May 6, 2017
Bellefontaine Cemetery Tour
A group from Women’s Voices toured Bellefontaine Cemetery Saturday, May 6. Thanks to Ginny Weil for organizing the event and to Carol Ferring Shepley for donating her time and expertise to regale us with stories about the “Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes” who populate the grounds. Carol Wofsey, co-chair of the Common-Sense Gun Solutions Committee, took the reservations and collected money from the participants. The proceeds will fund purchases of gun locks for our “Lock It For Love” program.
We learned that Virginia Minor co-founded and became the first president of the Woman’s Suffrage Association of Missouri in 1867. Like many current social justice advocates, Minor decided to devote the rest of her life to her cause following the death of her only child in a shooting accident in 1866.
At the Lemp mausoleum Carol Shepley told us of the suicides of 4 members of the family, all by gunshots to the head. At that, there was a brief outburst from several members of our group: “gun locks!” Our gun safety information notes that any delay in firing a gun, such as removing a lock, can provide enough time for a suicidal person to reconsider their action and save a life.
February 4, 2017
Educating for Change
The 12th Annual Educating for Change Conference held at the Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary School was convened by Educators for Social Justice and drew about 200 attendees. The participants were primarily educators interested in finding resources to help students learn about a variety of social justice issues. Women’s Voices had a display table and Judy Arnold and Joan McKerrow spoke to people who were interested in our Lock It for Love effort and in our educational programs. Seen below, Maria Dorantes who visited the Women’s Voices display.
The theme for this year’s conference was: “Courageous Teaching and Civil Rights in the 21st Century.” The conference featured interactive workshop sessions as well as keynote speakers: Keith Catone, Rabbi Susan Talve, and Rev. Traci Blackmon.
January 21, 2017
March Rally Act
Women’s Voices was proud to be one of the sponsoring organizations of the Women’s March on St. Louis. The march and rally was in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., which brought together women throughout the country to show unity in the fight for the rights of women and other marginalized groups. Marches were held in more than 600 cities worldwide.
While some members of Women’s Voices traveled to Washington D.C. others gathered at Union Station in St. Louis for the local march, rally and action fair. The march in Washington attracted half a million people, and in St. Louis it was estimated that 13,000 people participated. Many of our members were there though some never found the group carrying the banner! Sen. Claire McCaskill flew in for the event after having attended the inauguration the day before. She implored the crowd to be active. She said that she needs us and that the march has “given me a renewed sense of the fight.”
After the march and rally, participants had an opportunity to go to the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center of the YWCA and learn about social justice organizations. Women’s Voices had a table at the Action Fair.
Thanks to Andrea Bauman, Susan Flanagan, and Ann Ross for their help coordinating our group and for distributing information about Women’s Voices to the people who came to the Action Fair. More than 115 pamphlets were given to interested participants and people signed up to be on our mail list.