Tag Archives: women’s studies

Jehmu Greene New President of Women’s Media Center

Women’s Media Center Announces
Selection of New President Jehmu Greene
Former Rock the Vote Head is an Alumna of the WMC’s Prestigious Progressive Women’s Voices Leadership Program

jehmu_greene

October 28, 2009 (New York, New York) — The Women’s Media Center (WMC), a leading media advocacy and training organization announces today that its board has unanimously chosen a new president: Jehmu Greene. Founded in 2005 by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan, The Women’s Media Center works to make women more visible and powerful in the media, and is a nationally prominent voice fighting sexism and bias.

“We are thrilled to have someone as accomplished, talented and visionary as Jehmu Greene as our next president,” said WMC Board Chair Helen Zia, “with her proven commitment to progressive social change and feminist principles. We are very proud that she will be building on the strong foundation established by Carol Jenkins, our founding president, to lead The Women’s Media Center to the next level.”

Throughout her career, Jehmu Greene has skillfully worked with the media to build powerful social justice movements. A frequent commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and elsewhere, Greene helmed Rock the Vote, the largest youth voter registration group. Under her leadership, its membership grew from 1500 to over 1 million. Earlier this year, Greene participated in the WMC’s nationally recognized leadership and media training program, Progressive Women’s Voices, which has trained over 60 progressive thought leaders who have achieved over 4000 media hits in the two years that the program has existed.

“The Women’s Media Center is breaking down barriers and leading the way to make sure that women’s voices are powerfully represented in the ever-changing media landscape,” said Greene. “Participating in the Progressive Women’s Voices program enabled me to amplify my advocacy efforts. I am thrilled to join an incredible group of feminists working to harness the power of the media to create positive social change from the boardroom to the broadcast booth.”

A native of Austin, Greene got her start working in the fertile ground of Texas politics including an early stint with Governor Ann Richards’ campaign in 1994. Greene later played key roles at both the Center for Policy Alternatives and the Democratic National Committee, where she ran the women’s office. An advisor and national surrogate for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Greene has worked on over 20 political campaigns at the local, state and national level. The recipient of many awards from organizations including Essence Magazine, the National Conference for Community and Justice, the National Council of Research on Women, the American Association of University Women and others, Greene has served on numerous boards of directors for various media, politics and social justice organizations.

Greene follows The Women’s Media Center founding president Carol Jenkins, who has led the WMC for the past four years. An Emmy award-winning former journalist and documentary producer, Carol Jenkins is a writer, media analyst and media consultant. Jenkins will continue with the WMC in the role of senior advisor and founding president emerita.

“The WMC is extraordinarily fortunate to have this gifted young woman as our next leader,” said Carol Jenkins. “I am a long-time admirer of Jehmu’s incredible work-so I can watch with pride, pleasure and confidence as the organization grows exponentially. The fact that she’s one of our own makes it perfect.”

Ms. Jenkins leaves the WMC to focus on the health of women and girls in the U.S. and developing countries and will continue to advocate for an inclusive media. She serves on the U.S. board of The African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), the largest health organization on the African continent. Jenkins is also the co-author, with her daughter, Elizabeth Hines, of Black Titan: AG Gaston and the Making of an African American Millionaire, a biography of her uncle and winner of Best Non-Fiction Book from the American Library Association’s Black Caucus.

A celebration to honor Carol Jenkins’ work and welcome Jehmu Greene to The Women’s Media Center will be held in New York’s Phillips Club on November 2. Jehmu Greene will become president of The Women’s Media Center on November 16. For more information about the celebration, to buy tickets, or to interview Jehmu Greene or Carol Jenkins, please contact Tristin Aaron or Rebekah Spicuglia, (office) 212-563-0680; (Tristin cell) 718-938-4078; (Rebekah cell) 415-290-2970; tristin@womensmediacenter.com; rebekah@womensmediacenter.com.

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Why women MUST vote…a little reminder

From: Brenda
Subject: Fwd: FW: Suffragettes
Date: August 6, 2008 1:25:12 PM CDT

Sis sent me this appalling bit of American history…

As old as I am, I do not recall learning this! How nice that we are able to “forget” the past; how unfortunate that this history is not taught so convincingly that we are not able to forget the past…..

This is the story of our Grandmothers, and Great-grandmothers, as they lived only 90 years ago. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

Thus unfolded the ‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote. The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’

They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because–why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO’s new movie ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women’s history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was–with herself. ‘One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,’ she said. ‘What would those women think of the way I use–or don’t use–my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.’ The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her ‘all over again.’

HBO released the movie on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: ‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.

History is being made.

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