Ripples

"I want to believe that the pebbles tossed are creating bigger and bigger circles," said Marlene Jezierski, one of the 2009 Minnesota Women's Press Changemakers

Thank you Changemakers!

Each December we take a look back for the ripples-stories of changemaking. When we asked you, our readers, earlier this year for recommendations, we were flooded with names of women who are making a difference in the lives of women and girls in Minnesota. You told us about your sheroes, role models and inspirations-teachers, money managers, doctors, writers, artists, real estate agents and more. You told us about your friends, neighbors and those you admired from afar.

In this issue we share seven stories of women and organizations whose actions have created ripples and are changing and improving women’s and girls’ lives. Jezierski wrote a slim volume of poetry about the enormous, but hidden, problem of emotional abuse. She gives away her book in hopes that the words will help illuminate the issue of violence in the home. Bukola Oriola uses her voice to speak out about another hidden issue-trafficking. She has written a book and speaks publicly about her own experience of being trafficked in Minnesota.

Poet and spoken-word artist, Shá Cage, encourages girls to think of themselves as leaders and to find their voices through the Teen Summit. Kristine Holmgren founded the Dead Feminists Society to create a dialogue, tossing around feminist philosophy at their monthly salons.

Elizabeth Erickson and Patricia Olson create a learning community each summer in the Women’s Art Institute. Their goal is to help individual women artists go deeper on their paths within a supportive, safe and feminist environment. Audrey Thayer carts sewing machines, fabric and an ironing board in her car to homes in northern Minnesota, where Native American women gather to create quilts, jingle dresses and community.

Kathleen Murphy carries the torch to get the ERA amendment passed in Minnesota. The organization she leads, MN C.A.F.E., is working to get the equal rights amendment on the ballot … and in our state’s constitution.

As you read these changemakers’ stories, we think you’ll find hope, inspiration and appreciation for the ripples and waves they have created to improve the lives of women and girls.