Here’s to a productive and effective New Year — working together for social justice and economic fairness!
Wreath on The Brick House woodshed door (photo: Christopher Rice)
It’s been a great first year for the Frances Perkins Center, thanks to the participation of so many wonderful people and organizations. Here’s a quick rundown of some of our activities:
In January, publication of Adam Cohen’s book, Nothing to Fear, started things off with its strong focus on Frances Perkins’s contribution to FDR’s first 100 days; in February we held several of our popular “Fireside Chats” at the Center; in March, Center board member Kirstin Downey hit the spotlight with her monumental biography, The Woman Behind the New Deal; we held a national “launch” celebration in April in the Great Hall at the Department of Labor in Washington, followed by a reception at the historic Women’s National Democratic Club; in May, many progressive organizations joined us for our conference, “The New New Deal: Building an Economy That Works for All of Us,” in Belfast, Maine; our Garden Party in June at the Center brought many to see the gardens and meet our six Frances Perkins honorees–women who’ve carried on her spirit in Maine–on one of the few sunny days that month; we were introduced to a wider audience in July by our appearance on Maine Public Television’s “Maine Watch”; in August our wonderful intern from Mount Holyoke College, Sichu Mali, concluded her three-month effort cataloguing photos, letters, and articles at the Center; in September we put together our first Senior College course on Frances Perkins; in October we started making plans for 2010 (more about that later); and in November we were thrilled to view the opening of the exhibit of Frances Perkins’s papers at the Butler Library at Columbia University in New York. In December we began working with a coalition of more than 40 national organizations fighting an attempt to cut Social Security and Medicare, launching a petition opposing the attack.
Today we’re stopping to catch our breath and look back over the year and say, “THANK YOU!” to all of you who have participated in one way or another. We’ve made so many new friends and pressed so many old friends into service, the Frances Perkins Center is becoming a remarkable community.
We have an exciting plan for 2010 and important work to do, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Social Security, which Frances Perkins called her greatest achievement. The anniversary coincides with yet another attempt to diminish Social Security, which makes our highlighting the program’s significance that much more important. We’re kicking it all off with a conference and film premiere on January 14th in New York; for more information or to register, go to FrancesPerkinsCenter.org/events.html. There are more events and activities to come after that, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise now…
In the meantime, here’s a gentle reminder that there are only a few days left in 2009 in which to make a contribution to the Frances Perkins Center. As a fledgling organization, every dollar makes a difference. Any size contribution you make will be greatly appreciated. To make a contribution, go to FrancesPerkinsCenter.org/donate.html.
Thank you for all the ways you’ve participated in our mission this year. We look forward to having you on our team in 2010.