a balance between spontaneity and control, emotion and thought. Her paintings are nature-based blends of abstraction and representation. Anne says “Everyone’s daily life is a series of emotions, thoughts, and impressions. I think, dream, and imagine colors and shapes to represent these sensations. My goal is to create art that is beautiful and that has wit and intelligence and humor. I hope my work inspires a natural high.” This painting, Green Buddha (Tara), was commissioned for Anne’s friend who is exploring Buddhist teachings. Tara, the Protectress, is known in many cultures as the ever accessible, all encompassing Great Mother. She is the embodiment of the highest qualities of wisdom, compassion, and power. Swift to reach out to all those in need, her 21 aspects reflect humanity’s radiant potential. Please see www.annebarga.com for more of Anne’s art.
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March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
Just a Moment The Children’s Bookshelf
By Lisa Pimentel Johnson “Molly Lou Melon stood just taller than her dog and was the shortest girl in the first grade. She didn’t mind. Her grandma told her, ‘Walk proudly as you can and the world will look up to you.’” Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, teaches us many life lessons: how to deal with being short, clumsy, not “magazine pretty,” and having a “voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor.” In this climate of adjusted parenting, it is her grandmother that steers Molly Lou through the rough waters of bully’s at school and self image issues. Using the sage advice of her grandmother, she walks proud, smiles big, and sings loudly in daily life. Both parents and children need to embrace the simple lessons taught in this delightful book. “Holy Frijoles,” cries the cutest, personality packed, Siamese cat ever written in children’s literature. His mother calls him, “Mr. Kitten Britches, Mr. Fuzzy Pants, Mr Fluffernutter, or Mr. Cocopugs.” Even if you don’t particularly like cats, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner is a story about a rambunctious kitty with an overactive imagination that will win your mind and heart with a swipe of his black and white paw. He is El Skippito, wielding a sword to save a roving band of Chihuahuas from a gigantic bumblebeeto. This mission involves lots of beans: black beans, baked beans, kidney beans, and jelly beans. Add some made up words like bangito, crashito, popito or friskito, and you have instant smiles. The drawings are engaging as well: colorful, “funeeto,” and whimsical. “Holy Guacamole,” every child should have this book! Children are highly entertained with body functions and can wax poetic for hours about one burp, one hiccup, or even rectal flatulence! In the book, Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray, it’s totally about a dog that produces the smelliest, most disgusting farts all morning, noon, and night. The children in the story love this dog in spite of his gas, but after trying different methods to cure the problem, the parents are ready to get fresh air in the house and take the dog to the pound. Luckily, Walter’s gas problem saves the day in a unique way, and the whole family learns to live with him and his special aroma. The illustrations are especially artistic and will make you want to study it in depth. Children will love all the farting in this book, and you probably will get some “demonstrations” of that particular talent every time this book is read! By Kalila Volkov Waiting for my carpool kids to spill noisily in (leaving tracks of sand) expecting the girlish giggles and stories from the halls of eighth grade I sit and ponder the name of the bird on the wire with a white spot high on its chest Fortunate am I to have these days where I can steal a twenty-minute rest breathing deeply where I can quietly watch my nature friends; contemplate new recipes; read poems; have an extended chat with my distant brother or sit among my ripening tomatoes Getting quieter still retraining my body to move more slowly to perch and gaze around me like the little bird
By Lisa Jouet My husband and I decided to try to get pregnant about 5 years ago, and we are now the proud 40-something parents of an active 2 ½ year old. Each day we are faced with myriad decisions regarding our child. At first, we read every book, magazine, and internet article we could get our hands on, beginning with pregnancy and birth. During my searches, I also met other parents trying to parent in the same instinctive, bonded, and positive way that we were. These other parents called their philosophy “Attachment Parenting.” The term is credited to a physician, Dr. William Sears. If you go to AP websites, eight principles are listed. They are; • Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting • Feed with Love and Respect • Respond with Sensitivity • Use Nurturing Touch • Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally • Provide Consistent and Loving Care • Practice Positive Discipline • Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life My upbringing had many of these principles, but certainly not all of them. I am glad I knew so many people who were willing to share their pregnancy, birth, and parenting stories. Everything I learned pointed me toward the goal of having a healthy pregnancy and an unmedicated birth. The path I started down with this first principle created a domino effect. As time has marched on, I try to embrace these principles every day. I make little mistakes just like everyone else, but I try to learn from them, listen to my instincts, and move on without regrets. For example, when it is time for our toddler to go to sleep, we go through our tooth brushing routine, read a few books, and turn out the light. One of us lies down with her in her bed until she falls asleep. Occasionally, I am annoyed when she does not fall asleep quickly, but I keep in mind that I want her to feel loved, safe, and secure. Before I slip away, I look I see her peaceful, sleeping face, and I feel so much happiness and love. More importantly, I feel I am doing the right thing for our daughter. If she wakes up during the night, we don’t make a big deal of it, and she finishes her night or morning in our bed. She sleeps through the night more often than not and wakes up in a very sunny mood. The most difficult task for me is positive discipline. When my child acts out, I find I am often at a loss, even for words. I was raised with a more authoritarian style of parenting, and according to my parents, I was as an easy-going child who did not often disobey. So here I am with an active, confident, and at times moody 2 year old who throws things at me when she is angry. My husband and I, however, choose clear and loving communication. We give her options and she chooses her path. Attached parenting is nothing more than parenting in the way history and time has proven to be most effective. Please join me over the next year, as I explore and explain each of Attached parenting’s eight principles. I believe that both you and your child(ren) will be enlightened and enriched.
Give, Sustain, Save: Breast Milk
By Jennifer Kaplan Salma Hayek recently made international news when she breastfed a malnourished African baby (in the Sierra Leone Region) while she was on a goodwill ambassador tour with UNICEF. Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world with many babies dying because their mothers are being forced to stop breastfeeding their children. Folklore and myths in Sierra Leone encourage many mothers to stop breastfeeding their infants within the first few months after birth because of pressure from their husbands. Tradition holds, in some areas, that it is not acceptable to have sexual relations with breast feeding women. It is also widely believed in this West African country that breast feeding does not provide enough food for a baby, and that colostrum, or first milk, is actually poisonous. These inaccuracies and stigma attached to breastfeeding has led to catastrophic events in this region. In an effort to encourage and educate the women there to breastfeed, Salma Hayek offered a sick baby boy her own breast milk. He hungrily accepted. Not only can we women give birth, but we are able to sustain life through our breast milk, and now, as Salma Hayek has shown, we can also save lives with the milk we can provide to babies. Give, sustain, save. Breastmilk is nature’s perfect food for babies. A woman’s body is designed to initiate breastfeeding minutes after giving birth, and babies are born with the innate knowledge of seeking out the breast and suckling. Breast milk is so vital to our children that the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and WHO (World Health Organization) recommend nursing our young for a minimum of one year, and they suggest that two year breastfed babies reap the most benefits. The babies of Sierra Leone could thrive if they were breastfed. Furthermore, according to world renowned Pediatrician and author, Dr. Sears, the benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk include not only an innate bonding between mother and child, but also germ-fighting and health-promoting ingredients. These help protect babies against all kinds of infections, common and not-so-common. Breast milk also contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between
Photo by Anna i Adria
By Edana Hall In the State of California, women have many choices on where, with whom, and how they will birth their children. Seemingly, much of the population is unaware that there are options that exist outside of the standard obstetric, medically-based model of care. In fact, there is a distinctively different model of care that addresses the individual needs of normal, healthy birthing women and their families; that approaches pregnancy and birth as normal, physiologic processes; that encourages women and their families to become informed, educated, and responsible for their health and health care. These standards are the hallmarks of The Midwifery Model of Care as practiced by today’s Licensed Midwives. Today’s Licensed Midwife has completed a didactic training course from an accredited college, has secured adequate clinical experience through apprenticeships or hands-on training, and has passed the State
Continued in Midwifery, pg 5
mother and baby by stimulating a woman’s body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give mothering a boost. So breastfeeding is good for the mother and the child. And here, in the United States, where we have so much, women all across the nation choose to forgo breastfeeding because it can be time consuming, painful at times, and can even ruin the look of a breast. Though there are some women who have physical problems and cannot breast feed, the majority of women not breastfeeding made a conscious decision not to. And though some women must return to work, science and nature has come together beautifully in the form of a breast pump, allowing women to pump their milk throughout the day, so babies may still have nature’s perfect food in the form of a bottle. To think that babies world wide are dying without breast milk, and here in the United States, women let their milk go, is sad. Salma Hayek might have given this newborn a fighting chance, but he needs more than one feeding. We do not yet know if this baby survived or if another woman or his mother resumed breastfeeding him. What we do know is that the stigma of breastfeeding in the African nation has been reduced. The myths are being questioned by mothers, and their maternal instincts to nurture and feed their children are being restored. The fathers might listen to the physicians who are urging the women to keep their babies alive by feeding them. It took Salma Hayek to reach out and feed a hungry baby, to share her breast milk, and to nurture a child to squash these myths. She was able to do more in that simple altruistic action than all the literature and education the WHO has been trying to get across to the people of Sierra Leone. Salma Hayek was simply, being a mother.
Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to Know Where Your Hassles Are Hiding? Economic Stimulus Opportunities Launch a “Hassle Hunt!” By Andrea Zeller
By Adele Sommers Is the water feeling a little choppy at your place of work? Is your boat bouncing around a lot (or even a little) these days? Are people getting seasick and looking around for the Dramamine—all because they keep sailing into barriers that keep them from getting anything done? That could be a sign of shark-like “hassles” surrounding your ship, or giant octopi waiting to strangle your productivity and morale. Or, maybe there are just a lot of little sea urchins out there, sucking the life out of your people and profitability! In any case, it’s time to go fishing for hassles — obstacles, hurdles, and frustrations of all shapes and sizes! Give everyone a “fishing license” along with a permit to clean up the waters once and for all. #4 feeling of momentum by tackling the easier ones first. A few quick successes can really boost morale! Filet: Dissect each high-priority hassle in a group discussion. Consider a range of potential solutions by brainstorming and analyzing as many ideas as possible. Create new, digestible recipes by adding ingredients and chopping out waste. Cook: Give everyone a chef ’s hat and identify actionees to sauté the solutions. Serve: Dish up a plan of action to meet regularly to track and monitor progress. Start by entering the hassles, priorities, actionees, and progress notes into a table, spreadsheet, or database, and update it before each meeting. By the time you read this, President Obama will have signed legislation authorizing the nearly $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama sought the creation of an Act that emphasizes infrastructure development and public works projects modeled much after the New Deal programs created by President Franklin Roosevelt shortly after he entered office in 1933. President Obama’s massive economic stimulus package is intended, much like President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, to jumpstart our flailing economy. As a business owner, have you thought about what opportunities this legislation will offer you? The new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act brings billions of dollars in contract opportunities to government contractors over the next several years. Do you offer products or services that could be used in the various areas where stimulus strategies are targeted? The government likely will award contracts to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, expand health care information technology, and continue military construction projects. Meanwhile, billions more will be provided to state and local governments for shovel-ready infrastructure projects, creating business for small and mid-size construction firms. For example, infrastructure development funds, such as highway and bridge improvements, will flow federal funds through Caltrans. If you are in construction, be sure your business is certified through the State of California to access the Caltrans opportunities. The Act also contains billions of dollars to improve health information technology, and there’s money for green initiatives. The US Army Corps of Engineers and the US General Services Administration will have numerous opportunities. Are you ready for this? If you have a product or service that can be used in any of these areas, you definitely want to prepare and position your company so that government buyers can quickly place contracts with you. Do you know how to get certified as a small business, as a womenowned or minority-owned business, or as a
Recipe for “Hassle Stew”
#1 Bait and trap: Invite everyone to a “hassle hunt” party. Tell people to bring back a net full of their most annoying hassles. Have people catch and return their ideas to you in advance or simply plan to start “fishing” at the meeting. No hassle is too big or too small to pursue! Weigh: Define each problem clearly in terms of what happens and why it occurs. Sort: Prioritize your hassles using a 5-question test. Use these answers to help determine the order in which to resolve them. Consider the a) perceived impact or severity, b) whether your customers are bothered, c) whether you can get a quick resolution, d) whether you can more easily achieve a missioncritical goal by getting rid of each hassle, and e) whether the solution is under your group’s control. While you shouldn’t ignore the obstacles that need more time and energy, you can generate a stronger
In conclusion, with ongoing vigilance, demoralizing hassles will stop invading your workplace like piranhas in pond. Management’s unflagging participation and support throughout this entire voyage will help ensure your ultimate success!
disabled veteran-owned business enterprise? Do you understand how to find and bid on government contracts? There is a parallel tract of things you need to do to best position your company to take advantage of these opportunities. First, get certified. Then second, identify which government buyers are likely to need your company’s products or services, and plan your marketing strategies to reach these buyers! You want to be sure your targeted government buyers know your company and are familiar with your products and services before the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act begin flowing. Here at Mission Community Services Corporation, we have the resources and connections to help you prepare to take advantage of these government contracting opportunities. Call or visit us today. Andrea Zeller, Executive Director of Mission Community Services (MCSC), coordinates Women’s Business Partners (WBP) to ensure all community resources are leveraged and optimized to support entrepreneurial women. WBP serves everyone interested in establishing self-sufficiency through small business ownership. WBP can take you step by step towards success and can help those who speak only Spanish. Visit www.MCSCorp.org or call 5951357 to find out more.
Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is a business performance consultant who helps entrepreneurs align their life passions with their business purpose. She also guides organizations through “tactical tune-ups” and “strategic makeovers” in individual or group sessions. Contact her today for a free initial consultation at Adele@ LearnShareProsper.com, or 805-462-2199.
Shifting Toward Hope
By Roberta Youtan Kay For the last 15 years of my professional life, I worked as a Diversity Trainer. This wonderful profession gave me the unique opportunity to lead workshops and seminars in workplaces all across the country and occasionally overseas. The sessions were designed to expose the inequity of treatment aimed at people considered “different” from the dominant culture. Dominant culture typically implied white males, so difference included many categories: those from other races, cultural and religious groups, the disabled, those of different sexual orientations, political ideologies, gender and age. I worked with executives, corporate managers, government bureacrats and laborers, university and school administrators and teachers to try to make the environment in the workplace more inclusive and hospitable. Trainings were designed to help eliminate prejudice and exclusionary practices commonly engaged in by our society toward those considered minorities or just those different from the majority . Throughout my years as a diversity trainer, I heard hundreds of stories from people of all colors that illustrated life experiences common to them but not part of my reality at all. Many of these stories came from my colleagues, partners with whom I led the majority of my trainings, as well as the participants attending the workshops. Over and over again, people would talk about being obviously followed and carefully watched as they went shopping, for example, or being singled out and interrogated by police when driving through white neighborhoods. Participants shared hundreds of stories about being treated like second class citizens or ignored by their teachers in school and being overlooked or not considered for advancement in their jobs. Occasionally, there would be shocking stories like the following one I’ll never forget told to me by a white woman. One day while she was pregnant and with her African-American husband, a woman came up to them, placed her hand on the woman’s swollen belly and said, “Lord, save this child’s life and free him from its devil parents!” Walking into a new training room, I never knew what to expect. I was often met with suspicion and animosity by participants who were not receptive to the goals of the workshops. I occasionally encountered blatant anger aimed at me, especially when the group consisted of no other people than white males. Since many of my sessions were mandatory for employees, my challenge was to win them over by creating a non-threatening, inclusive atmosphere where people could speak openly and honestly about their feelings and eventually get to the place where they not only tolerated but began to appreciate and realize the value of the differences we were discussing. I am happy to say that the majority of the time I was able to accomplish these goals. It was always extremely rewarding and gratifying at the conclusion of a workshop when participants would thank me for helping them understand the experiences of others. A man once wrote on his evaluation form: “I learned that diversity is not a problem that needs to be solved but rather an asset that needs to be implemented.” When those that had been oppressed in some way finished a workshop, they consistently talked about how much they appreciated the opportunity to finally open up and tell the truth about their lives in a room of co-workers with whom they’d worked, often for years, but to whom they had never really spoken the truth. Fast-forward to the election of our first African-American president and the ecstatic, enthusiastic world wide celebration of his inauguration. As many people have said on interviews and in newspaper columns, I never thought I would live to see this day. As I gazed at my TV on January 20th, 2009, and I looked at the faces representing the diversity of our country, I thought about the hundreds of people who had been in my trainings over the years and the emotional and shocking stories they shared. I felt the excitement all of those people must have been feeling on that day. Their deep understanding and appreciation for this momentous time in history had to be huge. I’m sure they, like I, felt the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. was beginning to be realized and that a major shift had occurred in our country, as President Obama said. My hope is that the countless tears of joy that have flowed from so many eyes since his election will mark the true beginning to the end of the unfair, inhumane treatment of those different from ourselves. In the words of Dr. King, “...that we will (finally) be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.” Roberta Youtan Kay, former Marriage and Family Therapist, has a private practice as a Life Coach. She specializes in Cross-Cultural Relationships and also works with issues specific to the Boomer Generation. Roberta can be reached at 805.929-5574 or by email at email@example.com.
March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
By Heather Mendel When my husband and I were married thirty years ago, I inherited the role of ‘rebbetzin’ that came with marrying a rabbi. When he proposed, he asked me to think about what this role would mean and how, to a certain extent, our lives, and those of our children, would become more public. What he did not foresee, or certainly did not warn me of, was the amusing comment that, over the years, has continued to amaze me: “That’s funny, you don’t look like a rabbi’s wife.” Always said (and received) with a smile, these few words have always left me bemused as I am not sure what a rabbi’s wife looks like and why I do not fit some preconceived notion. If the same people, casually met, would have been aware of my outspoken and passionate interests in feminism and spirituality, they may have been convinced that I definitely don’t sound like a rabbi’s wife! This comment has certainly served as a good introduction to my considering the role of stereotypes in our lives. Surface and substance—where does one begin and the other end? Our physical appearance; apparent strength or weaknesses; our gender, race, and nationality; the clothing, colors, and adornments we chose to wear—all are taken in instantly by those we meet and filtered through a perceptive lens that has evolved within them through their life’s experience. Each of us operate in the same way, and the more tied we are to the egoic mind, as described by Tolle, the more we assume that our perceptions of others, gained in this way, are valid. Such superficial coverings, including the personality traits we show to the world, conceal, in varying degrees, the essence of who we are—the former, where our individuality is found and the latter where our similitude resides in the identical divine sparks that animates each human being as children of One God, splendid in our diversity. What is not quite so obvious when we first meet, is the intangible information we intuit vibrationally. In an unconscious state, we are unaware that we take in information on many levels and that surface impressions are intricately tied to our own inner voice. So often our first impressions have more to do with ourselves than the person we are meeting. It is interesting to view all the subgroups we can identify with in terms of race, nationality, roles, gender, and sexual preferences (to name just a few) and then to think of the stereotypes that abound these
The Business of Yoga
Photo by duchesssa
groupings. Do they apply to us? Instantly we recognize where we match and more importantly, where we don’t. When I was training to become a speech and hearing therapist in what seems now to have been a separate lifetime ago, each therapist-in-training had to agree, for a period of 2 week and in all situations, to ‘become’ a stutterer to know what this speech disorder feels like to the person dealing with it. It was a humbling experience indeed. Ask any woman who chooses to wear the hijab in Western society, and especially post 9/11, how her choice affects the reaction of strangers in the streets, or its effects on the initial moments of meeting someone not of her faith, for the first time? What of the elderly, or those in wheelchairs, who experience invisibility as strangers address whoever accompanies them rather than talk directly to them? One of the many joys of having President Obama in office, is that the barrier of race has cracked and is crumbling. For the first time, many have been able to see through their own limiting stereotype to the essence of the amazing man who now leads our country and the world. His meteoric rise, a great gift to us all, has cracked open the imprisoning national lens that has separated us, one from another. How do we deal with difference? How much trust do we have in stereotypes? How much of our assessment of others is tainted because we are unaware or unable to see beyond the surface and the touch the substance of one another? Surely widening our perspective and becoming conscious of the lens through which we each view our lives will assist us to connect in more meaningful ways. B’shalom Heather Mendel’s website www.dancinginthefootstepsofeve.com is
By Yvonne Duran “I give thanks to my mother . . . for introducing me to the path of yoga as a child, her wisdom and guidance along the way, and for embarking on this journey we undertake hand in hand.” –April Thyrring I majored in psychology and child development, so “business” is usually the furthest thing from my mind. But then I took a class at Yoga Village, owned and managed by the mother/daughter team of Connie Murphy and April Thyrring. As a mother of a young daughter, who finds the interpersonal dynamics of daily tooth-brushing equal to negotiating peace treaties, my curiosity about such a business relationship was peaked. Connie, a yoga teacher since 1980 with a degree in finance, always wanted to have her own yoga studio. When her daughter April, a single mother of two, decided to pursue her yoga certification, Connie moved to the Central Coast to help. The yoga studio became a joint venture, and Connie and April were in business. As partners, they make major decisions together, divide duties based on personal strengths, and use their differences to their advantage. For example, Connie’s cost-effective perspective has been balanced by April’s eco-friendly perspective, better aligning their practice with their philosophy. They both note an intuitive communication style of effective mind reading and finishing each other’s sentences that comes in handy when getting a job done. But how is the infamously intimate and potentially tenuous mother/daughter dynamic handled in a business setting? For Connie, it has meant stepping back more as a mother. The mother/daughter partnership is multi-dimensional (the mother/ daughter hats don’t disappear) and so she is more cognizant of what and how she com-
municates. (I guess, “Because I said so” and “Because I’m the Mom” don’t lead to compromise.) For April, it’s a true application of having conscious union in relationships and being present with love and compassion. She says staying mindful of these yoga principles helps influence the business interactions with her mom accordingly. Additionally, Connie believes they bring their love of each other and yoga into their business. For example, because April practiced yoga as a child with her mom as do her children with her, they offer a yoga class where families can practice yoga together as a bonding experience. Then there’s the tea and refreshments served after class. It’s hard to deny the sense of nurturing experienced when someone feeds you. A beneficial business practice for their family is that Connie can support April’s role as a mother with flexible scheduling and division of labor. Both women concur that they have grown in their mother/daughter relationship through birthing a business. This March, they celebrate their one-year anniversary. Any parent who has ever thrown an over-the-top birthday party for an otherwise oblivious one-year-old knows the party is not for the babe, but for the parents who made it through that first amazing, though at times challenging, year. It’s evident in talking with Connie and April that their bond and regard for one another is strong. Whether it’s the yoga or just them, I’m going to keep bringing my daughter to family yoga with me. She loves it, and it’s significantly more mutually enjoyable than the mandatory practice of good dental hygiene. Yoga Village is located at 132 W. Branch Street, Arroyo Grande (located behind the Village Center). Feel free to call or visit their website: www.arroyograndeyoga.com or 805474-9884.
Volunteerism: Obama Style
By Matt Lombardini Recently a Food Drive took place though out San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties to honor the little known Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. “O.K. Another food drive,” you say. “Been there, done that.” Well, not exactly. From January 17th to the 19th, a small group of residents answered the call by then President-Elect Obama to honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday through a national “Day of Service” first introduced by the Clinton Administration in 1994. The group decided to conduct a food drive, but, wait a minute, it wasn’t just any food drive, it was a food drive “community-organizing style.” This style is the type of grassroots activism and action that elected President Obama regular folks making a difference. As community organizers, we approached Wendy Lewis, Volunteer Coordinator of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo with the idea of a door-to-door food drive throughout the County. The neighbor-to-neighbor appeal is something that we used to develop relationships and empower people to action during our work for President Obama. We told her what our target was and that we would organize and coordinate the event for her. Well, we did just that. Over 25,000 pounds of food and $4,000 in cash donations were collected for the Food Bank. We also approached Kathy Hayes, Director of operations of the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, with the same plan of action. In Santa Maria they took in over 2,000 pounds of food and $1,000 in donations as well. Volunteers working on the ground put in an average of just 4-6 hours each. According to Ms. Lewis, the Food Bank Coalition had never experienced this type of result in such a short period of time with very little effort on their part except to receive and stock their shelves. It was significant that the community approached them with the idea rather than the organizing trying to engage the community. This type of organizing, mobilizing, and empowering people around a specific cause is an example of how effective community organizing at the grass roots level can be. Our organization, named Central Coast United for Change, is one where community organizing is the model in which we help ordinary people through empowerment via resources and training to help others and to evoke real change. Community organizing can also be used to bring various existing organizations together to work toward common goals, such as the alleviation of hunger. In the coming months and years the model of community organizing may very well become the popular method for people to connect and help each other during these trying times. Our dependence on the government and non-profit sectors will no doubt have to subside, as funding for those various agencies becomes increasingly unable to meet the rising demand for resources and services. So, step up, get involved, and feel the power in helping others. The rewards are great for you and your community. Matt Lombardini can be reached at www. centralcoastunitedforchange.org and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Continued from page 3 Board Exam as administered by the Medical Board of California. As with any health professional, licensure is contingent upon the completion of continuing education units at conferences, workshops, and professional meetings. This ensures a midwife’s training and skills are based on current research, standards of care, and techniques. Licensed Midwives (LMs) are trained in all aspects of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum care as well as newborn care through the first six weeks. Their training includes certification in neonatal resuscitation and adult CPR, and they carry oxygen and medications to treat and prevent certain conditions related to birth. Additionally, LMs are capable of performing well-woman health exams including manual breast exams and annual Paps. They can provide contraceptive and family planning counseling. Clearly, their training ensures continuity of care throughout a woman’s reproductive life and beyond. For further information contact Holistic Midwifery Care: 805-462-8821 or e-mail email@example.com
Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Becoming a Giver to Life
By Laura Grace
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Gandhi
The Baha’i faith believes that God is Love and Love is God and that we’re here to express love. Being of service is an expression of love. It’s the highest form of giving. It joins us to the heart of another and reminds us that we are all connected. When we give unconditionally to others, we are actually giving to ourselves. At the Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment, we have a division called the “Circle of Selfless Service.” In Sanskrit, “self-less service” is called seva. Gurumayi Chidvilasananda once said that it is seva that accelerates the sadhana [spiritual path] of a seeker and lights the path to God. Within the Circle of Selfless Service, people are offered a pathway to tithe their time and talent to those in need. The joy and fulfillment experienced while giving never ceases to amaze the “giver.” They quickly discover that giving—without any expectation—allows them to unearth their own true spiritual nature. We also have a saying that “It’s GodLike to Give,” meaning the nature of God is unconditional love and infinite expression. Givers are joyful servants and know the meaning of genuine love in ways that others cannot. They realize that giving and receiving are the same, inseparably joined together—like inhaling and exhaling. Givers understand that our essence is love and that it is best expressed through seva: uninterrupted loving service. Giving, when done with a pure heart, enriches our lives in many seen and unseen ways. It opens the channel for abundance to flow in every area of our lives. With the amount of fear, doubt, and worry that people are feeling about the economy, the temptation is to constrict. Yet, this is not
Navigating Life’s Passages With Traditional Chinese Medicine
By Clare B. Lowery L.Ac. Let’s face it. In life, we as women must navigate many transitions. Not just minor transitions, like the seasonal changes in California, but major ones: girlhood to womanhood; a child’s body to a woman’s; menses and fertility, pregnancy, and menopause. On top of all of these natural transitions, we have the pressures of modern life, slightly disconnected with nature and natural rhythms. We worry about our weight, financial security, relationships, children, aging, and on and on. Accepting that this is all part of the precious lives we are given, it behooves us to find ways to ease these transitions, to navigate with awareness and find tools to stay centered when the storms hit. Fortunately, humans have been around for thousands of years and ancient healing systems are still available to keep us in balance. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the most comprehensive forms of natural medicine available today. Based on the concept of the dynamic balance between Yin and Yang, TCM has the tools to help women maintain balance through all of the natural changes we experience in life. TCM combines acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet, exercise, and lifestyle guidance to maintain optimal health. The ancient Chinese viewed the body as a microcosm of the universe. The body is composed of elements, as is the earth. Keeping these elements in the proper relationship to each other keeps our bodies functioning at its highest potential. Chinese Healers of ancient days observed the changes that the body goes through from birth to death and developed many reliable methods of treatment with needles, herbs, massage, and dietary modifications. If the goal is to stay healthy, balanced, and therefore content through life’s passages, it is nice to know that there is help out there. TCM offers a welcome balance to Western Medicine. Women in particular can benefit from natural medicine and, through TCM treatment, can avoid unnecessary medical procedures. Traditional Chinese Medicine today consists of acupuncture treatment with tiny stainless steel needles. Insertion is painless and once the needles are in specific acupuncture points on the body the enhanced flow of energy often induces a feeling of euphoria. Herbal remedies are prescribed and tailored to a patient’s needs. Dietary and lifestyle guidance, according to principles of balance, are also prescribed. This holistic system engages the patient with the practitioner in a dynamic relationship of discovery to optimal health. Clare B. Lowery L.Ac. is a Licensed Acupuncturist with a Masters Degree in TCM. She has been practicing since 1990. Recently relocated to San Luis Obispo, she may be reached at 805-541-6772.
Photo by channah
the time to succumb to fear. We are being presented with an opportunity to know that true abundance comes from within. Abundance is not something we acquire; it’s something we tune into. One step toward tuning into your true abundant nature is to practice giving your time, talent, or treasure. For example, if financially you are feeling a sense of lack, consider tithing your time or talent to your favorite non-profit. It doesn’t matter how you give but what you give and how you give it. The “what” can be your energy, support, and attention. The “how” is your intention, attitude, and awareness. There is a saying that it is easy to be a saint on a mountaintop, but the real proof comes when you return to the marketplace. Giving, when performed without conditions, is a pathway to awakening. As we cultivate an attitude of service, we learn how to make all of our life’s work service to God, and all aspects of our life become rich with meaning. Ultimately, we come to realize that serving humanity and serving God are one and the same. Laura V. Grace is the Spiritual Leader for the Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment in San Luis Obispo (www.spiritualcircle.org), an interfaith spiritual community. Laura is also a teacher and spiritual director, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. A syndicated columnist for more than twenty publications, Laura has penned 200 articles on spiritual growth and is the author of the books Gifts of the Soul and The Intimate Soul.
By MaryAine Cherry If I loved him enough, he’d take care of me. Right?! Several years ago I quit again. I quit another man that needed to keep me small by controlling and abusing me. I thought long and hard about giving up my home, security, retirement, the American dream, and the monster R.V. Can you actually picture me in RV parks? I couldn’t either. I just didn’t fit in. There were two or more personalities living in my body; the ‘in the box’ quiet, housewife model and the fun, spirited, and smart lady that my friends and clients knew when I was ‘out of the box.’ My wonderful enlightened woman friends were supportive free thinking types and somehow threatening to the man. “Security” meant my choices were limited and bland, a concession. I had material things, but my spirit was dying. There were good aspects, but for the price of my spirit, they just didn’t measure up. Some of my choices are limited now financially, but the difference is I am not trading my soul anymore. Several times in my life I’ve made the huge decision to become single. It’s scary, exhilarating, lonely, and great to make my own way in peace, quiet, creative joy, and passion. It’s funny—except for sleeping alone, I’m really not more alone than I was when I was married. Divorce freedom is painful, but some of my biggest accomplishments have also come with a high cost: pain. In visualizing, some of my good feeling anchors are the births of my children—glorious, loving, and painful, and hiking to the top of Half Dome in my forties—amazing at the top and painful getting there.
By Jill Turnbow I am fortunate in that I didn’t need to wait until my last dying breath before having my life flash before my eyes. I just had to sign up for Facebook. If you haven’t discovered this latest obsession, you simply must… unless, of course, you are in the Witness Protection Program or hiding from your past. Because believe me, with one simple click of the mouse, your entire life will come flooding forward. At first, I signed up simply to connect with a couple of business acquaintances. But from that first “poke,” the doors were thrown open: friends from school, from earlier careers, from theatre companies... all popping up one by one, eager to reconnect. It only took a few days for hundreds of friends to find me, many I have not seen or heard from in decades. And now they are posting grade school photos, bringing up long-lost memories, and generally parading my past in front of me. It’s a kick, really. It’s been a joy to realize how many circles I have traveled in throughout my life. Yet, I must say I am fascinated in this need to update your “status” at all hours of the day. I believe my generation is picking up the younger generation’s uninhibited belief that every moment of our day is a milestone and should be shared with the world. I have a wonderful, interesting life,
but I’m pretty sure the fact that I am cleaning the toilet or inspecting the dog for ticks does not need its own declaration. (by the way, I never do either of those things!) But I’ll play along for now. Because I’m lucky that a great percentage of my friends are comedians and their status updates are hilarious. If you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, don’t be afraid. Facebook is fun. But you can always tell who is new to Facebook. They will throw hypothetical objects at you, subject you to quizzes and surveys, and poke and poke and poke. Then after about a week, all that fades and the questions begin. “How are you?” “Where are you?” “What are you?” I love it. And I love that at my age, I can finally answer those questions.
A well kept secret is that women are particularly powerful because we live on a feminine planet. We have the ability to tap into the creative power of Mother Earth anytime we desire. We create energy for others. And so woman need more self love and appreciation. It is an internal awareness that is ignited by one’s spirit. We teach others how to treat us. That means if we have respect for ourselves, we will receive respect from others. Natural boundaries will come easily as we actually live being true to ourselves. Women are amazing beings; we can move mountains when we need to and most of us have at some time our lives. Today I am birthing a new intention of the woman I am. Collectively we can trade in the old paradigm and use our incredible hearts, the power of intent and love with our resilient feminine expressive energy to create joy and peace. We have options and resources to remember. We are creators and we can be the change we wish to see. MaryAine Cherry MRET, CMT RETurn to JOY! Tomorrow is created by your thoughts today! www.return2joy.com 805-773-4475
March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
Voices Around the Table: How do you make your home a sanctuary?
Susan Lynn Hoffman In answer to what I have found a very provocative question, I’ve been thinking why isn’t my home a sanctuary? And, what does sanctuary even mean? I used to believe it meant safety, where no one or nothing I didn’t want in my life could get at me. But turning sixty this past year has shifted my point of view. My mother died when she was sixty, and on my birthday I chose to be alone in my house, refusing offers from friends to celebrate, refusing my own dreamy desire to be in Santa Fe or even Spain on that day. My birthday came and went quietly in my house, my safe zone, my sanctuary. But now, approaching my birthday this year, I don’t think that is what sanctuary means anymore. What possibly makes my home a sanctuary, and always has, is books, even when I was a little girl holding tight to fairy tales while I slept. The words which are imagined or researched and then printed on the blank page become a spiritual experience where my “home” is the whole world and all that is in it, whether safe or unsafe. If sanctuary is about compassion and wisdom, which I hope it to be as I grow older, it is found in my home in crowded bookcases, stacked on tabletops, tucked under my pillow, or held lovingly in my hands, with gratitude for learning something new. Jeanie Greensfelder While I like to think my home takes care of me, it does take preparation on my part to enjoy that illusion. Recliners please me: one indoors and a folding one outside where I can watch the birds at the feeder and experience my backyard as a living room. Familiar art and fun mementos provide a dependable backdrop. Supplying food, quiet, music, and exercise space allow me to feel comforted and cared for. Katy Meter My home became my sanctuary once I learned to allow in it all the people and things that make me peaceful and blessed and keep out everything else. There is no other place I have this allowance. Megan Selby As long as my bed is made, the rest can fall apart: that makes me feel peaceful in my house. I accomplished something. Kristen Tara McNamara I try to furnish my home in a way that’s inviting to those I love and comfortable to me. My home is an external extension of my personality—always getting better, more comfortable, more secure. Christine Dewart Fill your home with the things you love! I have myself a designated cozy area where I like to curl up and read a good book, on an amazing bed dressed in flannel and layered with blankets, with an explosion of photos and drawings on my wall that make me smile. I, of course, have a radio preset to country and hip-hop/r&b, and my Ipod is packed with a variety of playlists—to match whatever mood I am in. A home should also always have a social area—in my home the kitchen seems to be the place where my roomies and I hang out the most. The kitchen is where we start our mornings with breakfast talk and wind down the day with story-telling over dinner. Lastly, one must always have flowers—my roomies and I like to keep a vase of fresh, brightly colored flowers on our dining room table to keep our spirits up; there is something about flowers—especially the pretty yellow ones, that make you feel good inside. Sally Demerest When I was single and lived alone, I made my home feel special by trying to keep it uncluttered and by doing things like burning incense and candles. Now, I can’t really do those things because the clutter keeps coming back, my husband doesn’t like incense, and the candles don’t seem safe with a family and a dog. So now? My home is a sanctuary because my children call it home, because it’s where I can sneak into their room at night and watch them breathe. My home is a sanctuary because it is where my children feel safe. Sarah Taylor Maggelet I take a long hot shower at night and settle into freshly laundered sheets to read a good book in peace. Denise Gibbons I try to keep it clean because if it is dirty I stress out. Sadie Johann I make my home my sanctuary by keeping everything that stresses me out in my car (I should mention that I don’t have kids, so I’m not leaving them in the car). Laurel White I don’t add much to my home to “make it” a sanctuary. It is my sanctuary because that is where I have all the things I need: My husband and my children. Jen Kaplan The favorite part of my home is our bedroom. Our bed is where both my children eventually wind up in the middle of the night, both curled up around me and my husband. So, my bed is sacred to me. To make it a sanctuary, I make sure I have the softest sheets I can afford and have a few scented candles in the room. So all night long we sleep in a soft, cozy bed filled with the warmth of our children. That is a sanctuary to me. Leslie St. John I keep it clean. I take baths. I have books in every corner and windows to look out. Jennifer Ashley My home is not often my sanctuary—it’s usually the place where I feel weighed down with expectations to provide for my family (by folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, or cooking some semblance of an edible meal). Instead, I find sacred alone time at a cafe or the beach where I can just think, read, write, and be. Melanie Senn I really feel we’ve made our home a sanctuary by not having a television. Okay, we DO have one, but it’s tucked down in the basement in a cozy corner, and we don’t have cable, so we just use it to watch movies. Upstairs, in our main living space, we have a big cozy couch and chair, but we spend most of our time on the floor. We have two big rugs, which are perfect for lounging, stretching, reading, and playing; that’s where the action is. When I was growing up, the T.V. was always the focal point and always on. I don’t miss it. For the next issue: In these stressed times, what do women of the world need now? Please send responses to email@example.com
Come to the SLO Library on Palm Street on Saturday, March 7, 5:30 PM to view 90 minutes of short films by, for, and about women: LUNAFEST!
Cost is $8 ($6 for students) Proceeds go to Women’s Press and Cal Poly Women’s Programs and Services. Go to www.lunafest.org to view the trailer.
Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocating a Broader Ecology
Presents A Monthly Series of Spiritual Workshops
Save the World
Temple Beth David, 10180 Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo Third Thursday of Each Month • 7-9 pm • $20
Contact email@example.com or (805) 541-6874 for more information. By Berta Parrish We all care about ecology, but how much of our time, energy, and talent are we willing to commit to it? Defined as “the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment” ecology is councilwoman, activist, and educator Betty Winholtz’s driving force. She embodies a dedication to enhancing the ecology of her community and county. “I’ve always been interested in habitat—specifically housing. Humans and animals both need shelter, and they dramatically affect each other, along with trees and plants.” However, she adds, “We don’t completely understand this interdependence of all living things. We’ve the resources, but we manage them poorly.” Helping people to wisely manage their private and public resources could be Betty’s mission statement. Surrounded by the events, petitions, and concerns of her father’s city planner role, she learned servanthood and civic responsibility early. From her first job as a church youth director, to Graceland College’s (in Iowa) housing and program development department, to academic tutoring, and to Morro Bay’s City Council, Betty has encouraged people to take responsibility for improving the quality of their lives. She stresses that “People need to get involved, to influence what happens in their communities. Look at what people have accomplished with Harmony Headlands, the East/West Ranch, and other groups, such as CAPE (Citizens Alliance on Power Plant Expansion).” Even the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments has recognized her service and strong commitment to environmentally-sensitive problem-solving. Betty is particularly respected and appreciated for her tireless efforts to save the trees from certain unwise practices in the county state parks. She believes that “Nature is everywhere. And we can learn so much if we watch, listen, and sit with it. Trees are the life force. They attract the wildlife, especially the birds, that we so enjoy. We must speak for those aspects of our environment that cannot speak for themselves.” Following her passion, she brings compassion and a keen intellect to fight for the preservation of the local and regional natural habitat. Betty Winholtz proves that one person can make a huge difference in the way things work in our society. One does not have to be a Citizen Advocate like Betty to impact a small part of the vast, interconnected web of life. If we each try to improve the strand that we most care about, where our heart’s longing meets the world’s need, we can build a healthier ecology and everyone and everything benefits.
In this workshop, we will explore how ancient wisdom may support the integration of a powerful and authentic sexual identity. Gentle movement and journaling will be incorporated into this workshop. Please bring a journal and wear comfortable clothing. Bailey Drechsler is a professor in the Human Development Department at Cuesta College. She has been leading workshops in women’s healing and empowerment, multicultural sensibilities, and mindful conflict resolution since 1987.
BEING vs. DOING: Meditation for our Awakening World
Come spend an evening in inspiration, conversation, and practice, exploring how BEING rather than DOING just a few moments each day can change your life and transform our world. Meditation is simple. You will leave this workshop with the tools to begin or re-energize a personal meditation practice. Nancy Ballinger has over 25 yrs. experience with her own meditation journey and has lovingly shared these teachings for the past 10 years through workshops and weekly meditation groups. She is the Spiritual Director of the AWAKENING Interfaith Spiritual Community in Morro Bay.
... looking for a spiritual change?
e Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment is an interfaith community dedicated to celebrating diversity and honoring the spirit that connects all things.
Spiritual Leader: Laura V. Grace
Please join us for meditation at 9:30am each Sunday before the service
Sunday School Provided: Educational and Fun 1500 Lizzie St., Room J-2, Adult School, San Luis Obispo
Sunday Services 10:00am
For more info: 805.541.1963 Website: www.spiritualcircle.org E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us for a celebration of expanding consciousness and love.
March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
The Woman’s World
Our Feminist President
By Cassandra J. Carlson Since the inauguration of Barack Obama, the world has focused on the first 100 days of one of the world’s most prestigious positions. Currently, a cloud of recession lies over America while unemployment rates rise. Americans are struggling to pay for adequate health care, higher education, and even food. Those most hurt by the economy will be of course the poor, but the economy will also impact women the most. But this isn’t just a national issue; it is a global one. Obama’s new arrival brings forth an era of urgency for furthering women’s rights, especially since the political agenda under the leadership of former President George W. Bush was slim and barely included a feminist’s agenda. A recent cover of Ms. Magazine shows Obama in a superman-like pose, ripping at his suit jacket, revealing his t-shirt with bold white letters that reads: “This is what a feminist looks like.” So does Obama truly earn the title of feminist? With recent legislation pushed by the Obama administration, Democrats hope to take the country in a new direction. While the passage to expand state children’s health insurance program has satisfied many feminists throughout the country, the economic stimulus package, totaling $787 billion, lacks the support of some women’s rights activists because most of the money is allocated for roads and infrastructure, instead of social programs. But Obama has made direct action toward women’s rights in his the first two months as president. With the help of the majority of mostly Democrats, Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act to end pay discrimination based on gender by amending the statutory limitations period. This enactment gives women a voice to speak up about inequalities in the workplace. Although the Ledbetter Act does further women’s rights in the work place, it does not close the gender pay gap completely. Employers are not forced to disclose every employees salary, so employees cannot gauge what they are compensated for compared to their counterparts. A call to transparency would lead to fair pay in the workplace, but regulation must also happen. Fairness in the workplace is not a recent issue. Over the last 45 years, an Equal Pay Act of the United States of 1963 has had little to no enforcement. Now, as the Ledbetter Act creates new legal opportunites for women, there needs to be provisions made to secure that women make an equal amount in the United States and elsewhere. This is a fight where women will have to demand fairness and transparency. This will further women’s agendas by having legal protection against discriminatory pay practices; that is, if they get the job. In Obama’s cabinet alone, only three women make up the 15-member cabinet, and it’s possible they’ll add Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas as Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) since Tom Dashchle’s recently withdrew his name for consideration. This was one woman who was also talked about in the blogosphere as being a possible contender for Obama’s vice president last year. As of press time, Obama had not made a final decision on Sebelius as HHS. On a global level, Obama rescinded the Global Gag rule on his third day in office. The rule, reinstated by the Bush administration, barred U.S. funding foreign health care organizations that provided abortions or abortion counseling and legalizing abortion in their own countries. Obama acknowledged the gag rule’s limitations on free speech, women’s health, democracy, and healthcare workers rights. “For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.” The global gag rule, which has been implemented and repealed in an ever-ending political tug-of-war is now solved, for now. His policies are not without critics and not everyone will be happy with all of his choices. It is a proud moment for women globally that Obama came out swinging in his first few months in office, implementing changes that would directly affect women in the United States and globally. The challenges the constituency faces in the upcoming downturn of the economy is hopefully seen by President Obama. The 56 percent of women who voted for him along with the 49 percent of men created a want and need for a new direction for the country. On election day, the women created an outstanding and satisfactory gender gap, the seven percent gap, a strong statement to Obama from his women voters that supported his messages at the election booth, checking the box to the most historical presidency yet—America’s first presidential feminist, President Barack Obama.
By Hannah Hewes-Clark I’m in high school. High School: the most notorious place for “girl drama.” Drama about who stole whose boyfriend, who’s wearing the hottest dress at Prom, who acted like a slut at the last party, and which clique rules the campus. All women have been there, have seen the cruelty between females during the ripe ages between fourteen and eighteen. Teens claim, “Ugh, I hate drama,” and yet they pursue it, find any reason to gossip about a fellow student. I can’t imagine that this is a generational issue; movies and novels portray the same situations. Furthermore, it is becoming more popular for older women to be depicted as highly dramatic people, as evident in such shows as “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “The O.C.,” and “Desperate Housewives.” In these programs, women are ruthless and just as catty as any fifteen-year-old who is running low on self-esteem. For this reason, I have to assume that conflict between women is built into human nature; it is natural for us to feel resentment, jealousy, anger, and hatred toward each other. While I’d like to full-heartedly believe that women should support each other at all costs, an inevitable competition sometimes drives us apart. What would really happen if we all stopped “hating on” each other? Would we turn against men? Would our social cliques fall apart? These are questions that modern females find themselves asking in their everyday girl-togirl relationships. In this two-part series on friendship between young women, I’d like to explore the ways some groups of young women avoid excess competition while fostering stronger, better friendships Although I am acutely aware of the “drama” that permeates the cliques at my school, I try to exclude myself from such trivial behavior. If someone were to ask me if I belong to a “clique,” I’d initially say no, but I do have a close group of girlfriends. Let’s assume a clique is a group that prevents others from joining. From an outside perspective, it is easy to label my group of friends as a clique, because although we do include plenty of people who haven’t known us since kindergarten, our foundation took root as five year olds and naturally no one else can know as much as we do about each other. We’ve been best friends since kindergarten, and every year we become closer, more aware of each other’s individual personalities, and more accepting of our differences. In this sense, I wouldn’t define our group as a clique, but simply a very close and unique group of friends. In our early years, it felt as if we were at constant battle with one another, always getting into random tiffs about nonsense that only third-graders would care about. Junior high was a growing phase—like most kids at that time, we were trying to figure ourselves out, and our overly introspective and mostly self-critical viewpoints separated us. We were so worried about ourselves that the strings that had been holding us together momentarily loosened. By sophomore year, though, we were back together as a unit. Joined, we felt like nothing could stop us. This was the year that we began to
give each other strength and confidence; it was also the year that I consciously became aware of associating my self-identity with my girlfriends. It felt like we were so in tune with each other; we weren’t clones of one another, but our differences matched up so perfectly. We were able to support each other in everything, and we backed each other up no matter what. Our isolation from the otherwise raucous high school community allowed our unique qualities to find their way out, and individually, our self confidence increased. When around each other, which was most of the time, we didn’t feel like we had to fake anything. We knew that we weren’t being judged, and we felt totally accepted in our little group. Junior year, we had the tools and experience to reach out to more people. We started socializing with other groups and, as our sexual identities flustered about, we began talking with boys more. Despite our exposure to the ups and downs of the high school social scene, I still felt just as connected to my girlfriends. They were still a huge part of my identity, and I found myself growing even closer to them, because as we all grew and matured and changed, we watched each other, and did our best to understand each other’s changes. Now, as a senior, I know that these girls—excuse me—women have played an enormous role in shaping who I am today. They gave me the opportunity to, first, look into myself, then to feel comfortable allowing my natural characteristics to shine, and finally, to explore my interests and to set goals. Although I know that I will never have to compete against them, and that they will always have my best interests in mind, it’s hard to say how we’ve accomplished this when most other relationships between females indicate otherwise. I also know that I have watched these young ladies transform. Each has her own individual talents and qualities that make me so incredibly proud to call them my friends. Leaving my friends next year is probably going to be one of the most difficult days of my life, and I’m fully aware that I’ll miss them immensely. I’m also aware that I might never encounter such unique friendships with other females. I’m scared of the future, but I know that I’m ready for it because of what these women have given me. When looking at my own relationships with other females, I’ve found that, yes, I’ve learned from the self-degrading mistakes of girls at my school, but I’ve learned the most about being an independent, strong, and confident woman from the friends I’ve carried with me. And that’s the best kind of female relationship—when one woman can find role models, sisters, daughters, and therapists in other women. Cat fights are always going to be prevalent in our society, but how can we as individuals avoid them? How do we create and develop friendships with other females that are healthy and that make us feel empowered instead of aggressive or upset? These are the questions I will address in the next article, in which I will reflect more on the power of my own friendships and the observations I’ve made about other female relationships.
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LocalPerspectives: Women’s History Month
Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cal Poly Women’s and Gender Studies at the SLO Public Library
By Rachel Fernflores Professor, Cal Poly Women’s and Gender Studies Department For several months I have been working with Kristine Tardiff, manager of the SLO Public Library, on the Cal Poly Women’s and Gender Studies (‘WGS’) lecture series at the San Luis Obispo Public Library. In working together, we have learned that we share a commitment to expand and enhance adult educational opportunities in the county. In addition, we both believe deeply that the best approach to thinking, learning, and engaging in debate is one that does not shy away from controversial ideas. And, we agree that among the most controversial ideas worthy of discussion in the public forum are those that come from feminist insight and scholarship. Thus, in our lecture series we are showcasing five of Cal Poly’s most experienced and knowledgeable feminists. On January 6, a crowd of over fifty people heard Dr. Jean Williams present ideas from her recent book, The Politics of Virginity: Abstinence in Sex Education. Without any intended hyperbole, I thought I felt a collective cathartic release from the audience as we listened to Dr. Williams critique the politics and ideology of abstinence only sex education from a feminist perspective. The discussion was respectful, engaging, and enlightening. It was great. As we work our way through the rest of the series, there are equally interesting lectures to which we look forward. On Tuesday, March 3, Dr. Judy Saltzman-Saveker will discuss ways in which feminists have been critical of male dominance in religion. On Tuesday, April 7, Dr. Camille O’Bryant will give a presentation about Title IX in which she will address issues pertaining to sex discrimination in sport. And finally, on May 5, Dr. Jean Wetzel will talk about the role that the courtesans played in Classical and Renaissance art, as well as in the art of the Ming-dynasty. As employees of county and state institutions, Kristine at the library and myself at Cal Poly, we both feel the pinch of cutbacks to education and learning. The library needs more resources. In WGS, we need more resources. And at the same time, Kristine and I think that now is the time to be as industrious as possible in using what we do have. She’s got a library full of people interested in debate, ideas, and learning. I’ve got a department full of feminist scholars with expertise and ideas they want to bring to the rigor of public debate. And so a lecture series is born! Please come to the talks, the first Tuesday of every month, in the Community Room at the SLO Public Library, 995 Palm Street, 6-8 p.m. There is no charge, everyone is welcome, and refreshments will be served courtesy of Friends of the Library. Visit the Cal Poly WGS web site for more details: http://www.cla.calpoly.edu/wgs/
Talent Is As Talent Does
By Inglis Carre’-Dellard, M.F.A. What is this thing called, “Talent?” Is it a magical quality bestowed only on a few of us by our parents, or by divine agency, or by fickle chance? While many artistic people do come from artistic families, it is likely that this is more the result of nurture than of nature. And, if magical talent is randomly doled out by a Greater Power to only a few, then wouldn’t that contradict the idea that we are all made in the image of the Ultimate Creator? Guess what? The vast majority of good art is made by ordinary people, not gifted geniuses. It is also true that a small percentage of all art that is made soars to a new level, and often defines a new level. But if we look at what lies behind these great works, we are likely to find that they are the end product of consistent hard work by people who constantly strive to better their skills and who nurture their own unique voice. They follow their own muse and set up conditions that foster artistic inspiration. Behind each great work of art there are stacks of not so great works that prepared the way for greatness. It is not an accident that they are called “works” of art. Developing good art is a lot of work. There will always be art that is “better,” more marketable, given more critical acclaim than ours. So what? How is this fact going to help us when we’re alone in the studio, staring at a blank canvas? Does this idea of magical talent empower us to push forward with the work of bettering our skills and speaking with our own voice? Or does it give us an excuse to sabotage ourselves by giving up our power of personal choice? After all, if talent is determined by fate or genetics, some of us have it and some don’t…right? Wrong. Rather, I would say that the real magical quality is Desire. It fuels ordinary working artists every day. True greatness lies in persisting in the work of our hearts and returning to it even after a detour, because it is our home. It’s time for us to put away the notion of magical talent. It’s time for us to pick up our brushes and begin! Inglis Carre’-Dellard, M.F.A. is a Los Osos artist and teacher whose nature inspired oil paintings are the product of an intuitive encounter with the unknown. Her teaching style emphasizes individuality and self expression in a nurturing environment. For more information, e-mail her: email@example.com
Passionate Communication and Connection
A Strong Woman: Hua Anwa
By Tobey Crockett PhD I have spent my life surrounded by women. Having been raised by a single mother, and attending all female schools from first grade through my bachelor’s degree, I can truthfully say that I have been lucky to know quite a few remarkable women. As a former New Yorker, growing up in the big city, I was exposed to a wide variety of potential role models: executives, teachers, artists, stockbrokers, lawyers, pastry chefs, and moms. But among the many superb examples of feminine strength, versatility, and sagacity that I have had the good fortune to meet, it is a local Arroyo Grande woman who stands out to me now: Hua Anwa, a Metis teacher and the spiritual leader of the Church of Empowerment, a Native American based community which follows in the Medicine Way. Hua, a long time resident of the Central Coast, has been leading an annual celebration of the traditional Long Dance for nearly two decades now. Falling on or about the autumnal equinox each year and lasting a few days, the Long Dance event gathers together some one hundred or more women into a great community circle of drumming, singing, sitting in a sweat lodge, and teaching that culminates in an all night ceremony lasting from sunset to sunrise. With the event held on remote, private land near Lopez Lake, both men and women participate in the village building and the communal creation of sacred space that makes possible this highpoint of the spiritual calendar. It is a mighty undertaking, requiring weeks and months of advance planning, organization, and the gathering together of materials, resources, and various community partners. It is gift to see this strong woman open her heart to so many and set an example of respect, caring, and yes, deep humor as well, for Hua is too smart to take herself too seriously. She never places herself above anyone else despite the great body of knowledge and rich experiences which she has accumulated over the years. Since she is always open to learning more, Hua inspires loyalty and generosity from other teachers, elders who choose to share with her community, which is a great benefit to us all. Though she is consistently inspiring, precise, and even electrifying in her instruction of others, Hua is nonetheless a gentle and patient teacher. What really touches me and impresses me about the way Hua approaches her various offerings to her spiritual community is the integrity and consistency with which she conducts the daily business of getting things done. There is a clarity and transparency to the way she goes about solving problems, teaching classes, and leading ceremony that communicates the deep respect she has for others, and indeed for the entire Web of Life. Hua is not afraid to show her true spirit and lay her feelings bare, and in this, she sets the finest example. She does not hide from challenges or sorrow, but nor does she dwell on it. Like us all, she is simply a human being. And how rare it is for us to watch the evolution of a fellow seeker? I really admire her gift of spiritual intimacy, her easy grace and compassion, and I am happy that I can call her friend, as well as teacher. Thank you Hua.
Photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski
Judythe Guarnera “Judy’s passion in life was to promote connection through communication.” These are the words I want on my tombstone. This may be the greatest contribution I can make in my lifetime. When I was young, independence was a major goal. Years later I acknowledged that independence was impossible. We are all interdependent, relying on those around us to obey the laws and mores of our times, though we often forget about the interdependency we have on one another’s words. I experienced an “aha!” moment when I acknowledged how hurtful or helpful words can be. This interwoven word play occurred recently at a meeting when we were discussing the power of words. A maintenance worker came into the room complaining that we were parked in the slots designated for the residents with disabilities. After he left, someone commented that “he sure was territorial.” I suggested replacing territorial—which to me connoted someone acting bossy or pushy—with “It sounds like he was being protective of the residents.” The discussion about how words can color a conversation with positive brush strokes or negative ones suddenly became germane. If we assume that others have had the same experiences as we did, it might follow that they carry the same emotional baggage. A word which evokes one type of memory or reaction for an individual may produce an entirely different reaction or have no relevance at all to another. The wrong word or an emotionally charged word(s) often elicit an unintended reaction. A perfect example of this happened when a friend could no longer care for her husband at home, and tearfully said, “I have
to put my husband in a nursing home.” Put as she used it seemed to imply that the person putting had more power than the person being put. With a little coaching, my friend rephrased her statement: “I can no longer provide appropriate care for my husband. I will move him to a home where his needs can be met.” The situation sounded less threatening to the individual who needed additional care and eased the guilt she felt. In court people come to confront their adversaries. As a mediator, I must create an environment where participants feel safe to talk about the problem, to express emotions, and feel heard. Early in a mediation, I suggest that by agreeing to mediate they are no longer adversaries but become participants in a process to find a solution that works for both parties. In mediation a word used by a participant or a mediator can move the process forward or stop it in its tracks. Once a participant called the other a “liar.” That person responded by jumping up and knocking over her chair. When I suggested that the speaker might want to use a word which was less inflammatory, he said, “She doesn’t tell the truth.” Then he added, “She has a different perspective than I do.” The subtle shift this generated opened the door for the beginning of a fruitful discussion. Robert Benjamin, in “Managing the Natural Energy of Conflict,” indicates that words have a certain magic: “Particular words and language used to frame a dispute can alter or shift the context.” He contends that words such as “custody” are excluding words, while “parenting responsibility” includes both parents. “The judicious use of words can create fertile soil in which the seeds of agreement can germinate and grow. Words are important.
March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
LocalPerspectives: Women’s History Month
By Jeanmarie Tarmann Derry My Oma, Anna Wegerbauer, taught me to make apple strudel. We’d pull the dough thin on her white table cloth. She’d melt the butter in the pan. I’d sprinkle the stretched dough with raisins, apple chunks, and cinnamon. Oma and I would roll the strudel. My stomach shudders to write again. My International Women’s Writing Group (IWWG) affords me a safe place to share my words. Safety? I enjoy the cuddly warmth of my gray flowered sweatshirt and close my eyes to ignore the drill on my aching tooth. Lately, my confidence has been clouded by doubt as gray hair sprouts from my scalp. “Beats going bald,” Oma, my Austrian grandmother used to say. She of the milky blue eyes; I smile and cry to think of my Oma. Oma was green before it was in. I would drive her to parks to collect cans to recycle. We went to the dump weekly to collect the change from these cans. Oma wrote down her dreams on blue thin-lined paper. She remembered her dreams and sent them to me. Her real life dream was for her daughter to graduate from college. Oma was pulled out of school at age 11 to care for her younger siblings. Oma threshed wheat, cutting the drying stalks with a curved scythe. At 21, Oma married Hubert. He and his five brothers married five of the village girls and took them to America. Two landed in Chicago, and my Opa went to Cudahy, Wisconsin where his cousin had work at the sausage factory. My grandparents paid cash for their home. My grandpa worked as the gardener for the priests. The large trees umbrella the road in fall colors when we would visit. My grandmother stuffed sausages. My mother finished nursing school. Now my daughter intends to become a nurse. Closing my eyes, I remember my grandmother’s strong hands, even nails. Oma picked berries from the bushes she planted along the property line. Oma’s listening ear and head would nod as I shared my dream to be an astronaut. I was 6 years old. My Oma and I shared a bed. She’d chuckle over the old, sometimes racist Reader’s Digest jokes. I’d be terrified of the Case of the Whispering Statue. My dad would call, “Lights out!” We’d wait til we heard his bed creak with him crawling into it. I’d reach over to the hummel lamp of a pup biting the shoe of a boy up a tree and push the button lamp back on. We’d read into the early hours. Me, Jane Eyre, she Reader’s Digest. Eyes closed, I can picture her nose and cheeks dusted with flour, baking her latest creation, Bavarian nut roll, plum dumplings dusted with powdered sugar. She loved to dig in the dirt growing cherry tomatoes, chives for red potato salad. She made a mean vinegary red skinned potato salad. Now memories. Oma of the sturdy heart survived my grandfather’s heart attack. He liked to swath butter an inch thick on his bread and smeared it with Oma’s homemade apricot jam. When my Mom was 14 years old, my grandfather slumped over this piece of jam butter bread and died. My grandmother successfully put my mother through school. My Mom, beautiful in her white cap graduated as an R.N. at age 19. My father, introduced to her by her cousin Annie, was a friend of my Uncle Bill. Two families joined as one. I miss Oma and my family. When Oma died, my Mom couldn’t face cleaning out her belongings. I have Oma’s silver wind up watch, the one memento I chose to keep.
Then I Remember Mandy
By Lynne Ludwick Higgins I come home after work to an empty house. Stillness overwhelms me. Nothing has changed since I left in the morning. I grew up in a home of four kids, two parents, cats and dogs. I raised three children along with chickens, dogs, cats, horses, and 4-H pigs and heifers. My father died. I became divorced. Subsequent relationships ended. My children grew up. Two of three moved seven hours away (one by air, one by car). My mother died. I sit in the same chair when I get home. I sit and listen to the silence and wonder what is next for me, at this age of 59, with no mother to listen to me, to guide me, and my children involved in their own lives, and with no partner to share the ups and downs of life with. A trickle of self-pity and depression creeps in, then I remember Mandy. I’ve never met Mandy. Not yet anyway. But Mandy is a ripple effect. She lives in Texas, but I can feel her spirit clear across the country, here on the Central Coast of California. I sit in that chair and feel the spirit of Mandy lift me right out of it. I feel motivated, inspired and ready for the next phase of life and challenge that presents itself. My daughter was planning to run the San Diego Marathon. She called me one day from Texas, where she is a PhD student at Texas A & M, and asked me what I thought of the idea of running it for Mandy. “Who is Mandy?” I asked. That opened a floodgate. She explained that Mandy is the most upbeat, outgoing, enthusiastic, peppy person she has ever met and also a fellow student at A & M. Mandy’s dream is to walk across the stage at her graduation. She was told in 1996 after a car accident that broke her neck, that she would never breathe on her own or shrug her shoulders and definitely never walk again. Yet, through hard work, will, and determination, she lives an independent life in a wheel chair, drives a van, and started a business in addition to being a student of finance at A & M. She works diligently with intensive physical therapy in order to fulfill her dream to walk across that stage when she receives her diploma, and she has recently had movement in her legs. Mandy’s out-of-pocket expenses will be about a million dollars. My daughter, Lindsey, wondered if I thought it was a good idea to ask for donations for every mile she ran at the marathon and if I thought she should bring it up to Mandy. I told her, “Yes!” She talked to Mandy, she collected donations,
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she ran the Marathon wearing a shirt that read Running for Mandy – and she made $6,100 to contribute to Mandy’s walk. But Mandy’s story is more than just a car accident which left her immobile. She was born with scoliosis. She had surgery at 2 ½ and they fused 9 of the 12 thoracic vertebrae. She wore a brace until age 5. However, she lived through her childhood and teenage years playing sports and being a cheerleader. Then at age 20 she had to have back surgery again & they put a rod in her back. Then came the car accident which broke her neck. Despite setbacks (broken femurs, broken tibia & fibula, and 3rd degree burns on her hands), she has made tremendous progress with her therapy and is the most determined person my daughter has ever met. Mandy believes in herself and hopes the world will believe in her also to help her walk across the stage. Mandy’s website is www.helpmandywalk.com. It’s worth a visit and perhaps she can inspire you and lift you right out of your doldrums. Perhaps you might even decide to donate to her cause—a donation to the National Transplant Assistance Fund is a tax write-off and will help Mandy live her dream: to walk across that stage. When I find myself in my chair, listening to silent walls, I visualize Mandy walking across that stage, and I lift myself up out of that chair, I lift my spirit up and I am ready to march forward through my challenges, which suddenly are so minor I am embarrassed to call them challenges. Mandy faces hardships with a tenacity that doesn’t falter, with a joy in living, with an enthusiastic spirit and this young woman whom I have never met (yet) inspires me from across the country to get up and get with it—there’s still some living to do.
One of the most difficult things a family can go through is to watch their loved one struggle with the use of alcohol or other drugs
Facilitated by Heather Mendel Jewish Artist, Author and Spiritual Advisor Music by Soloist Ricki Weintraub Monday, April 6th at 5:30 p.m. Congregation Beth David
10180 Los Osos Valley Road San Luis Obispo All Adults are invited to this Vegetarian Potluck Seder. Guests are asked to bring a salad, side dish or dessert for 6 to share. Tickets are $30. Deadline for reservations is April 2nd. For reservations call Congregation Beth David at 805 544-0760.
A SUPPORT GROUP for families dealing with substance abuse
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Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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By Angie King There has been much attention given to racial factors these days: from our new President down to art exhibits by African-Americans at the public libraries, and the critics who say there doesn’t need to be a month for African Americans anymore because it’s demeaning and marginalizing to separate out a month for blacks. Those same arguments are often made about women. Is there a need for Women’s History Month? Do women need a separate time to reflect on the achievements against the great odds of our foremothers? Obviously, yes we do because there is still rampant discrimination and marginalization of women both here and abroad. Without even going into the issue of sex slaves, laws giving men the right to beat their wives, honor killings and other injustices abroad, there is the screeching disparity of wages in the workplace, stereotypes which cement down the glass ceiling, harassment and violence against women as a “matter of right” still occurring in our own country. Until these injustices are remedied, we need at least a month for women! We had a year (1975) and a decade (1980’s) (see article on CEDAW) and yet… sometimes it seems like it’s getting worse, not better. There is some good news, of course. With the change in administration, Congress has passed and Obama has signed the restoration of the Title VII provisions against wage discrimination. Known as the Lily Ledbetter Law (named after the
“Don’t Forget the Ladies”
Abigail Adams’ famous quote to her husband, John, while he was at the first Continental Congress, is still apt today. Check out the current Ms Magazine article by Martha Burk on the subject of how women are more adversely affected by the current recession/depression/downturn. And see the accompanying article by one of our NOW chapter members about her plight (“One Woman’s Reaction”). Burk points out that women’s job losses are larger than men’s; in the 2001 recession, women lost more jobs proportionately and did not recover those losses as the economy recovered. This time around, while they haven’t suffered as great a numeric loss, the jobs women hold are in low wage part time work with no benefits, often requiring more than one of those dead-end jobs to make ends meet. And, as a result, when these jobs are lost, those women fail to qualify for unemployment benefits. That inequality should be redressed as well. Burk also points out that the main job losses have been in heavy industry and the stimulus plan calls for focusing on jobs in that same sector—jobs disproportionately held by men. She urges Congress to provide incentives to draw more women in these higher paying jobs (see wowonline.org for more detail). Women business owners deserve more than the Bush Administration’s 5% set aside for women owned businesses when awarding new contracts for those big stimulus projects. Women are almost half the workforce and almost half of these women are heads of household. Since many of these jobs are in the health care sector and education, Burk urges Obama to reform sectors and fixing the health care system would not only provide jobs, but would give us all more access to health care. Lastly, Burk urges preserving federal social programs such as food stamps or health care. These measures have the greatest impact on women and yield big returns for every dollar spent without changing the long-term effects on the economy. Women may hold up half the sky, as the Chinese say, but currently, we are shouldering the larger chunk of the economic downturn. Write Capps and McCarthy and let them know you support their efforts to include women in all economic recovery legislation. “Don’t Forget the Ladies.”
woman whose case was heard at the US Supreme Court heard), the bill allows an employee to sue for wage discrimination based on sex within a time period from whenever she first learns of that discrimination, not, as the court had previously said, from the very first time that discrimination occurred, whether she was aware of it or not. Lily had worked for decades at a job earning less than her male counterparts but didn’t find out until she was almost ready to retire. She sued her employer for damages, but lost because, the court said, she should have filed the claim when she received her first paycheck. It is also interesting to note Abigail Adams’ quote (in the article about how the economic crisis affects women): “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” Pretty formidable woman, I’d say, and one of the first American feminists. March is Women’s History Month, and we remember the achievements made by women, many under great odds.
One Woman’s Reaction
By Kim Anderson I’m a single mom, I have year-old twins, I want to go back to school, and I do not want more kids (at least now). So, when Obama dropped the Medicaid Family Planning State Option from the economic recovery package, I was pissed off. The Medicaid Family Planning State Option allows states to use Medicaid funds to provide low-income women, who make a slightly too much to be able to get traditional Medicaid, with family planning services, such as contraceptives, STD/STI tests, and cervical and breast cancer screenings. So, women like myself, who are struggling during this economic downturn, must somehow find the cash to get pap smears, breast cancer screenings, and buy birth control pills, or not have sex at all. Wait? That’s it… Conservatives called the Medicaid Family Planning State Option an attack on family values: Because single women like me shouldn’t be having sex, or pap smears, or get checked for breast cancer and lowincome married women should be popping out babies as often as possible. Is that what women are for? And nothing helps a struggling family more than having a baby they can’t afford. If you’re as mad as I am, take a minute to leave President Obama a message at 202456-1414. Tell him not to buckle under pressure from conservatives, that women are important, and that the last thing we need in this economy is to worry about unintended pregnancy.
NOW History and Structure
Once a year we review the history of the formation and the structure of NOW, as a way to remind us that we are the organization, at least the action-member-run part of it, and to fulfill a chapter requirement. NOW actually has 3 different parts, each with its own purpose. The main one is, of course, the member-run action organization, whose mission is to bring women into the mainstream of society in equal participation with men. I am paraphrasing the statement drawn up in 1966 by the 28 founding women who became frustrated at the inability to take action as part of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women convened by John Kennedy in 1963. Having researched and presented findings of the rampant discrimination against women in all levels of public life, these women wanted to change that situation, but found instead the Commission was prohibited from recommending any action. Thus NOW was founded. The structure they developed was very grass roots. Chapters are formed at local levels, sending delegates to state and national conferences to determine the organization’s agenda each year. Resolutions are debated and approved. Actions (calling for support or opposition of proposed laws), boycotts, and marches are approved and then carried out by the executive committee.
Get Involved — Join NOW!
San Luis Obispo Chapter National Organization for Women
Every woman doesn’t have to join NOW, just the 142 million who are discriminated against!
Continued in History, page 14
March 3: • Harriet Tubman (operated Underground Railroad) died, 1913 March 4: • Jeannette Rankin becomes 1st US Congresswoman, 1917 March 8: • International Women’s Day March 15: • birthday Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 1933 March 17: • NOW regular meeting, 6 PM March 24: • League of Women Voters founded, 1919 April 4: • birthday of Billie Holiday, 1915 April 9: • March for Women’s Lives to support abortion rights, 1992 April 10: • birthday of Dolores Huerta, 1930
April 18: • Women’s World Fair, Chicago, 1925 April 21: • NOW regular meeting, 6 PM April 23: • Take Your Daughter to Work Day April 25: • Colorado, 1st state to liberalize abortion laws, 1967 April 28: • Equal Pay Day
• Support reproductive choice • Work to eliminate ALL violence against women • Fight against sexual harassment • Encourage tolerance and diversity • Promote feminist issues • Commemorate Roe v Wade (Jan 22) • Celebrate Women’s Equality Day (Aug 26) • Participate in Farmer’s Market • Support feminist politics
Name: _ ______________________________________ ________ Address: _____________________________________________ City/St/ZIP: _________________________________ _________ _ Phone: _____________________________________________ ___
Regular Dues ….$40 Sliding Scale…..$15-39 Amount enclosed: _______________________ _
Send your check and this form to
NOW Chapter # CA 565 PO Box 1306, SLO, CA 93406 SLONOW @ kcbx.net http://groups.myspace.com/~slonow
11573 Los Osos Valley Rd, #B, SLO
PO Box 1306 SLO, CA 93406 Chapter # CA 565 email@example.com
3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm
March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
Women’s Community Center
Family Law Action Committee
Our mission is: • TO maintain an accessible center to collect and exchange information of interest and concern to women • TO organize and facilitate workshops, clinics, seminars, classes, and support groups on subjects of interest and need • TO engage in and facilitate interaction among local, state, and national agencies and organizations working to benefit women
A Year of Accomplishment
By Angie King, President, Board of Directors, WCC For the Women’s History month issue, I thought it might be appropriate to submit an annual report from the Board for our supporters—we want to let you know what we did last year! It was a full year of accomplishments, building on the framework of the previous years. In 2007, we spent some time developing a vision for our grand goal: a “Womanspace” of our own, our own building, with room for meetings and celebrations, providing space for other allied professionals, becoming “the” place for women to gather. The goal was easy; the implementation turns out, not unsurprisingly, to be less so. In discussing our plans with the highly successful Women’s Building in San Francisco, we were encouraged to keep going, even when the way isn’t clear. They started with 7 people and spent years building their organization, and still have slumps when board members are discouraged, no volunteers appear, and money gets tight. That gave us the encouragement we needed to keep after our goals. Last January (that is, January 2008) the Board of WCC set primary goals of building visibility for the organization through public events and building our financial structure through better fundraising, as first steps toward building “Womanspace.” I believe we achieved both those goals. The family law activities bring in both visibility and money, which includes a monthly class on the practical aspects of divorce, including alternatives to court, and the monthly legal clinic, successful in large part because of the generosity of the attorneys who donate their time to give specific one-on-one legal advice to women who cannot afford to pay attorney fees and who are trying to navigate a very complicated legal process on their own. Ongoing notices in the print media and on radio and the advertising in our own Women’s Press, provide the visibility. Attendance at both activities has been steadily increasing, providing increased revenue. Speaking of Women’s Press, 2008 was a year of change there, as well. WP became more independent from WCC in handling its own finances and editorial management; Kathleen Deragon announced her retirement and we were very fortunate to have found Courtney Brogno, the new editor in chief, who is continuing the standards set by Kathleen. WP now has its own bank account and WCC now has its own page in each issue for extended articles about our activities. As WP circulation increases, more people read about us—more visibility. Of course, our big fundraiser (and fun-raiser) each year is the Day with Creative Women. With the help of volunteers (aren’t volunteers wonderful people!!) we were able to secure some sponsorships to help defray the cost of advertising this event; we reviewed and amended our policies for vendor space; we secured a great lineup of local female talent; brought back the popular petting zoo; and a good time was had by all. And we reached our fundraising goal as well. We also received financial help from The Graduate with a fundraiser in October, as part of their Big Chill night, and a grant from the County of San Luis Obispo. And, of course, much thanks goes to our supporters, who responded to our year-end request for donations. As part of our goal to increase visibility in the community, we contacted the editors of New Times, and finally our persistence paid off, with an almost fullpage article about us in the January 15, 2009 issue. That’s good publicity! We’re still working on expanding the Board, expanding our fundraising opportunities, expanding the volunteer base, promoting public events that draw new supporters, and developing plans to actualize “Womanspace.” Be a part of Women’s Community Center: donate your time and expertise to helping us achieve our goals. Contact any Board member or call the Center to find out how you can help.
Dealing With Divorce
3rd Wednesday of each month – 7 PM Upcoming: March 18, April 15 and May 20 Talk with other women who have been there, done that in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. $10 donation
Self-Represented Litigants’ Clinic
4th Tuesday of each month – 5:30 PM Upcoming: March 24, April 28 and May 26 Get family law advice from local attorneys and/or paralegals. Reservations required. $40 donation
Call 788-2491 for information
Call for Volunteers
Hear ye, hear ye! The Women’s Community Center is looking for a few volunteers to help with several projects. We could use some help with general office duties and to monitor family court proceedings (Court Watch).
Women’s Community Center Presents
Day with Creative Women
August 8, 2009 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Calling all Creative Women! The Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County invites you to participate in the 35th annual Day with Creative Women, to be held in Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, August 8, 2009. This event has graced the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo on the second Saturday in August for the last 35 years and draws thousands of people from all around the Central Coast and beyond, featuring nearly 100 vendors displaying their own creative arts. This event is an excellent opportunity to experience the many local and statewide talents of women artists. Day with Creative Women celebrates women’s creativity with music, arts and crafts for display and sale, continuous entertainment, delicious food, and children’s activities. This event provides an atmosphere where families can come to view and purchase quality hand-made arts and crafts, have a meal or snack in a relaxed atmosphere, and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of many local entertainers. If you create art or handcrafted items, you are invited to display and sell your works. Entertainers of all types are sought to perform during the day, and food vendors are particularly encouraged to participate. Non-profit organizations are invited to provide the community with information about your services. We encourage women in business to submit applications for a booth to market your creative skills. Booth space is always limited, so reserve your booth now! For more information, contact Robin Rinzler (805-801-3235) or WCC (805544-9313), check the website www.wccslo. org, or email DWCW2009@aol.com. Funds realized from Day with Creative Women help support the programs of the Women’s Community Center, dedicated to the empowerment of women.
When is your best friend or loving relative your worst nightmare?
By Robin Rinzler Core Mediation Services As a divorce mediator, it is my job to help clients that are going through a divorce to come to an agreement that will work for both parties. It’s not as easy as it sounds! But in my office, couples can negotiate and come up with ideas and suggestions for splitting their assets and their debt, for a parenting plan for their minor children, and for financial support for the children and/or for a spouse. The suggestions and workable solutions are often the kind that would never have taken place had the couple gone to two separate attorneys. The concept of negotiation and mediation is foreign to many attorneys that are trained to put up the good fight (at the client’s expense!) So why do I say your best friend might be your worst nightmare? Why might your sister or aunt be sending you down the river? Because after the hard work of negotiating a settlement that both clients are happy with, sometimes our friends or a family member think (that is, they assume) they are being helpful by offering advice such as: “Are you crazy? You could do much better. Why are you agreeing to that?” And before you know it, your friend or family member has talked you into retaining an attorney to “do better than that.” With attorneys charging an initial retainer of eight to ten thousand dollars (this is just to get started), and with divorces routinely costing tens of thousands of dollars or more, it’s hard to imagine that one would do better when you account for all the attorney fees. Not only are you paying fees you never thought possible, but the adversarial position that the attorneys place you in makes any civil future relationship with your ex almost impossible. This is exacerbated if you have children. So those “helpful” loved ones may be doing you and your children a disservice if they talk you into seeking litigation over mediation or try to pull you out of your decision to negotiate your divorce. Be cautious and use your best instincts. If after discussing and agreeing to workable solutions, stick to your instinct and don’t let others dissuade you.
Free Community Outreach Program Offered in Atascadero
The Global Alliance for Balance and Healing is offering a Clear Mind-Open Heart, Stepping into the Flow of Joy workshop on Tuesday, March 10 from 6 to 8pm at the Atascadero Library. For more information or to register, call Nancy at 461-1490 or e-mail nancy@ kulamira.com.
Women’s Press | March & April 2009 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Seats Open For The Speech and Learning Coach
Come discover positive strategies to help your child succeed in school. The Speech and Learning Coach is offering a FREE Community Service presentation to help you make homework less stressful. March 18th, 6:30-8:00PM. For location and registration, call 474-1144 or email Info@theSpeechandLearningCoach. com.
Equal Pay Day: April 28, 2009
By Angie King Wear RED on Equal Pay Day to symbolize how far women and minorities are “in the red” with their pay! Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. The day, observed on a Tuesday in April, symbolizes how far into the year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year. It falls on a Tuesday because that is the day on which women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from the previous week. Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. That same discrepancy follows women into retirement. Not only do women live an average of 3 years longer than men, they have earned less in their working lifetimes and have smaller pensions, leaving a greater proportion of women living in poverty. The median income for older women is just $3,000 over the poverty level and just over half the median income of older men. Despite laws to the contrary, women still earn less at the same job as men. If women were paid comparable wages, it is estimated, the poverty level would drop by a third, and some say by half (see aflcio.org/ issues/factsstats/). Social Security is the only thing keeping almost 40% of older women from poverty. Still, even with that benefit, twelve and a half percent of women 65 and older live in poverty. For older women of color, that rate doubles. In the meantime, keep in mind that you should be paid at the same rate as men who do the same kind of job and that women should have greater access to the broad spectrum of jobs in order to compete for higher paid positions. It may mean a huge difference in your life later. Also keep in mind that a system that penalizes women who take time out of work at lower paying jobs to be the child bearers and caregivers of family members both old and young and then pays them less in the bargain, does so on the backs of women. Shouldn’t government be able to give something back in retirement for a woman’s service to society?
EDA Support In Pismo Beach
Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) is a fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their eating disorders. People can and do fully recover from having an eating disorder. Meetings are held at La Perla Del Mar Community Center, 205 Windward Ave in Pismo Beach, every Monday at 6pm.
The Steynberg Gallery Features Poetry
Sunday, March 1st, from 4-6pm, you’re invited to the Steynberg Gallery for poetry readings. The topic is Family and will feature Joan Gerard and Kevin Patrick Sullivan reading poems by other authors. You are also invited to bring your favorite poem centered on the theme and join the open mic portion. Poets may not read their own work. For more information on future dates and topics, visit SLOfavoritepoems.org.
WHERE on EARTH are we going? And what can we do about it?
You are invited to attend the “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” Symposium, Sunday, March 1st, 1PM at the Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community, 1130 Napa St. in Morro Bay. This symposium makes a profound inquiry into a bold vision to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on Earth. $15 suggested donation at the door. For more information or to register, contact Philip Westergaard at email@example.com or visit AwakeningtheDreamer.org
SLO Library To Focus On Male Dominance In Religion
The SLO Library and Cal Poly Women’s and Gender Studies are presenting a series of lectures on the first Tuesday of every month, 6-8PM, through May. The lecture on March 3rd will focus on the feminist’s criticism of male dominance in religion. Each talk will be held in the Community Room of the SLO Public Library, 995 Palm in SLO. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Library Manager, Kristine Tardiff at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the spirit of International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month, it is time to bring up – again! – ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is an international convention adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention defines discrimination against women in the following terms: Any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It also establishes an agenda of action for putting an end to sex-based discrimination: States ratifying the Convention are required to enshrine gender equality into their domestic legislation, repeal all discriminatory provisions in their laws, and enact new provisions to guard against discrimination against women. They must also establish tribunals and public institutions to guarantee women effective protection against discrimination, and take steps to eliminate all forms of discrimination practiced against women by individuals, organizations, and enterprises. The text of CEDAW was prepared by UN General Assembly from 1977 to 1979, as part of the World Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Women’s Year, adopted by the World Conference of the International Women’s Year held in Mexico City in 1975. It was adopted by the General Assembly in 1979 by votes of 130 to none, with 10 abstentions, and presented to the mid-decade World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, which became effective September 1981, after the twentieth UN member state had ratified it. The United States is the only developed nation that has not ratified the CEDAW. Seven UN member states have not signed the convention: Iran, Nauru, Palau, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, and Tonga. Niue and the Vatican City have also not signed it. During the presidential campaign, candidate Obama specifically said he “supports the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The U.S. failure to ratify this important international treaty has been a worldwide embarrassment” (see nowpacs.org/2008/obama/). At the winter executive board meeting, national NOW developed its agenda for the year. Among many items was this very important one: to instruct the State Department to send the CEDAW co to the senate for ratification (more on the NOW agenda at now.org/issues/ agenda2009.html). Let’s make sure he does!
Earth Day 2009: A Green Living Expo
SLO County’s 19th annual Earth Day event will be held Saturday, April 18th from 11AM to 5PM in the Mission Plaza. The event is free and open to the public. Learn about wise earth practices, alternative energy sources, green building options, earthy friendly products and zero waste solutions. Also, there will be drawings and giveaways, guest speakers and a Kids Zone. For more information, contact Earthdayslo@gmail.com
IONS Now Meeting Every Third Sunday
The Institute Of Noetic Sciences (IONS),a local group, meets to address the potentials and powers of consciousness, including perceptions, beliefs, intention and intuition. These meetings are now being held every third Sunday from 1:30-3:30 pm at the Coast National Bank, 500 Marsh St. in SLO. Info: 627-1501 or email@example.com
Fresno Metropolitan Museum Welcomes Anna Richards Brewster
The works of one of the best-known American woman artists at the turn of the last century will be on view for a special Fresno engagement, as the Fresno Metropolitan Museum hosts Anna Richards Brewster: American Impressionist from March 21 through June 7, 2009. Anna Richards Brewster: American Impressionist, seeks to demonstrate Anna Richard Brewster’s historical context and her role as a successful artist at the beginning of the twentieth century, a time when women were just starting to break into the professional and academic spheres of the art world. As part of the exhibition, the Met will host a series of special luncheon tours. “Taste and Tour” is a new program which allows visitors traveling in groups to receive a special docent-led tour of the exhibition as well as a catered lunch in the Museum’s exclusive Eaton McClatchy Founders Room for a premium ticket price of $20 per person (in a group of 20 or more).
Camp Ocean Pines
Camp Ocean Pines was established in 1946 to serve the community as a non-profit camp and a conference center. A jewel on the Central Coast, the camp sits on thirteen donated acres of Monterey Pine forest that nearly meets the ocean shore. Camp Ocean Pines has made memories for more than 100,000 Adults use the facilities for enriching conferences. Singers, songwriters, sculptors, storytellers, quilters, weavers, flutists, dancers, choirs...they ALL join us! We regularly host weekend and week long retreats, church groups, marine science focused educational seminars and art focused weekends. Upcoming workshops include a Flute Circle, Feb. 27-Mar. 1st. A Memory Ware Mosaics Workshop, Mar. 13-15. And the 7th Annual California Sculptors Symposium, April 19-26. To register, go to campoceanpines.org or call 805-927-0254. Also, summer camp begins June 21st. Seven weeks of fun and sun!
Continued from page 12 But the membership part of the organization was precluded from endorsing candidates for elected office. So, a NOW PAC formed, which may endorse those candidates for office it determines best advance the NOW agenda. The third arm of NOW is the Legal Defense and Education Fund, which writes amicus briefs for important Supreme Court Cases; which provides attorneys in some courts and other political arenas; which publishes results of research into gender inequality in such areas as school sports (Title IX), work discrimination (the WalMart suit), reproductive rights cases and defense of clinics. With an increase of connections available through the Internet, so much more information is available, too much to adequately summarize here. I urge you to check out the web page NOW.org and learn how much NOW has contributed to the advance of women’s rights in only 43 years!
The Literacy Council Seeks Tutors
The Literacy Council for SLO County has an urgent need for volunteer tutors. They are offering a free, 2-part training workshop, Saturday, March 7th and Saturday, March 14th at the Literacy Council’s office, 1264 Higuera, Suite 102, from 9AM to 3:30PM. For more information, please call 5414219 or visit www.sloliteracy.org
Timeless Ireland Through the Lens of a Wanderer
Come with me on a magical journey enjoying an afternoon of armchair travel with photographs, stories and interesting facts about Newgrange, The Temple of The Gods, The Hill of Tara, and her special significance to all of us. Your guide is MaryAine Cherry. Saturday, March 14th, 1-4pm at Cuesta College, Room 4760. Course fee is $20 and you can register online at communityprograms.net (Travel section) or call 805-546-3132.
March & April 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press
Hospice of SLO County (inc. miscarriage/stillbirth Project Lifesaver
Adults Molested as Children Support Group (AMAC) Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center, Rape Survivors Support Group, SLO
support) 544.2266 or 434.1164
Safe and Sober Support Group Senior Peer Counseling
481.7424 (Arroyo Grande) 541.8633 (SLO) SLO 549.9446 471.8102 (SLO)
Stroke Support Group
(inc. domestic violence support groups) 461.1338 545.8888 545.8888 545.8888
Talk/Listen - Emotional support
Free, trained in-home counseling for 60+ 547.7025, ext. 15 489.5481
Caregivers of Stroke Survivors Women’s Support/Therapy v (general) Women’s Healthcare Specialists
544.2266 (SLO) 534.1101
SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention) Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors Women’s Shelter Program of SLO
Transformations Counseling Center
Free monthly workshops 541.7908 800.540.2227 541.4252
FINANCE/BUSINESS GAY & LESBIAN
Code Pink Commission on Status of Women Democratic Women United League of Women Voters NOW (National Organization for Women)
781.6400 www.womensshelterslo.org 541.3211
Consumer Credit Counseling Services
AA Meeting Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) Al-Anon
545.8412; Dawn Williams 541.4252
Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays SOL (Single Older Lesbians)
Cambria Connection (12 step support) Casa Solana
Mostly socializing! Call 474.9405 544.2266
Adult Literacy Creative Writing Group Nightwriters
Chemical Dependency intensive outpatient program
Women’s Recovery Home 481.8555 541-9113
AIDS Bereavement Group (Hospice) Hospice of SLO County
Compulsive eaters Anonymous, H.O.W.Concept Drug & Alcohol Services Overeaters Anonymous SCA, SLAA & SAA (Sex, Love & Romance Addictions) TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Women for Sobriety
Hospice Partners of the Central Coast
544.2266 and 434.1164 782.8608
748-2676; contact Gloria 549.9656; contact Shirley Powell http://SinC-CCC.blogspot.com 489.8894 (Arroyo Grande); 434.2081 (Templeton); 927.4290 (Cambria) 781.1790
Sisters in Crime
781.4275 800.549.7730 541.3164
AARP Cal Poly Foundation Cal Poly University Cuesta College
Adult Day Care
Jobline 756.7107 http://calpolyjobs.org 756.1533 http://www.cuesta.edu Jobline 546.3127 www.slocareers.org 788.2631 or 788.2690 549.3361
Adult Protective Services Computerooters:
http://www.womenforsobriety.org 215.536.8026 546.3755 www.bbrn.org
The Creekside Career Center
Department of Social Services:
Computer help: 489.6230 In-Home Support 781.1790 Nursing help for the terminally ill 781.5540 781-5821
Department of Rehabilitation
CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Birth and Baby Resource Center Childcare Resource Connection
Mission Community Services Corporation Women’s Business Partners Private Industry Council (PIC)
Elder and Dependent Adult Advocacy and Outreach – Victim Witness Assistance Center Elder Law, Geraldine E. Champion, Attorney Foster Grandparents.Senior Companions Senior Ballroom Dance club Senior Peer Counseling
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Children’s Services Network
541.2272 or 800.727.2272
www.jobhunt.org 788.2601 544.6334 firstname.lastname@example.org 781.5821
“A child’s voice in Court in SLO County” 541.6542 781.1847
Core Mediation Services
489.5481 email@example.com Free, trained in.home counseling for 60+ 547.7025 ext. 15 995.1390; www.spiritualcircle.org
First 5: Children & Families Commission Homeschooling in SLO County (HSC) La Clinica De Tolosa La Leche League
District Attorney’s Office – Victim Witness Center Family Law Facilitator Lawyers Referral Services/Legal Aid Alternative Pro Per Divorce Workshop Senior Legal Services
781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs 462.0726; ask for Barbara
788.2099 544.9313 543.5140
Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment
Migrant Childcare Program
Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community Hungry Hearts Spiritual Community Meditation Group
MOMS Club of South SLO county Partnership for Children
544.4355 and 466.3444 473. 2548
Meditation Monday evenings 7-7:45 pm Open to all. 772-0306 awakeninginterfaith.org RC liturgy with womanpriest 546.8672 Mondays, 7:30–8:30 PM; 772.0306 Every Sunday, Coalesce Bookstore, MB Sunday Services 995-1599 781-3993
ALS Support Group (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Real F.A.C.T.S. (Forum on Abused Children) Social Services
541.8666; ask for Beth 460.9016 781.1600
227.4785 or 674.4162
New Beginnings Church
Support for Kids Coping with Domestic Violence
American Cancer Society
534.9234 (LO); 547.3830 (SLO); 547.3830, 534.9234 (SLO/Los Osos) 888.488.6555 San Luis Obispo 543.1481 Templeton 434.3051 541.9113
Homeless Shelter Housing Authority North County Women’s Resource Center, Shelter Prado Day Center (for the homeless) Women’s Community Center, SLO Women’s Shelter Program of SLO
Hotline Sexual & Rape Prevention (SARP)
Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Support Group Arthritis Foundation Cancer/ Breast Cancer Support Groups Caregivers of Aging Parents
www.slohotline.org 800.549.8989 545.8888 or 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Temporary Restraining Order & Victim Witness Program 781.5821
543.1481 ext. 3 for information
A.D.A.P (Aid in Divorce Adjustment Problems Today) .T. Alzheimer/Dementia Resource Center
Celiac Disease Support Group Endometriosis Association
547.3830 (AG); 927.4290 (Cambria); 227.7135 (PR); 547.3830 (SLO); 543.7969 226-9893
549.8989 (crises), 781.6401 (business) www.womensshelterslo.org 481.1039; Cici Wynn, President 781-0922; Karen
CALL–Concerned Agoraphobics Learning to Live Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) Community Counseling Center Dealing With Divorce Depresson and Bipolar Support Alliance Group Divorce Discussion Group
434.2081 or 534.9234 or 888.488.6555 543.3764
Enhancement, Inc. (for breast cancer survivors) EOC Health Services Clinics
OTHER WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS
Altrusa International, Inc. American Association of University Women Camping Women Hadassah.SLO
542.0577 (SLO) 481.5093 (Grover Beach) 927.1654 (Cambria) 466.8600 (North County) 543.7969 544.9313
Healthworks of the Central Coast Hearst Cancer Resource Center
no or low cost reproductive health services 544.2478 (SLO); 489.4026 (Arroyo Grande) No or low cost reproductive health services 542.0900 542.6269
440.2723 www.campingwomen.org 543.9452 544.3399 or 783.2383
OTHER GROUPS & GATHERINGS
Compassion & Choices (or Final Exit)
IC Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome Long-term Care Ombudsman Services of SLO County Lymphedema Education & Support Group Parkinson’s Support Groups
Central Coast Peace and Environmental Council
Eating Disorders Support Group Grief Awareness Group
489.2990, firstname.lastname@example.org 546-3774; free, meets weekly in SLO
3rd Thursday, SLO, 7 -9 pm 464-0564 785.0132
800.247.7421 or 489-5481
2nd Monday, 4-5 pm, 782-9300
Please send additions, corrections or deletions to: email@example.com or leave a message at the WCC: 805.544.9313. Last update 2/25/09.
Fine Italian Cuisine
SAN LUIS OBISPO
Near Downtown Deluxe Continental Breakfast Pool & Spa Fitness Room Guest Laundry Suites
2050 Garfield Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Toll Free: 800.544.7250 805.549.9911 Fax: 805.546.0734
SUPPORTERS OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS!
Dine-in • Take-out • Full Catering Service
All three locations are open: Mon.-Sun. 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM
570 Higuera St., #130 • San Luis Obispo, Ca 93401- tel. 805.544.0861 New Locations: 325 Pier Ave. • Oceano, CA 93425 • tel. 805.473.2383 In Avila Hotsprings • San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 • tel. 805.627.0288
Also, order on line: www.MamasMeatball.com
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