International Women’s Day–Let’s Celebrate and Act

Today is International Woman’s Day and social media is jam-packed with some great links to articles, artwork, social justice causes, quotes and so much more. Here is a small selection of what caught my eye.

Poverty is sexist logo image

Join 39,765 others (more by the time you click on) who have come together to send a powerful message: we won’t end extreme poverty without ending global gender inequality.

 

Kiva - invest in women

On Kiva for today only – all loans are matched – double your impact and make a difference in real women’s lives. And if you make a loan today, (as I did) you’ll be able to share this wonderful graphic all over social media.

 

World Food Program image

Women and the World Food Program – the most effective solution to combatting and preventing hunger is to empower women. Visit this site to find out how and see some stunning images of women from around the world.

 

Frida Kahlo - roots - google image

What would we be without art? Let us look to the vibrancy of female artists like Frida Kahlo and may we all paint (in our own ways) wild and big and over-the-top grand! Check out a post celebrating Frida on the Paris Review.

 

George at CBC FoodBank Day

Thirty You Tube interviews done on The Strombo Show with influential women that highlight the theme of International Women’s Day – Maya Angelou, June Colewood, Margaret Atwood, Jodi Foster and so many more. No one interviews like George!

 

S E Hinton - google image

The twenty most influential women authors of all time – a list featured over on The Classic Book Reader blog. Did you know S.E. Hinton began writing The Outsiders when she was fifteen years old! That is inspiring.

 

Maranda - Dancing with Butterflies in Spirit

My niece, Maranda, dances with a brave group of young women (Butterflies in Spirit) to raise awareness – at that most visceral level – of the plight of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. For more information about this issue check out the Amnesty International Report – No More Stolen Sisters.

To all the Butterflies in Spirit – may each of you continue to find the strength to raise your voices and move your bodies. May family and friends continue to give the support that is necessary so these young women can stand strong on the front lines.

Summer Wedding Anyone?

Maranda & Jon's wedding - Bruce Witzel photo

Ah, summer. The living is easy and the wedding bells are ringing. Over the past weekend we were privileged to attend our niece’s wedding. The thing about a niece, as opposed to say a son or daughter, is that one gets to simply show up at the wedding and have all the fun without any of the stress or work. Sure can’t complain about that.

Maranda and Jon chose a British Columbia Provincial Park right on the Pacific Ocean as the place to exchange their vows. Couldn’t have been a better choice for the photographers in the crowd.

Bridesmaids & flower girls - Bruce Witzel photo

And lucky us – we got to see three other nieces all prettied up as part of the wedding party.

Maranda & Rick - Bruce Witzel photo

I distinctly heard the bride say to my brother, Rick – Okay, let’s do this!

Maranda & Jon - Bruce Witzel photo

Maranda and Jon wrote their own vows and I’m telling you, there was hardly a dry eye on the beach.

Maranda, Jon & Malakai - Bruce Witzel photo

Looks like this little guy wasn’t happy with the lengthy photo session. Hang in there, Malachi. Congratulations Jon and Maranda – we wish you many, many wonderful years ahead.

Jade & Alexis - Bruce Witzel photo

Two of the prettiest flower girls any wedding could boast of.

Now, to be sure, the pictures of the wedding are stunning. But this wouldn’t be much of a post if it weren’t about something more than my summer social calendar. I would like to share with you something special about our niece and highlight an important cause at the same time. Maranda is a strong, young woman with a social conscience that has made us very proud.

Butterflies in Spirit Dance Troupe

Maranda, is part of a dance troupe called Butterflies in Spirit. This troupe was originally formed for a one-time only performance on a downtown street in Vancouver. It was a way for several young women to raise awareness about the outrageous and systematic victimization of Aboriginal Women in Canada. Check out Amnesty International’s Report entitled – Stolen Sisters – for more information on the plight of Aboriginal women in Canada.

The founding member of the dance troupe, Lorelei Williams, spoke at Maranda’s wedding reception. She told us how she put out a call for others to join her as part of Butterflies in Spirit and Maranda showed up the first night. She praised our niece’s dedication to the group. She told of a performance in Edmonton where Maranda insisted on being part of the dance even though she was very pregnant with Malachi. Check out the YouTube video  Now, that’s dedication! 

Let us not forget the missing women, their families and friends. Let us always thirst for justice in this cause. Let us search and search for as long as it takes until the world knows what happened to each and every one of these missing women.

Ghost Dance

You don’t stand a chance

Against my prayers

You don’t stand a chance

Against my love

They outlawed the ghost dance

But we shall live again.

(Robbie Robertson/Jim Wilson)