by Jameelia Bowie
Jameelia Bowie of Carthage is a student intern with the UACC this summer. She is a junior at Berea College.
The 2nd annual Women’s Economic, Mental, and Physical Health Expo: “Pennies on the Dollar–Moving Beyond Surviving to Thriving” was held on Fountain Square at noon May 29. Hosted by the Woman’s City Club of Cincinnati the Expo began as a way to educate women in the community on income inadequacy and what can be done to overcome the issue. The Woman’s City Club is an organization celebrating 100 years of “promoting justice, civic reform and citizen engagement through education, advocacy, service and collaboration.” Through their collaborations they were able to put together another successful expo with the help of guest speaker Denise Driehaus, Elizabeth Atwell, Vanessa Freytag, Beth Schwartz and many other organizations. I was there with Nancy Laird staffing the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition’s booth.
Denise Driehaus, a state representative, brought to our attention the Forum of Economic Issues for Women. The forum not only covers pay and equity but also pregnancy and domestic violence. Elizabeth Atwell, the director of Mental Health in America, focused on the mental health of our women, mothers and children. She connected with the audience by providing a personal story of her own to emphasize the importance of mental health in our community. Vanessa Freytag, the Director of the Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati focused on women’s economic self-sufficiency. She encouraged everyone to pay attention to legislation and find out whom they are being represented by. Beth Schwartz, the CEO of Jewish Family Services, spoke on the perception which most people have that it’s possible to get by on food stamps. She shared her story of how she felt trying to do the food stamp challenge; she became grumpy, testy and was completely out of her emotional scope. She couldn’t afford to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal and sometimes didn’t have enough to eat at all.
In addition to the amazing speakers there were also many participating agencies. Visitors were able to browse the many tables of information from the agencies which included Cincinnati Union Bethel, Planned Parenthood, Homeless Coalition and many others. Another highlight of the Expo was the presentation of a three and a half minute video portraying the economic crisis. Feel free to check out the video, Pennies on the Dollar: Moving Beyond Surviving…to Thriving, at the Thriving Cincinnati web site, www.ThrivingCincinnati.org.