Jun 302013
 

JUNE 2013

Abolitionist: a person who favors the abolition of a practice or institution, esp. capital punishment or (formerly) slavery.

Just returned from a performance in New York City for The Coalition Against Trafficking In Women

Coalition Against Trafficking In Women.

The event was inspired by CATW’s continuing efforts to bring awareness of and attention to MODERN DAY slavery, which is sex trafficking.  Director Norma Ramos (who saw a performance of SHE’S HISTORY! last year at The Museum of Motherhood – http://museumofmotherhood.org/,  saw – as she put it –  “the power of  artistry” to shine a light on a very dark subject.  So she put me together with Stacey Robertson (visit her website here:  Stacey Robertson), historian, author and educator.  Her latest book – an inspired historical work: Hearts Beating for Liberty, brings attention to the key leadership of women in the Abolitionist movement in the 1800’s. Norma asked me to bring to life some of the abolitionist women in SHE’S HISTORY! (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony…) as a collaboration with Stacey.  Inspired by this idea, Stacey created a play of sorts where she read from her book, I performed excerpts of MY play, and a wonderful actor named Alberto Bonilla read speeches that Stacey chose, of Abolitionists Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.

It WAS very powerful.

 

catw table read

Table Read At Coalition Against Trafficking In Women
Left to Right: Alberto Bonilla, Stacey Robertson, Amy Simon

Amy Simon as Lucretia Mott

Amy Simon as Lucretia Mott

catw perf. catw aftershowmovie

Albert Bonilla, Stacey Robertson, Amy Simon and Director Norma Ramos

Albert Bonilla, Stacey Robertson, Amy Simon and Director Norma Ramos

 

We learned about how CATW and Equality Now, got legislation that passed the Trafficking Victims Protection & Justice Act in New York.

25 JUNE 2013 UPDATE – In a positive step for 16 and17 year-old sex trafficking victims, on 22 June, the New York State legislature passed a bill extending its Safe Harbor Law to cover all prostituted individuals under the age of eighteen (previously only victims aged 15 and under were covered). Now, 16 and 17 year-old victims who are arrested for prostitution will be classified as trafficking victims, thereby allowing them to access treatment services rather than jail time. Their criminal records will also be sealed so as not to penalize them further while they rebuild their lives. Equality Now congratulates Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator Andrew Lanza for their incredible work in ensuring passage of this bill during this legislative session.  

Read more hereEquality Now

Norma spoke about how easy it is for girls to get into prostitution and how it is to hard to get out.  The work they do is incredibly heartbreaking, important and so difficult as most people have no idea that modern day slavery still exists.

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JUNE  2013

Who said: “We want a woman schlemiel to get promoted as quickly as a male schlemiel.”

It was the one and only former Congresswomen Bella Abzug, a fabulous trailblazing female who I can never say enough about.  (read a bit about her here… http://sheshistory.com/site/category/fabulous-female-facts/page/4/.

In 1961 Bella (and Dagmar Wilson) created Women Strike For Peace which was part of the movement to end the Vietnam War AND to end nuclear testing.  On Bella’s very first day on the job as Congresswoman in 1970, she tried to get the troops out of Vietnam.

She comes to mind this June 2013 for several reasons.  As the controversy rages on about the NSA and the Government keeping secrets, The Pentagon Papers is in the discussion.  Just for a refresher;

The Pentagon Papers were papers that contain a history of our political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.   Daniel Ellsberg (a senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies) decided – on his own – to give them to the New York Times.  It was eventually revealed that four administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had misled the public, and that Lyndon Johnson’s Administration had lied to Congress and the American people.

In 1971, Bella Abzug, got the Pentagon Papers to the floor of The House of Representatives using the Resolution of Inquiry.  She testified before the Armed Services Committee demanding the Pentagon Papers, and had quite the role in having them released.  She also helped write the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, laws that restrict the right of the Federal Bureau of Information to withhold information.

Just a few Fabulous Female Facts for ya…

 

Bella Abzug - Women Strike For Peace

Bella Abzug – Women Strike For Peace

Photo Credit: Swarthmore Library Collection

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What I love about SHE’S HISTORY! The Most Dangerous Women In America…Then And Now, is bringing to life the fabulous females that make – and have made – our world better.  And through this work I get to meet all kinds of fabulous females who continue the work of the gals whose shoulders we stand on.  Norma Ramos is one of them.  She is the Director of The Coalition Against Trafficking In Women

http://www.catwinternational.org/ and saw a performance last year in New York City of SHE’S HISTORY! at The Museum Of Motherhood http://museumofmotherhood.org/ (envisioned and realized by another fabulous female – Joy Rose).

Founder of The Museum Of Motherhood Joy Rose and Amy Simon

Founder of The Museum Of Motherhood Joy Rose and Amy Simon

 

 

Norma invited me to perform excerpts of the show in collaboration with yet ANOTHER fabulous female, Stacey Robertson, celebrating her book about abolition women Hearts Beating For Liberty http://www.staceymrobertson.com/.  I am honored to participate but sad that we still have to work to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children worldwide. CATW is the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally and is the world’s leading abolitionist organization.

 

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June is the month we honor our fathers.  Check out my Hollywood Journal blog about my fabulous father : http://hollywoodjournal.com/personal-journeys/just-here-on-a-pass/20130612/

 

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For anyone is Los Angeles, ANOTHER fabulous female – my great friend and colleague Wendy Hammers has a SUPER UBERFABULOUS totally inspiring, life affirming and hysterically funny solo show about embracing life, called RIPE.  GO SEE IT!!!!!

RIPE The Play

TWO NIGHTS ONLY
THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH at 8PM

SATURDAY, JULY 6th at 8PM

www.greenwayartsalliance.org

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Don’t forget – (Fifteen Minute Segments) Fabulous Female Facts every Wednesday 8:15AM Pacific Time on Nicole Sandler’s http://radioornot.com/.  It’s archived, and you can hear a few here:

 

radioornot

http://sheshistory.com/site/media/audio/

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Bella Abzug had two daughters.  So do I.  My daughters are and have been my inspiration.  They are now sixteen and twenty.  My oldest, Rose, will enter her third year of college (about an hour away from me – yay!) and my youngest, Ruby, decided when she was fifteen, to go live with her father in London.  Ahhhh.  We give them roots and wings and when they fly away…I am happy for her to have this wonderful experience of living and learning abroad, but my heart…oh my heart….

 

This puts me three years ahead of schedule.  I’m at a transitional time of my life…an unexpected empty nester.  For the first time in twenty years I get to make decisions based on MY needs – not my children’s.

 

(For fun I told my Rose I was gonna join the Peace Corps – a beyond noble choice – and because I am SUCH a good actress – she believed me.  Ha! I don’t have what it takes to join the Peace Corps!)

 

Bella Abzug was elected to Congress at the age of fifty.  And she kicked ass! Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who had SEVEN kids, wrote (along with Susan B. Anthony and other of her her BFFs) The History Of Woman Suffrage at the age of seventy-two.  At the age of eighty, she wrote The Woman’s Bible.  Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of sixty-nine. Eleanor Roosevelt co-authored The Declaration of Human Rights for the United Nations at the age of sixty-four.  I could go on.  When women, who raise humans for a good part of their adult lives, find themselves child-free, they are FINALLY FREE to devote themselves to…whatever they want.  If they are financially able of course….

 

I will be fifty-seven this summer.  And I am just getting started…..

 

I will devote myself to continuing to try and support myself writing and performing about the women who inspire me.  What these women – and men – do – and have done – is SO important and is the message I try and leave my audience with at the end of SHE’S HISTORY! 

 

Repair The World.  It Needs It.

 

 

 

 

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