Last year at this time, I attended the Women's Economic Power Alliance or WPEA. This is a newly revamped version of the Business and Professional Women's National (BPW/USA now BPW Foundation) Conventions but on a smaller scale. It consisted of women from other states who still have active BPW organizations including Ohio (this year's host), Michigan (where 10 of us were from), Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, New England, and North Carolina. In total 54 women were represented.
Another one will be coming up this year but in Greensboro, NC. It will not only be nice to see old friends again, but also to meet some outside contacts well.
This event is a great way to network with other like-minded women and to be oneself in the midst of the chaos that is our lives (as well as to take a break from them). This is something that I love because I not only do I make some great contacts, but also have some future references for something I might need or ideas for the newsletter I edit and help create for BPW/Michigan.
As far as what BPW is about and instead of me writing about it, I'd like to refer you to a link on the history of the organization: http://bpwfoundation.org/index.php/about/history/
It has always been a social group, but the heart is on activism and empowering other women to fight for their rights at work and in society. One of the key issues includes Equal Pay for Equal Work and the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Now, you might say, but we have equal rights right? Not really. Despite what you might think, this can't be further from the truth. Women (esp white women) earn 81 cents to every dollar a man makes. If you are a minority it goes down to at least 69 - 70 cents. This is something that most women do not know about nor will tell you even if you ask for information.
If you are a woman and you find this shocking, you should. Groups like what I'm involved with are the reason why you are able to do what you can now as a woman, especially work outside the home. If you are interested in getting more information in your state and hooking up with an organization near you, go to this address: http://www.bpwfoundation.org
If you are a woman (or even a man) who supports equality and equal rights not only for women, but for all people. Join the fight and join an organization who would love to hear your voice and welcome you to the fight. With all that crap that is going on in Congress these days, this fight needs the numbers and the lobbying for all.
You can also contact me for more information or if you want to discuss more on this topic. I would be more than happy to talk to you because I believe that not only should everyone have rights to live and work so they can make a living and actually live somewhere, but also to be treated with dignity and respect on an equal playing field. And yes, that does include my fight for LGBT rights as well. :)