Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Will You Honor Women's History Month (About.Com: Women's History)

Below is from the newsletter prepared by Jone Johnson Lewis ( Women's History), entitled Your Guide to Women's History.

March 1 begins Women's History Month (in the U.S., anyway). I've featured in this week's newsletter an article about the origin of Women's History Month.

It's still Black History Month until March begins, so I've also highlighted a few more of the African American women you may know and some you probably don't.

I'd still love to include your Women's History Month story, so do think about sharing your experience in how to honor the month so that others can learn from it.

Don't miss the "Must Reads" to the right of the main articles in this newsletter, and the headlines of a few additional articles below.

Women's History Month
How did March come to be Women's History Month? Read about the history of this time set aside to pay particular attention to the distaff side of history: Women's History Month

Pioneers: Black Women in Congress
Two black women were pioneers in their service in the U.S. Congress: Shirley Chisholm was elected in 1968, winning a seat from Brooklyn, and was the first black woman in the House. Barbara Jordan joined her in 1972, becoming the first black woman from the South elected to Congress, and one of the first two African Americans since Reconstruction elected to Congress.

Adding Sex Discrimination to the Civil Rights Act
Women were added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a joke and to defeat the bill, right? Another myth of women's history bites the dust: read more

How Have You Honored Women's History Month?
Contribute your story to help others learn from your experience.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

How Can We Increase the Number of Single Mothers Completing College?

The Oklahoma Women's Coalition is looking into ways to increase the number of single mothers in Oklahoma who complete college. I was surprised to learn how few single mothers even complete high school. Did you know that nationally one-third of teen mothers do not even earn a high school diploma or a GED? Here is a report from Child Trends on the subject.

New Child Trends research finds that one in three (34 percent) young women who had been teen mothers did not earn a high school diploma or a GED, compared with only 6 percent of young women who had not had a teen birth. Among the other findings presented in a fact sheet entitled Diploma Attainment Among Teen Mothers:
• Slightly more than one-half (51%) of teen mothers received a high school diploma by the age of 22, compared with 89 percent of young women who had not given birth during their teen years.
• A higher proportion of teen mothers earned a GED (15 percent) than did their counterparts who had not experienced a teen birth (5 percent).
• Younger teen mothers are less likely than older teen mothers to earn a diploma. Among young women who had a child before the age of 18, only 38 percent earned a high school diploma by the age of 22, compared with 60 percent of those who were 18 or 19 at the time that they had their first child.
• Black teen mothers are more likely than Hispanic or white teen mothers to earn a diploma or GED by age 22. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of black women who had a child before the age of 18 earned either a high school diploma or GED, compared with 55 percent of white women and 46 percent of Hispanic women in this category.
"Earning a high school diploma or GED reduces the risk of subsequent teen pregnancy, which has been linked to even poorer outcomes," said Kate Perper, M.P.P., lead author of the study. "Higher parental education is also linked to improved outcomes among children that may reduce their risk of early sexual activity and teen pregnancy, thus reducing intergenerational cycles of disadvantage."

Data used in this study were drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1997 Cohort.

The original of this article can be found at

Friday, February 05, 2010

Sheryl Lovelady to Direct Women's Leadership Initiatives at OU

Sheryl Lovelady, a professional with two decades of success working to recruit leaders, helping them win elected positions and serving with them, has been named the director of Women’s Leadership Initiatives at the University of Oklahoma’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center.

“Oklahoma currently ranks 49th in the nation for the proportion of women in the state Legislature,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director and curator of the center. “Our goal is to inspire women of all political parties to consider public service as a career. We are pleased to have Sheryl leading our efforts.”

Lovelady will direct several initiatives designed to encourage women to pursue careers in public service. The annual N.E.W. (National Education for Women’s) Leadership undergraduate program is in partnership with the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. The program involves training and presentations by some of the most successful women leaders in the state of Oklahoma. The Pipeline to Politics program works with women beyond college who are interested in political and other leadership opportunities. The Oklahoma Girls’ Voices Project works in partnership with youth-serving organizations focused on helping girls use their voices to make positive changes in their schools, neighborhoods and communities.

Lovelady will also contribute to the center’s civic education initiatives, such as Capitol and Community Scholars Programs for OU undergraduate students. Capitol Scholars get first-hand experience working in and around the Oklahoma Legislature to develop a greater appreciation of the public policy-making process. Community Scholars engage in hands-on service learning opportunities with nonprofit organizations and local government entities. Both groups of scholars earn academic credit during their internships.

“Oklahoma will move forward if women are at the table. Their voices redefine the dialogue, and they lead in a way that can transform the future of our state,” said Lovelady. “Our initiatives at OU motivate women to move from ideas to action.”

A native of Seminole, Lovelady began her career as a professional photographer before entering the political and government sectors. She served on the executive staffs of the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate President Pro Tempore. She also served as executive director of a statewide legislative caucus organization. In this capacity she provided oversight of fundraising, campaign and policy strategies for caucus members. She has worked with clientele throughout the United States as a strategic consultant, with a Washington, D.C., and a Florida-based public opinion research firm.

Most recently, Lovelady served as director of communications for the City of Tulsa. She is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa and the U.S. Department of Defense JCOC leadership program. She serves as president of the Gordon Cooper Technical Center Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation.

OU’s Carl Albert Center is a unique resource for scholarship and research related to the U.S. Congress. The center promotes original scholarship by faculty and students into various aspects of politics and the Congress; serves as an important resource on the history of Congress, primarily through the Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives; fosters a wider understanding and appreciation of the Congress through a public outreach program, which includes lecture series, exhibits and publications; and develops academic programs in congressional studies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, which are sponsored in cooperation with the Department of Political Science in the OU College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit the Carl Albert Center’s Web site at

Source. LaDonna Sullivan, Carl Albert Center/OU,(405) 325-5406

Monday, February 01, 2010

US Senate Passes Dating Violence Resolution

On January 25, the U.S. Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 373) to designate February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

* approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth;

* twenty percent of teen girls exposed to physical dating violence did not attend school because the teen girls felt unsafe either at school, or on the way to or from school, on one or more occasions in a 30-day period;

* being physically and sexually abused leaves teen girls up to six times more likely to become pregnant and more than two times as likely to report a sexually transmitted disease;
* teen dating abuse most often takes place in the home of one of the partners;

* a majority of parents surveyed believe they have had a conversation with their teen about what it means to be in a healthy relationship, but the majority of teens surveyed said that they have not had a conversation about dating abuse with a parent in the past year; and

* digital abuse and “sexting” is becoming a new frontier for teen dating abuse.

The resolution “calls upon the people of the United States, including youth and parents, schools, law enforcement, state and local officials, and interested groups to observe National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month with appropriate programs and activities that promote awareness and prevention of the crime of teen dating violence in their communities.”

Source: Women's Policy, Inc.

US Senate Supports Cervical Cancer Awareness

On January 26, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution (H. Res. 1011) to recognize the importance of cervical health and early cancer detection and to support Cervical Health Awareness Month. Sponsored by Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

* approximately 11,270 women were diagnosed with, and approximately 4,070 women died from, cervical cancer in the United States in 2009;

* cervical cancer occurs most often in Hispanic women, at a rate that is more than twice what is seen in non-Hispanic white women;

* African American women develop cervical cancer about 50 percent more often than non-Hispanic white women;

* cervical cancer is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms, and is primarily caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), but can be detected by Papanicolaou tests (Pap tests) or other early detection tests; and

* the earlier cervical cancer is detected the better chance a woman has of surviving cervical cancer.

The resolution “urges health care advocates to continue to raise public awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of early detection; urges the people of the United States to learn about cervical cancer and its causes…and the importance of early detection; and recognizes the patients and survivors of cervical cancer and their families for their tremendous courage and determination.”

Source: Women's Policy, Inc