Educate, Advocate, and Celebrate
Celebration and Inspiration
The Advocates believe that community is important to our success. Historically we took time to enjoy each other’s company in our annual summer potluck (almost all fun and almost no business!), and usually had at least one other potluck each year prior to one of our regular meetings. We hope to be able to return to these celebrations soon!
We also mark important dates, and prior to the pandemic held events each spring in recognition of International Women’s Day. In October 2017, we held a congregational luncheon celebration for International Day of the Girl. This special day acknowledges that the world’s 1.1 billion girls can be powerful agents of change as humanity attempts to solve the global issues of climate change, political conflict, disease, social inequality, and more. It also recognizes that the discrimination and gender-based violence experienced by adolescent girls act as formidable barriers to fulfilling their human rights and allowing them to act as equal partners. We explored some of the unique challenges girls face, along with some strategies that support girls to realize their potential.
We have enjoyed many field trips! We have been able to arrange visits to organizations that we plan to raise funds for through our benefits or drives, such as Tomorrow’s Hope and Mary’s Place. Additionally, in June 2017, several of us visited the Bill and Melinda Gates Visitor Center for the opening of the Half the Sky exhibit. We’ve also had outings to films for those interested, including the 2017 summer hit Wonder Woman! While these outings are on hold, we look forward to them in the future.
The intersection of gender with poverty, racial discrimination, and refugee/immigrant issues is one we think of daily. Therefore, one of our goals is to educate ourselves and the congregation about issues facing women and girls, and how they interact with other challenges people may encounter. To accomplish this, all of our benefits include a discussion of the problems that the beneficiary organization is working to solve. Additionally, we have stand-alone events to which our members and the congregation are invited. Some examples include:
Time of COVID A4W-sponsored discussions
The Vote, 2 part series on American Experience, PBS, about the history of women’s suffrage culminating in the ratification of the 19th amendment. July 2020.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, by Lindy West. Lindy is not small, quiet or compliant. We discussed the personal essays of this bold feminist who doesn’t fit the mold. Book discussion in four parts. June 2020.
Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law, by Jeffrey Rosen. Book discussion in four parts. May 2020.
Reproductive Justice: US Laws and UU Principles, a congregational education luncheon event, 2019. Marley Banker, Shoreline UU Board Member and NARAL activist discussed how our liberal religion can support women’s reproductive justice in the face of conservative religions’ denial of rights. Fajer Ebrahim, Counsel at Legal Voice, described legal strategies to defend reproductive rights for all women.
Feminism for All, 2019-2020. Discussions of “Is Feminism relevant today?” and “Why the Patriarchy is not just about Men”
You’ve Come a Long Way Maybe… a congregational education lunch event, 2019. covering economic justice, gender-based violence, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
Book discussion: Her Bodies, Our Laws, by Michelle Oberman, 2018. From El Salvador to Oklahoma, this book highlights the intersectionality the abortion wars and the sometimes surprising consequences of anti-abortion laws.
What Will it Take to Make A Woman President?, Discussion, 2016
In October, 2016, we held a Reader’s Theater to discuss this book by Marianne Schnall. With participants reading the viewpoints contributed by thought leaders such as Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, and Nicholas Kristof, we probed this yet-to-be answered question.
A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, Discussion, 2015
We held a discussion of this book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This is the follow-on to the book by the same authors that inspired us to form the Advocates and take action: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Both books offer hope by showing how we can help change lives.
On December 5, 2013 a group from Advocates for Women attended a film showing of Girl Rising at Kane Hall, University of Washington. This powerful film illustrates how education can empower girls and communities. Nine girls from different countries told their compelling stories.
“She Asked for It! Why We Like to Judge Rape Victims” Seminar, 2012
Many of us attended a seminar at the University of Washington featuring Anne Munch. She discussed commonly held beliefs about rape victims, offenders, and the meaning of consent, and the important roles these beliefs play in how rape cases are perceived and handled.
Domestic Abuse in Our Own Backyard, Panel Discussion, 2012
Domestic violence pervades all neighborhoods, economic levels, races, and religions. Three speakers spoke about the problem of domestic violence in Snohomish and King counties, followed by a question and discussion period. Speakers included: Kari Hovorka, Edmonds Police Domestic Violence Unit; Jan Dahl, volunteer speaker for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County; Al O’Brien, retired Seattle Police Sergeant and former State Rep., currently teaching Criminal Justice Legislation at Edmonds Community College.
Refugee panel, 2011
In 2011 we invited a panel of speakers from Refugee Women’s Alliance to inform us of the challenges faced by refugees in Puget Sound. Seven refugees told us their stories, forming the basis for us to understand what they left behind and what makes their lives difficult here. The refugees brought delicious food, adding to our potluck, providing a feast for all to share.
Would you like to join our group or learn more?
Please come to one of our monthly meetings or gatherings.
Contact: Advocates for Women