ncrw's blog

DIVERSITY WRIT LARGE: Telling the Full Story of a Capitol Built by Those Who Were Enslaved

January 28, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters Last week we all watched as the First Family moved into a mansion built partially by enslaved people. The inauguration of the country’s first Black president has prompted historians to fill in the void in public knowledge about the contributions of African Americans to the making of American society more generally.


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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!!! Justice for Lilly Ledbetter?

Posted January 27, 2009 by admin The National Women’s Law Center spoke with Lilly Ledbetter after the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Check out their interview:

The Senate act, coupled with the Paycheck Fairness Act—passed earlier as a separate bill by the House—will now go up for a House vote as one Fair Pay Bill.  See our economic security page for more facts on women and economic security.


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Gender Equality as an Investment Concept

January 23, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar, Kyla Bender-Baird, and Lisa Rast The room was filled to capacity at Demos’ latest panel for their Women’s Leadership Initiative.  Women (and a few men) from all sectors joined together to discuss gender equality as an investment concept.  Anne Black from Goldman Sachs discussed their 10,000 Women initiative.  The driving idea behind this timely initiative is that investing in women’s business skills is the fastest way to grow GDP.  Joe Keefe from Pax World Mutual Fund, which recently took over Pax’s Women’s Equity Fund, argued that gender equality should be framed as an investment imperative, not a moral one. In fact, gender equality helps to grow the bottom line.  Finally, Ritu Sharma, co-founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, demonstrated the importance of building crucial infrastructure to aid women across the globe, who otherwise spend much of their day gathering water and fuel, and caregiving.


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FAST FACTS: Disturbing Poverty Disparities

January 23, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter from the Institute on Community Integration .  The entire issue focused on employment and women with disabilities.  Given the Council's dedication to women and economic security, my interest was instantly peaked.  Check out these stats:


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Post-Inauguration Reflections from the Council's Director of Diversity and Inclusion

January 22, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters First impressions 1. Seeing the panoramic aerial view via TV satellite of the crowd of millions taken from a vantage I wouldn’t have seen if I were there. 2. Watching the man who would be our next president walk through the corridor to the ceremonial. As he walked, a self-contained smile on his face, his composure maintained as always – his stillness was almost Buddha-like. 3. After such absorption on my part, the man emerged from the shadows to an uproar in the room. What impressed me though was that when the room erupted, I realized that the women responsible for the uproar did not look at all like Barack … or me for that matter. The space at Caroline’s was not really very diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, class or even age. Despite that fact, this audience of mostly White and younger, middle aged women represented for me the millions of voters who were the reason for Barack’s victory – and ours!   4. Art, Music & Solemnity: Aretha’s soul-stirring singing of America touched me because it represented countless Blacks who now felt that this was their song too – as Americans for the first time.  Another miracle.


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Quick Links on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

January 22, 2009 posted by admin [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="165" caption="2004 March for Women's Lives in DC (photo via NOW)"][/caption] Today marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  As we look back to commemorate this historic court decision, we must also look forward to renewing, restoring, and securing reproductive and sexual health for all women.  Gloria Feldt recently reminded us of the importance of recognizing reproductive rights as human rights.  In order to restore reproductive rights, Caryl Rivers at Women’s eNews urges us to start now.


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Post-Inauguration Reflections from the Council Staff

January 21, 2009 posted by Delores M. Walters [caption id="attachment_947" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Council Staff at Caroline's (Photo cred Deborah Siegel)"][/caption] On Inauguration Day, the Council staff gathered to watch the historic ceremony at Caroline’s, a club on Broadway in the Theater District of Manhattan.  The White House Project kindly hosted us.  I asked for everyone’s reflections.    Our reactions are a mirror of the hope, inspiration and goodwill stimulated by the inauguration of the nation’s first African American president. Multiple tasks lie ahead. We at the Council intend to continue in our process of growth and change. 1) What did today mean to you as a woman, a feminist, a US citizen, etc? 2) What moment stands out in your mind as most poignant from today's inaugural; did anything you heard or saw give you chills or goose bumps? 3) If you could make one wish for the Obama administration, what would it be? As a feminist who cares about equality, I am proud to be part of a nation that has evolved, from our history, to the point where race is no longer a key defining factor of who can be elected to lead our nation. And I'm excited to feel that I've played a small part in the contestations that have led to this moment. As a citizen, I'm thrilled that this historic happening, and the president we have elected, has captured the imagination of much of the world -- a world that seems willing to once again view us as a country of possibility, where change can happen. And I'm hopeful that we now have a leadership that can appreciate and leverage this renewed global trust and good will, and that will act, with humility, as a member of a world community of nations. 2 moments gave me goose bumps:

  • When I looked out over the Washington Mall to see the millions gathered -- people as far as we could see - to mark and share in this watershed moment in our history.
  • When Obama commented in his speech that we have elected a man president who 60 years ago may not have been able to get a seat at a lunch counter.

My wish is that Obama and his team will now turn their gaze to the many ways that women and girls are still disadvantaged and exploited, many of which we as an organization will bring to their attention!

--Linda Basch, President


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Stay-At-Home-Without-Options

January 21, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I want to draw your attention to a moving commentary by Deborah Siegel, “Masculine Mystique, Meet Feminine Mistake,” posted at the Women’s Media Center, in which she raises questions as to why the media seems to latch onto outmoded models of marriage roles, where men are the breadwinners and women are the caretakers of  home and family.  This raised in my mind another scenario we also are seeing today: the high cost of child care.  In this scenario, one or the other of the parenting couple opts to stay home to care for home and family.  Then, what happens when the working partner gets laid off?  As in Deborah’s case, though Deborah works fulltime, those families also fall into a tailspin


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NEXT GENERATION FORUM: Dear Obama, THIS is What We Want

January 20, 2009 posted by admin In honor of Inauguration Day, check out this post on what women, particularly young women and women of color, want from our newly sworn-in Administration.  


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Blog Post Overturns Wrongful Termination

January 16, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I wanted to share with you an exciting victory that came across my desk during the holidays.  After bringing forward sexual harassment charges at Chili’s in August, a server named Rachel Spicuglia was fired two weeks before Christmas.   As a direct result of a quick and passionate response made by her sister, Rebekah Spicuglia,who wrote about the case on the Huffington Post and launched a petition, Brinker International re-hired Rachel.


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