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Loud & Clear
January 2023
The Big Chill: How Extremism Is Eroding Our Rights
Wednesday, January 18, 7 p.m. (NOTE NEW DATE)
In-person program at The Center of Clayton
50 Gay Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63105
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a mask will be required for entry.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., program begins 7 p.m.
Program will also be available on Zoom.

“The Big Chill” will be the topic of the Women’s Voices program, rescheduled for Wednesday, January 18, reflecting not only the probable winter temperature but also the chilling effect of current extremism and fundamentalism in our society. Our speaker will be Dr. Marie Griffith, who directs the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. Dr. Griffith’s research and writing focuses on American Christianity, including the changing profile of American evangelicals and ongoing conflicts over gender, sexuality and marriage. 

Lunch & Learn
Educational Equity: The Work of Special School District
Friday, January 20, noon
Virtual Event

Public education has frequently been the battleground for societal issues in the United States. Overlooked in most discussions are students with special educational needs. In 1975 Public Law 94-142 established the right to free and appropriate education for ALL students. This federal law designed to address educational injustice has never been fully funded.

In St. Louis County, a group of progressive parents dissatisfied with the educational opportunities available lobbied for appropriate public education decades earlier.​ At a time when many districts expressly forbade students with physical disabilities from public school classes, the Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) was established in 1957 with funding from county property taxes – still the only district of its kind in the nation.

DrKelly Grigsby, executive director of schools and programs for SSD, will share current data on students and the services SSD provides.
Question, Persuade, Refer: Suicide Prevention Training
Friday, Feb. 3, 1 p.m.
In-person training at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion
7401 Delmar Blvd.
University City, MO 63130
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a mask will be required for entry.

A leading cause of premature death across the lifespan, suicide claims the lives of over 1,00 Missourians each year, nearly 25% residing in the greater St. Louis area. Research and practice indicate that suicide is one of, if not the, most preventable manners of death.

Elizabeth Makulec, executive director of Kids Under Twenty One (KUTO), will train attendees to learn basic steps to identify, talk with, and encourage the safety of someone who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide or may be planning a potential attempt to end their life. Question, Persuade, Refer – QPR – Suicide Prevention training is a gatekeeper training appropriate for anyone who cares about the people they work, plan and/or live with.
Women’s Voices Co-Sponsors Successful Affordable Housing Conference - Welcome Home: How Thoughtful Housing Policy Promotes Thriving Communities
On Thursday, December 15, 2022, Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, Washington University Brown School Center for Social Development and the Alliance for Interracial Dignity hosted a presentation and discussion of inspiring and evidence-based ideas in housing. Laura Arnold, Mayor of Webster Groves, opened the session which was attended by council members of several area city councils and key city staff, as well as by Missouri State Representatives Deb Lavender (District 98) and Sarah Unsicker (District 83).
Brown School student researchers, led by Dr. Molly Metzger, faculty director of the Center for Social Development, presented a historical context for the inner-ring, majority white suburbs, defined affordable housing and provided related statistics for the St. Louis area.
The team challenged common myths regarding affordable housing, providing data to counter popular misconceptions, and provided policy ideas to support housing options for all. A policy briefing packet based on the event will be available on our website as soon as it is released.

This is a perfect time to get involved in our housing equity efforts to help make safe and affordable housing available to all our citizens. Please reach out to Liz Sondhaus at to join us!
Lunch & Learns Sheds Light on How Newspapers Adapt to Survive
Alan Achkar, executive editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and joined Women’s Voices for a December lunch and learn to share information about what decisions they make at the paper and why they make them.

Achkar discussed the role the internet has played in changing journalism, and specifically newspapers, in today’s world. He explained the cost-cutting measures newspapers have been forced to take due to the shrinking revenue from newspaper advertising. In addition he shared some of the problems related to growing digital readership, but also offered insight into the positive changes that have come as a result of online news.

December Program Focuses on Gun Violence Related Trauma
Dr. Maggie Spruce, trauma and general surgeon at Barnes Jewish and Christian Hospitals, described the physical trauma related to gun violence. She pointed to statistics on gun related injuries and deaths in the U.S. in describing gun violence as a public health crisis. Dr. Spruce cited the need for public investment and legislation to allow for and fund research and intervention to address societal risk factors and access to guns

Sean Marz, director of training and technical assistance at Alive and Well Communities, encouraged us to think more broadly about the definition of trauma. He echoed Dr. Spruce in highlighting the societal risk factors that are cyclical and play a role in how individuals react to a traumatic events. Marz emphasized that to disrupt these cycles we must strive to see the world through the lens of trauma, and change the questions from asking “what’s wrong with you?” to “what’s continuing to happen in this very moment?” to for empathy and unconditional, positive regard to our fellow human beings.

Membership Minute
Women's Voices Members Respond to Injustice!
Lise Bernstein, in her letter to the St. Louis Jewish Light, writes that we need to stand up to attempts to ban books. (The comment period has closed for the proposed rule referenced in Lise's letter, but we thank those who sent comments opposing this rule!)

Karen Gender, in her letter to the Webster-Kirkwood Times, expressed support for Kirk Care's annual event that allowed them to provide food over the holidays to nearly 200 Kirkwood families.

Sherilyn Krell, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that our elected leaders have put our lives at risk because of their loyalty to the gun lobby.

Susan Lammert, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that criminalizing homelessness is not justified.

Ann Mandelstamm, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, suggests that the Rams money be spent on community centers, parks and playgrounds for youngsters and teens. 
Stephanie Sigala, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, suggests that gardeners in St. Louis should rely on The Missouri Botanical Garden for advice rather than on the syndicated garden column in the Post-Dispatch which is written by someone from coastal Georgia. 
Have something to submit for Loud & Clear?

Loud & Clear is the official monthly e-newsletter of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice and is usually distributed on the first Monday or Tuesday of the month. The general deadline for article submission is the Wednesday prior to publication. Click here to contact editor Laura Rose.
Membership Info
Even if you can’t come to meetings or become personally involved, your membership is important…and greatly appreciated.

Benefits of Membership
When you join Women’s Voices you:
  • Make our voice stronger when we advocate with elected officials.
  • Provide support to the organization by adding your name to our advocacy efforts.
  • Provide ideas and suggestions to help determine how to define our positions and choose our causes.
  • Participate in advocacy activities in any way that you want or is possible for you.
  • Take pride in your affiliation with a strong, progressive group of women working for social justice.
  • Help cover our administrative and outreach costs through your dues.
Annual Dues:

$60 (Regular Membership)
$100 (Silver Level)
$150 (Gold Level)
$20 (Student Membership)
Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 

Women's Voices
7401 Delmar Blvd. 
University City, MO 63130