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Changemakers 2016
Norma Smith Olson, left, and Kathy Magnuson

"Women have to speak up. Women have to organize if we want to elect someone who will care about us."
- Kaoly Ilean Her

"We need people to understand that when women do well, communities do better."
- Bo Thao-Urabe
Click here to read the MaivPac Changemaker 2016 story

by Norma Smith Olson and Kathy Magnuson

Hillary Clinton asked us to be hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted in her concession speech. One can feel hopeless and helpless after this big loss - not electing the first woman American president this fall.

Yet, we are women. We know about having to work hard for what we want and not always getting it on the first try - or the fifth or the tenth. We support each other. We organize. We build collaborations. We stand up for what we believe in. The outcome of this election does not change our commitment.

Women and men alike have seen misogyny and bigotry on full display during this presidential campaign season. We've had a visible example of how a supremely qualified woman needs to do so much more to get the job over the under-qualified man. We've seen the difficulty of culturally imagining a powerful woman as our leader.

We have also seen the painful difficulty of the gender and racial differences in this election's voting patterns. The majority of women who voted backed Clinton over Trump. Yet while 94 percent of black women and 68 percent of Hispanic women voted for Clinton, 53 percent of white women voted for Trump.

As a nation and as women we have much work to do in the world at large and in the women's movement. In failing to support Clinton we also failed to support each other.

Women will continue to get back up, heal the wounds and move ahead. And sometimes healing is in the moving ahead, in taking action to make positive change.

In this annual Changemakers issue you'll find stories of individuals working to make change.

We honor individuals and organizations whose efforts in the past year have promoted greater self-determination, equality and justice for women and girls.

This year we are sharing the stories of 12 Changemakers - in arenas ranging from arts to sports to government to education. Some of these stories you have read about in our pages earlier this year: the organization Moms Demand Action that is working to lessen gun violence; the organizers of the women's art event called the Guerrilla Girls Takeover of the Twin Cities; a group of women who call themselves FairPlay MN and advocate against misogyny in comedy and improv; and Jessica Smith, who hosted an exhibit about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer at her Regla De Oro gallery.


The Minnesota Lynx are heroes to many of our readers for their efforts on the court in challenging the image of who can be strong athletes - and also for their activist engagement, speaking up for issues of racial equity and fairness. You'll read about women taking on sexual harassment and assault; the first Native American on the Minnesota Supreme court; the first Hmong-American women's political action committee in the country; the civic engagement of Muslim women; and the adviser to Minnesota's legislators about women's economic security.

We think you will be as inspired by these women and organizations as we are! There is power in story. Stories can bind us together. They can tell who we choose to be and how we act. With each story we include resources and suggestions about how you, too, can get involved. What role will you play in building a hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted future?

Coming up:

January's theme Is "Word Women" and we're asking: What is a book by a woman author that changed your life and why? Tell us about it. Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: December 10, 2016
January Advertising Sections:
• Camps and Activities Guide
• Education and Lifelong Learning Guide
• Girlfriends' Guide to the New Year
• GoSeeDo/Calendar Guide
Deadline: Dec. 10, 2016

February's theme is "Acting up" and we are asking How are you acting up for justice and equity?Tell us about it. Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: January 10, 2017
December Advertising Sections:
• Health and Wellness Guide
• Women and Pets Guide
• Women Mean Business Guide
• GoSeeDo/Calendar Guide
Deadline: January 10, 2017

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