As the end of 2018 draws near, I have spent some time reflecting on all that Faith in Women has accomplished over these last twelve months. In doing so, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to lead this organization and to work alongside you all. At such a time as this– when, yes, threats to our health and rights are intensifying– I continue to be inspired by the brave, tenacious activism of our leaders, partners, and supporters. Thank you.
Celebrate with us as we remember the strides we have made together in making our state a more healthy and compassionate place for our women and girls. Here are just a few highlights from 2018:
Tech2Empower Training in San Francisco
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can!” Beth Kanter, Master Non-Profit Trainer
Faith in Women was one of thirty-six organizations invited to participate in the first-ever U.S. Tech2Empower gathering hosted by Wake International.This week-long training brought advocates from fifteen states together in San Francisco to learn from technology experts based at Slack, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Symantec, Mozilla, and Youtube about how we can use technology to strengthen our movements for long-term, sustainable social change.
Space for Grace: Compassionate Care Trainings
“I left the training feeling hopeful and invigorated by the work ahead of us.” Rev. Susan Chorley, participant
In partnership with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), Faith in Women co-hosted two Compassionate Care Trainings in Jackson and Lambert, MS. These trainings created space for more than 25 faith leaders to build deeper understanding of the myriad issues surrounding reproductive decision-making while exploring what it it means to bring compassion into everyday ministry. We were thrilled that our newest Faith in Women board member Hope Crenshaw, Executive Director of Teen Health Mississippi, joined us to co-facilitate our training in Lambert.
Called to Resist: Honoring the Legacy of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion
“Even the use of the word ‘abortion’ was illegal. We lived in the realm of knowing we could be in trouble.” Rev. Bill Kirby, speaker
In September we hosted “Called to Resist: The Pre-Roe Faith Movement that Saved Women’s Lives,” co-sponsored with RCRC. More than forty local clergy, churchgoers, health educators, and representatives of Mississippi-based reproductive health and rights organizations gathered in Jackson to learn about the history of the Clergy Consultation Service (CCS) and how its legacy continues to inform the prophetic work of reproductive health, rights, and justice advocacy today.
These are just a few of the ways that you, our Faith in Women friends and supporters, showed up to learn and engage on the issues at the intersection of faith and reproductive health, rights, and justice. We also know that many of you used your voices to influence policy this year, by attending Women in the Halls lobby days at the State Capitol, writing letters to the editor, and contacting your representatives to share your concerns. Your actions are meaningful and inspiring!
Ashley Peterson, Executive Director
With new podcasts launching every single day, the sheer volume of available content can be overwhelming to navigate. To help you out we’ve curated a list of some of our current favorite podcasts to listen to that inspire us, ground us, and educate us about the intersections of faith, reproductive rights, and social justice.
What exactly is a podcast again? A podcast is a form of audio or video media that can be downloaded and listened to on-demand at your own time and pace. Podcasts may feature a solo host, one-on-one interviews, or conversations among several people. The best part about podcasts is that nearly all of them are completely free, and you can watch or listen to them on your phone, tablet, or computer. For those in need of a Podcast 101, check this guide out to get you started listening today.
Recommended Podcast Subscriptions
Main Topic: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Description: “From the frontlines of issues like abortion, birth control, sex education, women’s rights, and LGBT rights, rePROs Fight Back features interviews with the leaders who are fighting back against those who would deny or restrict our reproductive health and rights. New episodes debut every other Tuesday, and every episode gives you an insider’s perspective so that you can be the world’s best advocate.”
Episode to Try: “The Maternal Health Crisis Facing Black Women“
Main Topic: Body Positivity
Description: “We noticed an increase in fat visibility, but a lack of spaces for fat women and femmes to tell their own stories in a conversational setting — a place to literally hear our voices. We hope that our little pod is a fun, entertaining, body posi space entirely devoted to fat stories.We cover current events, popular culture, personal experiences, and awesome guest interviews. Join us for a weekly half-hour all about body positivity, radical self love and chill vibes ONLY.”
Episode to Try: “She’s All Fat Goes to the Doctor”
Main Topics: Faith, Feminism, Friendship
Description: “Kindreds is a podcast for soul sisters, hosted by Ashley Peterson and Katey Zeh. In each episode we take on all things faith, feminism, and friendship from our homes in the South.
Episode to Try: “Ashley Easter on Ending Abuse in the Church”
Main Topics: Current Events, Advocacy, Justice
Description: “The goal of the podcast – to equip clergy and people of faith to read the story of God in the streets of where we live in the world today, to make deep connections between faith, justice and community building.”
Episode to Try: “Alive! In Our Sexuality and Faith”
Main Topics: Art, Faith, Science
Description: “The Liturgists are a global community working to subvert the barriers our society builds around religion, race, gender, ability, and sexuality. Our work is centered around compelling discussion, non-judgmental community, and thoughtful, evocative art. We believe there is room at the table for all who are hungry.
Episode to Try: “Embodiment”
Main Topics: Feminism, Intersectionality
Description: “Cultivating our best selves and dreamiest lives is un-equally accessible for women, girls and gender-nonconforming folks everywhere. But by better understanding our unique identities, diverse lived experiences and underlying injustices, we can claim our space and make more room for others as well. That’s our Unladylike mission: To make inclusive, credible media that moves.”
Episode to Try: “How to Be a Mormon Feminist”
Still wanting more? Be sure to check out our post from back in November with more of our recommendations.
*Includes explicit language
In January Faith in Women was one of thirty-six organizations invited to participate in the first-ever U.S. Tech2Empower gathering hosted by Wake International.
This week-long training brought advocates from fifteen states together in San Francisco to learn from technology experts based at Slack, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Symantec, Mozilla, and Youtube about how we can use technology to strengthen our movements for long-term, sustainable social change.
We so grateful for the knowledge sharing communities that Wake International is creating in the U.S. and around the world, and in that spirit, we want to share some of the top tools, practices, and resources that we learned during our time at Tech2Empower.
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can!”
–Beth Kanter, Master Trainer, Speaker, Author and Nonprofit Thought Leader
There are so many wonderful digital tools that we may be tempted to sign up for accounts on all of them. This can lead to overwhelm, not to mention low rates of online engagement. Beth Kanter recommends that we honestly assess our communications capacity in this current moment, not what we would like it to be in an ideal world. Start by creating a digital strategy that clearly identifies the target audience and objectives of your online presence.
Design a template for your organization’s communications in Google Docs.
If you are creating similar documents over and over again, one easy way to maintain the same look and feel across your organization is to create and use templates. You can even customize them with your organization’s signature color scheme. These are easy to make, edit, and share with colleagues in Google Docs. For a tutorial, take a look at this easy-to-follow guide.
Create a free company page on LinkedIn to engage supporters and advertise job openings.
More than 5 million nonprofit organizations have a presence on LinkedIn. It’s a great and free tool for boosting your nonprofit’s content and sharing your updates with supporters and colleagues. To find out what LinkedIn can offer your organization, visit their Nonprofit Resource homepage.
If reply-all emails and group text messages are getting to be too much, try out Slack.
Slack is a group messaging app that keeps you organized. You can invite members to your team, create channels for different topics, and share documents, calendar invitations, and more through the interface. Faith in Women staff use this tool and love it! And, Slack has special discount pricing for nonprofits. Check it out.
How Faith in Women Can Help
If you want to learn more about our experience attending Tech2Empower or want to learn more about our favorite technology practices, please send us an email. We’d be happy to talk with you.
One of our favorite ways to stay current on issues affecting women’s health and rights is by subscribing and listening to podcasts.
What exactly is a podcast? A podcast is a form of audio or video media that can be downloaded and listened to on-demand at your own time and pace. The best part about podcasts is that nearly all of them are completely free, and you can watch or listen to them on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Are you new to podcasts and not sure how to get started? If you’re using an iOS device, we recommend this guide from LifeWire. For Android users, check out Stitcher. You can also stream podcasts directly from your computer using iTunes, which is available for download on both Mac and PC users.
We’ll start by sharing a few of our favorite podcasts that we recommend subscribing to for their regular content. Then we’ll share a few specific episodes of podcasts that pertain directly to issues affecting women and their families.
Recommended Podcast Subscriptions
Main Topic: Race in the United States
Description: “Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get…stuck? Code Switch can help. We’re all journalists of color, and this isn’t just the work we do. It’s the lives we lead. Sometimes, we’ll make you laugh. Other times, you’ll get uncomfortable. But we’ll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us.”
Episode to Try: “Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?”
Main Topic: Reproductive Justice
Description: Produced by Rewire this podcast “delivers powerful, personal stories of reproductive injustice and the laws, politics and people beyond the headlines.”
Episode to Try: “When Is it Ok?”
Main Topic: Parenting
Description: “The Longest Shortest Time is a parenting show for everyone, hosted by This American Life contributor and author Hillary Frank. From sex after parenthood, to biracial kids schooling their parents on skin color, to deciding whether or not to even have kids, Frank dares to tackle the topic of family in all of its deep complexity.”
Main Topic: Gender and Culture
Description: “Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, Stuff Mom Never Told You is the audio podcast from HowStuffWorks that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle. Fueled by boundless curiosity and rigorous research, Cristen and Caroline are girls-next-door gender experts who skillfully decode the biology, psychology and sociology of ladies and gents, from their evolutionary past to millennial present, to better understand all the Stuff Mom Never Told You.”
Main Topics: Parenting, Transgender Issues
Description: Pseudonymous Marlo Mack is a mother raising a young transgender daughter in Seattle. Produced in partnership with KUOW public radio, “it stars the two of them — a single mom and an eight-year-old “girl with a penis” — as they attempt together to sort out just what it means to be a girl.”
Recommended Podcast Episodes
“Being Single,” Holy Holy Podcast, June 1, 2016
Main Topics: Dating, Singlehood
Summary: “This conversation on being a single adult in America features Peg Birk, University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite, Rabbi Andrea London, Emmy award winner Rev. Julian DeShazier, and Imam Malik Mujahid.”
“We’re Not Going to Have Karl Again,” Death, Sex, and Money, July 13, 2016
Main Topics: Infant Loss, Paid Family Leave
Summary: “Karl Ives Scorah Towndrow was born last spring to parents Amber Scorah and Lee Towndrow. Neither of them were prepared for how deeply they would fall in love with their first child. Amber and Lee’s time with Karl was intense, but brief. Karl died when he was almost four months old, while he was at his first day of daycare. He stopped breathing after being put down for a nap.”
“Inside Planned Parenthood,” Death, Sex, and Money, July 22, 2016
Main Topic: Women’s Health Clinics
Summary: “Many Planned Parenthood clinics across the country rely on security measures like these. The services provided by these clinics—specifically, abortions—have long been at the center of a raging political debate in the U.S. But it’s not very often that we hear from the people who rely on these clinics for health care.”
“Listening Beyond Life and Choice,” On Being, August 11, 2011
Main Topics: Abortion, Politics, Bridging Across Difference
Summary: “Frances Kissling is known for her longtime activism on the abortion issue but has devoted her energy more in recent years to real relationship and new conversations across that bitter divide. She’s learned, she’s written, about the courage to be vulnerable in front of those with whom we passionately disagree.”
Documentaries are a great way to learn more about an issue you care about and start conversations with your family and friends. With online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, watching these films at home is easier than ever. Here are some of our favorites. As many of these films deal with sensitive and serious subjects, we recommend watching them before sharing with youth or with a church or community group. We’ve included both those available through streaming subscriptions as well as others available for DVD purchase or online rental.
Available for Streaming*
Miss Representation (2011)
This film explores the correlation between the media’s negative portrayal of women and their bodies with today’s underrepresentation of women in positions of leadership and power. It includes thought-provoking interviews with teenage girls as well as conversations with public figures like Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, and Margaret Cho. Educational version and K-12th grade curriculum toolkit also available; contact us for more details.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Mask You Live in (2015)
Produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom (Miss Representation) this documentary explores the American view of masculinity, specifically how we define success, and how this narrow understanding harms boys and men. The Mask You Live In offers another way forward by allowing boys and men to take off their “masks” and stop having to prove their masculinity. Educational version and K-12th grade curriculum toolkit also available; contact us for more details.
Where to watch: Netflix
Trapped examines the surge of more than 250 laws passed by state legislatures since 2010 that regulate reproductive health clinics and the medical professionals that staff them. The film also follows the activists, clinic workers, and lawyers who worked together to argue their case (Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt) before the Supreme Court. The reproductive rights struggle in Mississippi is also featured in this film, and Faith in Women helped to host multiple screenings of Trapped around the state in 2016.
Where to watch: Netflix
The United States imprisons its citizens at a higher rate than any other nation. 13th looks at the rise of mass incarceration since 1970 during which the prison population has grown from around 200,000 to more than 2 million. The film traces the racist roots of today’s modern prison industrial complex back to the times of slavery and through the eras of civil rights and the war on drugs.
Where to watch: Netflix
BONUS–13th: A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay (2017)
Watch this Netflix special with Oprah and 13th filmmaker Ava DuVernay as they discuss the documentary and the issues surrounding racism and mass incarceration.
Where to watch: Netflix
Available on DVD/Online Rental
Unnatural Causes (2008)
This mini-series explores how the intersections of race and economic inequality impact health disparities in the United States. The second episode “When the Bough Breaks” looks specifically at how racism affects infant mortality among women of color.
Where to buy: Available on unnauturalcauses.org (DVD and streaming)
After Tiller (2013)
Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider who performed third trimester procedures, was murdered in his church in 2009. This documentary follows the four remaining physicians who openly provide this service and those who staunchly oppose them.
Where to buy: Available on Amazon (DVD and streaming)
No Woman, No Cry (2010)
This documentary examines the reality of preventable maternal deaths around the globe by following the stories of pregnant women as they seek medical care in four different countries.
Where to buy: Available on Amazon (DVD and streaming)
How Faith in Women can help
Is there a film or documentary that you’d like to show to your community group or church? Faith in Women can help arrange a screening event in your area. Please contact us and we will be in touch about scheduling. We look forward to hearing from you!
*Requires streaming subscriptions. Films are also available for digital purchase or rental.