Women in Louisiana

Monday, September 18, 2017

NOAF hosts annual 'sex ed bingo' night Sept. 20

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 1:00 PM


New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF) hosts its annual sex ed bingo night fundraiser at Bayou Beer Garden Sept. 20.

NOAF is the local organization which raises money to assist low-income women who need an abortion; its bingo night features four rounds of bingo (obviously), fun sex trivia, comedy performances and networking for people interested in women's health care issues. If you're a bingo fanatic it's possible to buy extra cards with an additional donation. There are prizes for game winners.

This fundraiser also spotlights the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 law that prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion care in most cases — a regulation women's health advocates say disproportionately penalizes poor women.

Tickets are $20 and are available online. Extra bingo cards are $5. The event begins at 6 p.m.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

'Deafening Sound,' gallery show about domestic and sexual violence, opens at NOPA Sept. 9

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 2:15 PM


Photographer Annie Flanagan made the first image in her upcoming show about misogyny, domestic violence and sexual violence when she was 14.

She's been photographing one of her central subjects, a close friend who spent five years in an abusive relationship, for most of her life. "Deafening Sound," a show of photographs, artifacts and more documents that friend's experience and recovery. It also creates a larger narrative about gender-based violence and the experiences of American women.

"There's so much silence around rape, and there's so much silence around intimate partner violence," Flanagan says. "[The show is about] the deep roots of misogyny and rape culture in the United States."

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Here's some information about 'Black Women's Equal Pay Day,' which takes place July 31

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 11:53 AM


Today is "Black Women's Equal Pay Day," or the day of the year black women must work to to earn the same wages as a white man earned during the previous year (2016).

"Equal Pay Day" recognizes pay inequity for all women and generally falls in spring, but today's date recognizes the stark differences in wages between white women and women of color. According to figures offered by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), women in the aggregate make about 80 cents for every dollar made by a man, but black women nationwide make 63 cents — a loss of $21,001 a year, relative to men. And the gap is even larger in Louisiana, where black women make just 48 cents for every dollar made by a man.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Traveling exhibit featuring sexual assault survivors' portraits opens July 20

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:06 AM


Shreveport artist Mollie Corbett's exhibit "Outlier," a collection of portraits, stories and documentary film depicting sexual assault survivors, opens at New Orleans Public Library's main branch Thursday.

For this installation, Corbett identified and photographed 15 survivors from the greater New Orleans area. With her work, she hopes to dispel victim stigma and raise awareness of sexual assault, which many public health groups say is distressingly common: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys regularly find that as many as one in three women and one in six men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A wry Roxane Gay talks Hunger and healing at Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 9:59 PM


Listening to Roxane Gay is a little like listening to the voice of the internet — dryly funny, pop culture-astute, versed in the latest controversies about avocados and the apocryphal sordid past of Lena Dunham's dog.

But where the internet is shallow, Gay has depth, which was on display in a wide-ranging conversation hosted by Octavia Books and conducted by emerging novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin. In the cavernous yet disturbingly fluorescent auditorium at the Jewish Community Center July 12, Gay spoke about blackness, sexual assault, feminism, being from Omaha, tattoos, comic books, personal healing and the body image issues that are at the center of her recent, much-anticipated book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Screening, panel July 1 talk about black women's maternal mortality crisis

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 11:27 AM


To coincide with this weekend's Essence Festival, Black Mamas Matter Alliance and Planned Parenthood Federation of America host a screening of the documentary The Naked Truth: Death by Delivery Saturday.

The Fusion-produced film documents the rising maternal mortality rate for black women and babies, often attributed to problems with access to health care for women of color and systemic inequities in the greater health care system. It's one facet of a larger maternal mortality crisis affecting the U.S., where women are more likely to die during pregnancy or in childbirth than in any other developed nation.

A panel discussion featuring The Root managing editor Danielle Belton and representatives from the Black Lives Matter movement, the National Birth Equity Collaborative, SisterSong Women of Color Collective and Planned Parenthood follows the screening.

The event takes place at Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. If you're interested but can't make it, the full film also is available online.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panel and book signing June 29 highlight gun violence survivors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America. - COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America.

One of every five people pictured in Kathy Shorr's Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America was shot in an incident of domestic violence.

There's Shyrica, who was shot by her husband in a Walmart parking lot. Elizabeth was shot in the face by her estranged husband, who then killed her 18-year-old daughter. A Miami woman was shot in the parking lot of her apartment building by her husband, a veteran with PTSD.

These women all appear in the book, along with portraits of 98 other survivors. They represent just a small fraction of the thousands of people in America who are victims of gun violence each year, many of whom have no personal involvement with criminal activity. Shorr presents the book at a panel discussion at Treo Thursday night, where she'll appear with a trauma surgeon and some of of the people she photographed.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Louisiana lawmakers, activists urge Sens. Cassidy and Kennedy to condemn Senate health care bill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Gov. John Bel Edwards said the bill "specifically disadvantages" Louisiana. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards said the bill "specifically disadvantages" Louisiana.

With the release of a 142-page draft early Thursday morning, the Senate finally revealed its much-anticipated (and, by many, dreaded) plan that could make good on the long-term Republican promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.

The bill's release offered the first opportunity for the public — and many underinformed senators — to view and critique the Senate's plan, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Before its reveal, the bill already had come under fire for an unusually secretive drafting process featuring no public hearings and little debate on the Senate floor.

Within its text: higher premiums for older people, the elimination of the individual and employer mandates (you won't have to carry insurance, and employers don't have to provide it for you), a year-long freeze on Planned Parenthood funding, fewer subsidies to help people buy insurance and cuts to federal Medicaid dollars which support the working poor, 40 percent of American children and people with disabilities. (An easy-to-read breakdown is being updated at The Washington Post.)

Throughout the state, a chorus of lawmakers, public health observers and activists have begun to speak out against this health care plan. But the power lies with Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy, who will now turn their attentions to the legislation ahead of a potential vote next week.

Perhaps due to the bill's length and complexity, they have yet to comment extensively on the bill's details. Instead, they've leaned on familiar rhetoric from the past several weeks.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Report: Louisiana one of nation's worst states for black women

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 11:44 AM


A new report from the nonpartisan Institute for Women's Policy Research reveals extremely troubling data about the economic and social challenges facing black women here in Louisiana.

The report, which was compiled with the National Domestic Worker's Alliance, studied factors like political participation, employment, income and family structure to create a snapshot of the state of black women the U.S. The report's findings are genuinely disturbing: it finds black women concentrated in lower-paying jobs (even relative to their academic achievement), being paid less than white women and men in similar occupations and having more limited access to health insurance, often while acting as their family's primary breadwinner.

"Black women continue to experience structural barriers to progress that have roots in the nation’s legacy of racial and gender discrimination and exploitation," the report's authors explain. "A shifting political landscape has put Black women even more at risk for disenfranchisement and marginalization."

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two June events at Cafe Istanbul highlight abortion rights (rescheduled)

Posted By on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 2:53 PM

At a Feb. 10 Planned Parenthood rally, a supporter steps in front of an anti-abortion activist. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • At a Feb. 10 Planned Parenthood rally, a supporter steps in front of an anti-abortion activist.

Back-to-back events at Cafe Istanbul highlight abortion rights and emphasize the importance of abortion access in ever-more-restrictive Louisiana.

At New Orleans Abortion Fund's NOAF OutLoud event June 14, participants share realistic stories about experiences with abortion, whether that be work as a clinic escort and activist or the story of terminating a pregnancy. The event opens up a topic that, for a variety of reasons, isn't often discussed. (Similar initiatives, such as the #shoutyourabortion hashtag, have popped up on social media in the past few years.) There are multimedia and discussion components to the evening. It begins at 6 p.m. and is free to attend.

Lift Louisiana hosts a screening of Trapped, the documentary exploring Targeted Restriction of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws and the ways such legal restrictions harm women. (You can watch a trailer for the documentary on its website.) A panel discussion follows the screening, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $12. The June 21 event has been rescheduled for June 27.

As of May 1, the Guttmacher Institute (a research institution that studies reproductive health) found 31 newly-enacted restrictions on abortion nationwide in 2017. Other analysts also point to several potential restrictions on abortion funding in the American Health Care Act, the House-passed bill currently undergoing secretive debate in the Senate.

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