Women’s Consortium Executive Director Bonnie Watkins, and Moderator Cathy Wruzer, with Board members and honorees. (Photo by J. Lee)
By J. Lee
MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 28, 2010) – When Grace Harkness helped run the Minnesota Women’s Consortium from her car – she may not have imagined the scope and importance the coalition leading organization holds now as a voice for advancing legislation and women’s issues. MWC Executive Director Bonnie Watkins recognized Harkness and early leaders last Thursday at the Radisson University as members and supports celebrated the 30th anniversary of the organization.
Cathy Wurzer of Minnesota Public Radio and TPT’s Almanac emceed the celebration that included honoring “Champion Coalitions” led by women.
Over the years, Asian and Pacific Islander women and organizations have been involved with MWC and various coalitions were honored.
Some of the programs that MWC has developed or helped to make possible in other organizations include Child Care Works with a focus on building a secure future for children. It helped with the Jobs Now Coalition as an advocate for livable wage jobs.
It supports the Minnesota Choice Coalition and its work on media campaigns, funding and lobbying, as well as the Coalition for Battered Women and Coalition Against Sexual Assault as a lobbyist for funding for programs that support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
Another member group is the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition which lobbies for comprehensive single-payer health care for all.
The Pay Equity Coalition works on closing the wage gap between genders.
The Women Candidate Development Coalition supports, motivates, and trains pro-choice women candidates and educates women on voting.
The Women’s Studies Program Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities uses research in educating students on women’s experiences, racial and gender inequities, diversity, and social transformation.
The MWC provides educational forums on women’s issues and networking opportunities, and its business incubator is considered a unique model. The MWC provides office space and resources for organizations.
Find links to each coalition at www.mnwomen.org.