Will You Help Forge a Gender Equal World?

Do you celebrate International Women’s Day? This year March 8th is the day. A day to remind us that gender has been used to justify abuse for centuries. It is sad we must have such a day across the world and in the United States. It takes hard work to forge a gender equal world. To remind us all that an inclusive world is a world of respect and kindness and diversity. #ChoosetoChallenge This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. It asks that we all be alert to and challenge gender bias. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge. Internationalwomensday.org Anisa Nandaula’s spoken poem about the theme is short and powerful. Take a listen. We who are privileged to live in a society with freedom of speech can choose to speak up or remain quiet. Speaking out isn’t comfortable. But we need to remember that our current freedoms came because someone challenged the status quo—challenge common beliefs. Because someone stood up […]

Through Gifts She Made a Difference

Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage (1828-1918), known as Olivia Sage, experienced extreme poverty and immense wealth. And she became “one of the greatest female philanthropists our world has ever known.” Through gifts, she made a difference. Early Life The daughter of Margaret Pierson and Joseph Slocum, Olivia grew up in Syracuse, New York. Her wealthy and devoutly religious family were members of the First Presbyterian Church. They opposed reform movements like those involving women’s rights and abolition of slavery.  After the Panic of 1837, her father’s businesses and warehouses failed. He lost his fortune before she reached her teenage years. Sponsored by a wealthy uncle, she attended the prestigious Troy Female Seminary (now Emma Willard School). An academically rigorous school, it quietly advocated for women’s financial independence through education. This influenced Olivia greatly. She considered its headmistress her mentor. She graduated in 1847. Career Olivia became a teacher (one of the few acceptable female professions at the time). She experienced firsthand the limited opportunities, underpaid, and overworked difficulties common for the 19th century woman. The year 1948 sparked Olivia’s interest in women’s rights. It was the year of the “Declaration of Sentiments” in Seneca Falls. In 1852, the Third National Women’s […]

The Maid Who Fought Back

Hattie Canty rose from an Alabama girl to a maid to an African-American labor activist. She was the maid who fought back, the maid who eventually ensured that Las Vegas workers in the hospitality business made a living wage.  Early Life Hattie Canty was born in 1934 in  St. Stephens, Alabama. She graduated high school and married. They divorced. A single mother with two children, she moved to San Diego and took a job as a cook, then as a private maid. Las Vegas She remarried in 1961, moved to Las Vegas, and had eight more children. Her husband worked for Silver State Disposal. She stayed home to care for her ten children. By 1972 she returned to work, this time at the Thunderbird Hotel. Her husband died of lung cancer in 1975. And then she was a single mother again, this time with eight children still at home. She worked as a janitor, a maid, and then in 1979 got a job as a maid at Maxim Casino. In 1987, she earned a promotion to the better paying job of a uniformed attendant. The Union She joined the Culinary Workers Union 226, an affiliate of the Hotel Employees and […]