Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) stands with #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName and all involved in the work for racial, economic, and social justice, including protesters all over the world calling for accountability in every country.
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A Message from OLOC about the Pandemic:
The coronavirus is having a tremendous effect on our all lives. Many of us have been instructed to shelter in place and stay in our residences as much as possible in an attempt to slow and stop the spread of the virus. This can pose a major problem for Old Lesbians, who are often already isolated. However, there is no need to despair! OLOC is still active and thriving. The only thing that has changed at this point is that we are not meeting in person. But the chapters and the Steering Committee are finding other ways to carry on, primarily by Zooming. We are also having exciting National Zoom programs for all members, some of which are open to everyone. So far, these have included panel discussions with Lesbian musicians and feminist bookstore workers (see below), which have been wonderful experiences for the hundreds of Lesbians who attended.
There is something that almost all of us can find some way to do: reach out to others, stay connected to those who are important to you, ask for help if you need it, and look into the many opportunities to help others, whether that be with practical or financial assistance, a friendly check-in, or simply a smile. Spread some kindness around! Make THAT contagious.
And if you are interested in another way to connect with other members, you can check out our online forum at groups.io/g/NationalOLOC.
Please stay safe, everyone. You do not need to distance yourself socially from others, only physically! We are survivors and we will get through this.
OLOC Zoom Summary—”Where Do We Go from Here?”
Friday, November 6, 2020
The 4th National OLOC Zoom program on November 6 was a post-election get-together for members to gather to share our feelings and to consider the future impact of this election for us Old Lesbians. More than 80 Old Lesbians attended, making this another highly successful pandemic program.
Comedian Karen Williams, 1952, welcomed everyone and got things warmed up. The bulk of the program then consisted of small-group discussions (in Zoom “breakout rooms”), facilitated by prompts such as: Where are we now? How are we feeling? How are we coping? Where do we go from here? What repair work needs to happen? What is your passion?
Participants were asked to make comments or add resources to the chat area. They responded with:
Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women, by Jean Shinoda Bolen (Mentioned by Karen Williams)
Karen Williams’ website: hahainstitute.com/karen-williams
Lesbian Political Action Committee (LPAC): www.teamlpac.com (Mentioned by Sue Reamer, 1942)
Victory Fund: victoryfund.org (Offered by Ruth Debra, 1944)
A Citizen’s Guide to Fake News: www.cits.ucsb.edu/fake-news (Offered by Butterfli, 1960)
Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson, who won a Pulitzer for the excellent The Warmth of Other Suns (Offered by Alix Dobkin, 1940, and several others)
Calling all you white Old Lesbians who are committed to your anti-white supremacy work! Join Elizabeth and other Old Lesbians from our chapter [New Mexico] and the OLOC Steering Committee on Sunday afternoons from 1:00–2:30 P.M. MT at www.NanetteDMassey.com for discussions/learning sessions on Robin DiAngelo’s book, White Fragility. Nanette, a Black freelance writer and anti-racism trainer (before COVID-19 forced trainings to stop) takes us beyond the white echo chamber. If you have the courage to be quiet and learn—not justify past or current behaviors—please join in weekly, as often as you can. This is an Eventbrite event and you have the opportunity to support Nanette through a freewill offering. Be respectful; read White Fragility in advance of attending, if at all possible. You do not have to like this book, agree with stuff in it, etc., but it is important to have given the ideas in it some consideration in order to get the most out of Nanette’s guidance and wisdom. Nanette says that when white women want to learn about racism, they join a book club/read a book!! Please join in her conversation and don’t stay in white bubbles. (Offered by Elizabeth, 1945, uninvited dweller on Puebloan land)
Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi, was a great history lesson (Offered by Patty O’Donnell, 1956)
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD. (2019) (Offered by Christine Pattee, 1941)
Sue Reamer, 1942, followed with a short report on Lesbian and other women candidates down-ballot, and the results of their elections. Unfortunately, Mandy Carter, 1948, co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, who was scheduled to give the wrap-up, experienced internet technical difficulties, so there was nothing to share from her recording. Mandy is 72 years old and living in Durham, North Carolina. However, she did offer these resources in the chat:
Thank you to everyone who attended and those who worked to put this program together!Recent Zoom Programs
OLOC Rhode Island Zooms!
The Rhode Island chapter is meeting biweekly via Zoom. “It’s been a relief, blessing, and touchstone support for all of us. We enjoy it a lot and are grateful to have this way to stay in touch!” — Mev
OLOC Mission StatementTo eliminate the oppression of ageism and to stand in solidarity against all oppressions.
OLOC Vision Statement
OLOC will be a cooperative community of Old Lesbian feminist activists from many backgrounds working for justice and the well-being of all Old Lesbians.
OLOC in Action
We are a national network of Old Lesbians in our 60th year or older working to confront ageism in our communities and our country. We use education and public discourse as our primary tools.
Our national organization is directed by a Steering Committee that works to form and support local groups who will work in their own communities.
We hold biennial National Gatherings allowing us to come together to share experiences and ideas and recharge our energies for the tasks at hand.
We are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Lesbian voice as well as increasing Lesbian visibility in a world that stifles it and threatens to erase it.
OLOC Works for Change by Supporting:
- comprehensive immigration reform
- elimination of violence against women
- enactment of universal single-payer healthcare for all
- an end to corporate “personhood”
- an end to any curtailment of voting rights
- the Black Lives Matter movement
- the Say Her Name! movement
- the civil rights of all indigenous people
- efforts to achieve net zero CO2 emissions
- efforts to reduce climate crisis impacts that fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable