Saturday, August 15, 2009

Esha Momeni Free!

The 29-year-old graduate student at, California State University, Northridge, Esha Momeni, has been freed from Iran and has returned to the Los Angeles area in time to start the fall semester on August 24.

She went to Iran last summer to film interviews with activist women in Iran in order to make a documentary for her Master's degree in Communication at CSUN.

Her filming was regarded as subversive and she was arrested in Tehran on October 15, 2009, and then held in Evin Prison for 25 days. Though she was then allowed to return to her parents' home, her travel documents were taken from her, preventing her return to the US.

I look forward to hearing her speak about her experiences and about the events surrounding the recent elections and protests in Iran.

No doubt some events will be scheduled on the campus, where rallies were held during the past year to support her. (I work part-time there.)

For further details, see the Los Angeles Times:,0,4260822.story .

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hear Karen Armstrong from Chautauqua

Chautauqua, New York, is a great place to be this week. Karen Armstrong, Joan Chittister, and Tony Campolo are among the speakers there.

See the whole schedule at

Sr. Joan Chittister will speak at 10 am tomorrow (Monday).

Karen Armstrong will speak on “Charter for Compassion,” Friday, Aug. 14 at 2 pm. (This lecture will be streaming live with opportunity for chat.)

To learn more about the charter, see

It's a peace and tolerance effort by people of all the world's major religions.

Tony Campolo speaks at Chautauqua every morning at 9:15 am.

Rabbi Michael Melchior will speak Aug. 13 at 2 pm.

Rock on, Chautauqua!

Meanwhile, stay tuned for the final draft of the charter to be released this fall.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Esha Momeni and Others Missing

Thanks to CN for posting a list of Americans currently still being held in custody abroad--though Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been returned.

Esha Momeni, the graduate student at Cal State University, Northridge, where I teach, is still unable to leave Iran because her passport was confiscated. She was filming interviews with women for her MA in Communications almost a year ago when she was arrested.

See the complete list:

Hooray for Rehka Kalindi !

What a heart-warming story about 13-year-old Rekha Kalindi in a village in India, refusing an arranged marriage and begging to be allowed to continue her education!

Thank you to Women's eNews for the link.

Thank you to the UNICEF-sponsored NGO that provides free schooling in this village.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Go Sotomayor!

Wonderful that Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court!

I'm starting to like the 21st century, now that we have Barack Obama as president and a wise Latina on the Supreme Court.

The point is not that she might well make a better decision than a white male in the same position--it's that the world has yet to see what decisions a Latina on the US Supreme Court would make. We've had 225 years of white males making those decisions.

Just think what women of color would have done while President Andrew Jackson was in office! He might not have gotten away with deporting the Cherokees from Georgia.

See these reports on our new Supreme Court justice available on Women's eNews - :
Ginsburg and Sotomayor: What Else in Common?
    Comparing Sotomayor's record on women's rights and judicial outlook to Justice Ruth Ginsburg's.
AT & T Case Spotlights Gender Issue for Sotomayor

Sotomayor's 'Play Ball' Case Will Bring Her Home
    A column from our editor-in-chief explaining why men think of her as the judge who saved baseball.
Advocates Line Up to Praise Sotomayor
    Other Latinas and women's rights advocates react to the nomination.
Sotomayor Hearing Test: Did You Catch the Code?
    Our legal affairs reporter translates the coded language of the Senate hearings.
Wise Women Unite! What Sotomayor Should Have Said
    A leading political scientist says what many thought: if the United States truly valued diversity, Sotomayor could have reaffirmed that her background and ethnicity adds to her qualifications.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Christian Feminism Today

The latest issue of Christian Feminism Today (summer 2009) has some great reflections:

"The Week I Wore the Hijab" by Alena Amato Ruggerio (See the great color photo of her on a camel!)

"What Motherhood Has Taught Me" by well-known singer/song-writer Kathryn Christian

"How Did I Become a Feminist?" by Bettina Tate Pedersen

"My Faith and Feminism--A Winding Pathway" by Rita Voors

"Feminism is a Spiritual Journey" by Kathleen DeFrees

"Becoming a Feminist" by Becky Kiser

"My Advice to Newly-Minted Feminists/Womanists/Mujeri
stas" by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

Review of Joan Chittister's "Welcome to the Wisdom of the World and Its Meaning for You" by Laju M. Balani

Review of Kelsey Timmerman's "Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour of the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes" by Kimberly B. George

"My EEWC Journey" by Barbara Crews

Subscribe online at

or from EEWC, PO Box 78171, Indianapolis IN 46278-0171. $25/yr.

Congratulations to editor Letha Dawson Scanzoni on another wonderful issue of CFT !

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

N Korea Releases 2 US Journalists

Hallelujah! Bill Clinton's special trip to North Korea to negotiate the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee was successful.

The two US journalists were taken into custody last March for being on the China-North Korean border and were given a 12-year sentence for "spying."

See the LA Times story earlier today, to be updated soon:,0,7555243.story

Negotiations leading to this trip have lasted for months, led by Senator John Kerry of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Note on Wed., Aug. 5: See great coverage in the LA Times of Laur, Euna and the negotiators arriving in Los Angeles... and other details on their work and capture.