“I AM DELIBERATE AND AFRIAD OF NOTHING.” -Audre Lorde
JULY’S MISSION…IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT
Welcome to the sixth edition of Activist Update! Can you believe it’s July?! Time flies when you’re participating in democracy. As we mentioned in the last Activist Update, summer is a great time to catch up on reading and learn more about the issues we’ll be tackling in the next coming months.
- SIGN UP for our e-news alerts to keep informed about the issues that matter most to women and girls.
- THE FIGHT CONTINUES for paid leave in Maine and around the nation. Soon, An Act to Provide Economic Security to Maine Families Through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System will be heard in our legislature, and we need your help! Victoria, our community organizer, is collecting stories from community members that have had experiences accessing paid leave and/or paid sick days. If you have a story, or know someone in your network with a story, connect with Victoria at email@example.com or 207.622.0851 x5.
- LOOK OUT for our upcoming publication! Our sister organizer, the Maine Women’s Policy Center, will be releasing a report on child care issues in Maine and the solutions we can apply to better support children and parents. More details to come soon!
- SAVE THE DATE for this year’s Women’s Economic Summit hosted by us on Wednesday, October 11!
- KEEP THESE NUMBERS CLOSE In the midst of all the federal and state-level chaos, you’ll want to keep these contacts close.
Senator Susan Collins
Augusta: (207) 622-8414
Bangor: (207) 945-0417
Biddeford: (207) 283-1101
Caribou: (207) 493-7873
Lewiston: (207) 784-6969
Portland: (207) 780-3575
Washington, D.C.: (202) 224-2523
Senator Angus King
Augusta: (207) 622-8292
Bangor: (207) 945-8000
Presque Isle: (207) 764-5124
Scarborough: (207) 883-1588
All Maine offices: (800) 432-1599
Washington, D.C.: (202) 224-5344
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree
Portland: (207) 774-5019
Waterville: (207) 873-5713
Washington, D.C.: (202) 225-6116
Congressman Bruce Poliquin
Bangor: (207) 942-0583
Lewiston: (207) 784-0768
Presque Isle: (207) 764-1968
Washington, D.C.: (202) 225-6306
Portland World Refugee Day hosted by Catholic Charities July 8 from 4 – 8 PM
Come to Cheverus High School (267 Ocean Avenue, Portland) to celebrate World Refugee Day and join Catholic Charities for a community dinner with multi-cultural dishes, accompanied by entertainment and music groups. Additionally, enjoy fun activities for both adults and children! RSVP here.
A Powerful Woman hosted by the Maine Organization Of Storytelling Enthusiasts, July 12 from 7 – 9 PM
Come to the Portland Public Library (5 Monument Square, Portland) to hear Audrey Mason share personal stories, folk stories, and interpretations of literary short stories all with the theme of powerful women and their positive impact on the world. Audrey is known for her zany humor and honest look at the human condition. Open Mic Original and traditional stories 10 minutes or less are welcomed. Learn more here.
Film: I Am Not Your Negro hosted by Portland Museum of Art, July 14 – July 16
I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for. Learn more here.
2nd Annual L-A Community Unity BBQ hosted by the Maine People’s Alliance, July 29 from 12 – 3 PM
Come to Kennedy Park (120 Park Street, Lewiston) and enjoy live music and traditional and ethnic foods while you connect with community members and organizations that work statewide! Learn more here.
BOOKS WE’RE READING AND THINK YOU SHOULD TOO
When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of Women From 1960s to the Present by Gail Collins
When Everything Changed begins in 1960, when most American women had to get their husbands’ permission to apply for a credit card. It ends in 2008 with Hillary Clinton’s historic presidential campaign. This was a time of cataclysmic change, when, after four hundred years, expectations about the lives of American women were smashed in just a generation.
A comprehensive mix of oral history and Gail Collins’s keen research–covering politics, fashion, popular culture, economics, sex, families, and work–When Everything Changed is the definitive book on five crucial decades of progress. The enormous strides made since 1960 include the advent of the birth control pill, the end of “Help Wanted–Male” and “Help Wanted–Female” ads, and the lifting of quotas for women in admission to medical and law schools. Gail Collins describes what has happened in every realm of women’s lives, partly through the testimonies of both those who made history and those who simply made their way.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.
Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them–and in the process, gives us reason to hope.
PODCASTS WE’RE HOOKED ON
Popaganda is a feminist response to pop culture, home to whip-smart writers, artists, and activists who analyze popular media with an eye on gender, race, class, and sexuality. A new podcast comes out every Thursday!
Another Round Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show.
SHARE YOUR STORY
The Maine Women’s Lobby is collecting stories from community members all across Maine regarding paid leave. You can share your personal experiences accessing paid leave here, or you may contact Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News travels fast on our social media sites. Be sure to like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Visit our events calendar to stay updated on happenings in your area!
If you have any tips, suggestions, and/or want specific information on activism that has not been covered in this edition, please email Victoria at email@example.com!