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Loud & Clear

June 2024

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Welcome New Members!

Samantha Naes

Mark Oberlander

Become a Member!
Donate to WV!

Up Next

From Classrooms to Communities: Driving Environmental Equity with Show-Me Green Schools, Thurs., June 13

Attainable Housing Task Force Meeting, Tues., June 18

Advocacy Committee Meeting, Mon., June 24

Racial Justice Committee Meeting, Fri., June 28

Field Trip to Habitat for Humanity Lookway Summit Housing Community, Sun., June 30

Criminal Legal System Reform Task Force Meeting, Weds., July 10

Words from Our President

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Hello Women's Voices members and supporters! Let me introduce myself. I'm Karen Francis and honored to be your new Women's Voice's president. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence! You can read my biography on our website. In a nutshell, before I retired as a high school administrator, I worked with a “life coach” to help me find “what am I going to do now.” After my numerous sessions, my goal was to find an organization that gave a voice to women and their families who didn't have a voice, and I found Women's Voices. For the past seven years I've chaired the Advocacy Committee and am so very proud of the work we've done to support the mission of Women's Voices: to identify, research and discuss critical issues; to mobilize energize and inspire ourselves and others to action; and to work to as individuals and in community for social justice.

As we begin the 2024-2025 year, I ask that we get to know each other. Please introduce yourself to me at our programs and at our events or reach out to me at

June is a busy month of national observations: Alzheimer's Awareness, Juneteenth (the recognition of slavery's abolition in Texas in 1865), LGBTQ Pride Month, National Hunger Awareness Month, Learning Disability Week and Gun Violence Awareness Month to name a few. Why am I mentioning these? Because these are a few issues that Women's Voices is concerned about: social and racial justice; common-sense gun solutions, and educational equity. PLEASE consider joining one of our ongoing committees to learn about the issues and what YOU can do to make a difference while having fun and meeting other WV members! 

You'll soon learn that I love quotes and musical theater, so to quote Malala, “Actions express your priorities, let passion be your power.” 

I look forward to getting to know you. I hope to see many of you on June 13 at our rescheduled program, with the co-directors of Show-Me Green Schools. 

Have a fun and safe summer!

Karen Francis

Join Us In Cultivating a More Just World!

Support Women's Voices

Contributions to the Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice spring campaign are used to support our education and advocacy work. Your contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated!

Please make a gift today to support the Women's Voices spring campaign!

Annual Report 2023

Today, we present our Annual Report which highlights our impressive portfolio of work, and catalog of generous donors. Most notably, it includes a list of our members, the heart and muscle of our organization. If you are not yet actively involved we hope you review our newsletter, website and social media and join an effort this year.

Women’s Voices Members Elect 2023-2024 Board of Directors

Women’s Voices held a virtual vote of members to elect the 2024-2025 Women’s Voices Board of Directors. In addition to the elected members, Liz Sondhaus will continue to serve as Past President. The board will appoint additional members to fill unelected seats on the board. Thank you to those willing to serve on this year’s board!


Karen Francis, President

Jean Calandrino, Vice President

Karen Coulson, Secretary

Jean Calandrino, Treasurer

Margery Doss, Advocacy Director

Barbara Harris, Fundraising Advisor

Anne Litwin, Racial Justice Director

Nancy (Nix-Rice) Litz, Program Director

Michele Steinberg, Membership Director

Liz Sondhaus, Past President 

Join Women's Voices at these Upcoming Community Events

Wear Orange Weekend, June 7-9, 2024

This weekend people will come together at events from coast to coast to honor victims and survivors of gun violence and to spread awareness about this preventable crisis. Women’s Voices Lock It for Love volunteers will be at the Churches Together Wear Orange event on Sunday, June 9 to distribute FREE gun locks to those with unsecured firearms in their homes.

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We are incredibly grateful for Churches Together who will be collecting donations to support our Lock It for Love program. Funds will be used to support gun safety education and distribution of free gun locks, which are available in the community at any branch of the of the St. Louis Public Library and select St. Louis County Library branches.

Freedom Summer STL with ArchCity Defenders

Visit our booth at Freedom Summer STL, a multidisciplinary effort focusing on four priority areas: voting, expungement, abolition, and housing justice. The aim is to ensure that all information and resources can be easily accessed in a singular setting. The efforts will be a continuation of, and catalyst for, organizing and movement-building efforts, providing community members with tools needed to impact policy change.

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Want to volunteer at our booth? Contact Michele at

Save the Dates (11 a.m.-3 p.m.):

June 19 - Fairground Park 

June 29 - Northside Center for Power & Transformation

July 27 - Habitat for Humanity 

August 30 - Rally and March, place TBD

From Classrooms to Communities: Driving Environmental Equity with Show-Me Green Schools

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Thursday, June 13, 7 p.m.

Christian Life Center

Webster Hills United Methodist Church

1333 W. Lockwood Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63122

Please let us know you’re coming here.

Join us for a presentation from Show-Me Green Schools co-managers Deborah Rogers Curtis and Lesli Moylan to learn how we can engage local school districts to become green schools. Show-Me Green Schools is a suite of three free programs co-managed by Missouri Gateway Green Building Council and Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA) that provides structure, resources and recognition to support every Missouri PreK-12 school in becoming a green school. Show-Me Green Schools programming supports all Missouri schools in identifying and advancing practices throughout their campuses, educational programming, and school culture that reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, and provide place-based education.

WV Field Trip to Habitat for Humanity Lookaway Summit Housing Community

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Sunday, June 30, 2-3 p.m.

Lookaway Summit Housing Community

Saint Louis, MO 63137

Please let us know you're coming here.

Join the Women's Voices Attainable Housing Task Force for a tour of the Habitat for Humanity housing community, Lookaway Summit, in North Saint Louis County.

Avis Laden of Habitat for Humanity will discuss how housing creates stability in every aspect of life, specifically mental health. Poor housing conditions increase the risk of depression by up to 64 percent over a lifetime.

If you have questions, contact Keba Jones, committee co-chair, at

Join Women's Voices in Support of ID Clinics

Women’s Voices was proud to help recruit 70 new volunteers for the Ashrei ID Clinics at the end of 2023. These ID Clinics help people get essential identification documents such as birth certificates and photo IDs required for voting, employment, housing, healthcare and other survival activities. It is now time to renew our commitment to this important work as the need for volunteers has recently grown substantially. 

Our goal is to have enough volunteers complete the shadow/training to allow Women’s Voices to assist Ashrei in hosting ID clinics throughout the summer and fall. Whether you completed the training at the end of 2023, or you did not but are now interested in getting trained, please watch the pre-recorded training video below.

Those who have completed training are ready to sign up for a “shadow training” slot. Please visit the Ashrei website to volunteer, or learn about other ways to support this important work:

How to Volunteer

1. Watch this previously recorded Volunteer Training

2. Sign up here for a "Shadow/Training Only" shift (you must shadow once or twice to become a volunteer.)

Why YOU Should Join the Racial Justice Committee

The 2023-2024 program year has been an exciting and dynamic one for the Racial Justice Committee (RJC) of Women’s Voices. Anne Litwin and Liz Sondhaus became the new co-chairs of the RJC in September, 2023 and hosted an organizing meeting in Venable Park where new goals and plans for the program year were developed by a committed group of members. The RJC’s focus is to 1) educate the public on structural racism, 2) engage members in advocacy to dismantle structural racism, 3) collaborate with other organizations to help raise our voices together against racism, and 4) support the work of our two task forces, the Criminal Legal Reform Task Force and the Attainable Housing Task Force. If these goals appeal to you, RJC is the group for you!

We had a busy program year in 2023-2024! Our accomplishments include:

  • Co-hosting a Racial Justice Film Series with Eliot Chapel
  • Hosting a tour of the Kaplan Feldman Holocaust History Museum for WV members
  • Hosting Gwen Moore, curator of Urban Landscape and Community Identity at the Missouri Historical Society, as our speaker on the racial wealth gap 
  • Collaborating with the Ashrei Foundation to recruit and train 70 new volunteers for the North City ID Clinics
  • Organizing a group to attend the Mary Meachum Freedom Center Celebration
  • Organizing a bus full of members for a Lobby Day to Jefferson City to support the Clean Slate bill (which did not pass – but will pass next year!)
  • Supporting the Criminal Legal System Task Force in their work on 
  • Pretrial detention 
  • Eliminating or reforming the cash bail and public defender representation
  • Partnering with the Freedom Community Center for the Courtwatch program
  • Meeting with Mayor Tishaura Jones about how to improve the treatment of prisoners at the St. Louis City jail.
  • Organizing a tour for members of Habitat for Humanity to learn about their method of creating attainable housing. 

We have a wealth of ideas to further our mission for the upcoming 2024-2025 program year. To succeed, this critical work needs everyone’s commitment. PLEASE JOIN US! Contact Anne and Liz at


Karen Cloyd, outgoing chair of the Campaign for Common-Sense Gun Solutions, participated in a panel presentation, "Outrage to Action," at St. Margaret of Scotland Church. Four speakers represented organizations working to reduce gun violence in the St. Louis area. Speakers spoke favorably of the Lock It for Love project and the collaboration to prevent and mitigate trauma for survivors.

Margery Doss, incoming chair of the WV Advocacy committee, completed the 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge presented by the YWCA and St. Louis County Library. During the discussion of gun violence in St Louis, the Women's Voices Lock It For Love program was recognized as a community partner. She encourages members to sign up for next year's session, and in the meantime, you might want to download this free resource:

Speak Up! Handbook: Responding to Everyday Bigotry Southern Poverty Law Center (This resource includes tactics for speaking up against bias and hate. You may want to keep this handy for reference as you build your skills in responding to everyday bigotry.)

Women's Voices Members Respond to Injustice!

Ann Mandelstamm, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, asks, "Who could dispute that America needs a return to kindness?"

Liz Sondhaus, in her letter to the Webster-Kirkwood Times, objects to the use of Missouri taxpayer funds to police the U.S.-Mexico border.

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

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