August 2008 Women Against War Description on the Activist Resource Website
Phone number: 518-426-0710
Capital Region and surrounding communities: Founded in 2002 by a group of Capital District women who felt it was imperative to mobilize against the United States government's plan to go to war with Iraq. Their call for action was answered by hundreds of area women committed to raising their voices against the impending violence. Primarily an anti-war activist organization, we began by focusing on the cost of the Iraq war to women and children in particular.
Projects since 2002:
- A continuous five-month Fast for Peace with each participating woman fasting and reflecting on peace for a 24-hour period; documentary film made; publication of journals kept during fast.
- Demonstrations against the war and vigils for peace.
- Voices and Bells, an evening of local artists expressing their hope for peace.
- A public forum on the Patriot Act and its impact on the civil liberties of citizens and immigrants.
- The Peace Tent, which was set up at farmer's markets, fairs and gatherings, and is available for educational outreach.
- Forum on the health care crisis in Iraq.
- Continuing outreach to the Muslim community, specifically to the families of detainees and to Muslim women.
- Reading of the Names of the Dead in Iraq (US military and Iraqi civilians) at State Capitol.
- Member participation in and co-sponsorship of numerous panels, speakers, protests, and forums with other area activist groups.
- SignOn for Peace Campaign, distribution of 1700 lawn signs with message "Support the Troops Bring Them Home Now!", and purchase of billboard space on Central Ave. in Albany with same message.
- Eyes Wide Open at Capital Park West.
Since the spring of 2006 there has also been a focus on preventing war with Iran, with two more billboards, vigils, Legislative lobbying, creation of resource materials, and activities related to this message
"Iran Next? No War! No Way!"
Grannies for Peace and the Iraqi Refugee Committee are currently active sub-committees, along with the Iran Project. Grannies for Peace is working on improved healthcare for returning veterans and truth in recruitment in the area high schools.
Women Against War has been coordinated by a seven person Steering Committee since December 2006.
Quarterly meetings are announced on the website www.womenagainstwar.org and held at the Friends Meeting House, 727 Madison Ave. Albany
Mailing address: Women Against War, Box 505, Delmar, NY, 12054
I. Vision Statement and Objectives
There is a core belief in our society that war is the answer to conflict. Women Against War is based on the belief that war is not the answer to conflict and that women can lead the way to developing alternatives to violence.
We seek to bring the voices of women, their collective energy, and their unique skills to bear on peace and social justice issues.
Equal rights and opportunities for women are an essential requirement for creating a peaceful world. We seek to make ending violence against women a central concern of the peace movement.
We seek to educate people about the special impact of war and violence on women and children.
We work to empower women with a commitment to peace to participate in foreign policy decisions so that the United States addresses conflict situations from a peacemaking perspective. This perspective must be in accord with international law and must respect human rights.
We recognize that peacemaking is hard work and requires great courage. We seek to find ways to honor peacemakers and join our voices and energies with theirs.
Women Against War members are women who have become part of the Women Against War network by joining the Women Against War list-serv or postal list. Members attend meetings to make decisions or embark on new projects, participate in initiating and organizing projects, manage the listserv and website, handle the finances of the organization, and select members of the Steering Committee.
III. Steering Committee
- Revise vision statement and objectives as needed.
- Assess organizational needs and undertake long range planning.
- Make decisions about proposed actions and issues, and seek input from members where appropriate. Decisions by the Steering Committee will be made by consensus. If this proves impossible to achieve and if a majority of members feel that a decision on the issue must be made, a vote will be held. A decision requires the approval of at least 5 members of the Steering Committee.
- Support members working on specific projects. Provide a contact person to facilitate co-ordination with other Women Against War projects and to insure that projects work within the overall vision of Women Against War.
- Plan meetings of members, including preparing the agenda and facilitating such meetings.
- Manage listserv, website, and finances, or delegate/supervise these functions; establish any additional necessary organization building committees; select members of such committees and provide oversight to such committees.
- Appoint a nominating committee to prepare a slate of nominees for positions on the Steering Committee. Fill interim vacancies on the Steering Committee. Interim vacancies can be filled only by consensus.
- Support the vision of Women Against War, take responsibility for being informed about the work of Steering Committee, put time and energy into its work.
- Attend monthly meetings of Steering Committee except for occasional conflicts with other needs or obligations.
- Be accessible for email and/or phone consultation; respond in a timely fashion to requests for input or explicitly opt out of the decision making process for specific issue if necessary.
- Participate in the work of the Steering Committee designed to keep Women Against War going now and moving forward.
- Demonstrate peace making skills in the work of the Steering Committee.
- The Steering Committee will be composed of seven members.
- Steering Committee members will serve two year terms, which are renewable.
- Members' terms will rotate so that the first and second years of a cycle there will be two new members and the third year there will be three. The cycle will begin in January 2009.
- Members of the Steering Committee will be chosen through the following process: A nominating committee will be appointed by the current Steering Committee to prepare a slate of nominees. This committee will be composed of two Steering Committee members and one Women Against War member at large. The Nominating Committee will present the slate to the membership prior to the date of voting. Voting will take place during the fall quarterly meeting.
- The Steering Committee will have a coordinator; the coordinator will be chosen by Steering Committee members at the first meeting of the Steering Committee each calendar year.
- Members who in the judgment of the majority of the Steering Committee have been unable to assume the responsibilities of a Steering Committee member may be removed and replaced by an interim appointment. Removal requires the approval of at least 5 Steering Committee members.