Planning “Stories from the Frontline: Standing Together for Reproductive Rights” with the National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles
The National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles is committed to advocating for reproductive rights and access to all reproductive health services. I’m thrilled to be serving on their Reproductive Justice Advocacy Committee! We are planning an event to celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade scheduled for Thursday, January 22, 2015.
Called “Stories from the Frontline: Standing Together for Reproductive Rights,” the event will feature a fantastic, take action program with original story content from the “front lines” of fighting for reproductive rights in America and a chance to learn how to collaborate with the many organizations working on this issue. Program partners also include the Planned Parenthood Young Professionals Program, the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women, the City of West Hollywood’s Women’s Advisory Board, the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, NARAL Pro-choice California, and others. More details coming soon!
Lit Crawl LA: NoHo 2014 Was a Great Success!
The 2nd annual Lit Crawl LA: NoHo was a huge success! Co-founded by Conrad Romo of Tongue & Groove, Sally Shore of The New Short Fiction Series, and myself, this year’s Crawl drew over 3,000 people for a night of “literary mayhem” in the North Hollywood Arts District! The Crawl featured 34 presenters and over 170 writers at 30 locations from restaurants to martial arts studios across the district.
Truly an event “where literature hits the streets,” the Crawl is L.A.’s largest grassroots literary program that showcases the fabulous diversity of L.A.’s literary world and all it has to offer–all in one night, and in one place! Partners for Lit Crawl LA: NoHo also include the LA Metro, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles County Public Library, and the Burbank Library system.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of sitting down with two extraordinary people, Marie Da Silva and Luc Deschamps, President and Executive Director, respectively, of Jacaranda Primary & Secondary School in Malawi, East Africa. Jacaranda serves over 400 AIDS orphans, annually, and has enjoyed incredible success. Marie was recognized as a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2008 for her work. Despite the school’s success, teenage girls continue to have the school’s highest dropout rate due to various social pressures.
Working with Marie and Luc, I developed a leadership program proposal for Jacaranda to spend several months working with their students, teachers, student guardians, community leaders, and local universities to create a pilot, sustainable leadership program that continuously builds a network for the girls’ success. The program will include workshops, activities, discussions, mentoring, and community projects. Teachers, administrators, and others will participate in developing the program as we go along.
Why is this important? Much research shows that the health of a community and its environment is linked to the status and education of the women living in the community. The health of Africa is increasingly key to the health of our planet, overall, and it is critical to engage communities in creating innovative models for human development. On a more personal level, I simply believe that girls deserve to have great opportunities and I’m excited to be able to work with a school to make this happen.
Jacaranda School is supported by the nonprofit Jacaranda Foundation based in the United States. If you are interested in reading the full leadership program proposal and possibly supporting the program, please contact me directly.