Monday, June 30, 2008

Real Men Drink Coffee, Not Cosmos

Daddy Groups

Oh, the NYTimes Fashion and Style section. I have such mixed feelings about this part of the paper (is it really fit to print?). It's the section I love to hate - and I do have to admit that I would miss it's navel-gazing "trend" reporting (or, more accurately, trend killing) if it ceased to appear on a weekly basis.

My most recent bemusement came from Andy Newmans's "The Wife's at Work, So...," an article that chronicled the morning meetings of a "breakfast club" of NYC dads who gather after dropping the kids at school while the wife whisks off to work. While work-at-home mums have been meeting and greeting over cups of joe for ages, a new species of fatherly bonding has recently been observed. It seems drop-off dads are friendly folks, too. And that find it beneficial to spend time with their peers talking about the ups-and-downs of family life.

Now, I want to be clear - I am by no means down on parents having grown-up moments, exchanging anecdotes and advice, or others having being supportive. I think it's awesome that these particular dudes found “a way to honor fatherhood in the moment that we’re all engaged in our kids starting out in life together, and to blow off some steam doing it.” And I dig the turn towards dads being more involved - and less stigmatized - as active and equal parents.

But I'm just not sure what is so remarkable about guys drinking coffee together? Is it that boys are supposed to drink beer? Or why the ritual was "Sex"-ed up with a reference to the HBO fab four's cosmo-drinking habit? Would it be equally novel if it was a group of moms and dads? Are playground mothers really so clique-y that they shun the fathers in the after-school pick-up crowd? And why is the end-of-school-see-you-in-September sequence so awkwardly portrayed for these fatherly friends?

I guess I'm just wishing that dads could be, well, dads without it seeming so strange - and headline worthy.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blog U: Getting Active Online - Blogging

Getting Active Online (Part 3)

In an increasingly wired culture, you probably find yourself spending more and more time online – for work, for fun, for shopping, and more. Wouldn’t it be great if you could effortlessly transform some of that time into powerful activism? These simple steps listed below will help you to become an activist on the internet – the easy way.

Enter the BLOGOSPHERE.


New media technologies are allowing individuals who would not be able to have a voice in mainstream, traditional media venues to share their thoughts and opinions with a larger public. Weblogs, or blogs, are one example of DIY internet publishing that has created an alternate sphere of reporting and social commentary – and they are becoming increasingly accepted and popular as primary news venues. To be heard in the blogosphere, all you need is an internet connection and a little know-how.

Step 1: Find blogs on topics that you find interesting and that report news that is relevant to your pursuits.

Resources for finding blogs:
-BlogHer lists blogs by topical categories written by and for women on a wide variety of topics.
-BlogCarnival.com lists blog carnivals that provide round-ups of the best blog writing on the web on specific topics.

A Blog What?: A blog carnival is “a type of blog event. It is similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly. Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks links to other blog articles on the particular topic” (Wikipedia.com). Blog carnivals are great if you do not have a lot of time to read blog articles daily, but would like to read a current summary of what is being written on a specific topic in the blogging world.

Step 2: Automate information delivery by signing up for email alerts and RSS feeds from the websites and blogs you most frequently visit.

Popular RSS Feeds:
-Bloglines
-Google Reader

Step 3: Share your opinion on blogs by commenting on blog posts.

Step 4: Submit your own blog articles to blogs for publication as a guest poster or columnist.

Some Places to Get Started Guest Posting:
-A Blog Without a Bicyle
-Girl with Pen (Right here!)
-Huffington Post

Guest Post How-To: Deborah Siegel at Girl with Pen offers great tips on how to write a blog post.

Collect Clips: Are you an aspiring journalist? The blogosphere is a great place to amass your first clips to build your writing portfolio.

Step 5: Start your own blog.

Crossposted.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blog U: Getting Active Online - Wikis

Getting Active Online (Part 2)

In an increasingly wired culture, you probably find yourself spending more and more time online – for work, for fun, for shopping, and more. Wouldn’t it be great if you could effortlessly transform some of that time into powerful activism? These simple steps listed below will help you to become an activist on the internet – the easy way.

Contribute your expertise to increasing web knowledge through WIKIS.


The internet is quickly becoming the premier information repository that people utilize in their daily life. You can help shape what information is available online and how it is presented by contributing your expertise to the creation and editing of wikis.

Wiki Definition: A wiki is “software that allows users to create, edit, and link web pages easily. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites” (Wikipedia.com).

Step 1: When you are using a wiki to find information and seen an inaccuracy, correct it! As open public-created documents, wikis give you the power to edit erroneous information.

The most popular generalist wiki is Wikipedia.

Raise Your Voice: Statistically, female internet users outnumber male internet users. Women are underrepresented, however, as contributors to wikis. This means that women’s voices are left out of the social reality that is created in the catalogues of information wikis contain.

Step 2: Create entries on topics that have been left out of popular wikis.

Women Missing: In a survey of 200 Wikipedia biographies, futurebird found that only 16% were about women. Further, articles on feminist topics were reported to be of poor quality.

Step 3: Start your own wiki on a specific topic.


Crossposted.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blog U: Getting Active Online - Social Networking

Getting Active Online (Part 1)

In an increasingly wired culture, you probably find yourself spending more and more time online – for work, for fun, for shopping, and more. Wouldn’t it be great if you could effortlessly transform some of that time into powerful activism? These simple steps listed below will help you to become an activist on the internet – the easy way.

Join a SOCIAL NETWORKING website.

Social networking websites allow you to quickly and easily connect with individuals who share similar interests. Because of their rhizomatic nature, these websites facilitate strongly networked collaborations between people who may have never otherwise connected because of geographical or other constraints.

Step 1: Find the social networking website that is right for you.

Popular Social Networking Websites:
-Facebook
-MySpace
-LinkedIn
-Second Life

Good News: Feeling overwhelmed by the number invitations to join these websites that you receive? Google is working on streamlining the online social experience with Open Social.

Step 2: Use your new network to connect with individuals doing similar work, to support causes you believe in, or to raise awareness about important issues.

Organizing Activism: Ms. Magazine (Winter 2008) recently reported on “an underground movement” of individuals who organized via Facebook to protest sexist advertising in the tube system by placing stickers with messages on them has gained national attention in the United Kingdom. Increasingly, off-line activism is being organized online.

Find Your Cause: Facebook allows users to create “Causes” around specific issues and to fundraise for specific non-profit organizations. Many individuals and organizations report success in social networking-based fundraising.

Crossposted.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Non-Profits Networking and Using Web 2.0 Tools

Share Your Success Stories!

I've spent a lot of time during at my day job thinking about the best ways for non-profit organizations to utilize social networking and web 2.0 tools. I've had great success with Facebook, mass e-communications clients, pitching to bloggers, and other tools. And I always enjoy the opportunity to share tips with other folks working hard for their non-profit and its mission. In fact, I'm working on a guest column over at Girl With Pen on the topic of making new media technology - specifically blogs - work for individuals, organizations, and their causes.

But that doesn't mean I know it all - or that I don't want to learn new tricks! The world wide web gets a bit wider every day and keeping up with all of the latest trends can be quite a marathon. So, I'd really love to hear some "case studies" about successes you've had making online activism work for your non-profit's cause. I know there are a lot of experts on this topic out there.

Did you twitter and get your constituents to sign a petition about an important piece of legislation? Did you raise a big chunk of change using a Facebook cause? Has your website won an award? Did your blogging radically raise your organization's profile?

Share those success stories down in the comments...


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blog U: An Introduction

I will be guest-posting over at Girl With Pen. In true blogging fashion, I'll also crosspost my writing here in ABWAB.

Hey, GWP readers! This is new guest blogger, Elizabeth M. Curtis here. Loyal GWP readers might remember my previous posts that provided cultural critique and gender analysis. Well, now I'm returning to GWP - as a regular like Courtney Martin and Laura Mazer - to talk about blogging and you.

Many folks want to get more active online and make web 2.0 tools work for them and their causes. But sometimes a lack of tech know-how gets in the way. So, I'll be sharing the secrets of online activism and the blogosphere that I've learned since I started blogging way back in 2006 (ages ago in online time!). My goal is to break down the blogging basics and to demystify web 2.0 technology for the folks who can't wait to get active online, in the blogosphere, and beyond. A "Blog U," if you will.

My first two tutorials offered to "Blog U" students will focus on getting active online and deciding whether or not your organization (or yourself!) is blog-ready. I'm looking for future tutorial topics as well. Let me know what you're interested in exploring in the comments section or email me your queries.

Also, I'll be cross-posting my "Blog U" posts on my own blog. Stop by for PDFs of "Blog U" material.

Crossposted.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, June 06, 2008

NCRW Morning Session (Post 4)

Evelyn Hu-deHart: Evelyn Hu-deHart reflects on her own career and how personal and poignant this discussion is to her own experiences in academe. She speaks about Duke University’s lacrosse team scandal and its effects on Duke’s women of color faculty. Hu-deHart notes that Duke University is on the “good list” of institutions but that such crises really exemplify the leadership’s position and the real status of minority faculty at such universities. She worries that issues of diversity are just a “numbers game” in terms of institution’s PR. Hu-deHart muses on her personal job searches as a women of color candidate. As someone in the trenches, she shares anecdotal evidence as to why we must move to the next step in diversifying higher ed. She speaks to the power of the practice of a diverse institution. Hu-deHart identifies the “culture piece” as the most important element to work on in effecting positive change. She also notes that “higher ed.” is a term that is too amorphous and imprecise. Her final thoughts focus on the question of how to make the decision-makers care deeply about these issues and read the pertinent reports (or attend these panels!).

Q&A

Audience Member: What would a truly diverse higher ed. institution look like?

Veronica Aerrola: What is the most effective way to present our data? How can we ethically show our demographics and deal with the lack of clarity that results from the manipulation of data?

Audience Member: Brings up the issue of institutional culture and access to elite universities. What can we do since not every student can go to Harvard?

Audience Member: Brings up the question of the “trailing spouse” in terms of dual academic couples. What about partner hiring issues? What can we do about the fact that women are continuing to be the trailing spouses?

The conversation gets exciting and resources are recommended.

Allison Kimmich, National Women’s Studies Association Executive Director: Allison Kimmich points out the need for a collaborative communications effort organized among stakeholders to get this information out into the public domain and to make it a mainstream issue.

Homework Assignment

The panel leaves us with a homework assignment – a call to go back to our campuses and:
• Be sure that there is a group on your campus that is asking these questions and keeping track of how all women are doing.
• Learn about your own institutions policies and share this information with peers and colleagues.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Morning Session (Post 4)

Evelyn Hu-deHart: Evelyn Hu-deHart reflects on her own career and how personal and poignant this discussion is to her own experiences in academe. She speaks about Duke University’s lacrosse team scandal and its effects on Duke’s women of color faculty. Hu-deHart notes that Duke University is on the “good list” of institutions but that such crises really exemplify the leadership’s position and the real status of minority faculty at such universities. She worries that issues of diversity are just a “numbers game” in terms of institution’s PR. Hu-deHart muses on her personal job searches as a women of color candidate. As someone in the trenches, she shares anecdotal evidence as to why we must move to the next step in diversifying higher ed. She speaks to the power of the practice of a diverse institution. Hu-deHart identifies the “culture piece” as the most important element to work on in effecting positive change. She also notes that “higher ed.” is a term that is too amorphous and imprecise. Her final thoughts focus on the question of how to make the decision-makers care deeply about these issues and read the pertinent reports (or attend these panels!).

Q&A

Audience Member: What would a truly diverse higher ed. institution look like?

Veronica Aerrola: What is the most effective way to present our data? How can we ethically show our demographics and deal with the lack of clarity that results from the manipulation of data?

Audience Member: Brings up the issue of institutional culture and access to elite universities. What can we do since not every student can go to Harvard?

Audience Member: Brings up the question of the “trailing spouse” in terms of dual academic couples. What about partner hiring issues? What can we do about the fact that women are continuing to be the trailing spouses?

The conversation gets exciting and resources are recommended.

Allison Kimmich, National Women’s Studies Association Executive Director: Allison Kimmich points out the need for a collaborative communications effort organized among stakeholders to get this information out into the public domain and to make it a mainstream issue.

Homework Assignment

The panel leaves us with a homework assignment – a call to go back to our campuses and:
• Be sure that there is a group on your campus that is asking these questions and keeping track of how all women are doing.
• Learn about your own institutions policies and share this information with peers and colleagues.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

nCRW Morning Session (Post 3)

Presentation by American Council on Education

Gloria Thomas: Gloria Thomas piggy backs on the morning plenary’s discussion of work/life policy and focuses on the institutional level of the university. She explains that she will talk about where/when women PhDs are lost in the academic system. She notes the mismatch between women’s lives and the structure of higher ed. careers. Take-away points:
• PhD recipients – men are more likely to move up the ladder to full professors whereas women remain down in the lower ranks. But this is not a problem of pipeline, as McTighe Musil proved. Family status seems to be the big issue in this disparity. Why is it that women have to sacrifice their family status to have an academic career? (Compare to female lawyers and doctors who also struggle with these issues – but who generally make more money and can outsource domestic work.) (Boo to family life being such a detriment to women’s careers whereas men face very little, if any, burden. But, luckily, men are taking on this issue as they become more involved in families and assert their right to participate more fully in their families. Balance issues are relevant to both men and women!) WE NEED TO CHANGE THESE INSTITUIONS!
• There are a lot of leaks in the academic-track pipeline (marriage, babies, and chromosomal status are the big holes).
• Solutions to break the baby barrier and other pipeline problems? We need active service-modified duties or partial relief from duties, tenure clock stops, paid leaves for parents, disability policies for serious injury/illness, memos of understanding for expectations of faculty members on leave, and benefits for same-sex partners.
• Exemplar institutions: Duke University, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Lehigh University, and University of Florida.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Morning Session (Post 2)

Presentation by the Association of American Colleges & Universities

Caren McTighe Musil: Caren McTighe Musil opens her presentation by connecting it to the morning’s plenary by emphasizing the link between education and economic security and the importance of education to our society. She states that deploying women into leadership is one way to make change in higher education. She notes that HIGHER EDUCATION NEEDS TO BE FRAMED NOT AS A PRIVATE GOOD BUT A PUBLIC GOOD. McTighe Musil points out that education is an important civic mission and cites the democratization of higher education as an important innovation of the 20th century. But we’re not where we need to be yet! McTighe Musil advocates for benchmarks and analysis for holding the higher ed. system accountable for continuing to increase access for all individuals. Interestingly, women have been proven to be some of the strongest advocates for diversity inclusion – and McTighe Musil argues that getting women into positions of power in higher ed. needs to be a priority.

Katrhyn Peltier Campbell: Katrhyn Peltier Campbell presents the status of women from high school to college graduation to PhD attainment to faculty appointment – and beyond. (Keep your eyes open – the aforementioned AACU report will be available around November 2008!) Juicy tidbits:
• Citing the recent (and much blogged about) American Association of University Women survey, Peltier Campbell emphasizes that there is no crisis for boys. Women’s success does not equal men’s demise.
• Who is earning doctoral degrees in terms of minority groups? Well, it’s mostly white women.
• In what fields are women earning degrees? (Sigh.) It’s the traditionally feminized fields like nursing and teaching. Science and technology come in dead last for degree attainment – women are obviously still struggling in the sciences. But don’t lose hope – some improvements have been made and there is some progress.
• How do babies effect academic careers? When women enter the tenure track, if they do not already have children, they are highly unlikely to have children. For college presidents, female presidents are far less likely to have children than their male peers. In other words, family and academic careers don’t mix for women scholars.

Caren McTighe Musil: McTighe Musil steps up to summarize the information Peltier Campbell so succinctly presented. She reminisces about her academic career, which began 35 years ago, versus her daughter’s career, which began in fall 2007. (In other words, thank goodness for Title IX!) Important points:
• Women account for 39% of full-time faculty. But! 3 out of 4 full-time positions are contingency contract work. (Need I give any more reasons for why I am personally skittish about committing myself to an academic life?)
• Women are making the most progress at community colleges in terms of being tenured and attaining leadership positions. (Do the Ivy League and Research 1 Institutions remain old boys’ clubs? Methinks…)
• In terms of faculty ranking, women have made great progress in lower ranking positions (lecturers, assistants, etc) – but not at in the upper ranks (full professors, etc).
• There is parity when folks are hired – but within five years gaps begin to exist (think chasms, continental divides, etc).
• Women of color college presidents aren’t on equal footing in terms of length of tenure or pay.
• Women college presidents are more likely to be divorced or never married than their male colleagues.
McTighe Musil ends on the link between education, prosperity, health, etc – and the systemic problems with who does not have access to higher ed. with a focus on young men of color.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Morning Session

Transforming Higher Education: Access, Inclusion, and Diversity

This morning, I decided to go with the education plank of NCRW’s 2008 agenda and I am attending a panel on higher education and diversity.

In the room are the panelists:
Donna Shavlik, The Timberline Group (Moderator)
Kathryn Peltier Campbell, Association of American Colleges & Universities
Evelyn Hu-deHart, Brown University
Caryn McTighe Musil, Association of American Colleges & Universities
Gloria Thomas, Amercian Council on Education

And now the session begins…

Donna Shavlik: Donna Shavlik opens with an appropriate joke about how transforming higher education is “somewhat of an oxymoron.” She frames the presentation to follow in terms of the fact that women make up more than half of students in higher education, but that has not translated into faculty appointments and higher education leadership. She notes that Kathryn Peltier and Caryn McTighe Musil will be sharing the first public presentation of a study by the Association of American Colleges & Universities on “Reaching Higher Ground in Higher Education: A Report on the Status of Women.” Shavlik also introduces Gloria Thomas and Evelyn Hu-deHart. She concludes this introduction with a CALL TO HOLD INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION ACCOUNTABLE FOR INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 9)

Final Thoughts

Joan Entmacher: Entmacher ends on the importance of early childhood education, and her concern for older women and he available social programs for the aging, as raised by audience members.

Gina Wood: Wood draws a connection between “sickness and wealth” and shares her organization as a resource for getting more information on the issues discussed in the plenary today.

Kate Kahan: Kahan expresses the fact that our system is not prepared for increased life expectancy levels and our need to pay attention to this neglected policy area.

Sandy Morgen: Morgen ends by pointing out how aging is really an area where we can see the intersectionality of gender, race, class, ability, age, etc. She notes is a great place to do “both-and” work.

What a great and informative session on the need to do intersectional work and to powerfully frame the issues that are important to us!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 8)

Q & A

Vernoica Aerrola: What counts as a “job” when we are doing this research? How do define “jobs” in our research on job creation?

Joan Entmacher: Entmacher points out that it is difficult to tell when analyzing DOL stats and observes how the question points to the nuance of evaluating job creation, etc in terms of what it means for women. For example, in the rebuilding of New Orleans, did women receive the high paid jobs that were created through construction projects? She ends by asking what we are doing for women to assure that women have access to the jobs that are being created.

Sandy Morgen: Morgen points out that older policies – that might need to be updated – that worked in the past to help women access new and lucrative jobs. She notes that there is a road map we could use to shape our work in the future. She doesn’t think we should re-copy old policies, but that we can learn from them – and the US has done this work in the past. It’s not a blank slate!

Audience Member: An audience member requests information on the relation of poverty statistics for women versus men.

Audience Member: Another audience member points out how effective social media can be in translating statistics into powerful policy movements.

A general discussion about useful resources follows. (How great - like thinking and linking, but right here in person!)

Jane Wishner: Jane Wishner echoes previous discussion and asks Linda Basch about the NCRW’s Corporate Members Circle and their feelings about the issues we’ve been discussing in terms of employment benefits and employee needs. Wishner sees this as a point of possible positive change making.

Linda Basch: Basch agrees that we need to use our networks to work on such policy issues as well as looking to organizations, such as those for women’s entrepreneurs,

Mev Miller: Mev Miller asks about how we can work on issues of education, including financial literacy and health care literacy. How can NCRW’s research speak to education?

Audience Member: An audience member raises the issue of aging and how that effects an individual’s economic position.

Audience Member: Another audience member brings up early education for children growing up in low-income situations in terms of the legacy of No Child Left Behind.

Valerie Ann Johnson, Bennett College for Women: Valerie Ann Johnson brings up issues of ability in terms of access to prosperity. (An important point, for sure!) She asks how we can make ability issues more visible.

A general discussion among panelists in regards to these questions follows. High school drop out rates, transportation issues, land use policy, and other topics are raised.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 7)

Panel Discussion on What the Implications of Their Work on Policy and Women’s Lives

Sandy Morgen: Morgen points out the long tradition of putting responsibility on the individual in the United States. Citing a feminist economist, she notes that welfare has been all about making women job-ready – instead of making jobs women-ready, mother-ready, etc. She emphasizes the need to change the rhetoric around what is really wrong – with the system. She also discusses the “nonexistent” Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare program.

Joan Entmacher: Entmacher looks at the way “the Right” has portrayed tax cuts and growing the economy in the Bush administration. She points out that even the Right can’t cite the tax cuts as effective – even if they are presented as such in political rhetoric. Entmacher notes that given this legacy it is a hard sell to develop such social programs – but it is a critical issue. She recommends evaluating such investments like tax cuts on an individual and local level to shape policy debate and to effect change. She also muses on the difficulty of re-authorizing the child welfare bill and how it was effective to compare the tax cuts for millionaire versus funding for the childcare funding block grant to powerfully frame this debate. Entmacher urges advocates to refuse to accept when politicians say that there is no money for social programs – if there is money for millionaire tax cuts…well, it’s a persuasive (and proven successful!) argument to make in hearings. She ends by asking how the United States can position itself as not being able to afford robust social programs – when other countries with fewer resources are doing more (she cites Cuba as one example).

Linda Basch: Bacsh follows up on these comments by asking, “HOW CAN WE PUSH THE IDEA THAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS TO START INVESTING IN ITS PEOPLE?”

Kate Kahan: Kahan points out the need to recognize that individuals are worried about the state of the economy at the level of their own pocketbooks. She notes that we need to point out not only the fact and figures but also the SOLUTIONS. For example, the US is only one of four countries that does not offer paid family leave (like Swaziland and Liberia). She also makes the important point that there are so many other areas like pay equity and discrimination that need to be addressed as well – on a social, cultural, and political level. Kahan really makes a case for why the fight for all of these issues need to happen together – leveraging the intersectionality of all them. (I agree!) And she ends on the IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN RUNNING FOR OFFICE.

Gina Wood: Wood shares data about the lives of women of color. These sad statistic make a strong case for working to end institutional racism and to increase social policy to assist these women.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 6)

Gina Wood on Health Disparities

Gina Wood discusses HEALTH DISPARITIES and the need to guarantee the inalienable right to live healthy lives to all individuals, especially women and people of color. She points out how troubling it is that the presidential candidates’ health care plans have not yet been analyzed in terms of how they will effect individuals lives.

What are the social determinents of health? Wood points out that disparities occur on personal, social, economic, and environmental levels.

Looking to the work done in Appalachia, she frames HEALTH AS AN ECONOMIC ENGINE.

Wood ends on striking statistics around maternal and child health. She points out that the US is ranked 29th (after Cuba) in terms of infant mortality – which is a drop from previous levels.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 5)

Kate Kahan on Economic Justice

Kate Kahan reflects on her personal experience with poverty as a single mother and transitions into discussing HOW TO FRAME “WORK AND FAMILY ISSUES.” She discusses the triumph of passing the Family Medical Leave Act, while also pointing out its shortcomings, especially for women who do not qualify for FMLA benefits (such as those who work part-time).

Kahan expresses her frustration with work/family balance framing of these issues, as it put the onus on individuals and does not put enough focus on the system creating less than optimal situations. She cites the importance of paid sick days for workers.

On a positive note, Kahan points out that things are starting to shift in terms of work/family policy. She notes that all 3 presidential candidates have put forth strong platforms on work/family policy as well as various federal legislation that will be considered in 2008. She also cites several local and state and advances, such as paid sick days being mandated in San Francisco and paid leave being adopted in Washington and New Jersey. She is especially excited about the new definition of family member that has been included in the FMLA in terms of expanding caregiver options. (I wonder about the implications of the expansion of the definition of family in federal law…hm!)


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 4)

Joan Entmacher on Social Policy

Joan Entmacher raises the issues of health care and child care as well as tax issues, such as raising the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit. She also discusses the need to create comprehensive employment insurance and reforming the unemployment system. Briefly, she touches on “predatory lending” in terms of home equity.

Entmacher cites “two elephants in the room” in terms of economic security:
• Bush tax credits
• War in Iraq

She ends with musings on WHO IS THE MIDDLE CLASS? Currently, politicians are citing individuals who make updwards of $200,000 each year and she asks if those individuals are truly “middle class.” (On a personal note, by these standards, I definitely do not qualify as middle class, which I find quite troubling – considering my current privilege in terms of my education level and job security.)


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 3)

Sandy Morgen on Economics

Sandy Morgen recognizes the need to get issues of race, class, gender, and other areas into public debate. She also points out the importance of working on the issues of ALL WOMEN – not just some women. Morgen meditates on the historical failure of the women’s movement to address all women – and urges us to push ahead to do better in the future.

Concentrating on economic issues, Morgen points out the need for basic economic literacy for women, especially women of lower socioeconomic status and students of women’s and gender studies.

Morgen also discusses the enormous debt created for the United States by the Iraq War.

She went on to point out several statistics about poverty in the United States:
• 1 in 4 African-American, Native American, and Latina women are poor
• 16% of immigrants to the United States are poor
• 1 in 3 women are poor

Morgen emphasizes the need for AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary (Post 2)

Introduction by Linda Basch, NCRW President

NCRW President Linda Basch introduces the panelists on the plenary session this morning, which includes:
• Sandra Morgen, Penn State University
• Joan Entmacher, National Women’s Law Center
• Kate Kahan, National Partnership for Women & Families
• Gina Wood, The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

She also introduced the five critical issues that the Council is putting forth at this conference and in this panel:
1. Economic Security
2. Health
3. Violence
4. Immigration
5. Education


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

NCRW Friday Morning Plenary

Setting the Agenda for 2008 and Beyond: Bringing Women’s Voices to the Center

I’m sitting here at the second plenary* in the 2008 annual conference of the National Council for Research on Women. I’ll be refining my live-blogging skills and recording the panel discussion. So bear with me as I relay the exciting on-goings...

Oh! And I’ll be cross-posting at Girl With Pen. I hope you many conference attendees join Deborah and me at our workshop on blogging tomorrow. (And kudos to Deborah for this opportunity to share my passion for blogging for social change with NCRW members!)

*Wanna know what happened at the first plenary? Check out the awesome coverage on Girl With Pen.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hitting the Ground Running

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I will be at the National Council for Research on Women's annual conference - Hitting the Ground Running. Live blogging to come!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"I won't be making any decisions tonight."

No matter where you stand on the current state of the primary frenzy, you have to admit that speech was courageous.

Note to Dems: Let's pull it together, people. We have an election to win!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.