This description was last
updated in 1997. The Foundation closed in 1998 with the exception of Stonehaven Ranch, Casa De Colores, FIRE, And the Temple of Sekhmet. All of the Foundation projects, with the exception of FIRE and the Temple of Sekhmet will close by the end of 2005. Wings continues independently.
Stonehaven Ranch was begun in 1984, and since then has provided a beautiful
free or low cost women-led conference space to hundreds of groups working
on peace and justice, feminism, alternative spirituality, environmental and
health issues. This 170 acre ranch has also been the site of many free
Foundation-sponsored conferences and events over the years. Margie First provides
material and spiritual nurturing.
CASA DE COLORES
This project consists of a farm and historic Victorian house on the border
at the southmost point of Texas, near Brownsville. The house offers a multicultural
museum and a resource center for issues of environmental racism and economic
justice from indigenous women’s perspective. Located next door to the
Audubon Society’s Wildlife Sanctuary, Casa cooperates in the protection
of endangered species even as the dangerous pollution of the Rio Grande river and the
so-called free trade zone cause grievous problems.
Tourists, school children, indigenous people and environmental groups visit
Casa regularly. Helga García-Garza manages this project with a lot of
spiritual energy. Meetings of traditional healers, youth, elders and indigenous
spiritual leaders take place in this space which was formerly a plantation
Media beyond the mainstream is necessary to break down the barriers of disinformation
and the monolithic commercial viewpoint which takes power away from people
and leadership away from women, causing isolation and hopelessness. For 10
years the Foundation has sponsored hour-long weekly programs of interviews
with activists from many areas, involved with a variety of issues, using Austin,
Texas public access television. The programs have been broadcast not only in
Austin, but in other communities. Video coverage of conferences and special
events put on by the Foundation and by other organizations has also been provided.
Live series of one-hour programs are being produced on ACAC by various
staff members weekly and bi-weekly. These include "Feminist Values," "The
Women's News Hour" and "Arts and Activism." Copies of many of
these programs are available upon request.
The Feminist International Radio Endeavor is a two-hour daily shortwave radio
program on Radio for Peace International in Costa Rica. This program
provides a forum for women's voices to be heard on all issues, one hour in
English and one in Spanish. Begun in 1991, FIRE has made waves in Central America
and has developed a broad international following. The team of Latin American
women who produce Fire also travel to conferences giving women's voices a wider
audience and demonstrating the usefulness of shortwave technology. Women everywhere
are urged not only to tune in and listen, but also to contribute programs they
Puerto Rican María Suarez and Chilean Katarina Anfossi create the programs.
Debra Latham of RFPI provides much support. Listen daily at: 1600 (Spanish)
, 1700 (English) 0000, 0100, 0800 and 0900 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time).
Frequencies •15.030 (AM) in
the 19 meter band •9.400 Mhz(USB) 24 hours in the
31 meter band •7.375 (AM) in the 41 meter band 2100-0800 •21.465
MHz (USB) in the 13 meter band 1200-0400.
Visit the website: www.fire.or.cr
WATER: WOMEN'S ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
WATER is a residential property at in Austin which
serves as a media training center for and by women, where communication skills
such as video and audio production and editing as well as computer on-line
services can be learned in a comfortable, relaxed environment. In this project, technology
is no longer overwhelming to novices and skills are not taught in an authoritarian
manner so the technology term "user-friendly" takes on new meaning.
This is a program worthy of wide replication and attention because it offers
women skills for the 21st century.
These projects are the brainchild of video professor Fern Hill. Radio
technology and interviewing are taught by Frieda Werden. Lisa Hayes teaches
video and radio. Computer training and networking are also provided.
WEBB: Women's Electronic Bed and Breakfast. This delightful
little house near WATER provides space for guests, archives for Foundation
videos, and community meetings.
THE ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
REGION: This organization was initiated
by Yana Bland and holds annual meetings on the island of Malta. These meetings
address common problems of women in the area and oppose militarization and
environmental pollution. They have been largely supported by the Foundation
for a Compassionate Society with the help of the
Dougherty Foundation. Yana Bland is currently working for the Foundation as
an environmental activist specializing in military toxics and health problems.
OPPOSING THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY
In 1993 the Foundation sponsored a visit to Austin by Dr. Ernest Sternglass
in which he presented research demonstrating how exposure to "low-level" radiation
affects the development of breast cancer and pointed out that 80% of all kind
of cancer is environmentally-induced and therefore preventable. Moved by this
information, the Foundation organized a conference in February of 1994 entitled "The
Breast Cancer Epidemic and Nuclear Radiation". There were some 50 presenters
and 300 participants at the event. The conference was followed by a hearing
with Texas state officials as a collaborative effort with WEDO organized by
the Foundation. The profit motive and the exchange economy attack and
discredit the nurturing way; it should therefore not surprise us that
since the beginning of the nuclear age, the incidence of breast cancer in the
U.S. has increased more than 60%. The "low level" radiation
from transport and "disposal" of nuclear waste poses serious threats
not only to the health of people at the proposed dump site in the West
Texas town of Sierra Blanca, a poor Chicano community, but around the world
as well, to communities near uranium mines, nuclear power and weapons plants
and test sites.
Given the long term goal of creating a pollution-free environment, this project's
short term goal is to broaden its working base by involving ethnic communities
and all people who, to date, remain unaware of the dimensions of this problem.
A multi-media slide show focuses on stories of communities fighting the
Sierra Blanca nuclear waste dump site, interspersed
with the stories of women breast cancer survivors, in order to educate a new,
broad group of women and men from all walks of life about Sierra Blanca.
A video: Peligro! has recently been produced by Options 2000, with
the Feminists for a Compassionate Society support.The Foundation and Feminists
for a Compassionate Society have a long term collaboration with the Sierra
Blanca Legal Defense Fund. This project is coordinated by Erin Rogers, Susan
Lee, Suze Kemper and María Limón.
AUSTIN TO BOSNIA
Medicines and medical supplies have been collected over the years and distributed
to several groups in the former Yugoslavia. Our efforts have been focused
on medical supplies, baby formula, vitamins and new thermal underclothing.
The public can help us by donating any of these items. Sally Jacques' devotion
and commitment made this project a reality.
Women's International News Gathering Service established in 1986, syndicates
52 news and current affairs programs a year, by and about women around the
world, on radio via various networks including, on occasion, National Public
Radio as well as approximately 160 radio stations worldwide. WINGS has correspondents
in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific, covering politics,
labor, economics, law, and other issues as they affect women and their communities.
Since 1992 its producer Frieda Werden has been employed by the Foundation,
lending her expertise to WATER and covering many Foundation
events and issues.
WOMEN'S PEACE CARAVAN
"Earth and Sky Women's Peace Caravan" for a Compassionate Soci
ety is centered around a traveling solar equipped, multi-media "Museum
to End the Nuclear Age" with exhibits on the history and legacy of the
nuclear age. Visitors can learn about uranium mining and processing, nuclear power
reactors, bomb making/testing, transport and waste management.
The museum includes environmental and health studies associated with each
phase of successful grassroots resistance activities. The van travels from
community to community around the country, coordinating its trips and exhibits
to coincide with timely issues and events. It provides information and face-to-face
contact between peace and justice activists, women's groups, breast cancer
survivors, midwives, and other health care providers, researchers, young people,
community organizers and radiation-injury survivors. The caravan is now
a project of Feminists for a Compassionate Society.
ART and SPIRITUALITY
Throughout the Foundation's projects, art and spirituality are indivisibly
intertwined with activism in the belief that our lives are integrally connected
with all creatures and with Mother Earth . The linking together of the mental,
spiritual, artistic and political elements heightens our life experience, our
ability to change and grow and transcend the cruelty of our social systems. In
1987 the Foundation commissioned sculptor Marsha Gómez to create an
archetypal replicable statue, "Madre del Mundo," which is now located
at several significant places: the Nuclear test site in Nevada, the border
between Texas and Mexico, on the Rio Grande near Casa de Colores, and the Peace
Farm directly across from Pantex, the nuclear assembly plant near Amarillo, Texas.
THE TEMPLE OF SEKHMET IN CACTUS SPRINGS NEVADA
In 1992, Genevieve and her daughters gave a gift of 20 acres of land
near the Nevada test site, back to the Western Shoshone to whom that whole
area originally belonged. The Foundation has built a small, environmentally
appropriate temple there in honor of the lion-headed Egyptian goddess of birth,
fertility and rage, Sekhmet, her statue also created by Marsha Gómez,
is located in the temple, across from the Madre statue. This beautiful meditation
space in the Nevada desert serves the peace and spirituality community as a
place for centering and meditation. The U.S. government begun nuclear
testing again in July 1997-- the so-called "sub-criticals." The temple provides
a calm space of refuge for opponents of nuclear weapons tests of any sort .
A second statue of Sekhmet is located at Stonehaven Ranch in the Moon tower. CLICK HERE for a bibliography.
STONEHAVEN GODDESS PROGRAM
Since 1984, meetings, workshops and conferences of women spiritual leaders
have been held at Stonehaven Ranch. A woman based eco-spiritual approach is
expressed in the Stonehaven Goddess Program. Many other spiritually-centered
groups use Stonehaven's welcoming space. Pat Cuney coordinates this program.
Performance Art is a specialty of Foundation staff member Sally Jacques with
partial Foundation support. These performances are made up of large dance,
music, visual and human statements , one of the best known being 64 Beds, highlighting
the plight of the homeless. Other issues addressed have been environmental
destruction, AIDS and opposition to the Gulf War.
Chilean artist Liliana Wilson has created the striking graphics for the Foundation
San Juanita Alcalá is the administrative Comptroller. She
is assisted by Rose Corrales who also provides assistance for Genevieve Vaughan.
The Foundation produces a newsletter at least twice a year called "Voices
for a Compassionate Society" which is distributed internationally to a
mailing list of 5200. Poet María Limón is newsletter producer
and works on insurance and Foundation coordination.
This 20-acres green
space is being developed as an environmental demonstration project. Nancy Wilson
is our receptionist, Doll Mathis promotes Foundation literature. A large open
air meeting space is being planned.
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