From the President's Corner

C O M M U N I T Y  •  C O M M I T M E N T  •  C O U R A G E

March 6, 2015

Hello Fellow Members!  I just got back from Houston Board Retreat, only lost a day and night because of weather problems. Good to be home, if only for a short time (see New York event below).

Houston Board Retreat

I'll give you a short update on the JAPA/WILPF accountants meeting and on our Houston Board Retreat. There will be more following but thought you'd be waiting to hear.

JAPA/WILPF Accountants meeting on February 24: They met in New York as planned. We are continuing the discussions at this moment and Paula Herrington, our Interim Director, will be meeting with Linda Belle, JAPA Executive Director, on March 20.

Houston Board Retreat with Heather Harker from Third Sector New England (TSNE). We all arrived to find a beautiful and quiet setting which proved conducive to constructive conversations about the present and future for WILPF US Section. Heather Harker and her assistants facilitated well-rounded discussions about the struggles we have had and have, yet we managed to come together and make decisions to move us forward. As I said, this is a short version; however, the more lengthy and insightful the TSNE assessment will be coming out in the next few days, if not today. It will be sent to all members, so please READ YOUR EMAIL!

Houston Meeting with potential WILPF members, the board and Houston activists and collaborators: Melissa Torres and Dixie Hairston arranged for us to meet with local activists and potential new members at the University of Houston Women's Resource Center (see photo). A Texas Breakfast was hosted by professor and feminist writer Rebecca McPhail, LMSW, PhD, which turned into an invigorating and informative get together. Later I'll write more on the speakers and discussions on substantive issues, such as immigration and human rights. For now, we can say it was a very special morning with our Houston sisters and their community of dedicated peace and change-makers.

Here's a reminder of the NY Public Event. Lots of good publicity work going on!

WILPF Event at New York Public Library

In an associated event, in New York City, on March 11, 2015 (5 to 7:30 pm), we will observe WILPF's 100th anniversary at the New York Public Library: Celebrating 100 Years of Women Peacemakers. The library houses the unique Schwimmer-Lloyd Collection, a repository of early WILPF and WWI newspaper clippings, reports and photographs assembled by two pacifists and founding members of WILPF, Rosika Schwimmer of Hungary and Lola Maverick Lloyd of the US. Schwimmer and Lloyd sought to promote mediation and conciliation as an alternative to war, and their writings, along with many others', will be on display at the library. International WILPF Secretary-General Madeleine Rees will give a keynote address on current issues facing women in the Middle East.

Mary Hanson Harrison
President, WILPF-US