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March and April News Items

March is National Women’s History & National Reading Month

First, let us honor all women, from all walks of life. We all know, all of the contributions made by Women deserves far more than just one month for recognition. However, there is no better time than the present to reflect, celebrate and appreciate the Women of our past, present and future. With that, please take the time to get to know a few women who’ve made their mark on this world. Such as: Malala Yousafzai, Jane Austen, Sojourner Truth, Jennifer King, Anne Frank, JoAnne S. Bass, Maya Angelou, Ava DuVernay and those in our communities who have worked in expanding the greater good for all. Honoring Women’s History can be observed by simply writing a letter to a woman you admire, going out to dinner with the girls in your family or reading up on women’s history. Let’s continue to grow our power as women together in building a better future for all. By recognizing and joining those who’ve come before us, to those currently working in that direction.

Now on to acknowledging National Reading month. The quote "Knowledge is Power" has been around for a long time and we all know reading is an essential part of our lives. Reading is informative, fun and inspires our imaginations with newfound insight that allows us to become story tellers in sharing our life's experiences and lessons. A few things you can do to support reading would be to get a library card and use it.  Show your support by shopping at local bookstores, install a leave a book/take a book in your neighborhood, order your local newspaper or get an on-line subscription.  Get involved by reading aloud to a child or an elderly person, donate used books for those in need.  You could choose a monthly reading theme for your family to explore. Join a book club or become a positive example to encourage more reading by children. Developing good reading skills and habits over time can yield great benefits and besides you may expand your knowledge on Woman's history by reading this month’s Wiretap. 

Women’s/Equity Committee Chair of local 4603 & CWA D4 Women's Committee

Wendy Fonseca

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) 

Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945.  She was an activist in every sense of the word, advocating for the rights of children, minorities, and women. An outspoken critic against racial discrimination, she fought for civil and human rights. 

President Harry Truman appointed her as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1945.  She held that position until 1952. She played an important role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  She wrote a daily newspaper column from 1935-1962 by the name of “My Day” which addressed social issues.  Always standing her ground and fighting for what was right regardless of the controversy that followed.  She dedicated her life to political and social change.  Her list of accomplishments is vast.   

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”---Eleanor Roosevelt 

D4 Women's Committee

Hellen W. Milliken (1922-2012)

Michigan’s longest-serving First Lady (14 years). She emerged as a dynamic spokeswoman for the Equal Rights Amendment and women’s rights, issues, and concerns. She was national co-chair of ERAmerica and traveled the country speaking on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment. Giving freely of her time to raise needed funds to support the cause. She chaired the National Women’s Conference Committee, just to name a few.

She was also an avid environmentalist who advocated for billboard control, the bottle deposit law, and a restriction on oil drilling in the Pigeon River State Forest. Helen Milliken was recognized for her support of domestic violence survivors. She has a shelter home for victims name for her, “Helen’s House” in Northern Michigan.

Independent and committed she never looked for controversy, but never shrank from it! She always picked her commitment to equality. Her service, commitment, and her spirit helped countless Michiganders.

“Talking about an issue, striking a chord in others and awakening them to all that they are and all that they can be…this is what is important to me,” Milliken said in an 1988 interview, “and will be al the days of my life.”

D4 Women's Committee

Dolores Huerta

United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta was honored at a labor leaders’ lunch on February 20th at “Teamster City” in Chicago. At the event Ms. Huerta spoke of the need to continue the fight across sectors and industries, from farm fields to Amazon warehouses. 

Local 4250 President Sylvia Chapman attended the lunch and was impressed by the 92 year old Huerta’s energy and unwavering commitment to the labor movement. Sylvia reported that Ms. Huerta’s call to action to union members left her “inspired and motivated to help carry on her legacy. Si se puede!” 

D4 Women's Committee

April is National Arab American History Heritage & National Stress Awareness Month 

April is a time to celebrate Arab American History Heritage and its culture, as well as honoring their contributions to the community. Americans of Middle Eastern heritage have a long history in the United States. It started when people of Middle Eastern descent first began to enter America in large numbers in the 18oos. Historians noted these immigrants were the first wave of Middle Eastern people to migrate to the U.S. circa 1875. According to the U.S. government, the second wave of immigrants arrived in the 1940s followed by approximately 15,000 Middle Eastern immigrants came to the country annually from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq in the 1960s during the time of the Lebanese civil war. 

Today, it's reported that over four million Arab Americans live in the United States with many holding positions in the military, entertainment, politics and every other aspect of social life. A few notable mentions are Rashida Tlaib, Gigi Hadid, Dr. Farouk el-Baz, Maysoon Zayid, Hoda Kotb, Salma Hayek (Lebanese/Mexican descent) Candy Lightner, Linda Sarsour and U.S. Air Force Colonel James Jabara. 

Arab America's mission in celebrating National American Heritage Month starting Saturday, April 1st is to keep Arab Americans in touch with their roots through the dissemination of accurate information about countries in the middle east, organizing events, and providing the latest news around cultural events and social services, commerce and music. 

April is also National Stress Awareness Month - Stress can be paralyzing and can play into a number of health issues. While stress is a normal part of our day-to-day it is important to know the warning signs, triggers and what steps we can take in coping with life's curve balls. 

  1. PRACTICE MEDITATION – or download an app - we could all use a few minutes a day learning how to turn our brains off.
  2. IDENTIFY STRESSORS – Keep a journal of your daily activities and identify those that cause you the most stress.
  3. ECERCISE – exercise added to any daily routine can battle stress head on. So get out that bike, walk the dog longer than usual or just be sure to take in some fresh air.   
  4. DEEP BREATHING  – Focusing on your breath reduces stress and can help you stay calm. It’s a great way to start the day. 
  5. PRACTICING MINDFULNESS –  Take time to notice what you are feeling and how your body is responding to it. This is a great way to stay grounded. 
  6. SETTING BOUNDARIES – Don’t be afraid to set limits. It’s a great way to stay mentally healthy and productive. 
  7. VISIT YOUR DOCTOR - Listen to your mind and body and don't be afraid to make an appointment. You can't address what you’re not willing to acknowledge.
  8. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF – Learn to relax and recharge! Doing this can help reduce stress and provide the mental clarity needed to remain focused. 

Thank you, 

Wendy Fonseca

Secretary Treasurer/D4 Women’s State Coordinator