ba510c67-c425-4c43-890d-dcbd66a7f3c5 image

Loud & Clear

April 2024

View as Webpage

Welcome New Members!

Mary Fitzgerald

Maria Yaksic

Become a Member!
Donate to WV here!

Up Next

Lunch & Learn: The Power of the People-Understanding the Initiative Petition Process in Missouri’s Democracy, Fri., April 5

Looking for an Angel: We Can't Find Those We Can't See, Thurs., April 11

Attainable Housing Task Force Meeting, Tues., April 16

Lunch & Learn: Challenges for American Higher Education,

Weds., April 17

Advocacy Committee Meeting, Mon., April 22

Lunch & Learn: Why Medicaid Matters,

Thurs., April 25

Racial Justice Committee Meeting, Fri., April 26

Criminal Legal System Reform Task Force Meeting, Weds., May 1

Welcome Neighbor Supper Club, Weds., May 1

Words from Our President

Sondhaus image

Intersectionality and Activism

Most of us know the term “intersectionality,” the concept that people have various identities which may intersect in ways that result in specific types of discrimination. Because Black women are both Black and women, they endure types of discrimination that Black men, or White women, might not. I am proud WV considers the impact of intersecting identities like race, age, class, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation and mental health status in all our social justice work.

Pauli Murray (1910 – 1985) was a brilliant African American lawyer, writer, feminist, activist, and closeted non-binary person whose life and work exemplified intersectionality. Although mostly ignored in civil rights histories, Pauli Murray should be as familiar to us as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.

Here's why:

  • In 1940, 15 years before Rosa Parks, Murray refused to sit in the back of the bus, precipitating the NAACP's first legal defense designed to throw out Jim Crow laws.
  • In 1973, 17 years before the Woolworth Counter sit-ins, Murray led sit-downs around Washington, DC, resulting in desegregation of DC's entertainment district.
  • In 1954, Thurgood Marshall used Murray's legal argument, developed in 1944, that "separate but equal" violated the 14th Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. Marshall's successful use of this argument ended school segregation with the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Notably, Marshall did not acknowledge Murray's contribution to the case.
  • In 1971, Ruth Bader Ginsburg based much of her landmark gender discrimination case, Reed v. Reed. on Murray's work. RBG publicly acknowledged Pauli Murray's contribution to the case and included Murray's name in her brief.

In today’s world, defined more and more by conflicts around the intersections of race, gender and sexuality, Pauli Murray’s story is even more timely. Her biographer Rosalind Rosenberg reminds us, “Murray’s life demonstrates that today’s backlash and the struggle against it have deep historical roots…Her story testifies to the importance of perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles....Murray’s life teaches us that society’s ‘outsiders’ often have the most important insights… [because] their angle of vision allows them to see what others cannot.” As Murray herself said, “True community is based upon equality, mutuality and reciprocity. It affirms the richness of individual diversity as well as the common human times that bind us together.” 

Let us at WV lift all women’s voices and remember Pauli Murray’s example as we continue our intersectional struggle for social justice.

For more information about Pauli Murray, see the film “My Name is Pauli Murray” or read Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg.

~ Liz Sondhaus


  1. Jane Coaston, “The Intersectionality Wars,” The Highlight by Vox, May 28, 2019.
  2. Morgan M. Page, "Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray" by Rosalind Rosenberg, Lamda Literary, June 8, 2017.
  3. Alyssa Collins, “The Life of Pauli Murray: An Interview with Rosalind Rosenberg,” Black Perspectives, October 16, 2017.
  4. Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice.

Support and Serve

WVR_Square-JPG-scaled image

Women’s Voices is currently seeking nominations for members willing to serve on our Board of Directors for the 2024-2025 program year. Self-nominations or nominations of others are encouraged. 

Board members are elected for a one-year term. Board meetings are held every other month to discuss the progress we are making towards the vision and mission of the organization and to make decisions about the organization. Our board is composed of the following:

Executive positions: president/co-president, vice president, secretary, treasurer

Directors of the committees: Advocacy, Racial Justice, Campaign for Common Sense Gun Solutions, Fundraising, Membership, Thursday Evening Programs, and Communications

At-large members: up to five positions

The nominations committee will review the nominees and recommend candidates to be included on the slate of nominees to the current board for approval. An approved slate will be presented for election by the membership this spring.

For more information about serving on the board, see WV Board Roles and Responsibilities

If you are interested in nominating yourself or another person, or if you have questions about serving on the board, please fill out this Nomination Form.

April 2 Municipal Elections Matter!

Make sure your voice is heard in Municipal Elections this Tuesday, April 2!

Get detailed information on country-specific polling locations and times here.

EP-slide image

Clean Slate Buzz and Mosquitoes

The Missouri Capitol has been buzzing with activity around four bipartisan Clean Slate bills. As readers of Loud & Clear know, the Racial Justice Committee’s task force on Criminal Legal System Reform has been researching this initiative for more than three years. Women’s Voices joined the Missouri Clean Slate Campaign a year ago to use our voices to advocate for passage of Clean Slate legislation.

IMG_5896-1024x1024 image

On March 6 task force members visited more than 50 legislators at the Capitol to encourage their support in moving the four bills currently under consideration forward. Soon after, public hearings were scheduled in committees and were held last week. Susan Glassman, co-chair of the task force, traveled to the Capitol on March 25 to testify on behalf of Women’s Voices in support of Senate Bills 763 and 1161. Written testimony in support of House Bills 2108 and 2555 was submitted on behalf of Women’s Voices for a hearing on March 26.

What do mosquitoes have to do with Clean Slate? Our representatives have hundreds of bills to review and take positions on in a short four months. They NEED to hear from their constituents about our priorities. One may believe that an email or phone call will not make a difference, but there is a saying that comes to mind: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.” No one is suggesting that we set out to annoy our legislators, but we are asking our 400+ members and nearly 2,000 email subscribers to email or call your own representatives in support of Senate Bills 763 & 1161 and House Bills 2108 and 2555. Numbers are meaningful to legislators, and a swarm of calls from constituents supporting Clean Slate legislation will have an impact.

Make those calls or emails today! Find contact information for your legislators here!

April Provides Opportunities to Focus on Women's Voices Advocacy Work

In April, we focus on all four of the Advocacy Engagement Committee’s priorities:

  1. Voter engagement: Municipal Elections will be held on April 2 and we encourage members to vote. Make sure to have your voice heard at the ballot box!
  2. Education equity: Education, in the form of local school boards, will also be on the April 2 ballot. As a voter, nothing is more local than school boards!
  3. Reproductive justice: We are actively participating in the Missourians for Constitutional Freedom (MCF) effort to stop the abortion bans. Many of our WV members have been trained to collect signatures for this initiative petition. If you have not yet signed the petition, you will be able to do so at our April meeting and any of our other in-person events.
  4. Sexual violence and sexual assault: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), women and girls experience sexual violence at high rates; 1 in 6 American women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.

If you are interested in learning more or working on one of our issues, please reach out to Karen Francis, advocacy director for Women's Voices, at and we'll welcome you to our awesome committee.

Women's Voices Endorses Missourians for Healthy Families & Fair Wages Campaign

missourians-for-health-famlies-fair-wages image

Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice has joined a growing group of organizations in endorsing the Missourians for Healthy Families & Fair Wages Campaign which is behind the initiative petition to deliver earned paid sick time off and a fair minimum wage to Missouri workers. There is a petition circulating to get these issues on the ballot this year. Learn more about the petition and other endorsements on their website.

Host a House Party to Collect Signatures for the Reproductive Rights Initiative Petition

Signature-Gathering-House-Party- image

Help End the Abortion Ban in MO!

The coalition working to get the reproductive rights constitutional amendment on the ballot must collect 172,000 valid signatures by May 5, 2024. Your help is needed to ensure Missourians get to vote on ending our cruel abortion ban. Help us do our part!

Support the Effort by Hosting a House Party!

Do you want to help end Missouri’s abortion ban? Can you commit to hosting a house party and inviting your friends and family to sign the initiative petition? Women’s Voices will connect you with a trained volunteer to provide petitions and collect signatures at your home. All you need to do is host and provide refreshments.

Provide your information here and we’ll contact you to arrange a signing event!

Lunch & Learn-The Power of the People: Understanding the Initiative Petition Process in Missouri's Democracy

MEvie-Photo-dsq-1 image

Friday, April 5

Webster Hills United Methodist Church, Christian Life Center

1333 W. Lockwood

Saint Louis, MO 63122

Read more and register here.

M'Evie Mead, director of strategic partnerships at Missouri Jobs with Justice and facilitator of the Will of the People Coalition, will explore the history of initiative petitions in our state and review current challenges in the Missouri legislature this session that would reshape this important citizen-driven tool.

This events is co-sponsored by Ashrei Foundation and Women's Voices.

Looking for An Angel: We Can’t Find Those We Can’t See

Wilson-Theda-square image

Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m.

Center of Clayton

50 Gay Ave.

Saint Louis, MO 63105

Read more and register here.

There are currently over 1,300 missing persons from Missouri and the number grows daily throughout the year. Unfortunately, a plethora of the missing adults and children don't have flyers and are only represented by silhouettes or "no image" at all! 

If your loved one went missing would you know what to do or who to call? If you were “allowed” to make a missing person report, how would you expect police to respond? Do police search for individuals reported missing? Would your missing loved one's case make the news? Do you know how to locate and use Missouri’s missing persons database?

Join us to hear from Theda Wilson, founder and president of Looking For An Angel, a nonprofit organization she created in memory of her missing murdered child, Christian Taylor Ferguson. Wilson will discuss her organization’s work to increase awareness of missing persons, help those navigating the missing person process, and educate the community about obstacles faced when individuals are missing. Learn what you can do to address the missing person epidemic.

Lunch & Learn: Challenges in American Higher Education

Wednesday, April 17, noon

Virtual event

Read more and register here.

Wrighton-Mark-square-300x300 image

Mark S. Wrighton, James and Mary Wertsch Distinguished University Professor and chancellor emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis, will join us to discuss current challenges for American higher education. These challenges include campus unrest stemming from political issues, different views about the war in Israel, aspirations related to establishing diverse, inclusive and equitable communities, and financial shortfalls. These challenges are evident at both public and private institutions. The erosion of public confidence in America’s higher education has exacerbated the problems within academic institutions.

Lunch & Learn: Why Medicaid Matters

IMG_1461 image

Thursday, April 25, noon

Virtual event

Please let us know you’re coming here.

Medicaid is a “political hot potato” topic, with many legislators offering positive or negative opinions and expressing strong feelings about the costs of the program. But to people with disabilities, Medicaid is an essential health insurance program that saves lives. Medicaid is there following a life changing accident. Medicaid allows people with disabilities to access the doctors, medicines, and therapies they need in many cases. 

Paraquad Medicaid ambassadors Everlene Falconer and Constance Phillips-Gray will share their experiences with Medicaid. Jeanette Mott Oxford, public policy and advocacy manager at Paraquad, will offer a brief update on several Medicaid issues presently under consideration in the Missouri General Assembly.

Welcome Neighbor Supper Club

Wednesday, May 1, 6 p.m.

Webster Hills United Methodist Church

Christian Life Center

1333 W. Lockwood Ave.

Saint Louis, MO 63122

Read more and purchase tickets here.

Join us for our second Welcome Neighbor Supper Club. Introduce a friend to Women's Voices and support our refugee neighbors.

May-1-Welcome-Neighbor image

Women's Voices Members Respond to Injustice!

Mary Phelan, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that humanity has never figured out how to stop killing one another and leave peacefully.

Ben Senturia, in his letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that America needs a more balanced policy in the Gaza war.

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)

New members join here

Renewing members renew here or

Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 

Women's Voices

698 W. Lockwood Ave.

Saint Louis, MO 63119

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Twitter