Welcome/Introductions

We welcomed BrIan Post from Wisconsin and Bob Barrett from northern California to our planning team.  They briefly shared their background and what brought them to the planning team.  They have brought great insights to our planning already.  Welcome and thank you, Brian and Bob.

NICD Projects

Golden Rule 2020

Do unto others as you want them to do unto you

Cheryl and Petti shared plans and timelines for upcoming National Inst. for Civil Discourse (NICD) projects:

Golden Rule 2020:  A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics . This campaign, initiated by the faith-based community, kicked off on Sunday, November 3, 2019 – which was exactly one year to election day 2020.  Tools for both the faith based and secular community of Americans are welcome to join.

For those of you engaged with Living Room Conversations, they have been working in collaboration with NICD to also post a secular version of the Golden Rule in Politics.  It can be viewed here.

We invite network members to widely share  www.GoldenRule2020.org with your faith-based communities, collaborative partners and individuals. 

Common Sense America

      CommonSenseAmerican Cheryl shared information about another NICD program – CommonSense American.  It is bringing common sense to American politics by identifying issues, developing policy briefs, securing input from everyday Americans and advocating for the changes supported is the goal of this program.  To join, go to the link above to find out more and to sign up.  As of right now, there are participants from all 50 states, which include an equal representation of Republicans and Democrats and a large number of independents. Members will be randomly assigned a policy brief to read and weigh in on over the coming weeks.

Civility Poll

We briefly discussed the findings of the new Georgetown University poll regarding our political divisions which 2/3 of the country believes are so bad that we’re at the edge of a civil war.  We talked about the mixed messages from the results, which indicate that voters want political leaders to be focused on compromise and finding common ground to solve problems.  At the same time, the same numbers want leaders “to stand up to the other side” and to stand up to “powerful special interests.”
 

Preparing for Challenging Candidate Forums

Brian and Martha shared information such as Guide to Writing Unbiased Questions and Facilitation of Civil Discourse in Candidate Forums from the LWV of California (attached)  and FAQs for Candidate Forums from LWVUS which you are free to share with your voter service teams as you prepare for a busy election season.  Not mentioned during the call was the importance of reviewing and adopting your “Candidate Forum Guidelines” documents.  You might wish to review strict elements of your guidelines to give you some flexibility at the event, such as indicating that you will be seating candidates in alphabetical order, for instance, if that would place two openly sparring candidates or one bullying/intimidating another side by side. The documents will provide detailed information that you can immediately put to use.  The rationale (and federal requirements) is for our process and guidelines; the way in which we ask our questions (are they really asunbiased as we intend?); and suggestions for dealing with disruptive situations.  And, in the end, we need to recognize that we are all doing the best we can.

 

Conducting a Community Dialogue

Bob introduced Marieann Shovlin, civil discourse chair for the Cupertino CA LWV, who shared the work that her team is doing in the Santa Clara region.  They are now planning regionally.  She shared information about the topics, the collaborative partners, and the numbers in attendance (approx. 50 at their last workshop on Sept. 21st, for instance.)  They have used National Issues Forums ‘issue guides’ for discussion facilitation with great success.  For instance, they used, A House Divided:  What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?  for their recent workshop.  The issue guides may also be paired with local data/specifics that local groups prepare as an insert to drill down on the local need, as you look at the broad spectrum of the issue.

A number of resources were mentioned in the call and links have been provided throughout the recap.  They are also listed here:

 

 

Forgotten Foremothers

Profiles of lesser-known heroines in the fight for women’s rights

By Kathryn S. Gardiner


Victoria Earle Matthews

A woman freed from slavery by the 13th Amendment authored works on the arduous internal struggles of life, including forgiving oppressors, while she actively worked to improve the lives of women of color in the post-war era.


“The quick, vengeful flame leaped in her eyes, as her mind, made keen by years of secret suffering and toil, traveled through time and space; she saw wrongs which no tongue can enumerate; demoniac gleams of exultation and bitter hatred settled up her now grim features; a pitiless smile wreathed her set lips, as she gazed with glaring eyeballs at the helpless, hopeless ‘victim of the great fire,’ as though surrounded by demons; a dozen wicked impulses rushed through her mind—a life for a life—no mortal eye was near…”

 

Though Aunt Lindy is Victoria’s only short story still easily available to the public, records of her other writings reveal multiple tales of forgiveness.

 

As a writer, Victoria Earle Matthews told the story of Aunt Lindy, a woman—once enslaved, but now free—who finds herself alone with her former master. The man is gravely injured in a fire and entirely at Lindy’s mercy. And mercy it indeed becomes as Victoria’ protagonist fights against the “vengeful flame” and instead heals the man. She is rewarded for this by the man’s changed soul and the return of one of the sons who had been stolen from her by that same slave owner.

 

Though Aunt Lindy is Victoria’s only short story still easily available to the public, records of her other writings reveal multiple tales of forgiveness. “Matthews’s career,” reads the Oxford Reference, “was driven by a belief in converting her people’s internal devastations into brilliant external accomplishments.” It would be a story Victoria would play out in her own life, and one she had to begin the day she was born in slavery in Fort Valley, Ga., on May 27, 1861. Her mother was an enslaved woman named Caroline Smith and her father was likely the man who claimed them both as property.

 

The homeowner caught Victoria reading and fortunately did not condemn the practice.

 

While Victoria (born Ella Victoria Smith) was still young, mother Caroline fled Georgia for New York at the start of the Civil War, leaving Victoria and an older sister behind. However, she returned in 1869 and mother and daughters reunited. Now emancipated, all three relocated to New York City.

 

For a brief time in this new city, Victoria attended public school, but the small family’s financial pressures soon forced her to drop out and gain work as a domestic servant. The home in which Victoria worked had an expansive library. The homeowner caught Victoria reading and fortunately did not condemn the practice. Victoria was granted permission to read after her work was done. Victoria, of course, began to work much faster to make time for reading.

 

“When home has been devastated, hearts only may feel and know the extent of the void; no pen or phrase can estimate it,” wrote Victoria…

 

At age 18, Victoria married William E. Matthews, a coachman, and the two had a son they named Lamartine. As a young wife and mother, Victoria started working to establish herself as a journalist and writer. Those ambitions blended well with her greater interest in politics and she turned her focus to the struggle of African Americans following the Civil War. In 1892, she co-organized a testimonial dinner for Ida B. Wells and her anti-lynching campaign. These events lead to the creation of the Woman’s Loyal Union of New York and Brooklyn. Victoria would serve as the first president of the WLU, a civil rights organization.

 

In September of 1895, Victoria would be challenged once again by the pain life can bring when son Lamartine died around the age of 16. “When home has been devastated, hearts only may feel and know the extent of the void; no pen or phrase can estimate it,” wrote Victoria in Aunt Lindy. With this tragedy still fresh, she turned her energies to helping young people Lamartine’s age, including a brief return to the South where she looked into what educational opportunities were provided to black citizens and immigrants. Soon enough, though, a minister persuaded her to return to those in need in New York.

…she noted the specific issues plaguing the cities African Americans, namely “limited economic opportunities, inadequate housing, poverty, prejudice, and racially motivated violence,”

Victoria spent her time as a leader and an organizer, but never lost sight of the day-to-day practical challenges of life. In neighborhoods where need seemed the greatest, she would go house to house, offering whatever help she could, from laundry to making family meals for overworked mothers. In this intensive work, she noted the specific issues plaguing the cities African Americans, namely “limited economic opportunities, inadequate housing, poverty, prejudice, and racially motivated violence,” she said.

 

Victoria’s own relationship with racial prejudice was a curious one. As a woman of mixed race, her features favored her white ancestry. This fair-skinned appearance, as well as her education, allowed her to move through circles of society often locked to her peers with darker skin regardless of their background or education. Victoria, however, consistently aligned with African Americans of every community and took great pride in her race. At the time, she was best known for her speeches “The Value of Race Literature” and “The Role of Afro-American Women,” both of which were rooted in her racial pride and sense of self-worth.

…when Victoria observed that new arrivals to the city, especially women, were often victimized at the train station, she arranged for volunteers to meet new people and escort them to safe housing.)

Victoria Earle Matthews

“and the memory of their oppressors awoke but to the call of fitful retrospection.”

As Jim Crow laws tightened in the South, more and more black men and women moved North looking for work and opportunity. In this Great Migration, Victoria spied a need within all the need—namely that of the young women who lacked safe places to stay and job skills. She soon provided those in the form of an apartment house, afforded with the help with Winthrop Phelps, a white philanthropist. The White Rose Industrial Home for Working Class Negro Girls opened on Feb. 11, 1897, providing young black women a home and training in domestic work. (Revealing her eye for detail, when Victoria observed that new arrivals to the city, especially women, were often victimized at the train station, she arranged for volunteers to meet new people and escort them to safe housing.)

 

“…in the busy life that freedom gave them, oft, when work was done and the night of life threw its waning shadows around them, their tears would fall for the scattered voices—they would mourn o’er their past oppression,” Victoria wrote in Aunt Lindy. “Yet they hid their grief from an unsympathizing generation, and the memory of their oppressors awoke but to the call of fitful retrospection.”

 

Victoria died at only age 45 in New York City on March 10, 1907, but what she’d begun would have no end. The White Rose Industrial Home, also known as the White Rose Mission, became the blueprint for similar organizations such as the YMCA and other programs still in operation to this day.

 

The Ball State University Vietnam Moratorium Committee is presenting “Reunite, Remember, Rekindle,”
its 50th Anniversary Reunion and Conference, and the Public is Invited!

The events will honor the history of student activism at
Ball State during the Vietnam era, but just as importantly,
they are aimed at connecting with activists in current student movements.

Ball State University

Vietnam Moratorium Committee


50th Anniversary Reunion and Conference

The Reunion Mixer and Dinner

 will be held
at BSU’s Alumni Center Assembly Hall 
on Thursday, October 10
from 6:00-10:30 pm.

The $40 fee includes choice of entreé
and a commemorativet-shirt,
with paid registration due by October 1.

For Tickets

The all-day Conference

 on Friday, October 11,
from 9:00 am–5:30 pm
at Pittenger Student Center’s Cardinal Hall, 
is free of charge and open to the public.

 

The Conference will present a full day of panels and speakers.

David Harris
will present the keynote address at 11:30 am

He is  a veteran anti-war activist, journalist, author of 11 books, and continuing peace advocate.

For More Information

 

Foregotten Foremothers

Profiles of lesser-known heroines in the fight for women’s rights

By Kathryn S. Gardiner

Madam C.J. Walker, Self-made Millionaire

Madam C.J. Walker, Self-made Millionaire

In July 1917, a riot erupted in East Saint Louis. White workers responded with violence as factories in the area, especially those with government contracts, hired more and more black laborers. History has recorded the event as one of the worst race riots ever in the United States. White men fired weapons on homes in black neighborhoods, beating and lynching all black individuals they came across. The aggression of the white community resulted in over 40 deaths and nearly 6,000 families driven from their houses.

Madam CJ Walker.com

Responses from African-American leaders and organizations were swift and public. Among them was a gathering of Harlem business leaders, including Madam C.J. Walker, the influential owner of The Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company and believed to be the wealthiest African-American woman in the United States.

Like many women of the era, Sarah suffered from dandruff and hair loss caused by the harsh lye-based soaps used in cleaning clothes and hair.

Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on Dec. 23, 1867 to Owen and Minerva Breedlove in Louisiana. She was one of six children and the first born after the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to enslaved people in the country. By the age of seven, Sarah was an orphan and living with a sister and her husband. Sarah married Moses McWilliam in 1882 at age 14. The marriage was likely a means to escape abuse at the hands of her brother-in-law. With Moses, Sarah gave birth to her only child, a daughter the couple named A’Lelia. Moses died just two years later. Sarah remarried in 1894 but left that husband a few years later.

Both with and between husbands, Sarah was never idle. She and her daughter relocated to St. Louis, Mo., where three of her brothers had settled. Sarah earned a living as a laundress and a cook, making barely a dollar a day. She was determined, however, to earn enough to fund her daughter’s formal education. (She herself had only three months of Sunday school literacy lessons.) A single woman, she sang with the choir at the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church and enjoyed the company of a community of women.

It was within this company that the seed for Sarah’s business would take root. Like many women of the era, Sarah suffered from dandruff and hair loss caused by the harsh lye-based soaps used in cleaning clothes and hair. Most Americans also did not have adequate plumbing, further contributing to health and hygiene issues. Sarah’s brothers worked as barbers and she first studied haircare with them.

In 1904, Sarah attended the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (also known as the World’s Fair) as a commission agent for Annie Malone, an African-American entrepreneur who had founded the Poro Company, distributing haircare products. Malone would become Sarah’s mentor and eventually her primary business rival. Sarah and A’Lelia moved to Denver, Co., in 1905 where Sarah began developing her own hair care products in earnest.

Walker ensured that African-American women were trained in the “Walker System” of hair care and encouraged to become sales agents. Her saleswomen earned a considerable commission and she employed women at all levels of management.

In January of 1906, Sarah married Charles Joseph Walker, who worked in newspaper advertising in St. Louis. It was from this union that Sarah claimed the name Madam C.J. Walker, adopting the “Madam” from the women who pioneered the French cosmetics industry. She began working as an independent hairdresser and cosmetics retailer. Husband Charles was a partner in the business and helped with the marketing while daughter A’Lelia, now in her early 20s, ran the mail-order operation. When A’Lelia and her husband moved to Pittsburgh, a branch of the Madam C.J. Walker operations relocated with her.

Walker’s company would soon cross the country. In addition to its facilities in Pittsburgh, Walker also established a salon in Harlem, which would go on to become a center of black culture. Wherever her company took root, Walker ensured that African-American women were trained in the “Walker System” of hair care and encouraged to become sales agents. Her saleswomen earned a considerable commission and she employed women at all levels of management. Each sales agent wore a distinctive uniform of a white shirt and a black skirt, carrying with her a black satchel as she visited homes all throughout the United States and the Caribbean.

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South,” she said, speaking in 1912 at the National Negro Business League. “… I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

In 1910, Sarah and husband Charles moved to Indianapolis, Ind., where A’Lelia encouraged her mother to establish a factory head. Walker did so, purchasing a home and a factory at 640 North West Street. She and Charles divorced in 1913, but Sarah retained the name Madam C.J. Walker. After all, it was a brand now. Her name and likeness graced the packages of Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower. Walker was savvy in advertising and branding, and she traveled frequently to promote her products.

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South,” she said, speaking in 1912 at an annual gathering of the National Negro Business League. “From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.” The following year she would attend the event as keynote speaker.

By 1917—the year of the horrific riots in East St. Louis—her company had several thousand sales agents and would claim to have trained 20,000 women in the “Walker System.” Harlem business leaders responded to the violence with a visit to the White House, brandishing a petition in support of anti-lynching legislation. Walker also served on the committee that organized the Negro Silent Protest Parade that walked through New York City streets.

“This is the greatest country under the sun,” she said to her agents, “but we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty, cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice.

Arcadia Madam Walker Theatre Cover

Alelia Bundles.com

“We should protest until the American sense of justice is so aroused that such affairs of the East St. Louis riots be forever impossible.”

Walker addressed the violence later that year at a gathering of the Madam C.J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of America in Philadelphia, a gathering which may have been the first national meeting of businesswomen. “This is the greatest country under the sun,” she said to her agents, “but we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty, cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice. We should protest until the American sense of justice is so aroused that such affairs of the East St. Louis riots be forever impossible.”

As her business grew, so did Walker’s activism. Just in Indianapolis, she raised funds to establish the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and contributed money to the Flanner House and Bethel African American Methodist Episcopal Church.

At the time of her death in 1919 due to a cerebral hemorrhage, Walker was touted as a millionaire. However, according to her obituary in The New York Times, “she said herself two years ago [1917] that she was not yet a millionaire but hoped to be sometime.” In 1919, the average American’s annual salary was $750. Instructions in her will bequeathed nearly two-thirds of her estate’s future profits to charity. A’Lelia took over the company and ran it until her death in 1931 from the same affliction which claimed her mother.

The original home of Madam C.J. Walker’s Manufacturing Company is now The Madam Walker Theatre Center.

Madam C.J. Walker’s name was known all throughout the United States and the Caribbean, far beyond her death and even to this day. While she was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, many remembrances remain in Indianapolis, the city she chose for her company headquarters. Her personal papers have been preserved at the Indiana Historical Society and a container of Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower remains in the permanent collection at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The original home of Madam C.J. Walker’s Manufacturing Company is now The Madam Walker Theatre Center.

Before her own young passing, A’Lelia wrote a biography of her mother titled On Her Own Ground. This text is the basis for an upcoming Netflix series about Madam C.J. Walker starring Octavia Spencer. 

Ride for the Mounds:

September 14, 2019

Bicycle distances are 15, 25, 45 miles.

Show your support for Mounds Greenway by joining Ride for the Mounds on September 14, 2019, 12 noon, at Canoe Country in Daleville.  Tour the Mounds Greenway Corridor to see all the greenway seeks to conserve and connect.  Bicycle distances are 15, 25, 45 miles.

Canoe Country in Daleville

September 14, 2019, 12 noon, at Canoe Country in Daleville.

Online Information:

http://www.moundsgreenway.com

Email: bweaver@hecweb.org

 

Canoe Country
12 Noon
September 14, 2019

Ride for the Mounds

 

 

Observer Corp Training

 

 

9:30 am – 11:00 AM

 

September 7th 

 

Kennedy Library

 

Register Now

 

Choose a Meeting to Observe

Observers do not speak in meetings

Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Register Now

Only takes a few seconds!

Take notes and report to Observer Corp Leader


If you can attend a government meeting, please take notes and report on it for the rest of us.

Democracy is not a spectator sport

Unless you’re taking notes for the League of Women Voters!

Making Democracy Work!

 

RSVP by sending an email to Julie Mason through any of the register now links above.

Policing and the Politics of Reform

Nan Barber, Convenor League of Women Voters of Muncie/Delaware County introduces Dr. Max Felker-Kantor, author of Policing Los Angeles and visiting Associate Professor at Ball State University History Department

LWVMuncieDelaware.org

Policing Los Angeles, Race, Resistance and the Rise of the LAPD, by Dr. Max Felker-Kantor

Dr. Felker-Kantor presenting information on the early days of Los Angeles, and the reasons for his interest in studying the subject.

www.maxfelkerkantor.com

Coalition Against Police Abuse, CAPA

CAPA was a citizens coalition which followed police cars at night in order to serve as witnesses for those who were pulled over by them.

LWV of Muncie/Delaware County presented 

Prison Reform : The Carceral State 

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 at the Kennedy Library 

About 25 Muncie residents turned out to hear speaker Max Felker-Kantor, Ph.D. He is a visiting Assistant Professor of History at Ball State University and author of Policing Los Angeles. 

Dr. Felker-Kantor explained his research into the path which led to the Rodney King riots, and the course taken by officials to attempt to remedy the situation. According to his research, the community is stuck in a cycle of lack of oversight of the police department, which has been tasked with policing itself, and riots from citizens affected by that lack of oversight. 

He began with a brief history of the culture of Los Angeles, which was nearly 100% white in its early days. There were many immigrants in Los Angeles, but those immigrants were also white. When a large number of black citizens moved into L. A., the police were tasked with enforcing segregation. When segregation ended, the police still upheld the cultural norms of white culture over those of minority cultures. Defining “good citizens” by the standards of white culture caused a friction between the police and any minority culture which behaved within the law but outside of those cultural norms.  

An “Us vs. Them” attitude evolved in the L. A. police department which sometimes resulted in pitting officers against community. This attitude  explains why simply hiring officers within a neighborhood to police that same neighborhood was not an effective solution to issues like police brutality and harassment. 

 

Teresa Basey 
Member, League of Women Voters of Muncie/Delaware County 


Policing Los Angeles author, Max Felker-Kantor, Ph.D.

The solution suggested by Professor Felker-Kantor was a complex and nuanced society-wide reformation. Most importantly, we need a police department that answers to a citizen commission in order to be held accountable for corruption, abuse, and harassment policies.

Other issues include a shift in media coverage that better represents reality, as opposed to sensationalism, and a shift in the majority culture’s use of the police department to force minority cultures to behave within the majority culture’s norms. 
 

The McCone Commission

After the Frye brothers and their mother were arrested by police, rumors spread that a pregnant woman was kicked by police and the neighborhood, fed up with other incidents of police brutality, struck out against the L.A. police. The McCone Commission was tasked with understanding what caused the worst riot in L.A. history, until Rodney King, and suggesting a path forward to resolving the issues.

Calls for L.A. Chief of police Daryl Gates to step down

During the Rodney King riots protestors demanded that Chief Gates finally step down, after years of supplying his own employment evaluations.

Folks mingling before the presentation

I encourage you to visit his website at https://www.maxfelkerkantor.com to find out more about his research, and to purchase his book Policing Los Angeles, where he explains his findings in depth. 

 

Revive Civility: Our Democracy Depends on It…  

A LEAGUE DISCUSSION ACROSS THE NATION 

In today’s political climate and culture, it may feel like civility is becoming the exception instead of the rule. As the debate on issues becomes more strident, it becomes harder to identify common ground and shared solutions. 

As a trusted, nonpartisan organization, the League’s collective voice has the potential to “cut through the noise.” However, how our message on issues is delivered can have as much impact as the message itself.  As we know, relationships are critical. Trust-building and team-work are essential because people must come together to fix problems and create compromises on issues. There must be mutual respect between participants to enhance strong dialogue.  

Civil discourse, debating (not arguing), and listening to the other side are critical to building trust.  The League has opened a national discussion to promote civil discourse. 

Civil discourse is discourse that supports, rather than undermines, the societal good. It demands that democratic participants respect each other, even when that respect is hard to give or to earn.

~Tolerance.org

 

SEE MORE DETAILS ON
LWVwise.org — Civil Discourse Space

On March 4th, Pearce Godwin

~ a moderate conservative and Executive Director of the National Conversation Project, joined the LWV civility call to address participants’ hopes for engaging conservatives.   Godwin is also author of the brief “Field Playbook on Engaging Conservatives. 

Link to National Conversation Project

On April 9th, Ted Celeste

Democrat, former Ohio State Representative and NICD Director of State Programs, and Tom Niehaus, Republican, former President of the Ohio Senate and Next Gen Facilitator join the conversation to share their experience of working
across the legislative aisle and training policy makers through a workshop called “Building Trust through Civil Discourse.”

On May 14th, Liz Joyner

from Village Square will join the video call to continue the conversation about Welcoming Conservatives.

 

Muncie NAACP

Joe Anderson, NAACP President Muncie Branch, Left
Julie Mason, LWV of Muncie/Delaware Observer Corp Leader
George Foley, NAACP Vice President Muncie Branch, Right

LINKS:

Muncie NAACP Website

Facebook RSVP to Rally

Rallying for the Hate Crime Bill

May 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Steps of Muncie City Hall

The NAACP Muncie Branch will have a Hate Crime Bill Rally from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the steps of City Hall on High Street. This is a State Initiative and every NAACP branch in the state of Indiana will have a Rally in their city at the same date and time.

State Rep. Sue Errington will speak along with our Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler about the new Hate Crime Bill. Please come out and support and help us Rally.

Goal:

The Indiana State Conference, including all of the units therein, is advocating for the amendment of the Hate Crime Bill that was signed into law in 2019.

The amendment must be comprehensive and include the classes that are in the 2019 law but also must include the omitted classes of gender, gender identity, age and sex.

Target:

The Governor and Indiana General Assembly especially our respective local legislators.