February 3, 2022
View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.
Registration Open: 2022 Women’s History Month Event
We are excited to invite you to our Annual Women’s History Month event from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 9, at GFWC Headquarters, 1734 N St. NW, Washington, DC. Registration is open through the GFWC Member Portal until Monday, March 7. To attend the Women’s History Month Event and reception, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required. A negative COVID-19 test cannot be accepted for admittance to the event, per Washington, DC, guidelines.
As we gather to celebrate March as Women’s History Month and commemorate the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, and prepare to celebrate 100 years of ownership of GFWC Headquarters, we are proud to announce this year’s event will feature Stephen A. Hansen, architectural historian, historic preservation specialist, and author.
With more than 30 years of experience in historic preservation and cultural resources management, Hansen is the author of A History of Dupont Circle: Center of High Society in the Capital, which chronicles the neighborhood of GFWC Headquarters. Hansen also wrote the book Kalorama Triangle: The History of a Capital Neighborhood, and authors the website Washington Chronicles, which focuses on the history of Washington, DC, through the stories and images of its people, neighborhoods, and architecture.
Copies of A History of Dupont Circle: Center of High Society in the Capital will be available for purchase during the event and Hansen will sign books following his presentation. You can also preorder copies of the book when you register for the Women’s History Month Event.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Is Here
By Trisha Schafer, Teen Dating Violence Advisor
A huge thank you to all of the clubs who are planning to host Teen Dating Forums and to those clubs who have already done so! Congratulations are in order, as it makes a tremendous difference in communities when information is shared and support for teens is presented. I encourage clubs to submit short stories and photos of your Healthy Teen Relationship events to PR@GFWC.org to be considered for the GFWC Blog. Please remember that written consent is needed from parents/legal guardians to publish photos of attendees under the age of 18 (email it along with your event write-up and pictures.)
Now that Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) is here, it’s time to Talk About It, the 2022 theme. Talk About It is a call to action for young people and those who support them to engage in meaningful conversations about healthy relationships and navigate what may be unhealthy—or even abusive. Learn more about the TDVAM 2022 theme at www.loveisrespect.org, under “Get involved.”
How We Take Action
As adults, we can support the youth in our lives. We can model healthy relationship behavior, and help them identify behaviors to look for in a partner and how to recognize unhealthy behaviors and warning signs of dating abuse, such as:
- Constant calls and texts from a girlfriend/boyfriend.
- Not hanging out with friends as much, or loss of interest in social activities.
- Sadness, loneliness, depression, or a poor self-image.
- Drop in grades.
- Excuses for their dating partner’s behavior.
If a young person in your life displays these warning signs, contact a certified teen counselor.
To join awareness efforts this February, use #TDVAM22 on all of your social media posts and follow Love Is Respect on Instagram. Participate in Wear Orange Day on February 8 to show support for teens and young adults in your community!
Let’s use our voices through social media and other platforms to advocate for talking about Teen Dating Violence and supporting our teens.
Cares & Concerns
We are sad to share the news that Pat Chadwell, Past South Dakota State President (2010-2012), passed away on January 24. Cards can be sent to her husband, Dean, at 1004 Walnut St, Beresford, SD 57004.
Volunteers in Action
This week’s GFWC Blog features the Ladies Tourist Club (Minnesota) and GFWC Women’s Civic League, Inc. (Utah). Check out these stories of clubwomen volunteering at blood drives and donating gifts to residents of a local organization that supports adults living with disabilities.
Have a success story to tell? Email PR@GFWC.org to have your club project considered for the GFWC Blog.
Deadline Tomorrow: Success for Survivors Scholarship Applications
Tomorrow, February 4 is the submission deadline for 2022 Success for Survivors Scholarship applications. Ten scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded in 2022! Please remind everyone you know about the opportunity that this scholarship provides survivors of intimate partner violence—the financial support necessary to seek higher education and achieve both financial and personal independence.
Funding for this scholarship would not be possible without generous donations from clubwomen, clubs, State Federations, and others. Consider dedicating all or part of your next club fundraiser to the GFWC Signature Program Fund, which directly funds the GFWC Success for Survivors Scholarship. You can donate to the Fund at any time through the Member Portal.
Thank you for your donations that make scholarship recipients’ dreams a reality!
Participate in National Library Lover’s Month
By Tina Neese, Education and Libraries Community Service Program Chairman
February is the month of love, and what better way to celebrate than with the love of books and libraries?
Do you recall your first visit to your library? I recall going to our community library where the smell of books was a wonderful, alluring fragrance. I wandered around the rows of books, opened up the Dewey Decimal card catalogue, and tiptoed down the stairs to the children’s section. The spiral staircase was dim, but I recall the paintings of Charlotte and Wilbur of Charlotte’s Web and all of my favorite nursery rhymes. These first library trips are fond memories, the beginnings of my love of reading and libraries.
This month, promote the love of libraries to your young community members. Libraries are often places to provide educational entertainment for preschool children. They offer theater and reenactments of our fairy tales. Sponsor hands-on activities about books, including art and music with young children to emphasize the lesson of the story.
Other ways GFWC clubs can celebrate this month include:
- Exploring libraries outside of your community. Make a list or visit libraries remotely.
- Writing a short story about your library, librarian, or spending time in the library. Get creative!
- Providing a treat to your community and school librarians.
- Sharing a list of your favorite books with your Facebook friends and social media followers.
- Promoting the value of a library card to others.
Submit your library-loving project success stories to PR@GFWC.org to be considered for the GFWC Blog. Share the love of libraries and reading!
Rise Up for the ERA Rally
On January 27, GFWC attended the Rise Up for the ERA rally to ask the U.S. government to publish the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. International President Marian St.Clair (center left) stood in front of The White House with Feminist Majority Foundation Co-Founder Ellie Smeal (center right) to say “yes” to the ERA now, along with GFWC Director of Membership Services & Programs Melanie Gisler (far left) and GFWC California’s Cindy Sanders (far right).
In January 2020, the necessary three-quarters, or 38 states, ratified the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). However, the United States Archivist declined to publish and certify the ratification based on a 2020 memorandum from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of General Counsel, stating that the deadline had passed.
February is Black History Month
By Angela Cutrera, Arts and Culture Community Service Program Chairman
The celebration that is Black History Month today first originated from Negro History Week in 1926. Carter G. Woodson, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, established a celebration to recognize the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. It was observed during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, as both of these individuals played a role in ending slavery.
In 1976, Black History Month was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford “to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” It has since been recognized by every American president and in 1986 Congress passed a law designating February as “National Black History Month.”
The National Park Foundation recognizes several locations dedicated to the history of African American Heritage. Discover the stories of these sites and many more across the country that preserve the history of African Americans in the United States.
- African Burial Ground National Monument is an African burial ground unearthed in 1991 in lower Manhattan.
- Pullman National Monument recognizes Chicago laborers of all races who worked during the late 1800s for the Pullman Car Company.
- Nicodemus National Historic Site includes the remnants of a town established by African Americans in Kansas during reconstruction following the Civil War.
- Natchez National Historical Park, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, includes the historic home of African American William Johnson who was freed from slavery in 1820 at age 11 and became a respected businessman.
- Cane River Creole National Historical Park and Heritage Area preserves the heritage of Creole people in Louisiana descended from Native Americans, enslaved Africans, and European settlers.
From 1926 through today we observe Black History Month. Take time during February to learn more about the achievements and culture of African Americans.
A Healthy Smile
By Beth Smith, Health and Wellness Community Service Program Chairman
Some people cringe at the thought of going to the dentist, but I love how my teeth feel after a good cleaning. Many of our mothers insisted on dental visits when we were children, which taught us the value of taking care of our teeth and gums.
Dental health is a key component of overall health. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
Participate in National Children’s Dental Health Month this February, promoted by The American Dental Association (ADA) to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.
The ADA has free online resources that can help clubs with oral health presentations, ideas for the classroom, and activity sheets that can be used as handouts. Print these activity sheets and make dental health packets by adding toothpaste, a toothbrush, and floss for your club’s National Children’s Dental Health Month project. Take these packets to underserved schools, children’s clubs, daycares, and churches.
And remember to share this advice during your outreach: “you don’t have to brush your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.”
Operation Smile Works to Change Perspectives
With another year of the pandemic beginning, Operation Smile remains steadfast in our long-term commitment to address the barriers preventing our patients from living happier and healthier lives.
Operation Smile representatives have learned throughout the years that many people affected by cleft conditions don’t wish for their difference to be labeled as a “defect,” as if they are defective, broken, or incomplete.
That’s why Operation Smile always puts people first when they tell their stories in their Stories You Make Possible Blog.
Rather than labeling the people they serve as “cleft patients,” which defines them by what brings them the most suffering in life, the organization instead understands that they are people first. To uphold the dignity of the patients, Operation Smile is working to break down stereotypes, address common misconceptions, and educate people on how they’re actively seeking out the true causes of cleft.
Many people living with unrepaired cleft conditions are not treated with respect or kindness. Children born with cleft are often mistreated, abused, and disregarded by members of the community – or even their family – and feel deprived of any opportunity to live the life they want.
Life before surgery can feel lonely, as many are isolated from their communities due to the painful stigmatization surrounding a condition caused by factors completely out of their control. Lacking awareness on the cause of cleft conditions leads to some believing that those with cleft in their communities are cursed and the condition could spread to them through contact or sharing a cup of water.
This is why Operation Smile has teamed up with the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to initiate the International Family Study in an effort to conduct further research into what causes cleft lip and cleft palate.
Pinpointing the causes of cleft conditions and, one day, preventing them, means that patients and their families could avoid the fear, pain, and needless suffering that stems from a lack of knowledge.
Johns Hopkins Webinar February 8
Johns Hopkins Medicine is offering a webinar at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 8, about how heart surgery differs between men and women. Join Jennifer Lawton, M.D., Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, as she explores these gender differences and what women can do to help ensure better surgical outcomes. Visit the Johns Hopkins website to register for this event.
State Director of Junior Club’s Project: Katie Robey, Massachusetts
With a love of art in all its genres, GFWC Massachusetts Junior Director Katie Robey chose GFWC Volunteers with Art in Our Hearts as her Administration theme. Having served on her local school committee for a number of years, Katie understands the unmet needs of the world’s most vulnerable population – its children. She also recognized how fortunate it is that so many GFWC Affiliate Organizations focus their efforts on making a better world for children. For this reason, GFWC Massachusetts clubs were asked to focus their projects on GFWC Affiliate Organizations relevant to being an advocate for children. She also encouraged clubs to support the end-of-year fundraising efforts of these organizations.
As part of her theme, Katie envisioned a blank palette that would become filled with the many colors of GFWC as clubs completed their projects. Working with GFWC Affiliate Organizations is a key way to fill that palette with a variety of projects that put Art in Our Hearts. Some project possibilities include delivering art supplies, creating no-sew blankets for the March of Dimes Blanket Challenge, dressing Teddy Bears as book characters to distribute with the book to pediatric hospital wards, and more.
Katie looks forward to seeing the final color-filled palette representing all the projects of GFWC Massachusetts Junior Clubs.
GFWC Marketplace: GFWC Brochures
Share GFWC with your fellow members, neighbors, and other audiences using the updated GFWC Brochure, which includes a brief history of the Federation and details on our members, programs, and mission. The brochure was updated in 2021 and each pack includes 25 brochures. Order yours today.
There could be some mail service delays throughout the pandemic. To speed up processing of your order, we request that you pay for your order at time of purchase in the Member Portal. For information on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page.