CAB Take on Taiwan: Adventure Time

This is WAY OVER DUE but here’s my recap/story on how a ragtag team of 14 college peeps Took on Taiwan! Days and dates may not match up due to the 12 hour time difference. We were 12 hours in to the future y’all!

DAY 1 – 04.28.16 – THURSDAY

All packed up, stayed over night in the Chatham apartments so I wouldn’t miss the shuttle. 4AM leaving Chatham and in route to the Pittsburgh airport. I have been up since 11am  yesterday, going almost 16 hrs strong with no sleep cause I’m so hyped!

About 30 or so minutes later we arrive at the airport and all meet up, check in, and wait for our plane to arrive. While waiting for the others to arrive and check in, I break out my old hacky sack in order to pass the time.

Time for some quick breakfast! Special Note: Do not parkour off a moving sidewalk at the airport! More importantly do not parkour off a moving sidewalk while holding your breakfast bagel and an iced coffee ‪#‎lifelessons‬

Time to line up to board the plane, quote while boarding the airplane in regards to this woman was looking at as weird and trying to break up our group in line: “We’re a group… We pop together” About 5 hours later and we have landed in San Francisco, CA.

First meal since leaving Pittsburgh/ the East Coast… pre-game for Taiwan… Veggie curry

Time to board our next flight! ’bout to be the longest flight I’ve ever been on – just shy of 13 hours!

DAY 2 – 04.29.16 – FRIDAY

I made it!!! I’m really here … in Taiwan… alive! Passing out tho cause early full day tomorrow + 12 hour time diff + been up since 11 am Wednesday !!

DAY 3 – 04.30.16 – SATURDAY

Day 1 and 2 (4.28 & 4.29) recap: traveling through time and space -> Pittsburgh to San Fran (-3 hr diff) to Taipei, Taiwan (-12 hr diff) -> ended up being up for a total of 50 hrs! 36 as a group!

Recap DAY 1 in Taiwan:  traveled back in time and lost a day but we’ll get it back later.

I’m already acclimated to the new time zone and new environment. We had an early morning toady; out by 8:30am, ate breakfast after walking through the hallways of some building to get to the place. We had an impromptu park visit with some parkour action.

Two trains and a bus ride later we arrive at the National Palace Museum then had some snacks with tea and coffee. Afterwards we explored the garden outside the museum and I parkour’d the heck out of some trees and rocks. 

Later on we had lunch then visited the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines:

Followed by another impromptu park visit plus a sweet mini temple with some exercising action. 

Later that night we went to the night market for some shopping then had dinner. THEN Maryann Fix and I got left at market! Everyone was looking for each other for a couple but we kept missing each other. No worries though because we’re smart and resourceful. I remained calm, cool, and collected and was able to navigate our way back to the hostel. We got back well ahead of everyone else so we enjoyed some Bubble Tea!

Side note: even tho I got separated from my buddy Dee Clarke she knew what was up and that we’d be okay and make it back safely. I was bummed we missed the temple exploration but we were able to see it another day (turned out to not have been all that lol). Can’t wait to see what goes down over the next 11 days!

Foot Note: my phone is useless here and is just my camera now but I won’t be posting pics till after I return. Luckily I have my iPad so I can post updates and let y’all know I’m still alive.

DAY 4 – 05.01.16 – SUNDAY

Recap DAY 2 in Taiwan: Managed to go to bed around the same time and wake up the same time as day before. I had some super delicious breakfast this morning. It rained a bit more today (light rain yday) but was still super warm out.

I’m getting really good at oriented self each place we go and navigating around this city. Today we went to the Flower and Jade Markets. I got to see some real life haggling action and some cool plants. Can only look because we can’t take plants back with us.

Afterward we went to the Linsen Forest Park. We saw a cool, sustainability festival going on and learned about bears, bats, reptiles, oceanic animals, wild vs domestic cats. We saw a good amount of stray dogs just walking around and chilling.

We went to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial next and played a pick up game of soccer with the kids and parkour’d more. A festival or conference was going on so there were parts we weren’t allowed in. Saw a cool dance battle action go down though.

Later we went to the hot springs – Beitou public hot springs I think – this was SO nice and very relaxing after walking around all day.

For lunch I had a guava passion fruit smoothie (very Taiwan I’m told) with veggies, tofu and dumplings. We went to the night markets again – had more bubble tea, a bunch of super delicious, fresh fruit including mango, pineapple, watermelon, and this Taiwan fruit that looked/tasted like an asian pear.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Taipei, Tuesday we head off to Taichung.

DAY 5 – 05.02.16 – MONDAY

Recap DAY 3 in Taiwan: early morning, went to the same place from yesterday for breakfast (so good). Today we went up to the mountains; to Jiufen where the anime film Spirited Away was inspired by. While there we navigated through this long strip of markets – all kinds of food and shops, pretty much the whole town is a market place.  we ate lunch here and gathered up snacks for later. The view from this place was so beautiful! Just amazing!

Saw more stray dogs and some cats roaming around – the stray dogs tend to be medium sized or larger. Seems most people own smaller sized dogs or cats, which makes sense given the space capacity of Taiwan. 

I tried some stinky tofu and… NOPE! not for me lol. I’m not a fan of tofu to begin but I had to try this local fav and the locals get a laugh out of seeing foreigners try this dish. 

Went to Bai Sha Wan (White Sand Beach) and it starting turning dark when got there since the multiple bus rides ti get there were very long. It was very cool to step into the pacific ocean from a different country, across the globe.

Ate dinner after beach time and drank lots of juice then made a mad dash for the bus back to hostel! The server from the restaurant we ate at was so dope and held the bus for us, which was great since it was also the last bus of the night.

Everywhere we’ve been so far, our group has managed to get “scolded” for being to loud lol classic teenage Americans. I’ve also become the navigator and co-captain since I keep all the directions and location written down and no one is getting left or lost!

Tomorrow we are getting our assignments for the next part of this trip and checking out of Taipei Discovery Hostel then heading down to Taichung via the High Speed Rail.

DAY 6 – 05.03.16 – TUESDAY

Last day in Taipei and DAY 1 in Taichung:
Checked out of hostel. Glass door got busted (wasn’t me!) Had breakfast at this place that had the cutest lil restaurant owner ever … She was 4-5 yo
Road high speed rail (HSR) train = Super efficient
Took taxis to new hostel. Reservations were made late so our group got split up into two hostels – both nice but one was WAY nicer and fancy – shade was had.
Had some dinner then went out on some adventures. 

DAY 7 – 05.04.16 – WEDNESDAY

**I have totally lost track of the days and don’t really know what official day/time this is;  thought it was MON and it’s freaking WED**

Went to Dharma Drum Buddhist today and did a walking meditation. After the walk we checked out the Monks’s building. Enjoyed a really good lunch here and was very pleased everyone had to eat vegetarian meal.

Later on we went to a local middle/high school where we chilled and chatted with some of the students there. They who were so adorable and so excited to see us! Heard a lot of cool stories from the kids and got tons of food recommendations and took pics together.  I got to play hackie sack with one of the students (who plays soccer) and one of the teachers have some cool new friends now. Did some more wandering around the city after visiting the school then had dinner. Got back to hostel after going to the night markets here. Party on the roof top! Got lit with pals lol shared all the good stories.

DAY 8 – 05.05.16 – THURSDAY

DAY 8 aka the day after we all got hella lit on da rooftop! I slept in so hard even though my body wanted to wake up at 8 and I said no we will chill.

Breakfast/brunch/lunch included an assortment of bakery items and delicious milk tea from Diagon Alley!

Visited a local university and made some more awesome new friends! Got to eat this fruit, yogurt, ice cream thing that the school is famous for. They have their own dairy cows are right on the campus! It was really good.

We talked about our projects and food of course. We all went out to the night markets and basically ate everything on the recommendation list including these drinks we thought were called “mini coopers” turns out it’s not called that lol. The kids at the high school are amazing. I mean truly, amazing they are in school from 7:30a-5p then it’s off to cram school (required) until 9:30pm.

By the end of this trip I was pretty much covered in a sleeve of mosquito bites on each of my lower legs. I also finally got to ride on a moped. It was super fun. If I thought I wanted one before I def want one now!

DAY 9 – 05.06.16 – FRIDAY

I’m so sad we only have a few more days left! Today was a long day – we went to a lil ecohub place, which was this mostly outside deal with fans and some coverings for shade. Of course today happened to be the hottest day on our whole trip = 91°F!

We spent the whole day there then wandered around the town afterward. On our wondering travels we got beer from the locals – they traded 2 huge bottles of beer for a couple of photo ops with all of us.

 We also found a cat cafe like with real cats in it and it was the best!

DAY 10 – 05.07.16 – SATURDAY

Went to a Monastery today, took a tour; it was really cool and fancy. SO much money went into building this and for real one of those gold Buddha statues could pay for me for life. We weren’t allowed to take pictures once inside the grounds. We had lunch at a hotel restaurant deal by the Sun Moon Lake then went for a walk along the boardwalk tail. The water of this lake was so pretty, super blue and clear. We had ice cream. People got left and lost again on the way back to the bus. Found them at the local police station.

Headed out to the Tea Factory for a tour and some tea shopping.

We had dinner after this and some shopping around the local area. I got cool shirt with a bear that looks like Taiwan on a bike. Later on peeps were trying to go to a local club but it is really expensive (like what amounts to $20-30 cover) and super sexist (cater to men pretty much with servers that look like teen anime girls) plus these places are not too friendly to foreigners. There really much of a party scene so it’s mostly to make money of tourists and it is def a straight dude oriented club which means it is not gay friendly either. 

DAY 10 – 05.08.16 – SUNDAY

Only a couple more nights left in this beautiful country.

Day 11 – 05.09.16 – MONDAY? 

aka yday aka ilegitdevenk what day of the week it is anymore lol:
Up early again
Trip to Lukang with some new university pals

Explored the markets and local sites
Ate some food, had lots of treats
Got to see a pilgrimage parade and somehow ended up in the middle of it
There was SO much smoke everywhere from burning incense sticks and candles 

Day 12 – 05.10.16 – TUESDAY?

Today marks our last full day in Taiwan. It’s medical Monday so we’re visiting the Medical Universities and getting good stuff for my project. We had a good bit of free time this afternoon so of course we went out to buy all the things, eat more food and drink more bubble tea, get lit – the usual at this point.

DAY 13 – 05.11.16 – WEDNESDAY?

We leave Taiwan today, which is sad but cool we get a layover in Tokyo, Japan. After a few hours in Tokyo, some really good sushi and saki we head out for our long plane ride back state side.

About a 5 hour layover in Chicago and this landing was a lot smoother than the last one! Special note on airline food: the vegetarian (Asian) option is so good and way better than the chow hall food back at campus. Been up for a total of 30 hours at least with a good amount of that just flying.

DAY 14 – 05.12.16 – THURSDAY? 

Officially home in the 412.

Mosquito count: 146 count! known/visible/have been itching up a storm lol
RT arm = 26 count
LF arm = 6 count
RT leg = 54 count (including 4 on my tattoo = so disrespectful)
LF leg = 60 count

I definitely felt safer walking around in Taiwan at 3am than I do walking down Penn Ave during the afternoon in Pittsburgh, PA. I was also pleased that only after a couple weeks I was starting to pick up some Chinese – I could recognize some characters, speak a few common phrases to get around and understand some of what was spoken to me. I do also note that it was a privilege to be able to go on this trip and I was so fortunate to have had this experience.




2016 Recap

A lot has happened this past year…

Academics and some Life: I graduated with my bachelor’s in exercise science now I have the fun task of finding a job – one that is hopefully relevant to my recent studies but also one that pays well and ideally that I enjoy. School isn’t the only change happening, soon I’ll be moving and am dealing with the fun of apartment hunting as well! I also spent the last 6 months cat sitting two kitties – they have now returned to their mom and my own two have adjusted to it being just us again lol!

Back in August I was hit by an SUV while riding my bike, resulting in the injury of my knees (primarily the LF) and some continuous on/off pain. I have been in recovery since then, working to re-gain my health as well as any strength, speed, or agility etc. that I had lost as a result. Overall I am pleased with my fitness levels at the end of 2016 and am just as impressed with my fitness levels considering my injuries.

Fitness: total miles ran = 202.37, total miles biked = 1504.48

  • Jan 89.94 miles running, 15.46 miles biking (13 out of 31 days)
  • Feb 25.28 miles running, 37.08 miles biking (7 out of 29 days – happy leap year)
  • March 28.01 miles running (3 out of 31 days)
  • April 126.7 miles biking (10 out of 30 days)
  • May 6.74 miles running, 328.17 miles biking (20 out of 31 days)
  • June 246.89 miles biking (23 out of 30 days)
  • July 435.88 miles biking (31 out of 31 days)
  • Aug 233.6 miles biking (13 out of 31 days)
  • Sept 6.4 miles running, 42 miles biking (6 out of 30 days)
  • Oct 13.13 miles biking (3 out of 31 days)
  • Nov 31.8 miles running, 9.06 miles biking (7 out of 30 days)
  • Dec 20.6 miles running, 16.51 miles biking (6 out of 31 days)

Final fitness check in for the year: Weight: 145# BF: 29%

Measurements: final inch count = 208.5, which is a total loss of 5″ from the start of the year and only 2.5″ more than end of 2015.

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 10″
  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Barbell Max Reps: I was able to regain and maintain baseline strength from before the accident

  • Bench Press: 95#
  • Bent Over Rows: 85#
  • Dead lift: 165#
  • Squat: 145# (a new PR! this was most surprising and amazing to hit since I had lost quite a bit of strength in this area)

Dumbbell Max Reps: likewise I was able to regain / maintain baseline strength from before the accident in these areas

  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machine Max Rep: same here as well

  • Leg Press: 270# (190.9# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle)
  • Leg Extension: 170#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 135#
  • Chest Press: 85#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 85#

Goals for 2017: 

  • Run first ultra marathon, starting with a 50k (31.06 miles)
  • Bike first century (100 miles)
  • Bike the Pittsburgh marathon course followed by running it
  • Finish another triathlon (this time completing the swimming portion)
  • Reach ideal race weight = bonus goal
  • In general; more trail bike rides and runs, mud runs
  • Bike the rails to trails PGH to DC tour (I’ve done DC to PGH)

NEW Leadership PA Class of 2016

About a week or two ago I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the  NEW (National Education for Women’s) Leadership week long program hosted via Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politic at Chatham University. It was an intense week jam packed with knowledge, connecting and networking with new friends,  educational workshops plus a trip to Harrisburg where we met a couple of our state/legislative reps and a few lobbyists.

This program addresses the under–representation of women in the political arena via focusing on the role of women in politics and policy making in the Commonwealth of PA. This year we had just under 40 students from all over the state of PA come together to attend this program. NEW Leadership Pennsylvania™ is a part of a national network of NEW Leadership programs developed by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University.

Itinerary for the week found here – below is a bit more of a break down and notes from the workshops and speakers

Day 1: Sunday 06.05.16 
Arrive at Chatham University in the afternoon, check in and get my room assignment. I was fortunate enough to have a single dorm room; I don’t know how on campus students do it, I missed my bed already! Some refreshments and mingling till we kicked off the week with a workshop on public speaking.
Some quick stats:
Harrisburg legislation 80% male = over rep
Ready to run training program bi-partisan philly and Pgh 5 yrs
NLPA ~40 ppl 1 week
One of the goals for the week: Learn a skill, then practice it immediately
Each student was assigned a speaker or two to introduce before each event or workshop. This was to give us practice with public speaking, which happened to be our kickoff workshop!
Workshop 1 -Public speaking 101:  Dr. Gartner-Schmidt 
(surprise for me I had the honor of introducing our first speaking before we even had any training! that was fun and cool)
Ink blot tests – first thing we think/feel of when see …

instead of ink blots we were shown an image of a podium up on a stage

My first thought about this – control … some others included power, isolated, fear, nervous
  • Fear of public speaking – isolating and judgement + being liked
  • Respect
  • What’s in it for me? Goals, become better
  • Money – equalizer
  • How well we speak – equalizer
  • Extroverts vs introverts
  • Smart ppl don’t make smart communicator
  • Coming off certain way, coming across – objective
How we communicate:
1. Verbal 7%
2. Non verbal 55%
3. Voice 38%
55% of what we are saying or communicating is done so non verbally
1. Verbal
  • “so”
  • “um”
Impress vs communicate
The FOG index – readability index grade level of speaker to what is said
Listen ability – use common words
Newspaper white space why? Recover, transition, not overwhelming
Pauses allow to process
Rate of speech – ave 160 wpm best bw 120-140
Language do not 1. Over explain 2. Use self deprecation 3. Say I think (maybe or perhaps)
Use zippy words
Use adjectives
Physical characteristics
Personality traits – vocal stereotype
Neg attitudes
Worse for women – judged more for voice quality than men
Pitch goes down age up Women
Male voice goes up when age up
Vocal health – water (speak or sing wet, pee pale)
Mucus glands
  • Close when speaking – penny size
  • Open when breathing
How many of you have had speaking lessons? not many
  • Speaking voice vs singing
  • Lower pitch w no air – Tightening up
  • Zzzz teeth tip of tongue
  • Mmmmm lips
  • Feel front of mouth not throat – neck – fatigued or hoarse
  • Consonant sounds 65% standard American sounds ‘statistics analysis’
North America – pitch goes down at end of phrase
Pitch ditch
Sweden and. Canada speak up
Bogart Bacall syndrome
Women taught to drop pitch – authoritative – can be trained – tend to do so muscular n get strained
Bad tech – loud
Intienational  variety – k teacher
Mic, lave leer  – BFF
Magic of humming or straw phonation – decrease hoarse voice
Ingo titze YouTube
Why instruction may not transfer to public speaking ?
  • Goes thru lymphatic system
  • Aspirate – hold back air – choked up – emotions linked up
Ex. Earthquake what does your body do? eyes blink, vocal cords close, HR increases
Dry eyes, HR up, respiratory  up, dry mouth, breath in quick, exhale slowly – don’t hyper venal ate
What to do?
  • Pinch index n thumb
  • Drink water, gym before
  • Poker face is to poker as the cool sound is to speaking
  • Clear speech, begin and ends
  • The cool sound
2. Non verbal
Picture superiority effect – PSE
  • 10% remember
  • Pictures
  • Body – stride, get up
  • Eye contact – thought look at person then another – intimate
  • Big crowd look at exit signs – easier
  • Something that moves, want middle, want some movement
    • Monitors – teleprompter memorize as much as possible
    • Move hands , energizes voice
  • Power space
Power Points:
  • Kill bullets in slides
  • Font size – big
When introduce – start off with bang
  • Speak w energy
  • Get body moving –
    • 90 hrs prep for 1 hr
    • 60 hrs researching creating n rehearsing
    • 30 min build slide deck
First error- present facts, pour coffee but no cup , no story
Second error – too much coffee 75% rule
Murphy law
Ex. Tech, time crunch
Q&A – have a lot, takes time
Watch reactions
  • What want audience to get from talk
  • Motivation is for your audience to want to learn more – end goal
Slides don’t shield or script u – loose audience
If have to say u can’t see in back but …
Rehearse rehearse memorize … On your feet and out loud
Never read over to memorize
Energy will fall flat if don’t aloud
Know ur story clearly
Should be very to simple to understand
Don’t be so serious when presenting
When ending .. Don’t end with q n a
Hands up in middle when comes up
Goals for next 6 days
  • Get out of course
  • Future aspirations
Establish new connections and build up my network as a student leader and learn about myself as a leader In General but also what sort of leader id be potentially in the political field
I want to be a great health care practitioner that is accessible to everyone
Practice: Notes and Comments to watch out for
  • Movement but not conducting
  • Slower speaking
  • Purposeful walk
  • Look up
  • End sounds
  • Zippy words – “the coolest”
  • Focus breathing
    • Blow out all air and breath
  • Connect to audience
    • Be Authentic
  • Be grounded
    • Firm stance
  • Pitch ditch – phase pause pitch up lil bit each time
  • Watch out for not self deprivation
  • Clear speech , articulate
    • Channel Obama
    • Ums, ands, ahs etc
  • Watch for audible Inhalations
  • Spend a lot of time practice what going to say
  • Tell a story and be about helping people
  • Over due it till you feel comfortable
Temperature – Physiological
Audience have a personally – don’t let get you
Each phase is a diff person  – eye contact
Stay focus – loom for ppl looking at you  – ignore others. If 80% doing this change ur presentation or be sneaky and call out doing it during participate part
“Like” = filler
Habits – kill fillers etc
Develop defense mechanism in lives – recognize them and that they were for a time that is not needed now
Biggest one for women is men not giving attention
Women gives tons of back channeling n non verbal but men don’t – do more q n a
Public speaking tryin to create relationships
Practice aloud n big
See where speaking
Simulate !
Year will be in fall
Something interesting about you
Introduction to Women and Politics: Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman 
Historical gaps
  • Voting in most places women couldn’t vote
  • Coveture – marriage = husbands property (fathers until then)
  • Couldn’t buy or sell property
  • Couldn’t sign name contracts
  • Couldn’t enter biz
  • Couldn’t control earnings
  • No standing legally
  • Education
Gaps in Rights 
  • Birth control – reproductive care
  • Employment discrimination
  • Sex harassment
  • Access to credit
  • Home ownership – couldn’t get mortgage, loan
  • Title IX
  • Pregnancy discrimination
  • Roe v Wade
  • Military desegregation – allow to serve in combat rolls , what means for sex harassment and assault
Gaps in Demographics 
  • Women are numerical majority in us
  • Male 49%
  • female 51%
    • Unmarried young women
    • Increase in number
Gaps in Political Participation:
  • In voting … More engaged , more likely to vote (men more likely to lie and say did)
  • Party pref … More dem affiliated … Implication for policies n what happens
Gaps in Representation:
  • 87,504 govt units in us but less than 25% are women
Gaps in Congress:
  • In senate … more in our handout slides
  • 1992
No trans
No gays / queer
… PA tied with N Dakota
No pipeline
Gaps in Education: Women getting good start
Gaps in the Workplace: Lower wages
  • Gender roll stereotype jobs … Poorly paid jobs
  • “choosing” these jobs but not full story
  • 77 cents to the male dollar White women
  • black women less
  • Latina women less
  • Why allowed to get away with this … Not allowed to talk about what make
  • Enforcement lack of
  • Paycheck fairness act … Died again in 2014
Gaps in Healthcare: Reps are all (cis, straight, predominately white) men
  • Women proposed more bills than men
Why it matters…
  • Democratic etc.
  • Likely to vote because under rep?
  • Party choice
  • Think of questions for legislators
Commission Cross – legislator speaker
  1. What I am – trustworthy good friend fun
  2. What I know – arrogant vs confident , lie vs bullshit
  3. What I do – show up , attend meetings
Learn to listen and listen to learn
Build relationships
Day 2: Monday 06.06.16
FB – penn. ctr. for women and politics
FB page – new leadership pa alumna
Twitter – PCWP_Chatham #NEWL2016
Snapchat – pacenterwp
Evaluations in your email
Orientation to NEWLPA: 
6 point plan
  1. Public speaking
  2. Networking – How and when to activate networking groups
  3. Diversity
  4. Dress
  5. Advocacy
  6. Leadership
NewL is 15 yrs old pa
23 other states that have a NewL
Put NewL on resume! Cohort 2016
Action project
Review planners
Divided into groups – wear stakeholder hats – hear from experts public policy join us as facilitators
Present Friday
EQT foundation = sponsors
Why YOU should consider running for office:

Dana Brown – facilitator

  • Former congresswoman Melissa Hart … Rep.
  • Valerie McDonald Roberts, mayor’s office of the city of PGH
  • Former State Rep Erin Molchany
  • Former Commissioner Barbara Cross (marine corp 25yrs)
Hart –
  • Interested in public policy
    • Citizens of the US – learn about it, keep it alive
    • Get comfortable with conflict
  • Keep mind open
    • Never be afraid to go somewhere unknown
  • Should be able to things self
    • Don’t be afraid of new things
    • Don’t be afraid of work
  • Learn about math and science
    • Learn about what excites you
  • Economics – understand how American economy works – public service
  • Volunteer
  • Ran 27 yo – won – served 10 yrs … Ran senate house, won … Private sector … Republic
  • Civic engagement
  • Pitt law school
  • People wanna know: Who you are, what you stand for – if belief same will vote for you
  • Give back
  • State level to federal level
Molchany –
  • State house of reps
  • Director of Governor house … Appointed by gov to rep gov
  • Allentown pa
  • 20 yrs. in PGH
  • Going business route
    • 77 resumes 6 interviews
  • Planned parenthood – met other women n advocates who campaigned – local officials state people – underwhelmed – no one looked or spoke like me
  • Complain about or change it
  • Core center for leadership
  • 2005 legislator seat opened up, ran, 4th out of 5 but didn’t give up (dist 2)
  • Always voted
  • Ex director of PUMP – engage young people
  • Non profit – tricky cause consistency
  • Step away to run again for state rep
  • Public service – huge responsibility
  • Reapportionment , redistricting (22yr encombant vs 2) (majority of his district)
  • Re elect campaign ^ tough … Dude was funeral director .. Emotional voters … Yes u r smart but he buried my aunt
  • Tom Wolf
  • local to state
Cross –
  • Marine forces
  • Non political – allowed to vote, bumper sticker etc but not overtly involved
  • Retire – Carlie – incident commissioner out of office – will appoint
  • Election Nov, sworn in out by Jan, May start in almost 4 yr term
  • Not elected
  • Sitting on 3 person board
  • Qualifications – have pulse n 18yo
  • 2 hr interview w 5 person board
  • Rep dismiss democratic ideas
  • Bring different voice
  • Prisons children county
  • Participated at county level local level
  • Vote for you again …. Never voted for
  • What good will I do today … What good have I done
  • Economics and politics get foot in door
  • Human services, high quality low poss taxes
Roberts –
  • People asking
  • Opening happened
    • Opportunity
  • 1989 – had to run against 2 other ppl well known
  • Dem war political comm
  • Internal party politics
  • prove independent, that was for the people
  • Google
  • Grassroots
  • Absolutely need more women in office
    • need women at the table, talking
  • Have people behind you
  • Not about diversity, make sure you are a threat, show what you bring to the table
    • Make sure everyone knows name
  • Retail politics – who you know
  • Often times the voices are real and you should follow
  • Often times the voices are self serving … Understand how it works, it’s a biz, people make money
  • Always about the people
  • Smile, make a joke
  • Meet people where they are at
    • Connect
  • Run.
    • experience, network, meet people
  • Running for school board – bias in curriculum, when won got rid of that (crystallizing moment )
Regardless of political party. Women bring a diff voice , increase transparency , work across the aisle , increasing good govt – poly sci research
Crystallizing moment that gets women to run – being asked, certain issue
Cross –
  • Women seemed to need to be asked. .. 7x
  • Not commissioners wanted but needed
  • tone in politics is brutal
  • Pray to have my skin toughen but not my heart
  • Children in youth can’t fail
  • The prisons can’t fail
  • 911 calls can’t be put on hold
  • Decisions made in marine corp – respect
  • Clothes – never should be distraction – scrutinized more as women
67 counties
  • Majority comm not serving as women
  • County executive, county
Molchany –
  • Not asked
  • Actively trying to keep out
  • “its not ur turn” ” there’s a line” .. There’s no line it’s fake
  • Inspired – no one like me, weren’t listening
  • Regardless of major you are qualified to run
  • No more letting him have it
Hart –
  • It’s time to take it
  • Was asked
  • Meet currently serving officials
  • Never Intern there . . Intern for judge
  • 18 to 27 learn a lot
  • Have that confidence
  • Be prepared
  • Roll of political party
  • How and when engages in political party
  • how and when they engaged in you
Cross – tutorial on organization
  • Non standard – endorsement process
  • Vote to or not to endorse a candidate
  • Can be kiss of death. Or wonder why not endorsed
Hart –
  • Didn’t care about endorsement because was the only Republican running in a Democratic dominated race
  • Sometimes they want you to run
    • Sacrificial lamb
    • Didn’t think would win cause republican
  • State senate seat – another republican guy tried to intimidate out of running
    • he was scared of the primaries
  • Wanted to run for office – propelled to run because of increasing property taxes (motivated)
  • Hager – DA then state senate – lobby her – had ran for governor liked the job DA hager likes people to hager hates people
Roberts –
  • We basically have a two party systems . Get involved in you party
  • Respect
  • Before just running out of blue … Volunteer, campaign, known ppl
  • Don’t just arrive
  • Get feet wet
  • Learn how it operates , get info, how it works
  • Know it on front end
  • If decide that … Go to top … Start with person who worked the hardest to get there
  • Retail politics
  • Party politics remember respect
Molchany –
  • Never had the party support
  • But learned about it
  • Always have to be learning and constantly growing n changing
  • Lost then won second round 32-29 …That’s how few u could win by
  • Judge of elections … Then had to run next round
  • Get to know community and the people & what they want
End on a high note … Positive that happened & Not so positive
Cross –
  • Best ideas, good govt,
  • Never pray to win
  • Who has most votes run … Republican person refuse to run next to so went to minority
  • Cancer
  • Never confuse govt n politics
Roberts –
  • Meeting people, smiles , trails  ,  connecting inspiring
  • Lows: being lied to , not taking personal , not fund raise like wante to
  • Biggest high took on police reform … Being at table
  • Leadership can be lonely when voting against tax increase . Fiscally responsible
  • Do something on principle .. Did right thing
Hart –
  • High: chosen by pres us to chair rep convention
  • Right platform , run, speak at
  • Lows: 9/11
Molchany –
  • Lows: people who say they’re w u and are against u
  • Things people say about u that don’t have anything to do with qualifications
  • People at own table filling against
  • Names, call against – only women
  • Highs: member of house respected by majority do things care about women’s health caucus, Equality caucus, equal pay rights, talk about pay equity since 60s … Stand at signing of fed equal pay prez says thank you n keep fighting
Transition from non profit to political – skill?
  • Study Economics
  • Community group – Anything to get public speaking experience
  • Attend as many public meetings as possible – planning commissions, boards
  • Watch streamed events
  • Find the topics, meetings
These positions seem far away – what should do to gain access?
  • Volunteer on campaigns
  • Volunteer local org
  • If you are ever afforded a leadership role, don’t be afraid to lead
  • Vote always
  • Get involve
  • Apply for internships
*What are my leadership roles and identities? Currently?
*What roles want?
How or where to start to make a change? In education – public schools
  • advocates for public education
  • Evaluate education
  • Get involve with them
  • School board  meetings – go to – volunteers
  • Get to know school board member
  • State leg, education committee – got off it didn’t like how ran – wanted school choice to pass (union, school board ass, those work in public education) – state leg into school reform
  • Determine what kind of change you want
  • School unions
  • Different kinds of reform
  • Balance – know both sides – don’t know what goes on, if parent of student you know – see what it’s like and observe
  • Best way to know about education system is to go into the schools
  • “the reverse side has a reverse side”
  • Do research
  • Make inform decision
First and only female Rep in PA
Parties work together?
  • Has to do with people who get elected … Has gotten to be blood Bath
  • Get involved
  • Be respectful
  • Respect those in offices
  • Take a stand against the garbage
  • Here’s what I think and I wanna hear yours n why you think that
  • Way you approach ppl
  • To and with but not past them
  • Get ride of executive orders
Get involved?
  • Reg independent
  • Tone of this election – very polarizing
  • Legislator, fed govt, the house n senate – political
  • Politics to get in door – need R or D
  • Wanna stay
  • Get great idea – don’t care if R or D – use but can be painted by others as not R or D enough
  • Gotta get pass that to govt
How have male colleagues treated you?
  • Most will respect you if you respect, build relationship, show up etc
  • Def sexism
  • Don’t take self too seriously
  • If really offensive call out but pick battles
How important have been personally convictions?
  • Must stick with them or can’t live with self
  • If not morally grounded or steadfast etc n take office that is against that’s hypocritical some do that for experience
  • Personally always stuck to decisions – have been political decisions – some things you can’t cross that line.
  • Make sure moral compass is calibrated
What –
  • Linking together trusted individuals through trust and relationship building
  • Always be genuine and authentic
  • Helping people
Why –
  • Goals (mass vs specific) – making contacts, leaning groups that can help advance, job, sell something (if dont have good plan dont do it)
  • Learning
  • Volunteering (let’s you easily network, shows care)
How –
  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Connect
  • Relevant small talk
  • Learn about the people
  • Meet with as many people  and organizations as possible that are in my field
  • If networking once a week you are not doing your job
  • Networking is work, it is hard. 1-3x a week
  • Be on boards
  • Listen, stop talking
You have about 10 seconds to keep my attention and then I’m down
Direct and concise
Don’t break eye contact
Worst things you could do:
  • Interrupt
  • No eye contact
  • Coming on Too strong
  • Only talk about self
  • Talk inappropriately
  • Talk n on electronics
  • Quantity over quality (read who’s there, research them, pick top 3 ppl want to meet, get there early and see who’s running event ask to point out person, find something nitch n specific to talk)
  • Don’t ask for biz cards
  • Don’t ask about them
  • Stay with friends
  • If don’t know anyone get in drink line, talk to person in line, don’t Drink, exchange cards now know someone n feeling better
  • Go to get job etc. want to give everyone ur biz card
  • Try to sell yourself
  • Don’t follow up
Focus on getting to know people
Might not have what you want today …
Quality more important than quantity
Always selling everyday – trying to get point across – do in most professional manner
Develop relationship
Have biz cards – no glossy
Too many networking events are about what others can do for you vs. what you can do for others
You’ll get a lot of no’s
Help other people
Show professional
Smart – graduating from college and PhD right away
Asking for advice on things they think important for you to do
Don’t underestimate yourself
Focus – figure what exactly it is you want to know and if it’s worth bothering them about – don’t waste their time
Look directly in their eyes
Person you are talking to is most important person
Find organization that meets regularly (weekly etc) volunteer with them, canvas etc – always have to ask – try for month then sign up
Email – connect people – separate paragraphs. – address common person
What is Your Leadership Style: Emily and Shawn
True Colors:
Different drums, different drummers
Day 3: Tuesday 06.07.16 – Harrisburg trip
Notes in binder … will get to later
Making a Difference: Women in the General Assembly
Making a Difference: Women & Advocacy
Making a Difference: Women in the Cabinet
Day 4: Wednesday 06.08.16 
Action Project Orientation:
A: School board decide to pursue contract with
If yes – B: township needs to decide to change zoning
Gas companies
Policy briefing on why
Sunshine Law – cannot collaborate with your board ‘behind closed doors’ that concern the public and should be discuss openly with research and morally
Can use Power Point
5 minutes tops
Can decide how to present – who speaks etc.
JSC – go to for how this works
Can present alternative if necessary and appropriate
Policy Panel of Experts:
1. David Cannon – EQT
2. Dr. Nicole Fifer – Washington & Jefferson college
3. Adam Garber – Penn Environment
4. Corey McConn – Avella School dist
5. Patrice Tomcik – western pa field organizer of Moms clean air force
#1 David
  • First act earth day 1970s
  • 125 yrs
  • Equitable gas aka
  • Conventional wells
  • Expanded – shale
  • 9000 mile pipeline 630 Shaler couple 100 non conventional
  • 50 ppl working on environmental issues consultant
  • Urban projects – checklist – schools, school dist high on list
  • Dust, traffic lights
  • Focus out in the west pa
#5 Patrice
  • butler county heavily fracked
  • Involved school board .. Information, united as parents and community, don’t want kids affected by after math
  • Bill organizer – moms  clean air force
#3 Adam
  • climate change, gas drilling
  • 9 yrs came to pa
  • 5 yrs ago look at how affect community, health conditions, pollution
  • Push for more policies
  • Mars parent groups partner
#2 Nicole
  • look at public policy
  • Academic
  • Regulatory framework
  • Public opinion on fracking
  • 2013 first wave Washington county poll
  • Expanding to 3 state study
  • How this process works, how public engages n think about impacts
#4 Corey
  • school board
  • Signed with Range
  • 2011 – mile from school
  • Notice sound, no complaints
  • Rural dist – 500 k-12
  • 4500 population
  • Not any real opposition, lot of workers
  • Air quality okay
  • Water test monthly
  • Impact busing – added track with truckers – worked well with them tho
What are the factors that motivate your position?
Where not full filled?
#2 Nicole – public opinion
  • Most pressing was information – confused b/w conventional n unconventional
  • Validity of impacts – health n environmental
  • Info from all over
  • Where get info n how much trust … Get from local news
  • Investigative reporting vs
  • Isolated vs regulatory
  • Academics can look at statistics
  • Credible source vs not
  • Who trust for info? Scientists, researchers, academics
  • Least? State n national govt  local slightly above
  • Cost benefit analysis – road way repairs etc does equal what get back jobs etc
  • Pretty positive about economic would out way other environmental etc impacts
  • Outta state res cause for concern
  • This view has declined and are negative …. Vice verse with impacts
#1 David – Hydraulic fracturing
  • Conventional – straight well, extract gas
  • Now – goes down then out – reduce surface but issue is the surface action
  • Deposits in Small areas
  • Gyropad – not like rural areas getting closer to populations
#5 Patrice
  • Explosion of Information – peer reviewed
  • Communities more education and asking more questions – healthy for kids in short n long term
  • Don’t have x causes y
  • Have studies that show risks
  • Encroaching on densely populated places
  • Didn’t know to look for that n then it happened
  • Studies are getting more reliable info
  • Pa got into non conventional fracking and didn’t know long term then
  • Epidemiology studies
#3 Adam
  • Some smoking guns
  • Health realized issues – drilling etc
  • Hard to find out info right away till years later – environmental  issues
  • Clean air act continually updated
  • How to develop front end rather than back end with clean up
  • Precautionary – do no harm, safe guard against self – in pa don’t have that
  • Can’t do it safely – if have plan then will have convo
  • Most vulnerable pop can’t defend against
#4 Corey
  • Had a public q&a
  • Water was only concern at time – drilling, piping spill
  • No problems since
  • Well pad, less than mile of district school – forefront concern now is air
Biggest success advocating for or against?
Arguments used?
Adam – public health concerns, how could it affect ppl health
Corey – on board, roads are concerns – get dug up etc work within township confines
Patrice – divided community, listen to both sides, one side concern n didn’t want close to school and other side wants economics for their town, present kids affect more vulnerable and suffer more plus roads plus property values within township
David – difficult for officials is division of ppl, may own property but not own gas rights or might have gas rights and can lease for a lot of money (support farm etc) roads not built for this kind of traffic etc set up curfews, health issues not cut n dry uncertainty (gas drilling started in pa) much larger n more forceful than have been, get in early n address issues (health is more popular with densely populated areas)
What happens to wells when tapped out, negative impact on comm?
David – Conventional wells – around long time, loose reg, lots are abandon and big issue is where are they (older, more probs)
Non conventional – know where at, 10-16 yrs use, restoration of site and well (newer wells) what have to post to pledge to get out may not file out, fed waste law (don’t worry cause big n have money but go bankrupt)
Adam – over 100k unknown, overlap bw types, historical reminder of we’ll eventually deal with this but go bankrupt n leave them, need to figure out how to deal with now, better system of funding and how reg, range resources was fined for not cleaning out properly
Nicole – capping off Is one process, containment of flow back water, putting back into system but not contained (ponds etc) or managed has to be babysat and if no one assigned can spill out or rust etc and we go to public to then fix and tax payer money – generally not that far with remediation
Waste – ch 78 drilling conventional n unconventional … Policy not made in state etc
Economic gains – jobs, savings on bills etc. ?
Corey – landowner small farm 700 acres – benefit personally, lot of family able to preserve farms and land
School district – 275k royalties n lease payments, declines from onset – chrome books grades 7+ integrate tech
Patrice – didn’t sign lease
  • 900 signatures saying no, not seeing economic benefit
  • Stays on it for 2 years – limbo
  • County court decided to move fwd bc holding up things
  • Other well pads – not seeing personally or as a townships
  • Zoning allowed for pads in
  • No oil drilling zoned
  • Well pads just went up
  • No zoning
  • 1/2 mile away from school, mentioned not within code
  • Township ordnance – drilling, compression centers, 90% permitted area
  • Set up to have protections
  • Non conventional drilling not next to residential area
  • Lawsuit challenging this to not have entire comm open up to industrial
  • Local, municipal, state level
David – economic with or without property
Spider web out north,south,west,east
Property owner this can be concern
Company won’t put in bc you want it, it will if it’s economically sound for them
Public opinion data on fracking?
Nicole – State wide – penn state 6yrs ago – beginning so very pos then
Multiplier affect – large scale impact – bus, rest,
1.5 pre reality
11 expect
Local – very hopeful 66% pos last yr 30% down
Good to very good about 50%
Local economy num 1 concern
Shape structures?
Nicole –  look to see what ppl want
Their perception
Where the disconnects are
Publish in data base for local n state govt to know what’s happening if true how to edu
Meet public where they are at
Adam – shape where they are at
Public thinks need mo public protection
Not heard in political heard
Want them heard
Ch78 regulations – open air waste pits end
Public hearings
Get citizens in those hearings.
Aesthetic how looks? Land go back? Restoration?
David – drilling well, lots if trucks, depending on number wells per pad 10-15
  • Water impediment – fresh
  • Grime.
  • Well pad itself 10 ‘Christmas trees’ feed into well size of Mellon board rm
  • Tanks with fluid
  • Restored down to small amount
  • Landowner – agreements with how to leave it
  • Well pad itself not disturbing
  • Old wells 10s1000s not good
  • Attenders come by weekly, daily
  • Diff from processing plant
  • Some sites will be large
  • Refracting wells- Marcellas, gas rights to do over. Utica wells. Not a one time deal
  • Corey – municipality – when well is finished have clean n green can’t use for agricultural anymore but given money just the same taxes etc
  • Patrice – health – pollution created throughout process 1000trucks estimate
  • Rural areas are creating atmosphere – set boundaries
  • Diesel exhaust – carcinogen
  • Degenerates – diesel also
  • Gasses out from well – -zines … Benzine most concern (child health) methane poll, water continuation, noise n light pollution – stress noise biggest complaint (at night)
  • drilling (very noisy) actual fracking (not)
Home owner rights?
Don’t give consent to do but neighbor does
David – Can’t legally go
If only have surface rights then can go under
Buy property years ago how protection? Gas rights etc
Surface agreements.
Get them by any means if can
Corporate own usually
Some say value goes up, some say down, rides with industry
Patrice – mineral rights, if not have out up with every thing that comes with that but no monetary return – look into who has it
Air rights?
  • Usually how high can build
  • Air quality – clean
  • Civil lawsuit – trespassing etc – would come up – private action if operating then permit
  • Rilands v Fletcher
Structure of buildings?
  • Geological structures
  • Waste disposal
  • Traffic – related more, vibrations in road
  • Rural but coming in closer and closer
American energy independence? One side says its essential another says no?
  • Stop fracking team – ship frack gas overseas
  • Build export terminal – Philly
  • Push by industry to ship overseas
  • Home grown energies – solar, wind, etc can’t go anywhere it’s local cant ship
  • Solar city
  • Solar power 39% of this country powered without harm but have to get there n invest
  • Too long to get there ? Said same thing about nuclear
  • Opportunity to invest now
  • Energy efficiency – most cost effective for everyone
  • Conservation
Coal and natural gas brought up freely
Renewable issues –
Dr. Remey
Action Plan: Group b, first class energy
Benefits for the school
Pro fracking
Recommendations, district allow y/n, under what conditions
Workshop 2: Advocacy Workshop – Civic Campaigning 101
Identifying Key Champions, Decisions Makers, and Influencers
Denny Civic Solutions.
Legislator champion
Picking appropriate based on issue
What a civic campaign is?
This is a politician
These are voters
Convince these voters to vote for him and not her
= Political campaign
Constituents, advocates, coalition Members
same politician – key Decision maker or influencer
Their job is to convince politician to support their cause or oppose other group
= Civic campaign
Research – influencers, issues, start w hypothesis
Message development
Targeting – who most likely voters, swing voters, issues that resonant accordingly
Grassroots effort – top roots efforts too
Coalition development – broad, diversity
Paid, earned, social media
Fund raising
End date not always clear (political – election day)
Right champions different than candidate (direct say in who)
Interest group – part of or specific driver of civic campaign
NRA – want guns on school. – campaign school not want
Raise money to fund civic campaigns from 1. foundations – community (poverty, early edu, health n environment) influence legislators, private endorsement (Heinz) can’t fund things that lobby but research or policy development
Money from 2. individuals
Public servants?
Elected officials are our customers
View target audience, influencer, politician as a customer that u must sell a product too
The Role of your Key Champion
The Big “C”: Credibility
On the issue itself
Cut welfare vs raise taxes … Ppl vote cut welfare but cut human services vs raise taxes …. Ppl flip
The Big “R”: Resources
– money
– time
– talent
The Big “P”: Profile
Profile should match who they are influencing, not who they are advocating for
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good when selecting
If picked wrong one, getting it down will be difficult
Where do I find a champion?
Ask: is this a legislative decision…?
Where – city council, township, supervisors, state legislative
… Or an administrative decision?
Mayor’s governor etc.
Next ask: which party is in power?
If pick someone in minority can’t influence majority
Rep in house and senate pa
Which committee will my issue go through?
Education, human service, children etc.
Is there a member of the majority party that sits on the right committee who has a personal connection to our issue?
How do I recruit my champion?
Does a donor, board member
Research, connections, meet with, let know about think highly of
Maintain champion?
1. Praise, thank you, praise, and a little more thank you
2. Ask for regular update/ strategy sessions
Ask if there is a staff person that could be assigned to your effort
3. Use ur champion in the media, social media
How many tweets does it take to raise issue to level of awareness at legislative?
30 tweets
Win, lose, draw?
Changing DPW to human services example
#IWantToWork all disabilities – blind, deaf, mental health, intellectual
Medicare expansion – number and what is (behavioral, mental, addiction)
First female chief of Cherokee nation served principal chief for 10 yrs 85-95  liberal dem party
“America would be a better place if leaders would do more long term thinking”
Day 5: Thursday 06.09.16 
Diversity Training with Chaz Kellem 
Eliminating racism, empowering women, YWCA greater Pittsburgh
To start…
Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you
Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you
Slow down
Social service agency – YWCA
Center for race and gender equity
2006 poverty for women 14.7% men 11
Be comfortable with self
No whining, excuses
I am … my past
I am … my family
I am … my friends
I am … New things
Your decisions can affect not just you but others
don’t wait to try new things, try often and as much … Go to new places
Ideas, misconceptions, stereotypes
Puzzle of life
Common sense is not common
When I lose, try not to lose lesson
Great achievements involve great risk . Change is equally hard, ppl don’t do well
Appreciate what makes you the same and value what makes you different
  • Honor confidentially
  • Listen carefully
  • I statements
  • Respectful
  • Be brief
  • Use “ouch” to educate
  • Be honest and willing to share
  • Cell phones off
Define diversity as a table
Someone who can look, sound and believe in diff values
Diversity is the education
Inclusion is the action
many institutions do one and not the other, or do one well
Diversity is about people
Variety of people surround us
Value n appreciate
Ideas – can link to bias
Thoughts – stereotypes
Actions – discrimination
Be aware and use caution
Women vote 1919
Jim crow 1960s
Title IIV
Ferguson n Baltimore riots
Olympic n Paralympic games
Women’s collegiate n prof sports
Caitlyn Jenner
History – laws – parents, grandparents etc
Moments – us
What divides us?
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Income
Additional :
  • Age
  • Language
  • Sex orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Family situation
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Parental status
  • Personality
  • Political views
Challenge come up with group answer
Day 6: Friday 06.10.16
Social Action Project Presentations

Action plan recap: 

Role playing – how’d it feel/go?
  • Interesting, difficult and off putting because not planned and impromptu
  • Put on the spot
  • Good practice
  • Do not want look like unprepared
Council township – Voted nah
Health concerns over money
Decrease tourism
No motion amended
Need to allow time for public comment – traditionally done at beginning
Go to a township, burrow, school board, planning meeting – summer goal
Look up Robert rules of conduct
Not versus all the time
‘change the game’
Great intellectual project
Be aware of and check bias
Remember ppl too
Benefits being prepared – more time
Blurred lines is this real or part of skit
Got heated
Different personalities dealing with
Good researching project
Good topic choice
Impacts and affects more than just rural
Real ppl, real feelings
Rachel Carson network
Women and environmental work and questions
Thank you notes:
1. Mr. Henry Hillman
2. Speaker you introduced
3. Favorite speaker
4. Charlene Petrelli, EQT foundation – NewL wouldn’t have ran without this funding
Thank you NEW Leadership PA Class of 2016 for an amazing experience!

Ready to Run 2016

Notes from this year’s Ready to Run workshop! This is an annual event that happens in January, hosted at Chatham University via the PCWP.


  • Tom Baker – allegheny county dist 1 Councilman
  • Congresswoman Schwartz



  • 80% of the legislator are men
    • Had only one woman representing
  • 19% women locally
  • County wide 17%
  • Not in legislative more administrative
  • Reporter of deeds example
  • 35% of our school board are women
  • Judicial races – women do well in but 27% are only women judges

Help build confidence

Build skills


Dana Brown – eagle town of politics

Christine Toddwhitman – republican – head female chief of staff

  • wants to bring women on board
  • new jersey

Calls first woman – says not sure knows enough

Calls first man – before can finish asking to serve, says yes

What women candidates need to know

Allie Schwartz: 


  • Fifth term
  • 13 House
  • House budget committee
  • Task force
  • candidate for editorial for 2014
  • Third woman ever to ever serve in our state senate
  • Children’s health and
  • 11 million children cared for health

State and federal politics:

  • 104 women in congress
  • 20 in senate
  • 84 in house 22rep 64 dem
  • 5 out 50 mayor?
  • 1 in the state wide
  • No congressional

Must take action

Must run to win

Not right to not be a part of this

Our purpose is to speak up

Step up out of comfort Zone

Running for office is like nothing else you’ve done

Be passionate and confident

Understand what you don’t know and do know

Be you and a better you

Prepared to win and to lose

Prepared to work

Can’t control everything

Lifetime of moments

Photo op

Mother was a holocaust survivor

Politics can and do get personal and can harm your family

Painful experiences last a lifetime and violence isn’t a way to raise kids

Willing to lead

Act on values

Worked in private sector

Public health

Supported agenda to further elevate women

Ran to speak up, innovating ideas, get things done

Fidning soliton that can get things done is not easy

High stakes running for office

Only woman representing women

Does make a diff to elect women


Suggest Q/A for yourself

  1. Why are you running and what you hope to achieve
  • Potholes, school, healthcare
  • Are you exited and prepared
  1. Explore issues of the race
  • Numbers
  • Is it winnable?
  • Who do you talk to?
  1. Experience helps
  • Support of other candidates
  • Build Relationships
  1. Competition – expect a race – why are you running?
  • To get known?
  • Experience?
  • Taking on something much bigger or thinking to small
  • Missing opportunity to run
  • Different ways to serve
  1. Cannot win without raising money
  • Can’t get info out without money
  • Are you willing to ask for money
  • How much do you ask for?
  1. Don’t have to dislike fund raising
  • Engage people
  • Concrete way of raising support
  1. Politics is a tough business
  • Hard to get people to do what they say they will do
  • Primaries are the hardest
  1. Need a good team to win
  • Cannot be all of the people
  • Raise $, get MSG out there
  • Have a good manager cannot do both
  1. Expectations are high and constant
  • Pressures from everyone
  • People will give you advice
  • Figure out when to listen to them or not
  • Be polite
  • Don’t have to take everyone’s advice
  • You know!
  • You will make mistakes, how to recognize that and make it better
  1. Running is tough on candidate
  • Can be fun
  • Campaigns are high states, demands & expectations
  • Prepare and protect yourself
  • Don’t expect women to be in politics – will experience sexism
  • Especially if first woman to run
  • Constant pressure
  • Our experiences it understood or dismissed


  • People want to help
  • People do believe in you
  • Super hero
  • Hard job to get and keep
  • It’s an honor and privilege to serve
  • care about healthcare, environment
  • Run at every level of govt

10 years senate, 10 years govt

2014 ran for governor – each time ran, fight through primary


Skeletons in closet?

  • be prepared, be tough, all opponent on it
  • If not ready don’t run
  • Don’t expect what gets to you that’s not important

Experience more sexism state wide vs congressional?

  • Yes
  • Treat it like not real work – healthcare did more work
  • Men did little work on jobs and considered real work
  • Many not taking her seriously
  • Subtle sexism too
  • Educate the media
  • Men don’t see it as a biased
  • If you don’t know about it find out

More diverse, how to experience that? some show up then disappear only to come back for next election…

  • Know community
  • Help others run and win
  • Build relationships before start running
  • Move around
  • Have some record on that not just promises
  • Also very hard to be everywhere once elected
  • Figuring out how do we do this and do this right… Long way to go
  • Need more representation to make it right

Deal with rejection … Friends and family?

  • Different party – rep
  • Know your family, let that go
  • Friends during primaries that use to support that don’t
  • Losing is hard
  • Analyzing everything that could’ve done better
  • Must get past it or stay angry for long time
  • Not everyone is for you
  • Post election will get ppl who say that they supported
  • Very visible and public

Social media, fund raising? Success

  • Governor race 10,000 donors
  • 9 million $
  • Great way to raise $ and stay connected
  • Hard to raise a lot – get little checks
  • Lot of emails
  • Volunteers and support not just donors
  • Lot of time
  • Must have fb page and a web page
  • Younger voters – can be only way
  • Personal phone call (judicial is diff)

Appeal to both sides of the party?

  • General election – congressional seat is classic swing seat designed for rep woman who had won last time by a few votes
  • Decide who your voters are
  • centrist dem in senate and Washington
  • Sound reasonable
  • What your values are, what you stand for
  • This is what we believe in together

Primaries get very personal – strategy for personal attack questions?

  • Need to respond
  • Rep woman was a liar – first started out saying she’ll lie right away
  • Did on TV right away
  • Straight out about it
  • Take a lot of risk, family puts up a lot
  • Each one you have to evaluate
  • Have a team of advisors to guide you on when to respond or not

How do you build a team?

Maintain communications – what’s next?

  • Team – depends on race
  • Keep lean, spend money on them
  • Need a manager and budget
  • Leave screening and team building to manger
  • Look diff for each race
  • Confidence – not paid but trust
  • Breakfast at home -have someone else host
  • Can’t be only one to translate
  • Got to be on same page

Next – find ways to make healthcare affordable

  • Engage
  • Make sure women are running
  • The right people get elected into office
  • 25 years in office
  • Good, smart, honest people in office make good policies

Things to Know:

  • It’s okay to delegate
  • Women can be DIYers
  • Don’t be afraid to ask – fund raisers
  • Get comfortable being uncomfortable
  • Bi-partisanship increases with more women on the board- how we communicate is different
  • The legislation is different
  • Building for us

Breaking Boundaries: Assess. Empower. Act.

CMU’s 2016 Mosaic Gender Conference

This year’s special speaker was Jackie Fox: attorney and former bass player for the Runaways

This year’s conference was initiated by the #blacklivesmatter activist movement.

  • multiple identities
  • social media
  • there are all gender bathrooms here
  • there are recycling containers here as well

1:30-2:00 pm is reflect time – PAR is here along with survivor help networkers

Session 1: Title IX and Trans*Legal Issues in Higher Education

(Speakers: Jessica Oren and David Berberich)


  • How did it come into existence?
  • Which institutions of higher education does it impact?
  • What is the intent of Title IX?
  • What is “Transgender”?
  • Which court cases create major for Title IX?
  • What interpretations have been applied to trans*students?
    • case studies
    • critiques
    • best practices

Take away ideas:

  • What it is: can’t use gender as a means to prohibit someone from access to education
  • created in 1972
  • very short paragraph
  • 2011 dear caller letter
  • sports
  • San Dusky
  • North Carolina

What does it mean to be Trans*?

  • broad minority representation
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender (identity) vs. transsexual (changing biology) vs. transvestite (clothing) vs. drag
  • sex vs. gender
  • trans* vs. non binary
  • gender neutral vs. all gender (doesn’t take gender out of the equation)
  • definition: transgender/trans*, gender binary, transition

What is Title IX?

  • can’t discriminate based on gender – equal sports team and scholarship
  • How did come into existence?
  • department of education
  • federal law and federal money
  • regulations and requirements

Which institutions of higher education does Title IX impact?

  • all as federal fund
  • all departments and organizations within scope of higher education
  • keeping and distributing of records
  • gender binary labeled housing bathrooms, locker rooms
  • gender binary labeled teams and student groups

Records: housing and funding – for trans* students would say things like “we will have to figure you out and we will tell you what we will do to you” (not for you)

  • name change
  • graduation
  • Greek life

What is the intent of Title IX?

  • mirrors language of Title VII – prohibition of discrimination based on race
  • document and report discriminator practices based upon sex
  • rectify and change any discriminator practices

Bill Clinton: “Don’t ask don’t tell” – impact vs. intent – allowed for discrimination, no benefits … the intent was that one could not be asked to identify orientation but the impact or practice was that more people were closeted

Defense of marriage act – the intention was to separate out religion but the impact was discrimination against LGBT with not benefits and no recognition

Legal documentation – states are already so quickly looking for ways around federal law of gay marriage approval

Court cases:

  • Cannon v. University of Chicago
  • Franklin v.
  • Macy v. Holder appeal – appealing to decision that gender identity/ expression is protected under Title VII. A hostile environment is not created by allowing a transgender student to use the bathroom associated under their identity

Sexual harassment – actual notice to officials who have authority to act, display deliberate indifference

Harassment must be “…so severe, persuasive, and objectively offensive”

some Title IX coordinators are also HR reps – conflict of interest

Substantial control over harasser

  1. Sex harassment of male transsexual by male faculty
  2. Same sex actionable under Title VII
  3. Student failed to complain after graduation and college processed her complaint right away

What interpretations have been applied to trans*students?

  • records
  • housing
  • bathrooms
  • locker rooms
  • athletics


  • vague standards
  • inconsistent standards
  • collaboration
  • training and education

Do these things impede on students education? then it’s Title IX; Title IX issues

Session 2: Sexual Activity, Alcohol, and Sexual Violence

(Speaker: Laura Summers – PAAR)

3000 victims serve this past year

victim is never at fault

100% believe the victim regardless of anything else

consent v. not and alcohol

There are lots of messages out there about what it means to be a cis man or woman

Think about the messages that are given and growing about sex and sexuality – bad/ shameful, good, other, or nothing

Where do you stand?

  • sex/ sexuality is bad or shameful or embarrassing
  • is healthy and good
  • silence, no message
  • other

Beer goggles or jacket in order to enable them to pursue sex

What is sexual violence?

  • use health terms vs. legal terms
  • legal varies state to state (rape laws)
  • sexual violence is not just rape
  • sexual violence is ANY sexual activity without consent
  • our legal system is set up as hierarchies via some worst than others instead of all being valid and not competitive

Hook up cycle:

  • pre game – party before party, alcohol introduced early, smaller group
  • party – more people, more alcohol
  • let’s go somewhere – some sort of isolation cause can’t hook up on dance floor or in living room
  • sexual activity
  • morning after

3 factors involved in date rape:

  1. criminal intent
  2. alcohol or drugs – used as a weapon
  3. isolation


  • perhaps believe it is acceptable to take advantage of person who is high or drunk
  • sedating substances
  • quick effect

What drug is used most often in drug facilitated incidents? Alcohol


  • easily obtained
  • socially acceptable
  • legal
  • regulated

Saturday AM:

after a hook up

  • feel bad, hung over, feel dirty, embarrassed
  • avoid them at all cost
  • regret
  • social media
  • appointment at clinic

after a date

  • feel good
  • want to see them
  • details
  • facebook
  • talk about it

Sexual violence has a coexistence with alcohol and isolation:

  • even if willing
  • separated from friends
  • communication

Continuum of risk:

  • minimal risk – both parties sober, long term committed relationship, mutual consent, open discussion
  • medium risk
  • high risk
  • risk goes up when alcohol consumption is increased

Language of sexual assault:

  • language often used to assess actions, ascribe blame and minimize perps responsibility
  • use of language of consensual sex to to describe assault acts
  • describing victims in terms that objectify them or blame them for violence
  • linguistic avoidance the invisible perp

Use language of consent sex:

  • describe acts in terms usually used for pleasurable and affectionate acts
  • minimizes and hides the intrinsic violence of an assault
  • makes it harder to visualize the acts as unwanted violations
  • allows society to rationalize
  • “Comfort women”
  • lack of appropriate language
  • analytic attention to the …
  • have language to talk about stranger danger
  • have language to talk about consensual
  • but not non consensual with intimate partners

Victims use of language:

  • may use language of consensual sex or mutual experience
  • often acknowledge they were forced to have sex but may not characterize as rape
  • may use vague or slang terms, impersonal verbs or passive language such as “something happened”
  • don’t want to see the ugliness
  • socialized to not call it rape

Expanding the dialogue:

  • movies like animal house
  • memes about consent – changing hook up culture
  • men for consent
  • PAAR services
  • Crisis services
  • Counseling
  • Prevention services
  • Child and family counseling center
  • Helpline: 1-866-END-RAPE

Point Park

2013 CDC asked about sexual assault etc. against same sex

women identify and bi-identify

safer – students advocating for …

Claudia Schafer works – criminologist


Special Speaker: Jackie Fox

  • former bassist for the Runaways
  • attorney

Queens of Silence: passive bystanders in the world of sex, drugs, and rock & roll

  • came out about sexual violence from her band management (1970s) 1975
  • happens when you come out about it and share your story
  • at a party and someone gets sexually assault?
  • how many people would act?
  • say you don’t act, how many feel that’s bad?

the Bystander Effect

a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present; the probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders

  • 15 y.o. when she joined the Runaways
  • band mates were comfortable with alcohol and cigarettes
  • succumbed to peer pressure and tried Quaaludes (legal access, prescribed, men typically carry around to give to those they want to have sex with)

Ataxia  – the loss of full control of bodily movements

  • the unspoken word

Preventing acts of violence:

  1. Notice the event
  2. Interpret it
  3. Decide whether to act – and how

Assault started when drugged

  • note was able when staggered to bed – friends noticed cause never saw before
  • interpret it (new years eve etc.)
  • how with strangers

cognitive biases – make assumptions about people – better motives with those who are attractive or powerful or successful

Wishful thinking bias – prefer feeling good to feeling bad

Conformity – compliance with standards, rules, or laws; behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards

  • tremendous pressure to conform to social norms
  • marks us cooperative and predictable
  • “the smoke filled room” – example
  • when alone 75% will leave and report smoke
  • as you add more people to the room, less will report – add people who don’t respond and only 10% will leave/ report

Pluralistic Ignorance

is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it… also described as “no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes.”

  • just recognize that the thing is not good, look around and think only one, harder to do something as time went on

Diffusion of responsibility

a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present

  • the more people that witness a horrible act the less likely they are to do something

Evaluation apprehension

predicts that when we work in the presence of others, our concern over what they will think can enhance or impair our performance

  • way risk against pros
  • physical harm, later consequences – retribution
  • don’t want to look foolish in front of others, get laughed at, think what if I’m wrong
  • takes someone you care an incredible amount for to step up in those situations

What can we do?

  • take a bystander intervention course
  • example: what if 2 friends who saw drunk went and sat with her? what if friend who left had know to come running back in and say hey this guy is calling the police?
  • after assault – hearing about it, don’t like to hear about it

Victim blaming: Why?

  • illusion of control
  • 75% assault with acquainted
  • larger on college campuses
  • come from date
  • self blame

Correlate with wishful thinking bias

Just world fallacy –

good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people

  • look for something bad about them
  • if can’t find then find something they don’t like about them
  • even if have no idea who they are
  • want to separate selves from sexual assaults so badly that want to disassociate from that
  • most of the time there are no witnesses
  • she had witnesses and still they can still say that it didn’t happen

Check your biases

  • Took 40 years to come out about it
  • people use this as a way to deny the experience and discredit it
  • what they need is support!
  • regardless of what happened, people need to have time to deal
  • people will say she should be lucky someone will have sex with her, as if it’s about attraction

Steelers Ben R. sex assault

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends” MLK Jr.


How were you able to work with those same people after the assault happened?

  • compartmentalize
  • hard to have relationship with people
  • hard to trust people

I’m not the one who should fear ashamed – the man who raped me should

  • sometimes those who participate in the worst victim blaming are those who are survivors
  • need that sense of control
  • that voice you don’t listen to, you don’t trust
  • survivors support network

Session 3: Ethics of Confidentiality

(Speakers: PAAR)

Activity: take a note card, write a secret on it, place in envelope

calling college interactions “hook up culture”

the sexual activity is actually sexual violence

understand that this is happening a lot on college campuses

Level of confidentiality – Responsibility:

  • mandatory reporter
  • confidentiality
  • women’s center
  • PAAR – will not testify in court unless given consent – resource

National and Federal level acts of what suppose to do…

  • a lot of people are unsure – wear multiple hats, unsure when can wear or take off
  • reporting to someone in confidence but they are mandatory reporter
  • university meant to tell people who they are and what they are to do
  • onion layers

*Mandated reporting of child report

  • contacted with under 18 – we all are mandated
  • threat to the campus community
  • not well defined on national level, universities differ
  • subpoenaed to testify
  • more specifics knowledge
  • 100% confidential*
  • SAC training

What does it impact?

  • 1 in 4 victims of childhood sexual abuse
  • 1 in 5 victims of college rape
  • 1 in 6 boys by age 18 sexually assaulted

(give card to someone else, they’ll read it … not actually do it… how felt?)

Have conversations about who you are on campus


Be in role of employee vs. volunteer

  • Who we are?
  • Who you are?
  • Who have to tell?

Types of disclosure:

  • direct and voluntary
  • indirect
  • involuntary – most typically with children, medical emergencies, pregnancies

Adhering to privacy

Scope of sexual violence

Recognition vs. frequency

Lack of awareness and recognition

Scooby Doo show – the “bad guy” is a person you know

  • What we’re told is that we can’t recognize the offender as the offender

Long term effects


  • It’s On Us
  • Say No More

Trying to create culture of sense of support for those to come forward

  • but when do there’s not something to protect them or conduates
  • beyond college campus
  • criminally happening

Keeping perspective:

  • feeling victimized is a terrible experience
  • not every experience can be played out in court or a student conduct process
  • many victims don’t utilize these systems b/c they fear they’ll be re-victimized
  • our legal advocated witness many injustices within the justice systems

We must refrain from making judgments

The first response to victims is critical in determining in how victims cope

You are not a therapist and do not try to fix it but acknowledge and support them

Immediately following receiving a disclosure:

  • Listen
  • Support
  • Offer resources
  • Let them guide – they’re the expert and you are the referral

If they say they have something confidential to share …

You should know that b/c I’m … here, I cannot keep this information

Can’t make survivors tell

What do I actually say?!

  • changing our gut response
  • disbelief, questions – stop that

Needs at disclosure:

  1. To be believed
  2. To be recognized as a survivor of an assault
  3. To have others to be honest

Managing compassion fatigue – Things you should do:

  • Find someone to talk to
  • Understand that the pain you feel is normal
  • Exercise and eat properly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take some time off
  • Identify what is important to you
  • Call PAAR
  • Creating safe spaces for sharing and not questioning
  • Basic counseling course

Session 4: Dismantling the Locker Room

(Speaker: Jerry McMeekin)


  • former college basketball player
  • current basketball coach (5th grade boys)
  • coaching boys into men
  • office located on East Carson and 18th street
  • Counseling – 2 yr old up to adults
  • Education
  • Crisis intervention – medical and legal advocates
  • Speaks on a local and national level

Quick stats on sexual assault:

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys before age of 18
  • 1 in 5 college women before graduation
  • 67% trans

Presentation: Men’s violence against women

Who do I relate to as a role model?

Recruiting and creating partnership: Champion coaches – partnerships, Hesitation/ reluctance, Training activity


Activity: write out on post note: 3 categories (written, physical, verbal) ask the boys or men on campus to write one thing on each note in either or all categories something regarding sexual violence; ask to be specific


  • Appropriate interactions with girls
  • Boundaries
  • Healthy relationships ideas

Easy to do with negatives

Harder to list things with the positive

Uses humor to break the ice and break down the walls young boys and men put up in order to have those serious and sensitive conversations

Discussion topic examples: 12 items

  1. Lot of teachable moments
  2. “locker room culture”
  3. pre-program speech/ expectations
  4. personal responsibility

Usually stops here with coaches

Insulting language

Disrespect of women

Big time names – coaches, players, mentors:

  • Bill Shay
  • Ray Rice – poster child for domestic violence
  • Coach – Greg Shiano

Why won’t males show up? disrespect females in the past and they are not proud of it

What goes down in the Locker Room:

  • What happens here, stays here
  • Bro code
  • Three types of dudes in the locker rooms
    1. Guy telling the story
    2. Guy tries rolling with the first guy, trying to compete with him
    3. Guy puts his ear buds in and rolls out of the locker room
  • Touching someone inappropriately
  • Using language that objectifies opposite sex
  • Hazing
  • Inappropriate names
  • Sexual jokes
  • Bragging
  • Attempt assaults

Some men will apologize, saying something like “I’m sorry for what my gender has done to your gender” but what’s better than an apology?

  • Building safe spaces
  • Being better
  • Actions

What are you doing?

  • bystander intervention
  • conversations around consent
  • challenging social norms (personal/ parenting)

Working with coaches first then trickle down to players/ students

CAB Take on Taiwan 2016: Preparations

In about 10 hours I’ll be heading out to the PGH Airport then in another 2 hours I will board a plane and begin my adventure to Taiwan. I’m super excited and grateful for this opportunity. Not only to visit and experience another country and their culture but to do so with some really good friends of mine. This opportunity is brought to you by Chatham University: study abroad program, special maymester edition. My group and I will be spending about 2 weeks in Taiwan!


April 28  4:15 AM: depart from Chatham chapel (shuttle bus to Pittsburgh International Airport); 5:15 AM: check in; 7 AM depart Pittsburgh airport (UA606 to San Francisco, UA871 to Taipei)

April 29 6:30 PM: arrive Taipei airport; ground transportation to Taipei Discover Hostel 台北發現青年旅舍!copy-of-/c1694 Address: 5F., No.21, Sec. 2, Mincyuan E. Rd., Jhongshan Dist., Taipei City 10470 Taiwan Tel: +886 2 2598 0209

April 30, May 1, 2: activities in Taipei and northern Taiwan

May 3: morning in Taipei, afternoon travel to Taichung; some will stay at Tunghai Land Youth House 東海藍學宿 (, others at T-Life Hostel T-Life Hostel / 踢‧生活背包客棧 (

Tunghai Youth Land: No. 17, Lane 25, Xinxing Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City, 434 Phone: +886 972225217

T-LIfe: No. 10, Lane 27, Xinxing Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City, 434 Phone: +886 989610980 Facebook:

May 4-10: activities at Tunghai, in Taichung, and in central Taiwan, including project report symposium with Tunghai University students

May 11 4 AM:  depart hostel; 8:45 AM depart Taipei airport (UA8744 to Tokyo, UA882 to Chicago, UA285 to Pittsburgh, arriving 11:44 PM)

While there we will be traveling along the northern/western part of Taiwan from T’aipei to T’aichung.


Travel light! 2 sets of everything + extra under garments.

  • 2 shorts
  • 2 pants
  • 2 tanks
  • 2 synthetic quick drying t’s
  • 1 Chatham shirt
  • 3 short-sleeved
  • 1 long-sleeved button ups
  • 2 sneakers
  • 2 flip flops (I’ll be wearing 1 pair)
  • 1 light-wt jacket
  • 1 towel + wash cloth
  • swim wear

Carry on essentials:

  • lots of snacks
  • reading materials
  • electronics + chargers
  • writing utensils
  • inflatable pillow
  • rain jacket
  • water bottle + camelbak (doubles as day pack)
  • mp3 player + earplugs
  • sunglasses

Weather Forecast:


Everything is light weight and mostly quick drying; it’ll be hot and we’ll be exploring a lot but we’re also expecting rain.

This trip is for college credit so we will each be completing a project while there and be  assigned a day to blog about.

You can follow here: which will be in more real time than I will be able to blog here.


That’s it for now …

See you on the other side!

Out of the Binary and Into the Woods

A while ago I attended the Mosaic Gender Conference hosted at CMU and it was incredible. The headlining speaking was Kate Borstein whom we had the pleasure of hearing her thoughts on Gender Theory. Kate is an American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist. There were other break out sessions that were maybe 50 min long and within each block of time you chose which session you wanted to partake in. My first session was titled “Let’s talk about body image” and briefly we covered our thoughts and feelings on body image, looked at the media’s say on body image and covered a handful of stats. My second session was titled “Gil Junger present Taming of the Riot Grrrl” this session had potential as it drew from scenes and music from the 90s flick 10 Things I Hate about You but ended just being the speaker reading her essay she wrote as an undergrad. The Feminist as Shew.

We broke for lunch then Kate was up. Below are my notes from her talk. After that there was some networking and a couple more break out session. The next one i went to was titled “Finger painting: an arts based investigation of masturbation” now I thought there would actually be some finger painting involve but alas there was not, still a great session, we did look at different pieces of art and discussed appropriately. The last session for the day I went to was titled “Playing the binary: disrupting gender in women’s sports” which was very informative and also scary when looking at what some institutions (colleges etc.) are still practicing today and allowed to get away with.

Notes from Kate’s talk:

What makes life more worth living?

  1. Identity (who are you?)
  2. Desire (sex)
  3. Power (social justice – access to resources to make your life better)

AKA: who to be, who to fuck, how much power am I allowed to have?

What links them altogether?

  • God or the Great Big Good – resides in you kind heart
  • Why doesn’t this happen? More variables than just our hearts
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age
  • Class
  • Religion
  • Sexuality
  • Mental health
  • Family – reproductive status
  • Language
  • Habitat – ecology
  • Citizenship
  • Political ideology
  • Humanity

These are spaces – bully magnetic

  • Hierarchy
  • Systemic
  • Oppression
  • Kyriarchy – the master rules – combines all these constructs

Class: presented to us as a binary but it’s a jungle

Race: binary – white or black

… all these examples are available on her blog

Gender binary – space that has only 2 sides and they are opposite and not equal. Only equal in a vacuum

Gay marriage – leaves out a lot of people – assumptions, all these rights and benefits that mainly apply to the kids of marriage. This excludes single parents, married couples gain and don’t want to give up those rights even if the kids get screwed over

Deconstruction – who gives a fuck? Postmodern people and things are a construct

Gender dialect:

  • Man/ Woman
  • Boy/ girl
  • Butch/ femme
  • Drag king/ Drag queen
  • Gentleman/ Lady
  • Cisgender/ transgender – made up terms, recent terms, be careful
  • Tranny

So … with all the possibilities what is my “real” gender?

Is it your “real” gender that you express with?

  • Parental people?
  • Police officer?
  • Our lover?
  • Healthcare provider?
  • Teacher?
  • Friends?

So are you a man or a woman? This is an either/or question = bully

  • Homo or hetero?
  • Straight or gay?
  • Cis or trans?
  • Virgin or slut?
  • Smart or stupid?
  • Right or wrong?
  • Good or evil?
  • No or yes?
  • With us or against us?

Remember: you never have to answer an either/or question!

Dhali Lama: spoke of Profound wisdom and vast compassion

Definitive truth and Arguable truth

We all die = definitive truth

There are only 2 genders = arguable truth – Gender is a social construct

Language: Tranny is a horrible word or Tranny is a hard working positive empowerment

What is the truth of gender?

  • Genitals
  • Roles
  • Sex
  • Chromosomes
  • Memes
  • What grandpa says

Is there a definitive truth of gender?

Gender is relative to both relative and point of view

Sexuality: Is there a definitive truth?

Sexuality is relative to both relative and point of view

We’ve been assuming binaries are dangerous

Are they?

If so, what makes them so powerful?

Shenpa = Hooked = There is a way to unhook ourselves using postmodern theory and compassion

  1. Breath – step back and witness
  2. Determine is you can see the definitive truth that is masked by the binary
  3. Stop – question and refute the binary that Hooked us
  4. Radical refusal or any argument truth of ours, that depends on the existence of that binary
  5. Radical wonder at the arguable truth
  6. Radical welcoming

How do either/or binaries enter a culture or a community? And stay in a culture? Either/or happens when a culture or community tries to make itself a good place to live

  • *Everyone could be as enlightened as Buddha, Jesus, or Mohammad
  • *We could use value – don’t be mean – when mean, forgive ourselves and try to do better next time
  • *We could use ethics – the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • *We could use morals – the 10 commandments

This is where either/or comes from

  • *We could enforce morals through laws, crime, and punishment
  • Conscious anarchy
  • You have agency
  • You can decide for yourself

A politic with no enforced binaries?

  • Factors
  • Toys or tools

Most religions agreed that desire is a slippery slope – motivate without dependency

Politics and power –> one person in charge over all –> then came democracy – seeing it crumble since. Has not been a secular politic of desire –> compassion is revolution – desire the cessation of the suffering of all

As you explore your truth of sex and gender and as you work to respect the truth of others do try to keep this in mind…

  • *Please do whatever it takes to make life worth living, whatever it takes, just don’t be mean
  • *What if that means doing what god says not to do?
  • *Well find yourself another god, there are plenty of them
  • *If all else fails take a get out of Hell free card …

This one is mine!