Wed, Jan 9: Miss Representation Documentary Screening

AWC-SB’s annual film night returns with a provocative documentary on Wednesday, January 9. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.

Wednesday, January 9, 5:30 pm
Balboa Building Theater
(in the basement)
735 State Street
Downtown Santa Barbara
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20; Students $10
Wine & Refreshments included


Miss Representation includes stories from teenage girls and interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists, and academics like Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem. The film offers startling facts and statistics to leave audiences shaken and armed with a new perspective.

“I made Miss Representation because we live in a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, and the collective message the media send to our young women and men is that a woman’s value lies in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader,” Newsom said. “I wanted to shed a light on this problem, because if we don’t question that thinking and work to change it, we are going to continue to be marginalized.

Women of Achievement Poems 2018

Wonder Woman

for Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

Since Hannah-Beth landed on this planet,
it’s never been the same. Already by age ten
she spoke out for women’s rights. Ask the boys
of Boston’s Little League. She fought to join them
and they backed her: “best guy on the team.”
She’s still batting homeruns for fair play.

Early on, she took down any bully.
Ask her sister Reyna. When their older brother,
visually impaired, was picked on, you can almost
hear her backfire, “You gotta problem?”
New England tennis champ in her teens,
she also played the lead in school musicals,
getting all the laughs. Show biz is “good practice
for politics,” she jokes. “Keep them engaged.”

Out front and center wherever there’s cause
or crisis, lucky for California she moved here
as a young attorney. Of the 80 bills she’s crafted,
her proudest is Equal Pay for Women,
described as her “35 year instant success.”
Famous for how she sticks out her neck,
it’s no wonder she received the Giraffe Award
adding to a scroll of others. Named Legislator
of the World by many organizations, she insists

The Time is Now to end NRA’s control, to save
our children, our future, from murder in the classroom.
A passionate Chair of the State Judiciary Committee,
she addressed the break-down of our democracy,
reciting words engraved on the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free.” Hannah-Beth, Wonder Woman,
thank you for all the ways you hold the light,
and speak truth to power reminding that women
“hold up more than half the sky.”

by Perie Longo
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
AWC-SB Women of Achievement Awards, June 2018

The Surprising Dr. Carrie Hutchison

Visit with Carrie awhile and presto! the key
to communication is yours for keeps: Listening.
And she knows, with a PhD, Chair of the SBCC
Communication Department. Listen close
like you’d listen to the slither of a lizard
or water swishing along the shore of a lake,
her favorite place to be. Listen with integrity,
objectively, no thought to what you’ll say
before the other is finished. Listen to the spaces
between words to understand beliefs, concerns.
Listen with a wide lens, like their life depends on it,
and yours. Together, you will leave uplifted,
more clear in this confusing world. Listening

is the impact she tries to make each day,
more important than her books and lectures.
Listening to those far different than yourself
matters. Courageously, she resists the status quo,
travels with her students to far flung countries
without our “amenities” to teach how others live.
Learn need, how to initiate change. And listen
to how they laugh, no matter how grim
their circumstance. She’s serious about that
and social justice, co-founder of SURJ,
Showing Up for Racial Justice. To resist injustice

takes action, her medicine to cope at this time
when lack of communication is at an all time high.
As is misunderstanding. To lighten her load,
ten years ago, brokenhearted, she checked out
Craig’s list, answered an ad for a rock band singer.
Here before you, is a professor who walks
her walk and rocks her talk, favors Bob Marley’s song
Redemption, back tickles with her two kids, and
admits she is definitely like the nocturnal hedgehog,
a vocal communicator, who knows exactly how
to make a difference in an unpredictable world.

by Perie Longo
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
AWC-SB Women of Achievement Awards, June 2018

Women of Achievement Poems 2017

Chimps and Koalas and Patty, Oh My!

for Patty DeDominic

Chinese proverb: Only he that has traveled
the road knows where holes are deep…

What if he turns out to be Patty?
A modern Renaissance woman, she’s proved
there’s no business like women’s business.
Chronic befriender, sunny smile, she’ll hug you
first meeting, this lover of everything living,
loving especially animals, indeed every soul met
along roads traveled that made all the difference…

In photos, she’s seen hugging a chimp
in an Ugandan sanctuary, both looking
like they’ve found heaven, same as in Australia
holding a Koala, another of husband Gene cloaked
with little chimps. Icon Jane Goodall become friend,
Patty joins the Institute’s Board. In admiration
of Elizabeth Dole, signs on to the Red Cross Board.

Out on a limb, building and selling companies,
she’s a guide with Midas touch, keen eye
spotting holes in the road that can sink you. Raising
the bar for women worldwide, she dreams up festivals
for them to unite, embrace their power. Full hearted,
Patty advises multitudes how to set goals,
meet them and before you can say what now?
she humbly watches her clients take their bows.

Others saw. The National Women Business Owners
bestowed the Susan Hager Award. Recognized
by President Obama with the Lifetime Achievement Award
for Economic Development, what could be left?
Always traveling, but best is family, coming home
right here to her and Gene’s Santa Ynez Valley nest—
fish splash in the front pond, ducks skedaddle,
hawks call. In the business of life, Patty and her dog
take to mountain trails, keeping on with the show…

by Perie Longo
SB Poet Laureate, 2007-09
June 2017, AWC-SB Women of Achievement Award

How to Become a Mayor

for Helene Schneider,
Mayor of Santa Barbara 2009-17

Join the chorus at New York’s International High School,
star as Frenchie in Grease, Mme. Dubonnet in Boyfriend,
and Fabian in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Take to heart
the Bard’s All the world’s a stage, we’re merely players
with our entrances and exits. Improvise—be quick
to cover forgotten lines. Named “Head Girl,” fulfill
vow to keep the Senior Lounge clean. Preside

over Network for Women’s Rights at Skidmore College.
Fundraise. Fundraise. Organize a march to DC
for Reproductive Rights. “A big deal,” she says,
and keeps marching—for social justice, for diversity.
With a winning smile, politics her passion, be fearless
on stage, always present in the lights, the news,
right words at the right time ring out true as a bell.

Empowered to speak Truth to Power like idols
Margaret Sanger and Amelia Earhart, their dreams
became reality, refuse “No” for an answer. Construct
a legacy of a fiscally sound city, clean environment,
space open and free. Honor the varied arts.
Those paintings in her office? Local artists. Poets
don laureate wreaths, dole phrases for City Council.
From the nation’s mayors, be the first California mayor
to receive the Leadership in Arts Award.

Write haiku: Cut red ribbons. Mend what’s torn.
Accept an honorary key for her role in opening doors
to the MOXIE museum. Hail the awaited Desal plant.
And in moxie style, chart the coming course: improvise,
explore the new—crest Machu Picchu, see Egypt
from the back of a camel. Just returned from Dingle,
our Irish sister city, plan a tour for the literary
next year. Wind at your back, a beacon in our midst,
you’re a “big deal” in our history, marching forward
and we women roar—Here, Hear Helene!

by Perie Longo
SB Poet Laureate, 2007-09
June 2017, AWC-SB Women of Achievement Award