Work for Equality

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

Cori and Kate in Chicago

My mom was born in 1915, five years before women got the vote. She was a working mom when it wasn’t so common and I took care of my brothers, loosely speaking. Many a time I was asleep in my Dad’s armchair when mom got home with no idea where the boys were. But as I got ready for college, … Read

Remember Evelyn Davis?

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I started working in Des Moines in 1980 when I was fresh out of graduate school. Iowa State University Extension hired two urban 4-H professionals to fill one position. The Polk County Extension Director’s reaction was not warm. “There’s no such thing as a free puppy” was his frequent response to our requests. Extension negotiated with Evelyn Davis for free … Read

Celebrate Service

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up in a week, I want to put something out there about service-learning, and how important it is to upcoming generations. This video is taken from my radio show, “We’re Entrepreneurs. We Can Help.” It features Nikola Pavelik and Lucy McCormick. Lucy is teaching humanities at Hershey Montessori School in northeastern Ohio and … Read

Scratch a Woman

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Scratch a Woman

“Scratch a woman; find rage” a counselor once told me. Scores of reasons can excite feminine rage, but the one scratching at me now is the social conservative labeling women who need birth control sluts and whores. The same party that screams “Second Amendment” when asked to control automatic weapons, legislates to limit abortion rights. What’s going on? My theory is … Read

Get Healthy

Martha McCormickCoaching for Growth, Social Justice3 Comments

Hiking Trail in Oregon

Driving to Florida for vacation, we listened to three books–Connected, Thrive, and Switch. I learned about all of them when I worked with Healthy Polk 2020 last summer. My task was to gather a group of experts around the priority, “Empower more people to take more responsibility for maintaining their health.” My team thought the wording of the priority judgmental. … Read

Reflect on Service

Martha McCormickSocial Justice, Team Building3 Comments

Daren Leading Name Wave

I love service learning. It’s fun to help kids help people, in preschools, retirement communities, parks and gardens. Service learning is a respected way to get kids involved in their own educations. But it’s not just about doing projects that help communities. For service learning to be valuable to young people as well as to the people they work with, … Read

Talk About Sex

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Hula Hoop

Planned Parenthood once told me a woman is lucky if she has only a few unplanned pregnancies during her fertile years. I started menstruating when I was ten, and didn’t stop until I was 55. That gave me 540 opportunities to get pregnant. I wasn’t sexually active all those years, so that cuts it down a lot. Let’s say by … Read

Ride Like the Wind

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Last week I signed up for the MS 150 in eastern Kansas. It’s a two-day bike ride to raise money for combatting Multiple Sclerosis. I rode 110 of the 150 miles in 2008, and I hope can do the whole thing this year. I’m definitely in better shape, but I’m just getting on my bike now. I’ve started riding to … Read

Honor Your Mother

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Procrastination? Grandiosity? Too many balls in the air? I had the idea at one point to post on “woman in history” each day last month. Now we are 8 days into April, and I am finishing this post that I started more than 2 weeks ago. Hence, instead of celebrating Women’s History Month (each March), we are preparing to honor … Read

Fight Poverty

Martha McCormickSocial Justice4 Comments

The Community Action Poverty Simulation Kit from Missouri Association for Community Action provides a glimpse into the challenges individuals and families in poverty face every day. I purchased a kit in 2011, and am facilitating a simulation in West Des Moines in November. I helped out with poverty simulations in their early years at Iowa State University, and recognized some … Read