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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 22, 2015

Women’s Fund Voices speaker, sponsorship opportunities announced




Dr. Jackson Katz, an internationally recognized social theorist known for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education, will be the keynote speaker at the third annual Voices luncheon this October. - (Photo provided)

In its ongoing effort to improve the lives of women and girls in the region, the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga wants something unexpected at its third annual Voices luncheon this October: more men.

As the nonprofit tackles the issue of violence against women, it needs men to help them, says Mary Kilbride, Voices 2015 Chair. “We’re a women’s group, and we’re addressing women’s issues, but we need men to hear our message and work with us so we can make a bigger impact,” she says.

The Voices fundraiser is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Stratton Hall. The hosts will have at least one man in attendance: keynote speaker Dr. Jackson Katz, an internationally recognized social theorist known for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education.

“He’s going to talk about how violence against women is not a women’s issue but a men’s issue,” Kilbride says. “He believes we need to go to our leaders, such as the coaches at our colleges and universities, and encourage them to change the mentality and behavior of the men they know.”

As part of a national organization, the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga exists to drive social change locally, Kilbride says. To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit lobbies Tennessee’s lawmakers to pass bills that would address the obstacles that prevent women and girls from living better lives.

“We have people who follow new legislation, and when it’s time for the House or Senate to vote, we send a message to everyone asking them to contact their legislator,” Kilbride says.

The organization’s track record speaks for itself. Since the Women’s Fund launched a publicity campaign aimed at curbing sex trafficking two years ago, the Tennessee Legislature has passed over 20 new bills aimed at fighting the crime.

Kilbride is hoping for the same success as the Women’s Fund takes up the issue of violence against women. Legislation the organization is tracking include a bill passed unanimously by the Tennessee Senate in 2014 that disallows waiving the 12-hour jailing of those arrested for domestic abuse. The bill is now in the hands of the House.

“Someone wants to get rid of the law that requires the perpetrator in a domestic violence situation to be jailed for 12 hours,” Kilbride says. “That doesn’t make sense. The victim needs that time to get herself and her children to a safe place.”

Kilbride believes Dr. Katz’s message will inspire the anticipated sell-out audience. “His message is a clarion call for all of us to denounce unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change,” she wrote in a letter to friends of the Women’s Fund announcing the selection of Dr. Katz as the keynote speaker at Voices. “By adding Dr. Katz’s voice to ours, the Women’s Fund will deliver a powerful message that every woman and girl in the Chattanooga area deserves a safe and secure life.”

The Women’s Fund is currently seeking sponsors for Voices 2015. Several sponsorship opportunities are available, including: $2,500 Advisor Sponsor; $5,000 Promoter Sponsor; $7,500 Speaker Sponsor: $10,000 Endorser Sponsor; and $15,000 Presenting Sponsor. Tables with preferred or premiere seating and table signage are among the benefits every sponsor will receive. For a complete list of sponsor benefits, or to inquire about purchasing an individual or corporate table, contact Lillie Wills at lwills@chattanoogawomensfund.org or (423) 752-4199.

“Like Dr. Katz, the Women’s Fund believes when women are safe and economically secure, their entire community is better,” Kilbride wrote. “At Voices, he will bring his insight on masculinity and gender violence to our guests, as he has to millions of high school and college students, and professionals in education, human services, public health, and law enforcement.

“I look forward to seeing you at Voices 2015 on October 14!”

By David Laprad

In its ongoing effort to improve the lives of women and girls in the region, the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga wants something unexpected at its third annual Voices luncheon this October: more men.

As the nonprofit tackles the issue of violence against women, it needs men to help them, says Mary Kilbride, Voices 2015 Chair. “We’re a women’s group, and we’re addressing women’s issues, but we need men to hear our message and work with us so we can make a bigger impact,” she says.

The Voices fundraiser is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Stratton Hall. The hosts will have at least one man in attendance: keynote speaker Dr. Jackson Katz, an internationally recognized social theorist known for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education.

“He’s going to talk about how violence against women is not a women’s issue but a men’s issue,” Kilbride says. “He believes we need to go to our leaders, such as the coaches at our colleges and universities, and encourage them to change the mentality and behavior of the men they know.”

As part of a national organization, the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga exists to drive social change locally, Kilbride says. To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit lobbies Tennessee’s lawmakers to pass bills that would address the obstacles that prevent women and girls from living better lives.

“We have people who follow new legislation, and when it’s time for the House or Senate to vote, we send a message to everyone asking them to contact their legislator,” Kilbride says.

The organization’s track record speaks for itself. Since the Women’s Fund launched a publicity campaign aimed at curbing sex trafficking two years ago, the Tennessee Legislature has passed over 20 new bills aimed at fighting the crime.

Kilbride is hoping for the same success as the Women’s Fund takes up the issue of violence against women. Legislation the organization is tracking include a bill passed unanimously by the Tennessee Senate in 2014 that disallows waiving the 12-hour jailing of those arrested for domestic abuse. The bill is now in the hands of the House.

“Someone wants to get rid of the law that requires the perpetrator in a domestic violence situation to be jailed for 12 hours,” Kilbride says. “That doesn’t make sense. The victim needs that time to get herself and her children to a safe place.”

Kilbride believes Dr. Katz’s message will inspire the anticipated sell-out audience. “His message is a clarion call for all of us to denounce unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change,” she wrote in a letter to friends of the Women’s Fund announcing the selection of Dr. Katz as the keynote speaker at Voices. “By adding Dr. Katz’s voice to ours, the Women’s Fund will deliver a powerful message that every woman and girl in the Chattanooga area deserves a safe and secure life.”

The Women’s Fund is currently seeking sponsors for Voices 2015. Several sponsorship opportunities are available, including: $2,500 Advisor Sponsor; $5,000 Promoter Sponsor; $7,500 Speaker Sponsor: $10,000 Endorser Sponsor; and $15,000 Presenting Sponsor. Tables with preferred or premiere seating and table signage are among the benefits every sponsor will receive. For a complete list of sponsor benefits, or to inquire about purchasing an individual or corporate table, contact Lillie Wills at lwills@chattanoogawomensfund.org or (423) 752-4199.

“Like Dr. Katz, the Women’s Fund believes when women are safe and economically secure, their entire community is better,” Kilbride wrote. “At Voices, he will bring his insight on masculinity and gender violence to our guests, as he has to millions of high school and college students, and professionals in education, human services, public health, and law enforcement.

“I look forward to seeing you at Voices 2015 on October 14!” v