WONder Woman SPOTLIGHT
Each month WON highlights one of our honored WONder Women and this month we shine our spotlight on Anne Mervenne, recently named as one of Crain's 2021 Notable NonProfit Board Members. Anne is a longtime member of WON and known for her dedication to leading by example and serving her community.
A role that Anne has held that is especially dear to the WON Foundation was Co-director of the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP), at Michigan State University, from 1997 – 2017. Anne helped build and sustain this remarkable program that identifies and trains individuals committed to public service leadership. She champions the MPLP to this day, as we do.
Anne is currently the chief executive officer of MERVENNE & Company, a public affairs and consulting firm that she founded. She serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations such as the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, BCBS of Michigan, and the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, to name a few. Please, read Anne's fuller biography, here.
Once again, Anne Mervenne, we salute you for your continuing dedication to public service and for being a role model for women everywhere.
Happy Women's Month!
Every year March is designated as Women’s History Month by a Presidential Proclamation. Ever wonder why and how it began?
As we celebrate Women’s History month, I doubt that many are aware that this recognition traces its roots back to March 8, 1857. It occurred after women who were working in the factories in New York City protested poor working conditions. It took quite a long time for women to receive some recognition and laws to be made to improve their working conditions, but the events of that day were later recognized on March 8, 1909.
Fast forward to 1980 when a consortium of women’s organizations known as the National Women’s History Alliance lobbied Congress for a weeklong recognition. In February that same year, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. A year later, Congress passed a resolution marking the occasion.
As subsequent presidents continued to proclaim this week-long celebration, things changed in 1987. It was during President Reagan’s administration when Congress was once again lobbied by the same alliance and other women mainly from California to expand the week-long recognition into a month-long recognition. As we mark the accomplishments of women who have changed the culture, history, and society of our country, the month is also celebrated in the United Kingdom and Australia.
For Michiganders, this is a perfect time to celebrate the accomplishments of women such as Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, and Belle Brotherton who was the first president of the Michigan League of Women Voters. As we commemorate the lives of these women and all the activists and suffragists, we can’t overlook the common thread that binds them together - persistence.
Congratulations to all the Women Elected on Nov. 3rd in Oakland County!
Here's the list, starting with our own members!
Here's the list, starting with our own members!
Thank you, also, to all the women who put themselves forward and ran for office, win or lose, for you are role models, every one.
A Special Message about the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
August 26,2020, marks the day which commemorates the adoption of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution one hundred years ago. This amendment ended the denial of voting rights to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
As we celebrate this historic event,we would be remiss as a women’s leadership organization supporting women if we did not recognize the courageous Suffragists who fought for this right for over 70 years. Women black and white mobilized for our political freedom. The defining moment of their decades long battle was that they were able to overturn a centuries old law which altered civil rights in our country’s history. Sadly, its passage left behind many women of color until August 6, 1965 when the Voting Rights Act became law.
We are so grateful to the trailblazing women who fought for our political freedom paving the way for so many of us. There are quite a number of suffragist who are seldom recognized for their dedication from cities across our state. Lilian Ascough and Betsey Reyneau were from Detroit, Sojourner Truth from Battle Creek and Clara Bryant Ford and Charlotte Berry Sherrard from Dearborn. All of them working in their own way, finding common ground in support of one another.
As we begin to plan our WONF breakfast networking meetings for 2020-21, we are going to start off the fall with a theme which member Beth Talbert introduced us to, “Showing Up for Each Other” which certainly is as appropriate now as it was 100 years ago. There are many challenges facing women in leadership in 2020, some not very different from a century ago. Let’s talk about them together.
We will also provide additional network time for members and those who are running for office to introduce themselves and ask ‘how we can show up for them.’ There will also be enough time on the agenda for other introductions. Be sure that your membership is up to date for our September 18, 7:30 a.m. virtual breakfast meeting, details about which are here.
We hope you will join us throughout the year in our temporary, virtual meeting place. We look forward to sharing coffee, muffins and conversation with you in person when it’s safe to do so.
Women Officials' Network Foundation, trustees