Help support the work of our organization with a tax-deductible donation: Use this button to target your donation to the Common Sense Gun Solutions Fund:
Use this button to target your donation to the Melanie Shouse Memorial Advocacy Fund:
or send a check (made out to Women's Voices) marked "Common Sense Fund" or "Advocacy Fund" (on the memo line) to:
Women's Voices 444 Clemens Ave Kirkwood MO 63122
The Melanie Shouse Memorial Advocacy Fund has been established to honor the memory of one of our most effective members. Melanie was an active participant in Women's Voices' health care and environment focus groups, as well as in many other local, state and national initiatives. Contributions to this fund, which are tax-deductible, will be used to support Women's Voices' advocacy work for social justice.
Who We Are
We are a group of ardent, progressive St. Louis area women who finally got fed up.
We became so concerned about the direction of this country and where its priorities seem to be that we decided we must do something. From our frustration and determination, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice was born.
We are the only multi-issue social justice organization in St. Louis that is not affiliated with a religious tradition. We partner with many other groups in our work, and we try not to re-invent the wheel. We study many different issues and take action for a variety of causes.
Our members are curious, creative, competent and caring.
We believe in doing something meaningful in support of our values, and we have great fun and camaraderie in doing so. If you would like to add your voice to ours, we welcome you to join us.
Next Meeting: Thursday, December 11, 2014
Sweet Celebrations! Birthday Parties for Kids in Shelters
We hurt today for Michael Brown's family and for all those whose lives have been lost to injustice. We hurt for St. Louis as we try to cope with the anxiety, anger, and tensions in our community. And we hurt for our nation which was founded on the principles of justice, peace and the rights of all Americans…but which has failed to live up to this promise.
We also have hope. Hope that our community can come together to seek solutions to longstanding social justice issues. Women's Voices stands committed to efforts that move us forward. We will continue to advocate for civil and human rights, economic justice, quality public education, access to health care for all and many other social justice issues.
We pledge to continue our work in collaboration with other organizations in our community to make our collective voices heard. And to make a difference.
We will redouble our commitment to Margaret Mead's belief "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Ferguson: Ways You Can Help
November 25, 2014
Donate Books to the Children of Ferguson: In particular, the children of Ferguson are facing a harsh reality. One way to help is through the simple act of sending a children's book, with an enclosed note of encouragement. The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), working with its longtime partner, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, will deliver these books to the children of Ferguson. Drop off or send your donation of a new book, or books, to the Brodsky Library of St. Louis, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis MO 63146 (please also continue donating used books, which will find good homes).
Volunteer at a Local Safe Space in University City: Bais Abraham Congregation has partnered with University United Methodist Church (located around the corner from Bais Abe, on Trinity off Delmar) to provide a safe space at UUMC in the days following the grand jury verdict. The fellowship hall will be open 24 hours a day for the first two days after the verdict to provide a warming station with places to charge phones, get news, pray or meditate, sleep, get a bite to eat, and more. This will be especially important if roads are blocked, transit lines are disrupted, schools are closed, etc. We invite you to be part of this partnership.
Volunteers are needed to staff the Safe Space. Donations of food and hospitality supplies are also needed.
If you are willing to help, please contact Rich Wymore at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rori Picker Neiss at email@example.com.
Support Efforts to Help the People and Small Businesses in Ferguson and Surrounding Neighborhoods: Support the work of the Reinvest North County Fund: This Fund has organized a response to support small business owners and school children who were impacted by events over the past months and that continue in the wake of the grand jury decision. The Reinvest North County Fund's goal is to provide immediate relief to small businesses impacted and to provide school districts with appropriate resources to show their children how important school is, particularly in times of distress. Please consider donations to support this effort. Checks can be made payable to the Reinvest North County Fund at the 501 (c) 3 non-profit North County Regional Development Association (NCI), 350B Village Square Drive, Hazelwood, MO 63042. You can also find out more at this website.
Support the Ferguson Municipal Public Library: The Ferguson Municipal Public Library has been a place where children can gather to learn and feel safe. It has remained open during periods of unrest and when surrounding public schools have been closed. You can support the library in these two specific ways:
Donate: Go to the library's website.
Volunteer: Help is needed with planned activities at the library in the coming days and weeks. You can call the library at 314-521-4820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to help.
Continue to Donate to Ongoing Drives in Partnership with the Urban League: Clothing: For Save Our Sons Program (SOS): gently used clothing for young men, appropriate for job interviews
For Head Start Programs: new or gently used children's hats and gloves for 3-5 year olds
DROP OFF AT: JCRC office Jewish Federation Building,12 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, 63146
Food Drive: DROP OFF AT: Harvey Kornblum Food Pantry, 10601 Baur Blvd, Creve Coeur, 63132 (314 993-1000)
Shop for the Holidays Wednesday, December 3, 6-9 pm
October 20, 2014
A portion of sales will be donated to Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice
If you shop during the day on Dec 3, mention that you're with Women's Voices and we'll get "credit" for daytime sales too!
Plowsharing Crafts, University City
6271 Delmar (University City Loop)
Wide selection of jewelry, accessories, home décor, musical instruments, office and stationery; and holiday items (ornaments, Nativity sets).
The crafts are handmade by artisans, 70% of whom are women, from over 45 developing countries across the globe. Marketing their crafts at Plowsharing provides vital income for these people, income that is used to put food on the table, to provide healthcare, and to clothe and educate children.
Plowsharing Crafts is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Adding Our Voice on Several Social Justice Issues
November 18, 2014
Working in coalition with other organizations strengthens the voice of advocates. Women's Voices is often asked to join in calling for change or to take action. "Like" our Facebook page to get timely updates. Here are the recent examples:
We joined with Missouri Health Care for All to advocate for support of subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments which challenge access to health insurance subsidies in 36 states, including Missouri. If upheld, as many as 129,000 Missourians could lose the subsidy that allows them to have affordable health insurance.
We signed on to a letter from the Missouri Children's Leadership Council asking our US Senators and Representatives to extend federal funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Without the extension, an estimated 37,000 children will likely be uninsured.
We signed on to the Missouri Community Leaders statement Supporting Respectful and Just Work Places and a statement opposing "right to work and paycheck deception" legislation in Missouri
We signed on to a letter supporting the "Protection from Abuse in Jail Act" to be introduced to the St Louis Board of Aldermen. Drafted by the St Louis Committee for Prisoner's Rights the bill's aim is to guarantee that appropriate health care, safety, and good governance exist in Saint Louis city jails. In Missouri's state prisons, staff are required by law to report illegal activity and abuse they see take place. The "Protection from Abuse in Jail Act" would require that the St Louis City jail also meet this standard of reporting.
Missouri Headed Towards Fiscal Cliff
November 19, 2014
Missouri is headed over a cliff as it follows the lead of Kansas. Two years ago Kansas, following the advice of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which writes legislation for conservative state-level politicians, sharply cut income taxes. Kansas revenues took an 11 percent nosedive in 2014 alone. When Missouri's SB509 goes into effect in 2017, tax cuts are likely to lead to results similar to those in Kansas. Read more ...
Gearing up to Promote Medicaid Expansion
October 13, 2014
The Health Advocacy Committee is getting ready for the 2015 legislative session. We'll continue our work with the Medicaid Expansion Coalition to advocate for access to health care for all Missourians. If you are interested in joining the committee, e-mail email@example.com.
A recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch story focused on Medicaid expansion. For those who make too much - and too little - for health insurance, the options are limited. Beverly Jones, a 51-year-old St. Louisan with custody of her three grandchildren, is supposed to get her blood tested every few months to make sure the medicine she takes daily isn't harming her kidneys. But she can only afford to make the trip to the doctor two times a year because she lacks health insurance.
"It's hard for me to accept that I put in so much work and so much time and now that I get sick there is no one that can help me," she said. "That doesn't seem fair to me." Jones isn't alone. She is one of nearly 300,000 Missourians who would qualify for government-funded health insurance if they lived across the Mississippi River in Illinois or in 26 other states that have decided to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.
How You Can Help The St. Louis Jewish Community Relations Council has specific ways to help the Ferguson community. Read more ...
"The latest school shooting, on October 24th, in Washington State, generated almost no discussion on the campaign trail, especially not of gun control. Just a week earlier, researchers affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health had published findings showing that mass shootings in the United States---those in which the shooter did not generally know the victims, and in which at least four people were killed---have tripled since 2011. Over the past three years, a mass shooing has occurred, on average, every sixty-four days; over the previous twenty-nine years, once occurred every two hundred days. Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman, who became a gun-control advocate after she was wounded in a shooting in which six people died, toured the country in the run-up to the elections, calling for tighter legislation in order to help save lives. Not a single candidate joined her.
Margaret Talbot, New Yorker magazine, 11.10.14
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Awards
to members of the Kirkwood city council, who formally declared that they are "outraged" at the state legislature's enactment of a law permitting the open carry of firearms throughout Missouri. Kirkwood was forced to repeal its ordinance prohibiting open carry of weapons because local law cannot contradict state law. The city council members said the legislators were forcing them to enact a "dangerous and irresponsible" law that benefits no one in Missouri.
to Emerson, the latest corporation to confirm it has ended funding for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), joining a notable wave of recent corporate defectors (i.e. Microsoft, Google, Facebook). ALEC has been plagued by controversy regarding its role in promoting Voter ID laws, NRA-sponsored lax gun laws, and legislation designed to increase corporate profits by privatizing services and eliminating regulations. Most recently, ALEC has been exposed for teaching state legislators climate change denial at its conferences.
to ArchCity Defenders for receiving the New Leaders in Advocacy Award from the National Legal Aid & Defense Association which honors the accomplishments of rising attorneys who exhibit extraordinary leadership early in their careers as civil legal aid or indigent defense
to St. Louis Judge Rex Burlison who ruled Missouri's marriage ban unconstitutional. St. Louis City is now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
to voters in Washington state, who overwhelming passed a referendum to require common-sense background checks on those who purchase firearms in the state.
to members of the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force, who have been working for several years to decrease the number of "unbanked" families in the St. Louis region. According to a new report, in 2013 the number of savings accounts increased by 9.42 percent in the St. Louis metropolitan area, while in the rest of Missouri the increase was just .6 percent.
to Walmart, which is planning to enter the banking business and provide checking accounts for their low-income customers. This move is opposed by the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force, which includes community groups that are trying to motivate individuals to use banks or credit unions in order to save money and build equity.
to Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs who ruled that Missouri must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states.