From the President's Corner

June 19, 2014

A Congratulations, a Welcome, a Nudge, and a Farewell

As the wind whipped through last night, it left orphaned oak limbs scattered across our yards; soon to be followed by power outages that left us feeling vulnerable. But then out came the neighbors with rakes and chain saws. With coffee cups resting on stone walls, we all pulled together and cleaned up the mess. Just like all WILPFers do: overcome obstacles and persevere. The following messages also illustrate that same dedication.

Peace & Freedom: You will soon be receiving our newest, in color, spectacular Peace and Freedom.  Congratulations to Joan Bazar (interim editor), Carole Vaporean (current editor) and Theresa Stephens (consultant) — all of whom have persisted through trials and tribulations and came out with a creative new look to match our anticipation of a transformative 100 years celebration! And with that transformation comes the echo of the call that Jane Addams left us in 1898:  to use our "moral energy to create a new force in the world."

Interim IB Representative: WELCOME MELISSA! We are fortunate to have our newly-elected International Board Representative to help us on our way to that transformation. Melissa Torres found inspiration in Addams's vision to serve those who are disempowered and live in poverty and strife around the world.  Her academic career is centered on social work, social justice for the im/migrant population; all of which will lead to changing social policy. For example, she's done research and policy projects in Mexico, Turkey, Holland, El Salvador, and Bolivia. In addition, her fluency in both English and Spanish bring a much-needed multi-lingual perspective to our WILPF US Section. Glad to have you on (the) board, Melissa!

Detroit Congress 2014: REGISTER right now! "GLOBAL DETROIT: Women, Democracy and Corporate Power" awaits your power! Go on line to register and pay or use the registration found in Peace & Freedom and mail it in. Questions or comments: Laura Dewey, Congress Coordinator,; Ellen Schwartz, Congress Committee Chair,

Doris Marquit: Many of you know that Doris Marquit, a dedicated and outspoken WILPFer, passed away May 29. Well, not really—she'll be with us in spirit in Detroit. I could list all the contributions she made to her community, to our world, but I've left that to the obituary columns. 

What I want to remember is seeing her in our Minneapolis Regional Meeting not that long ago. I was facilitating one particularly difficult session and Doris left a distinct impression on me, on all of us. I began to speak the "speak" of a facilitator when Doris popped up (literally) and shouted "Let her speak." However, it wasn't me she was referring to. And, of course, I did exactly that and let the "her" speak.  

There was Doris, fragile but hearty, letting me know what she wanted. She was always the clarion voice for dissent. And that's how I remember her:  standing up and speaking her mind.

Mary Hanson Harrison

President, WILPF-US