Friday, February 22, 2019
Teresa Younger-‘The Next Generation Will Get Us There’
Loading
“We have an entire social justice system set up on the negative points of capitalism. I’m not anti-capitalist, but capitalism does have its flaws,” said Teresa Younger, who is pictured here with Peggy Grove, president of the Wood River Women’s Foundation.
 
Saturday, February 9, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Teresa Younger has a mantra that she repeats every day: “Be the kind of woman that, when your feet hit the ground in the morning, the devil says, ‘Oh sh*t, she’s up!’ ”

Younger’s cause? Changing oppressive systems like racism and sexism to create social, economic and political equality for people of all genders, races, religions, ages and those with disabilities.

Younger, an Air Force brat who was born in Mountain Home, is the president and CEO of the Brooklyn-based Ms. Foundation for Women.

Started in 1972 by Gloria Steinem and Marlo Thomas, it is the first and largest organization to harness  the collective giving power of women in the world. It made its first grant 45 years ago and has awarded 1,600 organizations more than $70 million since.

And, no, it’s not about burning bras. Nor is it just about women.

The mission of the Ms, Foundation for Women is to realize a nation of justice for all.

Younger, who spoke Thursday night at the Community Library at the invitation of the Wood River Women’s Foundation, told her audience that she traveled 56,000 miles around the country listening to people after taking the reins of the organization four years ago.

She learned that young black women, transgender people and many others didn’t see themselves in the word “feminism.”

Younger and her cohorts reframed themselves to talk about social, economic and political equality for all.

“It’s not easy every day to challenge the status quo to dismantle the patriarchy,” said Younger, who has been named one of the 50 most powerful women in philanthropy by Inside Philanthropy. “We asking: Who’s at the table” And, who’s not? whether it’s Washington State or Washington, D.C.”

Only 24 Fortune 500 CEOs are women, Younger said. And less than 30 percent of the researchers in the world are women. Women still paid 79 cents for every dollar a man gets; black women receive 63 cents, and Latina women, 54 cents on the dollar.

“Yet it costs us more money to exist,” she added, noting that women’s deodorant costs $5.99 and men’s $3.29. “We pay 42 percent more on average just by being called women.”

But women are making progress, she added, noting that there are now 100 women in Congress out of  535 Senators and Representatives.

“Are we getting there? Slowly, yes. Can we get there quicker? We will. The next generation will get us there because they’re impatient. They don’t understand what this is all about.”

To effect change, Younger said she has had to set aside preconceptions. For instance, she immediately thought of improving sex education when she visited a community in New Mexico where a lot of high school girls were dropping out to have babies.

“But they told us, ‘The system’s pushing us out,’ ” she said. “They said, ‘If we miss too many days, we can’t graduate on time so it’s easier to drop out and get a GED.’ ”

Instead, the girls got the school district to add five days of family medical leave and the graduation rate jumped.

Younger noted she was miffed that one of the women who benefitted from the change was late to a rally celebrating its success, only to learn that the woman had graduated on time and married the father of her child.

“I was late because it was my first day of college, and I stayed to talk to my professor,” she said.

Younger told how another group of women without access to ready transportation banded together  to canvas the city’s pharmacies to determine which ones offered the lowest prices and which treated their consumers the best. Every year they publish ratings so that those who can’t afford to comparison shop can go to the pharmacy that best suits their needs.

And in South Carolina a grassroots movement to help young women of color find solutions to issues that impact them was started in response to a viral video where a high school resource officer threw a student from her desk.

Among the solutions they came up with: creating a buddy system to make sure girls could get to school safely.

Younger praised the Wood Rivers Women’s Foundation, which was founded to foster the culture of philanthropy through women working and pooling their gifts together.

Younger noted that the group now has more than 350 members despite the relatively small size of the community. And that those members donated $278,578 to 16 nonprofits during 2018 alone.

“That’s unforeseen in this country,” she said. The money you’ve given is unique to this country. I wish I could say we have this everywhere but it doesn’t happen everywhere.”

Younger urged the women to invest in building leaders so that someone is ready to step in when the leader at the top moves on. And she suggested that people rethink the idea that nonprofits should squeeze administrative costs.

The vast majority of nonprofits are run by women and those women underpay themselves to hire assistants, she said.

“We make the assumption that people are going to overpay themselves because of corporations,” she said, noting that several major foundations such as the Ford Foundation are readdressing the issue.

“You’re changing my mind about that because when no dollars are going into the operation, it means women aren’t being paid enough,” said Louisa Moats, a foundation board member.

LIBRARY APPLAUDS WOMEN

The Wood River Women’s Foundation made a $25,000 contribution to help renovate the lecture hall in which Thursday’s meeting was held.

Since it reopened in mid-July, 61 education programs have been held there, attracting more than 5,000 people, Library Director Jenny Emery Davidson told them.

That eclipses the number that attended programs the entire year the year before, she added. In addition, 2,355 viewers have LiveStreamed events at the library.

Want to know more? Visit www.woodriverwomensfoundation.org.

 

~  Today's Topics ~


Skis and Steeds

Family of Woman Film Fest to Look at Yemen Crisis and More

Snowshoe to Learn About Avalanches
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Inquiries Contact:

Leisa Hollister
Director of Marketing
208-450-9993
leisahollister@gmail.com
     
     
     
 
 
 
ABOUT US
The largest online daily news media service in the Wood River Valley. We are the community leader, publishing 7 days a week. Our publication features current news articles, local sports and engaging video content in Sun Valley, Idaho.
 
info@eyeonsunvalley.com
 
P: 208.720.8212
 
P.O. Box 1453, Ketchum, ID 83340
 
Login
 

© Copyright 2018 Eye on Sun Valley