2010 was definitely a roller coaster ride. The year’s top news stories included fierce acts of Mother Nature such as the earthquake in Haiti, the Icelandic Volcano, the Chilean earthquake and tsunami; man-made disasters like the Gulf Oil Spill; historic legislature that included President Obama signing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and health care into law; plus Elana Kagan was sworn in to Supreme Court the fourth ever female Supreme Court Justice. In California, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown went head to head for governor. American hiker Sarah Shourd was released by Iran after being detained for 13-months for crossing an unmarked border and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was also released after years of detention by Burma’s Junta.
In some ways these national and international news stories mirrored the twists and turns of our communities and our own lives.
With See Jane Do we are striving to uncover those stories that fly under the radar even though they affect all of us. We are redefining information sharing for women through bridging of traditional media with new media; streaming radio, linking video to webisodes and connecting people from a virtual world back to a regional one.
Unlike other programs geared towards women, which mostly covers entertainment, beauty and some women’s issues, See Jane Do takes current news topics we are concerned about and creates a personal story with a reason to care and a solution to do. Our programs are organized around the media, social justice, power of the purse, environmental action, health & wellness, politics and leadership.
It’s our hope that See Jane Do provides a platform for you and other everyday women to speak from and hear from real women with real solutions.
Today we will feature some of our biggest take aways from 2010; the stories, events and experiences that reaffirmed this movement is a lot bigger than we thought and yes, you and I are the one’s we’ve been waiting for. It is our time.
Take Away 1 - Don’t underestimate the power of your story, it might just change the world.
"A movement isn't a movement unless it's moving" ~ Gloria Feldt
We kicked off 2010 with the first annual Passion Into Action Conference. Over 300 women braved the snowy conditions and traveled from all over Northern California to attend this sold-out conference, which featured Nina Simons of Bioneers, best-selling author and activist Gloria Feldt, and former US Ambassador Linda Tarr-Whelan. We wanted to create a space for women to share their story with others in addition to meeting, networking, and exploring ideas on how to work together and strengthen our communities, with the intention to transfer ideas into action. In addition to our incredible keynote speakers the conference included seventeen workshop leaders.
Nina Simons shared the importance of owning our story, the relationship we hold with the earth and the potential women have to enhance our planet together.
Gloria Feldt challenged us to think about power and the importance of Sister Courage. She has been a tremendous advocate for See Jane Do and we were extremely honored that she included us in her new book, "No Excuses, 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power".
"See Jane Do's unique multimedia platform holds exciting promise as a new model for civic engagement and leadership in today's fast-paced, fragmented world." ~Gloria Feldt
Extraordinary Janes: Nina Simons, Gloria Feldt, Linda Tarr-Whelan, Chameli Ardagh, Reinette Senum, Marilyn Nyborg, Mary-Elizabeth Young, Kathleen McIntire, Nancy Shanteau, Robin Mallery, Patt Lind-Kyle, Wendy Van Wagner, Robyn Martin, Cathe' Fish, Christina Hills, Susanna Dimmitt, Molly Fisk, Rachel Barge, Shawn Tuttle, and Sonika Tinker.
Take Away 2 – You cannot be what you cannot see.
One of the most powerful mediums to amplify women’s voices and perspectives and ultimately transform culture is through film. See Jane Do traveled to the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, to interview women filmmakers and film festival organizers. Later that month we headed to New York City to cover The White House Project’s EPIC Awards and host their Media Lounge. While there we met with the Women’s Media Center to get a clear picture of where women stand in the media. We were shocked to learn that only 7% of the stories we watch at the movies, are told by female directors. This means that 93% of the films (even the ones about women) were interpreted through a man's perspective. Women hold 3% of decision-making positions in all forms of media. We also celebrated Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award for best director for the film Hurtlocker, the fourth time a woman had been nominated for the award and the first time a woman had won in the history of the Academy.
Extraordinary Janes: Fay Ann Lee, Georgina Lightning, Janet Pierson, Katie Aselton, Carol Dysinger, Marie Wilson, Jehmu Greene, Beth Brooke, Alison Teal Blehert Koehn, Kimberlee Bassford, Barbara Bridges, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Katie Goodmanand , and Katie Madonna.
Take Away 3 - Speaking up, Speaking out, Taking Action – When enough is enough.
We met several environmental action heroes that were risking life and limb for environmental and social injustices this year including Diane Wilson, an award winning activist, author, co-founder of CODEPINK and shrimp boat captain. Diane made national news as a result of her outburst during Tony Hayward's hearing (CEO of BP). The activist was awakened in Diane over twenty years ago when she discovered that she lived in the most toxic county in the United States.
We also interviewed Goldman Environmental Prize Winner Lynn Henning a family farmer who exposed the polluting practices of livestock factory farms in rural Michigan. Her efforts to require CAFO's (basically animal factories that confine thousands of livestock) to clean up the toxic brew that is contaminating ground water, lakes and streams, has gained the attention of the EPA.
"Are you seeking approval of the world or seeking to change the world?"~Eve Ensler
Elisa covered The Women's Conference in Long Beach, California and spoke with powerful change makers like Donna Karan, Rosario Dawson, Lisa Ling and Eve Ensler. Eve described the event as her coming out day since it was her first public speech having recoevered from uterine cancer. She is playing a tremendous role in working to end violence against women and stressed that changing the world is not about being liked or seeking approval. We must be brave and step up to create a better world.
Take Away 4 – There is Hope in Healthcare.
A growing number of women are taking their health into their own hands, changing policy, setting deadlines, and creating hope in healthcare. Whether you're for universal healthcare or not, pro-choice or anti-choice, most might agree that women's health needs often take the back seat in the America. As a result, many women are standing up and moving forward for their healthcare rights. This also includes changing policy to expose and ban the toxic chemicals contained in many of our home and beauty products and setting a deadline to end breast cancer.
See Jane Do examined the stuff in our stuff with Stacy Malkan, author of Not Just a Pretty Face, Erin Switalski, Executive Director of Women's Voices for the Earth, and Britta Aragon activist and blogger of Cinco Vidas. We covered the health care reform town hall meetings and captured a personal perspective of women's heath with the Women's Health Specialists. Finally we featured extraordinary women who are taking incredible measures to end breast cancer by setting a deadline and bringing women together to support the cause. We walked with women in the Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon, founded by Cathy Anderson-Meyers and spoke with Fran Visco, breast cancer survivor and president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition who shared their strategy to setting a deadline to end breast cancer by 2020.
Take Away 5 – Women’s Economic Influence – Becoming the CFO of Your Household
Women now make up over half of the work force. Women are launching businesses at twice the rate of men but funding sources still tend to lean towards male-owned companies. We control up to 85% of what's bought or purchased in the United States and women control 60% of the wealth. Why is it then that most women don't feel economically powerful? In fact, about 90% of women surveyed said they don't feel financially secure. In order to make a difference and enhance the planet we need to feel comfortable with our level of influence and in this nation, money talks. We interviewed Maddy Dychtwald, author of Influence: How Women's Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better, award winning poet Molly Fisk, Jane Roberts, founder of 34 Million Friends, Teresa Delfin, founder of Mountain Mama, Gina Robison-Billupsand, founder of Moms Making a Million, Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall and best selling author, Riane Eisler who is creating ways to implement a new economy. We also hosted the Funding Your Passion Soiree Into Action.
Take Away 6 – Mentoring Girls for Social Change
Many youth today, especially at-risk teenage girls are lacking role models. They are overwhelmed with the struggles of coming from broken homes where drugs and poverty are prevalent, survival is a constant concern, and options seem limited or non-existent. Programs across the US, including right here in our hometown of Nevada City, are uniting these girls with mentors to build confidence, teach social change skills, provide authentic and positive relationships, and reshaping their and our future for the better. These are the seeds for future social activism that need nurturing.
Take Away 7 – Definition of Community is a Common Goal
Last December, former Mayor Reinette Senum in her TEDxGrassValley talk raised the concept of community as a common goal and it got us thinking about the many community movements we covered this year and the need for collaborative leadership. For many of these communities, they are on the frontline of environmental and social change and thusly being impacted the greatest. It is essential to hear their stories first hand. In our program on Transition Towns we traveled to Reno, Nevada. In the "wild west" where the attitude was once every "man" for himself, women are pioneering a gentler expedition and this time they are doing it together to create a sustainable city that isn’t dependent on peak oil. We also attended the annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael, CA and the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, CA.
Extraordinary Janes: Reinette Senum, Molly Fisk, Chameli Ardagh, Ginny Woods, Suzie Daggett, Rainy Blue Cloud, Transition Reno founders, and the String Sisters.
Moving forward in 2011, we ask what will your story be? What’s your legacy?
We’ve heard and met so many extraordinary Janes this year, all of which started out as everyday women, but because of a certain issue or a passion that struck home for them, something inside was ignited to do more. Some did it alone and created a movement where others joined them, while some reached out to friends, family, and their communities to organize around something they felt passionate about and make a positive change.