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ACLU Womens Rights 24FEB14

From the state of women’s rights regarding equal pay, reproductive justice, poverty from childhood through retirement, immigration and ongoing deportations, and what can be done to address the disparity

ACLU of Southern California hosts Women’s Rights Forum at the Hollywood Methodist Church (6817 Franklin Ave.) on Tuesday, March 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

General admission tickets are free to the public

The ACLU of Southern California is hosting more than 700 members of the public for its first 2014 program year forum, explicitly addressing women’s rights. The discussion will look expansively at gender equity. Speakers will address myriad issues, including the debate over reproductive justice, the need for economic equality, and the impact of immigration reform and the criminal justice system on women.

“It’s unfortunate that there’s such a disconnect between what’s happening in our legislatures and what the public knows about, the consequences are what that means for ourselves, our mothers, and our wives,” said Sandra Fluke, social justice advocate.

Other speakers will address the need for reforming the current political process to ensure that women’s issues are protected, and aren’t “sold out for endorsements and independent expenditure campaigns,” said CA NOW President, Patty Bellasalma.

“When we talk about wages, or healthcare, immigration, or the derailment of an entire family, an entire community, by an outcome in the justice system that paints a hopeless picture, we are talking about lives being placed in danger—not just livelihood, but human lives—every necessity that is denied means more than discomfort and vulnerability, it means unnecessary suffering, it means paying the ultimate price despite preventability,” said SEIU ULTCW President Laphonza Butler.

Occidental College Professor of Politics, Thalia González, will moderate the panel. She points to a number of examples of grassroots efforts that have successfully taken on community issues of access and equity. “Parents organizing have brought service-learning to classrooms, introduced restorative justice, and transformed school discipline policies,” said González. “We see examples of women of color who in their roles as business owners, stand before state commissions, and achieve economic empowerment.”

The ACLU of Southern California has chapters in Palm Springs, Orange County, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, Santa Barbara, Ventura and West Los Angeles - as well as fellow affiliates in San Diego and Northern California. Each chapter is led by an elected board, designed to support the ACLU of Southern California with public engagement and fundraising activities.

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Arranged by the ACLU SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter and cosponsored by the San Fernando Valley, Ventura and Westside chapters, this free-to-the public forum on women’s rights reflects the geographic, racial/ethnic, and generational diversity of the organization’s chapters, with planning committee members representing many backgrounds and multiple chapters.

  • Who: ACLU of Southern California
  • What: Women’s Rights Forum, featuring Social justice advocate, Sandra Fluke, California NOW President, Patty Bellasalma, Occidental College Politics Professor, Thalia González, and SEIU ULTCW President, Laphonza Butler
  • When: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, from 7p.m. to 9p.m.
  • Where: The Hollywood Methodist Church (6817 Franklin Ave.), Los Angeles.

In the courts, in the legislature, in the community... the ACLU of Southern California protects the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of Southern California is actively engaged in many causes and issues, including: freedom of speech and religion, racial justice, police, prison and sentencing reform, LGBT equality, education reform, national security, privacy, the rights of women, children, immigrants and the disabled, and ending California's death penalty. We are also committed to economic justice and fight on behalf of some of society's most vulnerable residents, including homeless people and low-paid workers seeking equitable working conditions and living wages.

The ACLU of Southern CA works to ensure that all people have equal access to comprehensive, quality, affordable, and confidential reproductive health care; that personal decisions about sexual activity and child-bearing are informed, respected, supported, and attainable; and that women and girls are free to live, learn, and work as equals.

For more information, please contact:

    • Sandra Hernandez or Diana Rubio, communications department at the ACLU of Southern CA, 213.977.9500
    • Sharon Kyle, ACLU-SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter,, 213.434.5325
    ACLU Womens Rights 24FEB14