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WMC News: PWV Media Training, Women’s March, Dakota Access Pipeline, Yazidi Women, WMC Live & More

January 26, 2017

APPLY NOW: WMC PROGRESSIVE WOMEN’S VOICES MEDIA TRAINING

The Women's Media Center's Progressive Women's Voices is the premier media and leadership training program for women in the country. Representing a range of expertise and diversity across race, class, geography, sexual preference, ability, and generation, participants receive advanced, comprehensive training and tools to position themselves as media spokeswomen in their fields, thereby changing the conversation on issues that fill headlines. Graduates join a network of alumnae who support each other in their media goals.

2017 Training Dates: May 5 -7 in Washington, DC and May 19 - 21 in Washington, DC.

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Women's March in Washington in Images

Leaders of the Women's March on Washington on stage. Photo credit: Jenny Warburg

By Jenny Warburg | January 24, 2017

The Women's March on Washington took place on Saturday January 21, 2017. Led by co-chairs Linda Sarsour (a WMC Progressive Women's Voices alumna), Carmen Perez (a WMC Progressive Women's Voices alumna), Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland, together with a dedicated organizing committee, with Gloria Steinem, WMC co-founder, as honorary co-chair, the Women's March on Washington gathered diverse women and men together for 600 separate marches across the United States and the world to declare that women's rights are human rights. These pictures were taken by Jenny Warburg at the DC Women's March on Washington. More >>

Image description: Leaders of the Women's March on Washington on stage. Photo credit: Jenny Warburg

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The Dakota Pipe: Fact vs. Fake News 

As many as 10,000 people occupied the proposed site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo by Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post.

By Rebecca Adamson | January 19, 2017

There has been plenty of attention lately to “fake news”—fabricated stories circulated in social media or by fringe websites. But when it comes to coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, mainstream news media have often blurred the lines between what is fake and what is fact, and have all but ignored the effects that projects like DAPL have on women.

Some facts we all agree upon: the Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.7 billion project by the energy company Energy Transfer Partners to build a 1,172-mile pipeline from the Bakken Region of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The Tribe has protested the project, and starting in August 2016, a group of resisters, numbering as many as 10,000, occupied the site to prevent further development of the project. On December 4, the Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement needed to complete the project.

Beyond these facts, much of the coverage by mainstream news organizations has been selective, one-sided, and inaccurate. When media give misleading portrayals of such crucial movements, it can affect public opinion and ultimately have an impact on outcomes. More >>

Image description: As many as 10,000 people occupied the proposed site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo by Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post.

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'Young Women Come to Us Completely Broken': Q&A with Head of Heshima, a Kenyan Nonprofit for Girls

Somali women work on the outskirts of the Dadaab refugee camp. (Africa Practice/Kate Holt)

By Odharnait Ansbro/Guest Blogger | January 23, 2017

Once known as a refugee-friendly nation, Kenya is becoming more resistant to taking in people who have been forced to flee their homes. That means added challenges for the nonprofit Heshima and the refugee girls it supports, says executive director Alisa Roadcup.

Raised in Boulder, Colorado, by a “very conservative evangelical family” filled with people trying to make the world a better place, Alisa Roadcup grew up surrounded by both passionate altruism and patriarchal attitudes. “I felt my voice was not heard or respected, and that was something that made me angry,” she says. Later, she was drawn to fighting for women’s rights “because I wasn’t offered the opportunity to live up to my full potential as a young woman.”

Now Roadcup is executive director of Heshima Kenya, the first nonprofit organization in that country to provide services specifically for unaccompanied minor refugee girls from across Africa, the majority of whom have experienced sexualized and gender-based violence. The organization provides a “holistic model” of care that includes food and shelter, education, child care, and legal and medical support, while also advocating for the rights of refugees in Kenya. Since its founding in 2008, Heshima has provided support to more than 3,000 girls and their children.

Women & Girls recently spoke with Roadcup about collaboration, the power of entrepreneurship, and the consequences of closing Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp. More>>

Image description: Somali women work on the outskirts of the Dadaab refugee camp. (Africa Practice/Kate Holt)

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Unimaginable Trauma of Yazidi Women is Heightened by Fragile Psychosocial Support

Many Yazidi women are in desperate need of psychosocial services. Here, a woman who fled ISIS at a shelter in Iraq. (Caroline Gluck/EU/ECHO)

By Annie Hylton/Guest Blogger | January 20, 2017

In September 2016, when I arrived at a gloomy, two-star Econo Lodge hotel in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Daey*—which means “mother” in Kurdish—was sleeping. Zara*, who is not biologically related to Daey but has come to view her as a mother figure, was sitting on the bed next to her, despondent. I apologized for the disturbance, aware that they would be leaving the next morning for “home”—the camps for internally displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan—and told them I had come because I wanted to learn about their lives. When I met them, it had been just over two years since the so-called Islamic State swept across the Yazidi people’s ancestral lands in northern Iraq, executing and abducting thousands of people.

I’d spotted the women a few days earlier at the UN General Assembly during the appointment ceremony of Nadia Murad Basee Taha as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Daey and Zara had flown all the way from Kurdistan to support Murad with a delegation of Yazidis who belonged to an organization called Yazda, which gained prominence in the summer of 2016 when lawyer Amal Clooney announced she would represent Murad and other Yazidi survivors to bring a case forward at the International Criminal Court.

Like Murad, the women had come to the UN in New York to spread awareness about the thousands of ethnic-minority Yazidi men and women, including members of their own families, held captive by ISIS. Upon my arrival at the hotel, however, I learned I was the only person who’d reached out to them.More>>

Image description: Many Yazidi women are in desperate need of psychosocial services. Here, a woman who fled ISIS at a shelter in Iraq. (Caroline Gluck/EU/ECHO)

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WMC Live #193: Helen Czerski, Saudatu Mahdi. (Original Airdate 1/22/2017)

Robin on demonstrating, organizing, and the white women who voted for Trump. Guests: Physics for everyday life author Helen Czerski; Nigerian feminist leader Saudatu Mahdi on the Chibok girls. Plus, Surrealism Corner. Listen here >>

Congratulations to Robin Morgan and the WMC Live team for winning the TMT News Magazine Excellence in Media Award and the Acquisition International Excellence Award for Most Outstanding International Women's Empowerment Podcast!

    

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After Marching

Signs from the Women's March

By Grace Wong | January 25, 2017

I said I wouldn’t march. In fact, I promised myself I had gotten all the marching out of my system. The day after the election, I protested Donald Trump’s presidency — protests that turned to riots. I therefore came to the conclusion in November that protesting Trump was not the solution. Yet at 6:00 o’clock on Saturday morning, I found myself on the floor of an LA hotel room, scrambling to make a poster that read: “My body. My choice. My country. My voice.”

I had initially considered marching. As a self-identifying feminist, I understood the importance of fighting for women’s rights. As a young woman of color, I understood the importance of amending systems rife with racism. As a climate-enthusiast, I understood the importance of expedient climate-action. But as a patriot, I understood that this march, this protest of the process of democracy, this opposition to the incoming administration, would only divide us further. More >>

Image description: Signs from the Women’s March

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What I Witnessed at the Women's March

Lakeisha Robinson at the March

By Mankaprr Conteh | January 23, 2017

Janelle Monáe took the Women’s March on Washington stage with a box office hit under her belt, hope for unity among the hundreds of thousands of women before her in her heart, and what should have been a simple request of those women on her lips.

As she performed her anthemic protest song “Hell You Talmbout,” Monáe would call the name of Sandra Bland, a young black activist who suspiciously, supposedly took her own life while in police custody.

“Say her name,” were the words Monáe charged the audience to respond with, invoking the African American Policy Forum’s 2015 campaign that recognized police violence against black women.

“Sandra Bland!” she yelled.

“No!” pockets of white women around me yelled in response. More>>

Image description: Lakeisha Robinson at the March

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Why I March

Are you going to March?

By Virginia Jiang | January 20, 2017

I remember the first time I was called a fag.

It was on a crisp fall day. I was walking to class. A man passed by me. It was casual, almost off-hand, like a bigoted stutter. It wasn’t the first time I had heard the word, but it was the first time it felt pointed, chiseled into the heart of my being. It was two days after the 2016 election.

Before that day, I had never felt that sense of otherness – the feeling that I was somehow alien to my homeland. Because though I am a queer woman of color, I had never before felt that my identities could fuel such casual enmity.

Maybe that was naïve of me, but we do live in a time where millions of Americans can imagine former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton as a Latino rapper. Somehow, the idea that someone in my very hometown could still see me as a lesser being was shocking. I still believed in the “current year” fallacy: the belief that the future will necessarily improve from the past. I thought that my vision of America – a nation where diversity is championed, a nation that’s inclusive of all colors and creeds – was universal. More >>

Image description: Sign for the Women's March on Washington

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Why I Organized a Walkout at My School

Our walkout.

By Marina Preciado | January 19, 2017

Donald Trump announced the launch of his presidential campaign two years ago. At the time, many Americans laughed at the idea that a reality TV star and multi-billionaire businessman with no political experience was running for the highest position of political leadership in the country.

On January 20, 2017, no one will be laughing. We will swallow the large pill of Donald Trump’s presidency as he is sworn into office. We will watch him place his hand on the Bible and promise to honor a Constitution it’s doubtful that he has even read let alone one which plans to interpret with fair and honorable intentions.

The night of the election, my family sat in front of the television trying to hide our shared nervousness from each other. Our feet tapped anxiously, we bit our nails, and emitted exhausted sighs. That night my family watched the country to which we have all worked so hard to contribute turn against us. My abuelo’s tired brown eyes slowly closed and his head fell into his hands as the five words we all thought we’d never hear pierced our ears: “Your President-Elect, Donald Trump.” More>>

Image description: Photo of the walkout with caption "Our walkout".  

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This week WMC SheSource features experts on international trade as President Donald Trump formally abandoned TPP, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the reinstating of the Mexico City abortion rule, the Syria peace talks, “alternative facts” and the press under President Trump, and the Women’s March this past weekend.

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The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors alone and do not represent WMC.

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