equipoise news volume 21
|equipoise news volume 21||spring-summer 2013|
We begin this 10th year of The Equipoise Fund with celebration and play, with joy, gratitude and creativity—a perfect balance to the fruitful efforts we’ve all put forward toward energizing, enriching and encouraging the vision, voice and visibility of the women and girls of Wyoming.
I believe that play is critical to maintaining our balance in life. Susan Rowland, PhD., chair for the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life program at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, writes that “. . . the creative psyche invites us to play, to creatively engage . . . ‘play’ is about healthy growth, exercising the imagination, and developing creativity.”
As you catch up in this journal with our programs, partners and friends, I invite you to feel the brilliant imagination and creativity in their work. Balance. Joy. Equipoise.
Have a fun summer!! Play!!
WYOMING WOMEN’S LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS Continues Leap into Leadership Training
Leap into Leadership 2013 focused on the theme “We the People” to address core values and civic engagement and ethics. The program included keynote speaker Deb Sofield, a skilled politician and savvy businesswoman, whom we highlighted in our last newsletter. In addition, the program featured a speech by Rita Meyer, former Wyoming state auditor, leadership workshops and a presentation on Cowboy Ethics by the University of Wyoming College of Business.
Now in it’s sixth year, Leap into Leadership aims to increase women’s leadership at all levels. Nine Leap into Leadership alumni were elected to local or state office in the 2012 elections, part of a 125% increase in the number of women on county commissions and a 15% increase in the number of women in the Wyoming legislature.
“Attending Leap into Leadership . . . started me on my path to running for office and gave me some valuable insights into what it takes—and why women should do it,” said Natalia Duncan Macker of Jackson. “I started building my support system and now have a greater understanding of the resources available to me.”
The Caucus is very busy at the moment with Leap into Leadership events in Sheridan and Riverton. Partnering with the Wyoming Women’s Foundation to branch out into new areas of the state, the Caucus will report on these exciting developments in our upcoming fall newsletter. Stay tuned!
Founded in 2006, the nonpartisan Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus is a project of The Equipoise Fund. For more information, please visit wyowlc.org.
DON’T FENCE ME IN
Our award-winning documentary continues to amaze audiences around the globe. In fact, our initial press of DVDs has run out. But the great news from Director of Photography Charlie Craighead is that the new edition of Don’t Fence Me In will include a bonus track of all the interviews we weren’t able to include the first time around. That means that you will meet another group of incredible, powerful, goal-oriented, people-focused and funny women who live their truth across this great state. Craighead joined director Bonnie Kreps, cinematographer Leigh Reagan and associate producer Amy McCarthy to travel the state, taking video interviews from the women who had been nominated.
New interviews include those with:
Hermie Christian, Buffalo
Nancy Curtis, Glendo
Debra East, Lander
Jayme Fraser, Cody
Madeline Harriet, Buffalo
Elaine Harvey, Lovell
Terry Henderson, Shawnee
Lynn Horton, Powell
Justice Marilyn Kite, Jackson
Inger Koedt, Jackson
Audrey Long, Buffalo
Susan McKay, Laramie
Beth Simpson, Powell
Jonesy Smith, Buffalo
Lynne Swanson, Cheyenne
As of June, you’ll be able to pick up the DVD, including the bonus track, at Valley Bookstore.
All of our interviewees can be previewed on the Documentary Subjects page of our Web site.
RAISING GIRLS Helps Organize Conversation Around Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In
Monday, June 10, Lean In Book Discussion
6:00-7:30pm at Teton County Library
Equipoise Fund programs Raising Girls and Womentum are partnering with Soroptimist of Jackson Hole and Teton County Library to invite the community to a conversation about Sheryl Sandberg’s book and the topic of women in leadership. As COO at Facebook Sandberg laments the shortage of females in leadership and urges women to be more assertive in their professional ambitions. Lean In has been both praised—”an inspiring call to action and blueprint for individual growth”—and criticized—“placing too much of the onus on women who are already struggling to fulfill impossible demands.” Please join us for large- and small-group facilitated discussions about this controversial new read.
Teton County Library Foundation is currently offering 10 free copies of Lean In for community members to share, with additional copies (e-books, audio and print) available to check out with your library card. Inquire at the front desk of the library. Copies of Lean In are also available for purchase at Valley Bookstore. Note that having read the book is not a requirement for participation.
Please email Annie Riddell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Hope to see you on June 10! (You too, guys!)
Be sure to visit the Raising Girls Web site to keep up on their many great programs.
THRIVE Expands Offerings Through Web Site
Thrive is in the process of planning events for 2013, including more workshops related to specific topics, such as relationships, transitions, resilience and “perfect” pressure. You can keep up with them on their quite dynamic Web site at www.thrivewyoming.org or on Facebook.
You’ll find videos, an ongoing blog and terrific resources for you and the women who are your mothers, daughters, relations and friends. There’s no age requirement—or limit!—for good information.
Womentum recently “harvested” the fruits and flowers of its 2013 Womentoring program at their annual Harvest celebration. “I mentor when I see something, and say, ‘I want to see that grow,’” said Oprah Winfrey. The 2013 Womentoring mentees and mentors grew in self-understanding, creativity and courage; they said yes to joy, risk and adventure, but also learned that it’s okay to be quietly powerful.
Womentum is currently seeking mentees and mentors for the 2014 program. Women who have lived in the Jackson Hole area for at least two years can apply to be mentees or be nominated as mentors. Priority consideration will be given to mentee applicants whose goals are in alignment with Womentoring’s objective to inspire its graduates to increase community engagement and leadership as well as self-awareness. You can nominate yourself or others as potential mentors. An ideal Womentoring mentor recognizes and is able to articulate her strengths, and she exercises her voice and seeks opportunities to create change.
If you’d like more information on Womentoring, the online application and nomination form are available on the Womentum Web site.
PLEASE NOTE: There are just a few days before the submission deadline. Get your application or nomination in by May 28, 2013.
WYOMING WOMEN’S FOUNDATION AND UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING/GENDER AND WOMEN’S STUDIES Spring 2013 Intern Ginger Ko
The WYWF/University of Wyoming Gender and Women’s Studies internship position is a grantee of The Equipoise Fund. We are proud to welcome Ginger Ko into this dynamic partnership, impressed with both her accomplishments and her energy. She is a University of Wyoming Graduate Student and MFA candidate in Creative Writing (poetry), with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies.
Ginger writes: My time at the Wyoming Women’s Foundation reinforced my love for not-for-profit environments. Rebekah Smith and Richelle Keinath are inspiring and impressive, great examples of how to further a grassroots movement while never losing sight of the larger goal of empowering women.
More and more I believe in the truly rewarding nature of not-for-profit work. At WYWF, the community and partnerships are women-centric, and what could be better than that? I have been able to participate in legislative advocacy campaigns, events that promoted an increase in women’s legislative roles in Wyoming, fundraising campaigns that spread awareness of Wyoming women’s economic status, and grant-making opportunities that support the economic empowerment of women.
On a personal level, I have been inspired by and am grateful for being given the opportunity to participate in an organization devoted to empowering women while meeting individuals who are also devoted to this cause. On a professional level, I hope to utilize the skills gained from my experience at WYWF in future advocacy ventures. I will always be grateful to Wyoming Women’s Foundation, The Equipoise Fund, and the University of Wyoming’s Gender and Women’s Studies program for giving me the opportunity to participate in this internship.
The Equipoise Fund is proud of you, Ginger! Onward!
WYOMING WOMEN’S FOUNDATION
With a full calendar through the spring, WYWF is busy through summer and into the fall. The Leap into Leadership events (partnering with Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus) in Sheridan and Riverton in late May will be followed by an assessment of grant applications in late June, and the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt in early October. Mickey Babcock of The Equipoise Fund will sponsor hunter Crystal Mayfield, a graduate of CLIMB Wyoming, a nonprofit organization that trains and places low-income single mothers in careers.
Wyoming Women’s Foundation writes that Mickey wasn’t sure what to make of their request to help sponsor the event: “When my friend Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite called to talk about sponsorship of the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, I was not sold on the idea as I am not a hunter,” said Babcock, a longtime supporter of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation. “However, when she framed the idea of hunting as a way for women to feed their families, sponsorship then made so much sense. I’m proud of CLIMB and the Wyoming Women’s Foundation for this new opportunity of self-sufficiency and support for the women of Wyoming.”
The event will provide a guided hunt for 50 women at UCross, outside of Buffalo, Wyoming, and host women hunters of all experience levels, with an emphasis on safe and responsible hunting. Monies raised will support the mission of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation, which is to invest in the economic self-sufficiency of women and the future of girls.
More information about the antelope hunt can be found on the WYWF Web site.
WYWF is accepting grant applications now for WYWF’s annual competitive grants. Applications are due June 14th, so there’s still time. More information is available here.
WYOMING COUNCIL FOR WOMEN’S ISSUES
The Woman of Distinction Award for 2013 closed applications on May 1. Those nominated will be reviewed and an announcement will be made in the fall.
For more information on all their activities, visit the Web site at www.wyomingwomenscouncil.org.
As summer comes to the Tetons, we at The Equipoise Fund recognize that seeds planted just a short time ago are about to break ground. In 2008, when The Equipoise Fund produced our award-winning documentary film, we profiled a young Jackson woman who stepped out of her high school to participate in the United Nations Student Conference on Human Rights. These few years later, this young woman has just been elected as the chair of the Teton County Democratic Party. Wow.
Meet Jordan Schreiber:
I was incredibly humbled recently by the opportunity I was given by the community to serve as chair of the Teton County Democratic Party. Born and raised in Jackson Hole, this valley has provided me with so much, and I’m eager to have a chance to give something back. I would not have been able to get the position I have without generous support from many community members. A special thank-you to the Equipoise Fund for recognizing my ambition, long before I ever believed I had any, when I was featured in their 2008 documentary, “Don’t Fence Me In: Celebrating Women and Girls in Wyoming.”
I have a long list of goals for my two-year term but as we set our sights on the 2014 election, candidate recruitment is our top priority. I was fortunate enough to work with Melissa Turley during her successful 2012 run for the Board of County Commissioner and witnessed firsthand a strong, confident female candidate who really inspired me to work on getting more women involved in the electoral process.
I have been fortunate to be surrounded by powerful female role models, who’ve convinced me never to doubt the abilities of a woman in a leadership role. I now feel that responsibility falls on my shoulders to pass that message along and encourage other women to believe in their own strength.
Beyond that, I also understand the importance of my age in a field that is dominated by older generations. As a young college graduate, I hope to broaden the demographic of voters. Teton County is a youthful and vibrant community, full of people who share a set of values that bring them to this beautiful state. I hope to get more of them engaged in the process of preserving those values through political channels. I have a lot of ideas and am eager to get going. Again, I’m honored to have the chance to voice my opinions in a place that has done so much to shape me into the woman I am today.
Whew! If that isn’t enough energy to start a garden of great ideas, we don’t know what is! Have a great summer!