OUR COMMUNITY HERSTORY
Single, married, widowed, younger, older, employed, unemployed, student – we came together and became friends and allies for a common cause when we joined a NOW chapter (National Organization For Women) in the early nineties. We marched together and lobbied together and soon became aware that the issues we cared so passionately about were more often ignored or minimized by mainstream media. It angered and frustrated us.
When one of us was interviewed on a local community access television show, it became clear what we had to do - produce our own show. Grants made possible by Diane McCabe Vaughn and Candice Slaughter Warmke through the Women’s Peacepower Foundation ; their encouragement and belief in our dream made it possible to begin. Within 2 years each of us had taken the pre-requisite TV production courses. We could now apply for a time slot on the channel and begin airing our show – HERSTORY. On April 3, 1996, HERSTORY became a reality. “Because women’s voices need to be heard” became our mantra as we worked to fill the void in mainstream media coverage.
Our premiere show, “The D&X Procedure”, featured the stories of two women who had made the painful decision to have third term abortions. It was the first of over 10 years of entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking shows on a wide variety of subjects.
In the process we were able to meet and interview some remarkable women and some remarkable men. Among our accomplishments were getting media credentials for coverage of the 1996 Vice Presidential campaign debate in St. Petersburg, Florida, and media credentials for The March For Women’s Lives in Washington, DC., April, 2004. Again and again we were making sure that women’s voices were being heard.
We led the battle to save the Public Access Channel when Time Warner re-negotiated their contract with Pinellas County, Florida . This contract would eliminate the channel. Instead the County assumed the responsibility. Several years later the County Commission- in their great “wisdom”- succeeded in doing what Time Warner had attempted to do – silence Public Access Television.
For a number years this group of women were without a venue until they realized they had the means to reach an even broader audience on the internet. Women in the US and around the world still struggle for equal rights. The battle is far from being over. ” Women’s voices need to be heard.”
womensvoicesmedia.org is dedicated to the concerns and interests of females of all ages but we have come to recognize the intersectionality of those issues which touch the lives of all marginalized people - black brown, LGBTQ+, disabled, women. Because we believe as Former Attorney General Jane Reno said, "Every issue is a woman's issue", we will strive to be inclusive and echo the voices of all who need a voice.
While we will provide information on these issues, we also want to be the sounding alarm to provoke readers into action - to vote, to lobby, to march. As we do this, we will be recording HERSTORY – those who are making HERSTORY today and those who made HERSTORY all those yesterdays. We will also offer you, our supporters, the opportunity to tell your stories; to record your HERSTORY; to give you a voice.
We would be remiss if we did not remember those who gave so much for our dream but did not live to see it fulfilled. To Kay, Terry, Mona and Eleanor – we thank you for all your hard work. You set a high bar for us to reach. And a heartfelt thank you to May whose generosity and support has kept us going all these years. We will do our best to reach the goals we set together so many years ago and make you proud. To Reid, who without him this project would have never happened, our unbounding gratitude. The memories of these wonderful people live on in the work that we do.