WEAving Words

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“… I have presented these arguments for a purpose. To illustrate that that these are very common issues for women, not only for Indigenous women, but for all women. What befalls our mother Earth, befalls her daughter — the women who are the mothers of our nations. Simply stated, if we can no longer nurse our children, if we can no longer bear children, and if our bodies, themselves are wracked with poisons, we will have accomplished little in the way of determining our destiny, or improving our conditions.

And, these problems, reflected in our health and well being, are also inherently resulting in a decline of the status of women, and are the result of a long set of historical processes. Processes, which we as women, will need to challenge if we will ultimately be in charge of our own destinies, our own self-determination, and the future of our Earth our Mother.”

—Winona LaDuke. Co-Chair Indigenous Womens Network, Program Director of the Environmental Program at the Seventh Generation Fund, at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, August 31 1995.

 

Read her full statement here.

[This is the first of many quotations from allies and visionaries that we plan to share from time to time. The words we share inform and inspire our work. If you come across something that should be included here, please let us know.]

WEAving the Worlds Call Series: Green Jobs

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On September 29 we held our first conference call in our Fall 2009 WEAving the Worlds Call Series:

The Navajo Green Jobs Victory and the State of U.S. Green Jobs Policy.

21 women leaders at the cutting edge of green jobs policy development participated in a conversation with two fascinating leaders in this field: Elena Foshay of the Apollo Alliance and Wahleah Johns of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. Wahleah spoke about her work on Navajo Green Jobs – click here for an interesting piece about it in the LA Times – and Elena spoke about her work on the federal level and the stimulus package (here is more about that).

This is an area full of opportunities and hopes as well as challenges. Wahleah spoke about the challenging process of getting council leaders to support green jobs because they are so accustomed to a coal-based economy. And Elena described how the real front line of green jobs is at the state/ local / regional level, and she highlighted some of the current green jobs victories at the state levels. Click here to learn more about what the Apollo Alliance has achieved in Oregon.

Interested in learning more? Participating on the next call? Email Caitlin Sislin at caitlin(at)womensearthalliance.org.

A little blogging history

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This isn’t WEA’s first blogging experience.

In September 2008, Women’s Earth Alliance convened a delegation of public interest women attorneys from across the United States for a journey of listening, witnessing, and preparation for action. Through ten days of travel and experiential learning throughout the Southwestern United States, our delegates discovered firsthand the ways in which America’s domestic energy policy sits largely on the backs of Native American lands and communities. Through dialogue and site visits, we learned about challenges facing these communities including coal and uranium extraction poisoning the soil and water, coal-fired power plants polluting the air, and open-pit mining and recreational facilities desecrating sacred mountains.

And we blogged about it! Click here to read our Advocacy Director’s blog about the trip.

Intrigued and want to learn more about this journey? Also be sure to watch the short video by Marlo McKenzie of Sacred Land Film Project, or learn more about the environmental justice leaders we met.

Call for nominations! West African women leaders

Project: West African Women Providing Safe Water and Sanitation

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We are looking for West African women leaders who are working for water security, health, and environmental sustainability in their communities.

The Global Women’s Water Initiative (GWWI) is a joint venture of international organizations A Single Drop, Crabgrass, and Women’s Earth Alliance. The GWWI equips two-person teams of local African women leaders with technology training, introductory business skills, networking support, and seed funding to launch water service projects in their communities that have the potential to become income-generating.

The 2010 West Africa Program is in partnership with WaterAid Ghana and will include a week-long training to be held near Accra, Ghana in late February, 2010. Attendees will create and commit to specific action plans for the year following the training. The GWWI team will provide seed funding and follow-up support for each team to implement a water project.

For more information and the application form click here or email us at womenandwater(at) gmail.com.

70+ gathered for Coming up from the Roots event

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Last night we held the first of three events as part of our Up From The Roots, Weaving the Worlds speaker series. And it was a huge success! We gathered at the Brower Center with over 70 people and we danced, ate, drank, listened, hugged, and learned together. It was a special night full of inspiration and hope.

We had the good fortune of listening to Ashwini Narayanan talk about the power of women and the potential of microlending to change the world. Her organization, MicroPlace, is truly aligned with WEA’s vision and we hope to move into deeper partnership with microlending institutions like Microplace as our work deepens. Ashwini is a fantastic spokesperson for our work and we are very grateful for her efforts to support us. For those that weren’t able to attend, you can watch the video we shared with women’s stories last night here.


Join us on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 7pm for another inspiring evening. The second event in our Fall Coming up From the Roots series will focus on our Women and Land Initiative, which unites legal and policy advocates with indigenous women environmental justice leaders towards sacred sites protection, energy justice and environmental health. WEA International Advisory Committee member Wahleah Johns, Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, will be in conversation with Vien Truong, Senior Policy Associate at Green for All about the recent historic Navajo Green Jobs victory and the national green jobs movement. Learn about the Sacred Earth Advocacy Network and its support for this crucial work from WEA’s Women and Land Initiative Advocacy Director Caitlin Sislin, and be uplifted by a selection of songs from Ruckus Society Executive Director Adrienne Maree Brown.

Here is info about our next event.