Posts Tagged ‘Liza Donnelly’

For the past eight months, our It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign has done everything possible to inspire young women to vote on November 6. With just one day left in the final countdown to Election Day, we want to share with you our favorite inspirational posts from our campaign’s Tumblr. Share them with someone who might need motivation to vote!

  1. Fair pay e-cards

    When we saw the latest wage gap numbers a few months ago, we knew young women would care that women still typically get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man gets paid. So we came up with some snarky e-cards to remind folks that the fight for fair pay isn’t done — and this November could make all the difference.
  2. Facebook cover photos

    If the young women of America are anything like us, we’d bet that they love Facebook and pictures of kittens. We merged the two with a virtual voting billboard that can be easily uploaded on Facebook. It’s easy to change your cover photo, which is a great way to tell your Facebook friends that you’re voting.
  3. Sandra Fluke’s pep talk for voters

    Personal stories are motivational. And when those stories come from people like Sandra Fluke — a NCCWSL Woman of Distinction and AAUW friend who became famous for being a strong advocate for birth control access — they’re even more powerful. So it was no surprise that Fluke’s It’s My Vote pep talk was our most popular. In the video, she tells the story of a poll worker who remembered her from the previous election. So few young people had voted that Fluke stuck out at the polls. There’s too much at stake in this election for young women to not show up, and Fluke’s video drives that point home.
  4. “Speak up, show up” graphic

    If you’re on Facebook, you may know a few wannabe pundits who are constantly on their soapboxes. We’re all for people speaking their minds. But if Election Day isn’t part of speaking out, what’s the point? That was the motivation behind this graphic — a visual reminder of who listens to those who don’t vote.
  5. Liza Donnelly’s pep talk for voters

    It’s no surprise that the second most popular pep talk we made was from another NCCWSL Woman of Distinction: Liza Donnelly. I have to agree with the crowd on this one. I’ve watched every single pep talk our campaign has, and Donnelly’s always stands out. Watch it yourself to see why.

Of course, no image, video, or graphic is as powerful as a personal phone call. Take the time today to make sure the young women in your life are voting. Lilly Ledbetter can tell you how. And make sure you have everything you need to vote. The AAUW Action Fund has voter resources that cover polling places, voter-ID laws, and anything else you’ll need for tomorrow.

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The AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard voter education and turnout campaign represents an unprecedented investment in making women’s voices heard in the 2012 election. Follow us on Twitter and on Tumblr for the latest updates, and check out our biweekly Campaign Update for news, resources, and ideas.

New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly gets (momentarily) serious in a new It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard pep talk. Addressing young women in particular, the 2012 NCCWSL Woman of Distinction talks about why she is so passionate about voting:

I have a lot of friends who are cartoonists who live around the world. And some of them live in countries where they do not have the right to vote and do not have the right to express themselves the way they want to.

I can. I live in America. I can draw what I want. I can think what I want. I can write what I want, and nobody’s going to throw me in jail, or smash my hands, or kill me.

Some of these cartoonists don’t have that right. They can’t vote, for one thing, and they can’t even express what they want to express.

So I’m here to tell you how important it is that you use your vote to express yourself. I’m going to go to the poll in November, and I’m going to vote, and then I’m going to come home, and I’m going to draw whatever I want to draw because I can do that. I have the freedom to in this country. So don’t abuse that, and use your right to vote.

At the end of her pep talk, Donnelly whips out her pen and draws a cartoon just for voters. Watch and share!

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On Thursday night, nearly 600 college women sat quietly in their seats, staring up at a stage where six amazing women gathered.

The 2012 Women of Distinction Award Recipients (left to right): Michel Martin, Liza Donnelly, Noorjahan Akbar, Alison Cohen, and Maggie Williams.

It was the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) Women of Distinction Awards ceremony. The women on the stage — NPR host Michel Martin, women’s activist Noorjahan Akbar, cartoonist Liza Donnelly, bike share entrepreneur Alison Cohen, political phenom Maggie Williams, and birth control advocate Sandra Fluke — have already made extraordinary contributions to their professions or communities. We in the audience were hoping to follow in the awardees’ footsteps.

Thankfully, we — the (mostly) young and inexperienced but eager — were about to get a little advice. While all the speeches were inspiring, the messages went well beyond the typical ideas of hard work and perseverance.

Donnelly, who has broken great barriers for women as a New Yorker cartoonist and comedian, described how she learned from an early age to be submissive. Her spunky sister often got in trouble for challenging authority, so Donnelly learned that it was wrong to do that. But comedy is all about challenging the rules, she said, so her advice was to take risks, never give up, and speak out.

If Fluke, then a Georgetown law student, had not challenged the chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee — who wouldn’t allow her to testify on a panel about the need for access to birth control — she would not have become the face of a national movement. But Fluke said that eventually testifying in front of Congress was an opportunity she received only because of her extraordinary education. And she was not the only woman who spoke about the privilege that education affords us.

If Akbar, who is in her early 20s, had not had the opportunity to get an education, which few women in Afghanistan do, she might never have been up on that stage. She also would not have founded Young Women for Change, a nonprofit that is committed to empowering Afghan women.

Hearing these women speak, I was reminded of how lucky I and the other women in the room are to have our education. As a kid, I joined every club and sport possible, and I used those experiences in my college applications. After I graduated from high school, my parents generously paid my way to the University of Maryland, College Park. Throughout my time there, I had endless support from my family and friends. They trusted my decisions and were excited for my future.

Now I’m in “the future.” I’m a year out of college, and I’m doing work that I really love with the American Association of University Women (AAUW). For the first time in my life, I finally have an answer when people ask me what I want to do. I used to tell people what I thought they wanted to hear or something unrealistic because I had no idea how I would pursue such a goal. But now I know I want to make a difference.

And I realize, thanks to the 2012 NCCWSL Women of Distinction, that my experience has to inform my understanding of the struggles of others. We’ve all dealt with internal struggles that made our experiences our own and maybe a few that stumped us at times. But we can look to the opportunities we have today for reassurance. We, as a gathering of college women, must take the responsibility that comes with our education and use it to help people. We are the voice of those who don’t and won’t have the opportunity to change reality like we can.

That’s what we, the women in the audience, learned. And that’s what we need to do to become the women on the stage.


This post was written by AAUW Communications and Marketing Intern Marie Lindberg.

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Last week, we introduced you to two of the six women who will be honored at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). The Women of Distinction Awards ceremony, which is held during the conference, pays tribute to women leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to their professions or communities. NCCWSL attendees will hear each of these inspiring women speak on Thursday, May 31. Don’t miss your chance to meet this year’s awardees!

Registration for the 2012 conference closes on May 16. Sign up for NCCWSL today to secure your opportunity for unparalleled leadership training.

The following are two of the six outstanding Women of Distinction. We’ve already introduced you to Noorjahan Akbar and Alison Cohen. Stay tuned for a blog post that will feature the two remaining honorees!

Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and Writer, The New Yorker

Liza Donnelly is a staff cartoonist for the New Yorker. When she first began selling her work to the magazine in 1979, she was the youngest and one of only three women cartoonists at that time. In addition to her work as a cartoonist, Donnelly is a public speaker and has appeared at TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design), the United Nations, and the New Yorker Festival as well as on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC, and BetterTV.

Sandra Fluke

Women’s Advocate and Georgetown Law Student

Sandra Fluke is completing her final semester as a public interest law scholar at Georgetown University Law Center. She has devoted her career to advocating for gender equity in all sectors of society. Recently, she testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on the need to provide access to contraception, which she has been advocating for since she arrived at Georgetown.

The Barbara Fetterhoff Honorary Fund is a platinum sponsor of the 2012 NCCWSL Women of Distinction Awards ceremony and reception. AAUW of Maryland, many generous friends of Barbara’s, and AAUW donors from across the country are contributing to this fund to honor AAUW member Barbara Fetterhoff for her continuing leadership, vision, and commitment.

Part 1  |  This is part 2  |  Part 3

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