Program and Services > Advocacy > Women's Circle
All women deserve a voice, all women deserve to be believed in, and all women want to know that “they are not alone.” Women are involved in all parts of society, but some matters affect and touch women more than others. From the power of the women's vote to reproductive rights and the pay gap, let's take a look at a few of the major issues that modern women face and how we can advocate for this issues.
From the pandemic to unemployment to racial justice uprising to virtual school instruction, 2020 has brought challenges and adversity. The impact has led women across the political spectrum to reflect on systemic problems and support related policy shifts. How is this impacted our state, Ohio?
Ohio has nearly 18,000 elected positions, but just 29% of them held by women. That is back of the pack for US states, and the resulting quality of life measures of women in Ohio are also correspondingly low.
The Matriots PAC, created in 2017, is built to put more women in office to change the conversation at policymaking tables. The Matriots’ bold goal: 50% women in office by 2028. Join us on May 19 to see how Ohio stacks up in the US and across the globe, then find out how The Matriots are doing toward the goal.
I'm still here -MLK
The City of Toledo's Human Relations Commission and the University of Toledo will be co-hosting the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, January 18th.
Join us for a special virtual celebration featuring keynote speaker and author, Austin Channing Brown in celebration of Blackness and recognize the possibility of racial justice in organizations and communities.
In conjunction with 2021 MLK Jr. Unity Celebration join our Women's Circle for Community Read of I'm Still Here. 2021 MLK Community Book Read in conjunction with the Jan 18, MLK Jr. Unity Celebration, and its keynote speech by renowned author & Toledo native, Austin Channing Brown! Discussion facilitator: Teresa Alvarado, Adult Services Librarian, Kent Branch, Toledo Lucas County Public Library.
Women & Advocacy
For this session, we invite you to join Panel Discussions with Mentors & Leaders in Advocacy. This group of Panelist will help mentor & share with us all, on how to do better at advocating on issues that are important to your cause, movement, and current issues.
Gretchen DeBacker, Legislative Director for City of Toledo
Panelist of Leaders & Mentors:
Katy Crosby, Chief of Staff, City of Toledo
Kelli Daniels, VP of Operations, Jayramon LLC
Rhonda Sewell, Manager, External and Governmental Affairs/Executive Leadership at Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Ashley Futrell, Attorney & Community Advocate
Women & Current Issues
For this session, we invite you to join an Open Conversation with our State Rep. Paula Hicks Hudson. Discussion: How to continue to be vigilant with tenacity for a conversation at responding to our current issues.
For years we’ve been connecting over shared experiences, building each other up, and cheering each other on. The nature of our women's circle open conversation is to discuss more how women are involved in all parts of society, but some matters affect and touch women more than others. Now we’re coming together virtually to continue at supporting each other through the pandemic and time of crisis. In other words, we want to create a space that offers our community members an opportunity to experience the heart, emotion, empathy, care, concern – all the content that grabs you and reminds you what being human is all about. We believe, by doing so we can create an open space for our community members to connect, communicate, collaborate, and contribute towards change, be present, always with those we serve.
Watch Playback: Responding to Current Issues.
Isabelle Whitehurst is a young woman and student at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse. She reaches out to our organization to see if our RA TASK FORCE can help her and her group as part of her Community Engagement class project. The goal for this class is to pinpoint an issue they notice in our community by bringing it to light or trying to help the issue. After further discussion with Isabelle with approval from her teacher, as a person of color, she is interested in working on Racial Inequality in our community. Their main goal is to hold a meeting with the state Board of Education to talk about how Black history is/should be taught in schools. She asks - if our RA Task Force in some type of way to help her and the group reach the goal of education and reform?
As an organization that wants to empower our youth in civic engagement and advocacy, we invite Isabelle to present her idea and goal at our Women's Circle group tomorrow, Wednesday 03.17.2021 at 6 pm. We are working to identify a sub-committee of the Task Force to support, mentor, and guide Isabelle and her group to accomplish their goal.
Pivot & Rise
In order to close the gender gap and empower young women, we must root out the invisible power of deeply internalized beliefs, by thinking differently. That’s where the Rise Advocates Masterclass comes in to help women.
For Nov we are offering a mini session of Diana Patton on how to become a Rise Advocates, www.riseadvocates.com
(Virtual course length is 90 minutes with condensed curriculum) www.riseadvocates.com
Course goal and objective:
• Brief history of gender and racial bias and inequity
•Understand why fear makes one vulnerable to oppression, and how to overcome it
• Learn how coming face-to-face with your personal story helps to remove shame and guilt, which in turn increases forgiveness and empathy
• How lowering your “identity gap” can increase one’s personal power and help you find your superpowers
• Take the first step toward identifying one’s personal values, and how your behavior matches those values, in order to stimulate a personal grounding effect to direct one’s purpose
• Identify deeply held words and narratives that can positively impact confidence
In conjunction with Welcoming Week with the support of our partners, Welcome Toledo Lucas-County of the Toledo Public Library, we will be hosting a conversation exploring the state of belonging during our September 3rd Wednesday, Women’s Circle.
Humans crave a sense of belonging and connection--to one another and to the places we call home. Unfortunately, many people--including immigrants and longtime residents - feel like they don’t belong. Whether through policies or more subtle encounters, messages of exclusion work their way into our minds and social fabric. It is time to come together to explore our own sense of belonging, and how we can create more welcoming communities.
Women & Housing
It is a place where we gather, discover and integrate ways of speaking, listening, and relating to others. And serve the women we are becoming. As each woman claims her seat in the circle, we come together as equals united by our common purpose. “They're not always easy, but the hardest conversations can actually strengthen your most cherished connection” -Oprah Winfrey. As long you are willing and acknowledge the #1 fact that to have a difficult conversation – is asking the right questions and willing to listen.
February's conversation -issues surrounding gender discrimination on 'Women and land, property and housing'.
Circle of Expertise/facilitator team:
Sena Mourad Friedman with The Fair Housing Center
Ambrea Mikolajczyk with ARK Restoration & Construction
Kathy Tucker with NWO Homeownership
Art, Food and Soul
“Art, Food and Soul: A Showcase of local Black Women-Owned Businesses”.In conjunction with Black History Month
View beautiful African American-inspired art displayed by Cydnee Moore throughout the restaurant showcasing our featured artist.
Meet our 419HerHub of local African American Women Business owners.
Eat appetizers and sweets from our four African American caterers.