Friday, December 10, 2010

Group 1: Women Beyond Borders, S.E.E.D.S, V-DAY, Kyrsten Sinema

Group #1 Project Submission
Women Beyond Borders Profile Information:
Women Beyond Borders is a student based organization that works in solidarity with community based organizations to create equality and end violence against women throughout the world.  Run by women for women, this student based organization is dedicated to focusing their attention on women and children in need locally and globally.  WBB has currently partnered with the Women of Afghanistan to help donate money by selling handicrafts which all go to their proceeds.  Also working with the women of Juarez, they are determined to end violence in Mexico by providing the women with pepper spray, defense techniques and alternate travel roots.  And locally helping the Native American women by creating shelters, collecting toiletry and building libraries for them.  WBB has been a successful organization and has made a name for themselves.  Since starting in 2005, WBB has raised over $25,000 for the women they have worked with.  Still very active in the communities, WBB is only growing and will only change the lives of more people.
The women beyond borders members teaching the women and children
Perfume carrier made by women of Afghanistan, sold by Women Beyond Borders to help their proceeds
Women Beyond Borders
Our group chose this organization because of the direct personal involvement that anyone can take part in, also it is a local way for people to get involved in international activism. The organization is central to the ASU community making it easy for the students to access and become a feminist activist.  The organization of Women Beyond Borders states that “Women Beyond Borders is a student-organized women's human rights group that works in solidarity with community-based women's organizations worldwide to end violence against women and promote women's equality in all sectors” ( 2010).  ASU students specifically can offer a lending hand in volunteering their free time to helping the organization get some of the human rights groups on their feet.  Also contributing to resources or specific items that can be useful to the people in need.
The organization’s purpose is considered, and categorized, as feminist for it’s main focus is to defend, and or fight for the rights of women while maintaining this balance locally and internationally.  They specialize in solidarity with community based female organizations as well as promoting the equality of females in all sectors possible. Organizing groups of people who all share a common interest so that when they decide to take apart in an activist movement, it has more support and becomes much more effective rather than just getting people to help.  Everyone is on the same page from the very beginning.  They partner with other well known organizations which are operated and run by women for women. These partnered organizations have very similar views and meet the same respected perspectives as the WBB community. Women Beyond Borders works with a wide range of women of different ethnicities, cultures, races, religious backgrounds, classes, etc. They are also known for their support in the Native American women’s issues.  The organization points out that one in three Native American women will be sexually assaulted, raped, or abused in their lifetime compared to one in five for American women.  Women Beyond Borders does a lot for Native Americans because it is more localized and easy to be involved in.  Among their international solidarity, the organization does not forget what is right in front of them.    
         This feminist activist group strives on the areas that are well known for having many issues involving any acts against the well being of women in today’s society. They support a variety of women from various backgrounds such as Native Americans, Afghans, and Latinas. Women Beyond Borders works in solidarity with RAWR, Revolutionary Association of Women of in Afghanistan, bringing them aid while supporting the women and children in need, staying closely involved with them by selling handicrafts and jewelry which all goes to their proceeds.  They partner with Casa Amiga in Juarex which is the only rape crisis center location, in efforts to stopping violence against women by providing them with pepper spray, defense techniques and alternate travel routes.  Also working with shelter locations for Native Americans, WBB has collected toiletry for the shelters and continues to put more effort into their movement by creating libraries for them to empower their literature and education.  Something as simple as toiletry is something that isn’t thought of.  If everyone can take one spung, toilet paper roll or even spray cleaner out of toiletry they are purchasing to donate, it could be provided to the best of use in places that could really use it.  Nothing is fully appreciated till its gone.  
          WBB works hard to create awareness in the local communities along with internationally by stating the issues and even going as far as providing women with materials to help them in any possibly violent situation or give them more of an equal opportunity.  Some of the people that can be served by Women Beyond Borders would be anyone who identifies themselves as feminists.  Women locally and internationally can be all served by this organization to maintain equality throughout the world.  The main goal is to create the awareness that violence against women is still out there and can be prevented.  Women Beyond Borders is a growing organization that continues to be very active in the feminist movement not only in our nation but throughout the world. It is important to know about WBB because of it being local and everyone around us can get involved easily.  Spreading word of WBB will help inform women who could possibly be facing such unfair acts.  This is a good example of the Third Wave and preventing anyone from contradicting the fact that women are of "many colors, ethnicities, religions and cultural backgrounds.  The idea is to envision a world with less violence against women, create and maintain equality within the women of the world while captivating the overall awareness.
SEEDs & COK Profile Information:
An eight-year-old project of the Arizona-based National Advocacy and Training Network, the Support, Education, Empowerment & DirectionS Program uses its non-profit coffee shop, Cup O’ Karma: Community Café for a Cause (COK), to create awareness about the issue of domestic violence, provide an opportunity for SEEDs residents to gain work skills and experience, and continue working towards NATN’s mission of addressing the unmet needs of battered and sexually abused women. Whether one wants to simply support the cause or whole-heartedly become involved with the organization, there are many different ways and levels to contribute to the feminist activism of SEEDs.
how ASU students can get involved:
    • Stop by COK & buy coffee, toddy, espresso, tea, smoothies or snacks to support the café & SEEDs
      • MWF 7am-9pm; TTh 7am-6pm; Sun 9am-4pm
    • Perform at or attend an open mic night on MWF nights & bring your friends to generate business
    • Buy or sell feminist friendly artwork, jewelry or other items to help benefit COK
    • Volunteer as a part-time barista for COK
    • Donate your time, goods, or money to NATN, SEEDs or Cup O’ Karma Café directly
  • website:
  • email: number:
  • phone: 480-890-0579
  • address: 1710 W. Southern Ave. Mesa, AZ 85202
    • Directions: From the main Tempe campus, head south to Southern Avenue, turn east on Southern Avenue, continue east and pass Dobson Road; COK will be on the north side between the Dobson Plaza and Valley East Plaza Shopping Centers next to Cheba Hut with a green sign that reads “COFFEE”.
Inside COK Café
SEEDs volunteer and resident working at COK
SEEDs Logo
COK Logo
SEEDs & Cup O’ Karma Cafe: Community Café for a Cause
A project of the Arizona-based National Advocacy and Training Network (NATN), the Support, Education, Empowerment & DirectionS Program, simply referred to as SEEDs, offers myriad ways for the local community to become involved and help combat domestic violence. The nearly eight-year-old organization was established to “address the unmet needs of battered and sexually abused women” through a “community-based, safe, sober living environment committed to the physical, mental, and emotional healing of women whose lives have been affected by substance abuse and violence” ( Because of their dedication to true social change, SEEDs goes beyond simply offering help to women, and instead works in solidarity with them to create long-lasting structural change.
The program provides a temporary home to women from all backgrounds - different ages, races, social classes, relationships, and experiences. The program’s two residences, the Marilyn House in Phoenix and the Diane House in Mesa, offer residents a “near-independent living setting within a structured framework” that creates “a bridge from residential/institutional programs to independent living.” There, they are allowed to reside for up to two years while working to get back on their own feet and achieve independence, security, and stability, among other personal goals. SEEDs, with its partnered governmental and community programs, offers “individual advocacy as well as attend weekly house meetings, recovery and support groups; complete education and/or job training; regain custody of their children; and maintain sobriety and establish support networks.” Additionally, it works to “help strengthen self-esteem, self-direction and dignity” of all of the residents.
This activism that SEEDs works toward each day is not only for women and often done by women, but is also concretely feminist in nature. The grassroots group that has been organized by survivors of domestic violence, advocates, volunteers, and professionals which make up NATN, uses “education, public awareness, and direct services” as their type of action in order to tackle “safety, economic and social justice issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and substance abuse,” - all which tie in with feminism. According to Hines and Malley-Morrison (2005), Family Violence in the United States: Defining, Understanding, and Combating Abuse,
“Violence against women...continues to be an epidemic in the United States. Women are more likely to be murdered by intimates than by any other assailant. Homicide by an intimate partner is the seventh leading cause of premature death for women in general in the U.S. and is the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 15 and 45 years...[Furthermore], American women are also more likely to be raped by men they know and often love than by strangers...In our culture, excuses are often made for men who hit their wives, thereby presumably reframing their violence as nonabusive...Violence against men is also an epidemic in the United States, [though in contrast], the majority of this violence is perpetrated by other males--most typically unrelated males” (p. 33).
It is apparent that violence and crime is a definite issue, however domestic violence and sexual assault are obviously more significant concerns for women than for men. This gendered difference in its occurrence is exactly what makes the work of SEEDs feminist. The many forms of domestic violence and its related problems are issues that feminism is trying to break through, and it can be seen clearly in a variety of different ways with SEEDs’s activism.
Beyond providing a safe, stable environment that offers multiple support networks and necessary resources for battered women in the SEEDs program, the umbrella organization, NATN, has recently launched an additional project: Cup O’ Karma: Community Café for a Cause (COK). In 2008, this non-profit coffee shop, located at Dobson Road and Southern Avenue across from MCC in Mesa, opened its doors to create awareness about the issue of domestic violence and benefit the services of the SEEDs program. In addition to generating monetary support for SEEDs, COK also creates an opportunity for SEEDs residents to gain skills and experience. They “operate the café while learning employable skills such as customer service, community relations, marketing and outreach, purchasing, and management” ( 
This approach to feminist activism is not only a unique method of helping victims of domestic violence, but is also a way to work in solidarity with battered women in order to fight the structural barriers that they may face in their situation. According to “An Integrative Review of Separation in the Context of Victimization Consequences and Implications for Women” (2004),
“Separation affects an individual’s life in three areas other than psychological adjustment to the actual separation itself: economic, social support, and other life changes...Gender differences in the economic consequences of separation are significant and well documented. It is clear that separation often significantly diminishes the economic standing of women while having less impact, or even a positive impact, on men’s income (Amato, 2000; Holden & Smock, 1991; McKeever & Wolfinger, 2001; Shapiro, 1996). For example, Kreider and Fields (2002) found that separation was followed by reductions in income, with 29% of women who were recently divorced living below poverty level compared with 12% of men.” (p. 148)
In the same way that violence against women is a gendered and therefore feminist issue, the consequences of leaving an abusive relationship have different and more severe repercussions for women than men. Battered women trying to take control back over their lives after an abusive relationship face structural barriers that make it difficult for them to adjust to society, gain true independence, and stay strong in their decision to not return to their abuser. By providing a home, support groups, advocates, education, and services, the SEEDs Program makes it easier for such women to get back on track with their own lives. By creating customer service, management and marketing jobs for the SEEDs residents, the Cup O’ Karma Café combats the structural barriers that could potentially put these women back into an abusive relationship, substance abuse or otherwise low-functioning way of life. Together, SEEDs and Cup O’ Karma exemplify true and efficient feminist activism that allows the entire community to get involved and fight the issue of domestic violence.
Krysten Sinema Profile Information:
Kyrsten Sinema is the current District 15 representative in the state of Arizona and is a part of the appropriation and judiciary committees She is assistant leader to the democratic caucus in the House of Representatives. House of Representatives 1700 W. Washington Room
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Kyrsten Sinema
Kyrsten Sinema
Kyrsten Sinema is currently a politician in Arizona that is also a feminist working on change in our area. She is the assistant leader to the democratic caucus in the House of Representatives. She is the District 15 representative in the Arizona legislature and is part of the appropriation and judiciary committees. By helping defeat proposition 107, a ban on affirmative action, it continued to show her work for equal rights for all. Also, she has helped defeat the only successful effort in the country to defeat a same-sex marriage ballot initiative.
       All of the legislation and policies that Ms. Sinema lobbies and works towards a change for woman. She does relate to being a feminist and she is definitely working towards a change for women. She is working toward equal rights and women respond well to that. One would think that women look for women for support, and will vote more liberally when looking towards women voters. Even if the Republican candidate is a woman more women will vote for the Democrat who is a male. Most women lean towards the Democratic candidate. Though this idea may be prevalent in past elections it changed in the most recent elections. Women who voted earlier this year voted more conservatively then in past years. In the recent elections Democrats only had 48% of the women voters. When in past years the Democrats had 55% of the women voters. One woman said she voted Republican because she wasn’t happy with the progress that had been made in the years since Obama has been in office.
       Anyone who lives in the diverse district 15, the state, women, and feminist are all impacted by what Kyrsten Sinema does. She is a strong voice here in our state. We are lucky to have someone who is able to work so closely with our national government to help us work towards social change. This is hard in a currently Republican state and even a strongly Republican country, even though we have a Democratic president. Women’s issues aren’t the first to be brought up in the government. Though by having Kyrsten Sinema being so involved in many different women’s organizations we can look to her for support of women’s issues. Kyrsten Sinema is a part of Girls for a Change, League of Women Voters, and the National Organization of Women just to name a few. Since she works so closely with these organizations she will work towards changing how women vote and how women’s issues are viewed.
       With more women having respect for Kyrsten Sinema and then going out and voting for the issues she is lobbying for it will start making our government more feminist. If one wants more women’s issues to come to the fore front of our government this is what is going to be what we need to do. Kyrsten Sinema is a representative in our area that we need to rely on to get our message and goals about feminism and social change to the higher powers of our government.
ASU V-Day Profile Information:
An ASU organization which works to end violence against women through its annual production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues – a play that celebrates female sexuality through real women's stories of intimacy, vulnerability, and sexual self- discovery. Run almost entirely by students and community members, the weekend performance generates about $10,000-$15,000 each year which is donated to various beneficiaries that support V-Day’s cause.
2011 producer: Rachel Dixon
How ASU students can get involved:
  • Be a part of the production!
    • Act, produce, direct or sponsor
  • Buy a ticket online or V-Day merchandise
    • 10% of profits support ASU HomeSafe (a campus rape & violence resource)
    • 10% of profits support National V-Day, which works to end violence globally
    • The remaining profits are donated to a different beneficiary each year that works toward ending violence against women
  • Attend the show on campus!
    • Become more aware of women's issues and the V-Day mission
ASU V-Day: The Vagina Monologues
The ASU V-Day chapter is a unique form of feminist activism and an easily accessible way to get involved with the national V-Day organization, a group whose ultimate goal is to end violence against women. Their annual production of The Vagina Monologues is the ultimate conclusion to their goal of actively raising awareness about the V-Day Initiative on campus and within the community.
The Vagina Monologues, first written and performed by women’s rights activist, Eve Ensler, is a collection of monologues which express a multitude of women’s issues. The characters in the play represent women of many different ages, nationalities, classes, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and a variety of other identifications. The experiences and emotions that they share allow the audience to connect with the characters, learn about various women’s issues that they may have been unaware of, and become more invested in the main goal of ending violence against all women.
When you purchase a ticket for The Vagina Monologues a portion of the proceeds goes to the National V-Day organization. Another portion of the proceeds benefits the organizations chosen by the cast and crew. These organizations could be anything from shelters or domestic violence organizations. Furthermore, the money earned from sold merchandise and the silent auction also goes to these foundations. As a member of the cast of The Vagina Monologues you get the opportunity to gain a better understand of what women’s issues are effecting our women today. Also, as a performer you get to show the audience and make them aware of these same issues. This in itself is a great form of activism.
Works Cited
Dawidowicz, Matthew. "History shows women don’t vote their gender." US Times 17 Nov 2010, Print.
Gold, Metea, and Jordan Steffen. "Women voters shifted Republican in midterm election." Los Angles Times 09 Nov 2010, Print.
Ferree, Myra Marx., and Aili Mari. Tripp. Global Feminism: Transnational Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights. New York: New York UP, 2006. Print
Hines, Denise A., and Kathleen Malley-Morrison. Family Violence in the United States: Defining, Understanding, and Combating Abuse. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005. 33. Print.
Kensinger, Loretta. "Critical Reflections of U.S. Feminism, Internet Activism, and Solidarity with Women in Afghanistan." Journal of Internation Studies 5.1 (2003): 1-28. Web. Nov. 2010. <>.
Walker, Robert, Carol E. Jordan, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, and Tk Logan. "An Integrative Review of Separation in the Context of Victimization Consequences and Implications for Women." Trauma, Violence, Abuse 143-193 5.2 (2004): 148. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. 

No comments:

Post a Comment