Responsive Advocacy > Community Advocacy Series
Advocacy & Community Efforts Involvement
We established a special Responsive Advocacy Task Force to help lead, support, and assist at educating, engaging, and empowering our female community (and HeForShe) pertaining to our current political, economic and social issues.
This includes but is not limited to:
Providing education and awareness opportunities while sharing resources and material on structural/systemic racism, economic injustice, and gender inequality.
Support and advocate for better public policies and a more equitable marketplace and workplace, because to make lasting change, we need institutional change.
How to dismantle implicit biases and barriers mindsets.
Engaging in the advocacy process of allyship with the support of our current Educational Initiative and Women's Connection program session.
Seeking collaboration and/or programs partnership opportunities with various local organizations, institutions, businesses, governmental agencies, and individuals that share similar goals and outcomes on the issues.
Our Core Objectives
To be responsive at listening, learning to relearn, and work to understand the problem, identify how to turn the problem into issues, which then become doable and solvable through Prevention, Intervention, and Retention.
August 26 marks 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women won the right to vote.
Women's Equality Day
Now celebrated nationwide as Women’s Equality Day, August 26 gives us the opportunity to reflect on the contributions of the suffragists, learn about women’s history and commit to advancing gender equality in the future.
Presentation I at 11:30 am to 1:00 pm: ‘A seat at the Table’ forum session lead by Diana Patton, RISE Advocate. Guest Panelists: Dr. Sharon Barnes, Associate Professor and Chairwoman of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Toledo, Candice Harrison, External Communication Manager for the Toledo Public Schools and Katie Moline, at-Large Councilwoman for Toledo City Council.
Presentation II at 5:30 pm to 7:30pm: ‘Re-vision 2020 through a Woman Lens of past, present and future’ mentorship circle lead by Dr. Angie Fitzpatrick, Director of the Eberly Center for Women of the University of Toledo. Guest Mentors and topics featuring: Business & Finance with Michelle Pommeranz, Lehner Carroll Shope Capital Management, Advocacy & Economic Injustice with Katy Crosby, Chief of Staff, the City of Toledo, Health & Wellness with Dr. Erin Marten, DNP, CNM, Mercy Women's Health Physicians and Midwives and Race & Education with Kelley Webb, Principal Consultant at the Matching Peace.
Given the importance of this milestone, during the opening of this presentation, Women of Toledo will also share a Past-Present-Future Slideshow with photos and images of the suffrage movement & anti-suffrage ephemera, political cartoons dating to the women’s suffrage campaign era in the U.S. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Post-session with Playback: Equality Day
Activism:1000 Women Protest
Rise Up & Protest
On Sunday afternoon, June 14, 2020, couple of our Responsive Advocacy Task Force we joined Faith Leaders United for Change at the lawn of the Lucas County Courthouse and Jail for RISE UP, a united front of women who want to make a stance against racism and fight for social justice. Women from all walks of life gathered to express their concerns about the George Floyd murder.
This was organized by the Faith Leaders United for Change: Pastors Marquisa Horton,; Shalonda Thurmond; Evangelist Diane Haynes; First Lady Regina Mack; Kellie Jones and others.
Several mothers gave their testimonials about the deaths of their sons. Many faith leaders spoke about the need for change.
The purpose of the Praytest/Protest against police brutality and injustice was to inform the community that “we hear your call and are ready to respond.”
Read more here: TheTruthToledo Ed. 062420
All year around
Toledo for CEDAW
Toledo for CEDAW is a coalition of local women's, social justice, social service, and educational organizations, including Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc, Advocating Opportunity, American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters of Toledo-Lucas County, The University of Toledo-Women and Gender Studies, Women of Toledo, YWCA of Northwest Ohio, and numerous others.
The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is the only international human rights treaty to focus exclusively on the rights of women. Adopted by many countries in 1979, CEDAW has been ratified by 189 of 196 UN member states worldwide. The United States is one of the seven-member states, and the only industrialized nation, that has failed to ratify CEDAW.
The purpose of the Cities CEDAW campaign is to "make the global-local" by harnessing the power of cities and promoting the adoption of CEDAW as a municipal ordinance in cities large and small in order to create a framework for improving the status of women and girls. So far, the Cities for CEDAW campaign has been successful in creating ordinances in nine major cities within the United States. Toledo for CEDAW focuses on these gender equity efforts within the city of Toledo, Ohio.
The Toledo City Council approved the Pay Equity Act!
On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the Toledo City Council approved the Pay Equity Act, an ordinance introduced by councilmen Nick Komives and Yvonne Harper who believe it will help prevent pay inequities for women and people of color in Toledo’s workplaces. Every person deserves to be offered compensation based on their skills and abilities, not what their previous employer paid them. The ordinance will help to close the pay gap that exists due to this discriminatory business practice.
Women of Toledo proudly supported this piece of legislation; as we further strengthen our work to elevate economic empowerment for women living in the Greater Toledo area. Passing the Pay Equity Act is a critical step to closing the gender pay gap and improve a woman’s economic status. When a woman’s economic status improves, so does her family, household, and, potentially, her community.
Our efforts in this process: Partnering with AAUW, we began our advocacy and created awareness on how important it was for our constituents to take action. We went a step further and consulted our friends at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) to draft a well-researched Letter in Support of Women of Toledo’s call to Toledo City Council to pass the Pay Equity Act. Outcome: Feedback that we received after we submitted this document researched by ABLE and our letter addressed exactly the legal questions that the other members of the council asked and the memo from their legal on regards this ordinance.
We are proud to be part of this effort, and we know that our advocacy not only will positively impact the target population but also extend the participation to the community-at-large to create awareness about the change that is needed in our ecosystem. We look forward to continuing to explore additional ways for transformational change and to be more impactful to our women’s community here in the Northwest Ohio area. Join us, be part of the movement to keep moving forward and let’s progress together.
Activism: Pride / Black Lives Matter March
Marching in Solidarity
To honor the anniversary of Stonewall and to say Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ organizations around the country organized a marching in solidarity on Sunday, June 28.
The purpose of this March is to honor LGBTQ+ history and reflect on our continued movement. Also, elevating the voices of our Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community members; in conjunction with Black Lives Matter. Important to address racism in the LGBTQ+ community and talk about how we need to be allies to Black and Brown community members.
The March start on Adams Street at the Love Wall to the courthouse with a complete the lie-in.The lie-in at the courthouse will be 8 minutes 46 seconds, while listing the names / announcing the names of those we’ve lost in the LGBTQ+ community (highlighting the Black and Brown trans folks we’ve lost).
Understanding systemic racism and white supremacy
The events of the last few weeks have shined a light on the horrific impacts of systemic racism and white supremacy. For the Black women in our community, we know this is a terrible moment—one of countless terrible moments over hundreds of years. We know it is not your job to educate non-Black people about the way racism shows up in the workplace or in our day-to-day lives. For the white and non-Black women of color in our community, it’s crucial that we come together to internalize the roots of this violence and do our own work to end white supremacy. Our Responsive Advocacy Task Force is here for you and working together with you every step of the way.
Below, listing of recommended articles and books from Lean In to help you inform yourselves and take action. Many of the resources in this library were sourced from other anti-racism collections:
"Anti-Racism Resources for White People," compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein
"Anti-Racism Resources," compiled by Rachel Ricketts
"Resources," compiled by Robin DiAngelo
"Activism and Allyship Guide," compiled by the Black@ Airbnb Employee Resource Group
"Resource document," compiled by Black Lives Matter
DONATE: Click the WE STAND WITH YOU image or here to invest in this effort.
Nina Corder & Sabrina Weaver, from our leadership team and Responsive Advocacy Task Force, had the opportunity to join Captain Kim Hood to discuss potentially creating a Women’s Network/Affinity group and how the City of Toledo, Toledo Fire & Rescue and Toledo Police Departments may benefit from this type of program in our local government!
Research has shown such initiative is able to attract, recruit, and retain employees, especially female employees while promoting diversity, cultural awareness, and inclusive work environment.
Program: Mentorship in Advocacy
Mentors & Leaders in Advocacy
This program's session is intended to be a brave space as part of our Mentorship Circle session in Responsive Advocacy. Our goals are to help educate, engage, and empower you on how to do better at advocating on issues that are important to your cause, movement, and current issues.
Panelist of Mentors & Leaders shared their insight on:
Roles. Roles as an activist, an advocate, a disrupted and how can you identify yourself which is the best role for you in the workplace, marketplace, and community.
Influence. Determine your influence as a woman, mother, wife, partner, sister, and more. And how does your stage in life determine where you fit in?
Changemaker. Ways to engage with our elected officials, policymakers, and best practices for official advocacy.
Allyship. How to be and do better. Understand how to address conversation without offending and/or defending one another.
We are simply grateful for all these Mentors & Leaders for time & talents at sharing knowledge and expertise on the topic matter:
Gretchen DeBacker (Moderator)
Pre-Session with Resources: Pre-Advocacy III
Post-Session with Playback: Post-Advocacy III
Program : June to October, 2020
In the spirit of being responsive to community needs, it is important to organize an interracial dialogue about white fragility as a barrier to interracial coalitions among women, especially as it relates to mothering. The voices of black and non-black women of color are absolutely crucial to struggles for women’s liberation and racial justice.
First Responsive Advocacy Session I: The first program was intended to be a space where white women could prepare other white women for racial justice allyship by helping each other work through white fragility so that we don’t re-traumatize POC when we enter racial justice spaces. That said, the overwhelming response from women in the community is that they want to have an interracial dialogue so we are shifting gears.
Resources HUB for Anti-Racism Resources by National partner the USOW.
Local educational forum efforts: Read our preliminary-DRAFT Task Management and Planning for the Responsive Advocacy Task Force between June to October 2020. **subject to change
Pre-session packet for June 10, 2020 - Virtual Responsive Advocacy Session I: Now is the Time!
Playback Recording June 10 2020 session - Now is the Time!
An Ohio High-school Athletic Association disqualified cross country athlete Noor Abukaram from a district meet simply because she was wearing a hijab. Noor Abukaram is a member of our Young Women of Toledo. And we were saddened by this news. But, Noor is resilient. With the support from both of her parents especially her mother, Yolanda Melendez who is part of our Responsive Advocacy Team and dad, Ziad Abukaram, our local HeforShe now Noor's continue to advocate and fight against discrimination in sports. She is on the road to educate and shed light on discrimination by starting a "Virtual Class" program for elementary students. Noor will be virtually visiting classes teaching students about civic participation and how a bill becomes law!
On March 8 with the conjunction of International's Women Day, Noor posted this on her social media platform - "Happy International Women's Day! This one goes to Nina Corder. A longtime Mentor of mine. She makes history for Women every day with her work here in Toledo. Thank you for inspiring my generation of women to continue to walk on this road you have paved for us".- Noor
Thank you, Noor as we also believe Mentorship is important in once's journey to be a better advocate for themselves and others.
Follow Noor's journey #LetNoorRun as she continues working with our Advocacy Team and elected officials at pushing Legislation to Protect Freedom of Religious Expression. On February 26 2020, State Senator Theresa Gavarone introduced Senate Bill 288, which would protect freedom of religious expression for athletes. We are so proud of Noor and her accomplishment.