Dear members of the Sunshine Class of ’67,
Our political activism workshop on at the reunion was an auspicious and energized gathering of folks who have already made a positive difference in their communities and who continue to be forces to be reckoned with. We had a total of 112 participants. A list of the classmates who shared their political activist experiences is attached to this email, along with their email addresses. There were seven small groups: 1) Affordable Care Act/Single Payer (Facilitators: Carol Hutner Winograd and Kathy Gustafson Byers); 2) Education (Facilitator: Helen Sandalls); 3) Electoral Politics/Voting Rights (Facilitators: Jenny (Doris) White and Prue Richardson Beidler); 4) Environment Group I (Facilitator: Dorothy Furber Byers); 5) Environment Group 2 (Facilitator: Liz Kopp Levin); 6) Free Speech/Safe Spaces (Facilitator: Gretchen Smith Bolton); 7) Women’s Health/Reproductive Rights (Facilitator: Ann Hill).
Some classmates have been activists since high school, and 50 years later are still marching, registering people to vote, running for office, holding office, writing op-eds, petitioning elected officials, protecting women’s right to choose, reducing unintended pregnancies, joining and leading Indivisible groups around the country – you name it, we have done it – and we keep doing it. Sue Austin Ricketts reported on the huge success of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, her project for years, in reducing unintended pregnancies. Kristin Elliott shared some of her letters to the editor of New Jersey papers on the importance of reproductive choice. Jenny White registers new voters in an effort to “flip” a California Congressional district near her to elect a representative who supports women’s health issues and protecting the environment. Prue Richardson Beidler encourages young women to run for office, as she has in Lake Forest, Illinois. Vivian Witkind Davis delivers our Petition to Congress regarding women’s reproductive rights to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown at a fundraiser, and he uses it to urge young women to take up this cause, which their mothers and grandmothers have done before them. We are clearly a “kick ass” bunch of women.
For those of you who were unable to attend the reunion and the workshop, we have prepared summaries of the small group discussions. They are also attached to this email. We hope that the summaries and the list of participants will help you link up with classmates who have interests similar to yours, with whom you can network and exchange ideas for action in your communities.
One more thing: We made T shirts, yellow of course, with JUSTICE in bold navy print on the front and ACTIVISM on the back, sizes medium and large. We covered the cost and are now donating all proceeds to the Wellesley Students’ Aid Society. We have already donated more than $300. There aren’t many T shirts left, so place your order now ($20 per shirt, tax deductible). Ann Brua Welch had ACT NOW buttons made for us. I have a few left, if anyone wants one (free). Thank you to all the facilitators and participants for making this political activism workshop – the first of its kind – so rewarding.
Attached to this email are:
- a list of all the political activism workshop participants
- the summary of the environmental small group one
- the summary of the environmental small group two
- the summary of the women's health/reproductive rights small group
- the summary of the free speech/safe spaces small group
- the summary of the Affordable Care Act small group