Calling All Crows

Mom's the best

Maybe you're already feeling guilty about what you did or did not send your mom. Maybe you're reading this post right now wondering what I'm talking about. Consider this your last minute reminder: Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10, folks. 

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Depending on where you live (you lucky West Coasters have time on your side!), there is still time to drop something in the mail, call a florist, or send something through the internets that can show your mom how much you love and appreciate her. If you're looking for ideas or need some extra inspiration, here are some ideas.

Strong Families is a home for the 4 out of 5 people living in the US who do not live behind the picket fence—whose lives fall outside outdated notions of family, with a mom at home and a dad at work. Their vision is that every family have the rights, recognition and resources it needs to thrive. Join them in celebrating Mamas Day 2015 by sending a free e-card designed to recognize anyone who has been an inspiration to you.

Oxfam America, a nonprofit organization, who you may have heard of before, committed to creating lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice, and they have multiple ways that you can say Happy Mother's Day with a donation to support moms living in poverty, and in particular, those affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Heifer International works with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. They have several gift options under $100 that help to directly empower women by supporting women's groups, training in gender equality and providing the means to send girls to school.

Or, consider making a donation in their honor to these organizations, which support working moms, and families, maternal health, and women's rights generally through research, advocacy, and service:

  • Ibis Reproductive Health is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to improve women's reproductive autonomy, choices, and health worldwide through clinical and social science research.
  • Global Fund for Women advances the rights of women and girls worldwide by increasing the resources for and investing in women-led organizations and women's collective leadership for change.
  • MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, partners with community-based women's groups worldwide facing war and disaster.
  • Since 1972, the National Women's Law Center has expanded the possibilities for women and girls in this country by getting new laws on the books and enforced; litigating ground-breaking cases all the way to the Supreme Court, and educating the public about ways to make laws and public policies work for women and their families.

Whatever you do, don't forget to take a moment and tell the moms in your life how that they are appreciated this Sunday. I know I've got some calls to make to my own!

Introducing Dave

Introducing Dave

Hello! My name is Dave Lishansky and I’m currently fortunate enough to be interning with Calling All Crows for a semester. Just a bit about me: I’m currently finishing my last couple of semesters at Northeastern University, studying Music Industry with focuses in recording and ethnomusicology. A few of my favorite things include walking my dog/best friend Toby in the woods of Concord (my hometown), playing music with people who love to sing their hearts out, and dancing late into the night using mostly my wrists and elbows (a move that’s been lovingly dubbed “the Dave” by those closest and most embarrassed for me).

I came upon Calling All Crows’ work via some friends on Facebook and, after doing a bit of research, realized that Chad and Sybil’s vision to channel the positive energy and goodwill surrounding live music into social activism was a cause I simply had to be a part of. After attending the Music and Lecture Series at this past year’s Annual Benefit Weekend, I knew there was no turning back.

Both at ABW7 and our most recent Music and Lecture Series event celebrating International Women’s Day, I understood exactly how the work that Calling All Crows does is supremely important. Watching the intimate gathering of people totally absorbed in conversation, music, and one another, I realized that the most profound result of the work being done is the community that is produced when people interested in changing the world gather. This community comprises new and old crows—family, friends, and, at this last lecture series, freshly edified advocates for reproductive justice armed with information from All* Above All and the sweet spirit of Chadwick Stokes and Darren Buck’s songs.

Groups just like this connect at every Calling All Crows event. Those who give, volunteer, fundraise, and join in for our causes are simultaneously strengthening the bonds and spreading the virtues of this community every day, and anywhere that crows come together, the wonderful rewards of these necessary labors are enjoyed.

While the problems of the world might not be solved by raising funds for a few winter kits for Syrian refugee camps or educating people on reproductive justice alone, I strongly believe that when communities’ foundations are structured around mutual appreciation for art and compassion for humanity, the world is strengthened in a positive way. Communities that care for one another, that accept and include all who wish to join, and respect and recognize those that don’t, whose harmony is palpable at every gathering, and who’s gatherings are built on the sharing of music and education—these communities can and do help heal the world. Calling All Crows is an enthusiastic, growing, and full-hearted example of such a community that I am truly proud and incredibly lucky to share a part in.

"Communities that care for one another, that accept and include all who wish to join, and respect and recognize those that don’t, whose harmony is palpable at every gathering, and who’s gatherings are built on the sharing of music and education—these communities can and do help heal the world."

My greatest hope for my work over the next few months is to help more and more musicians and fans realize their power to take action for change in whatever causes move them. The work of Calling All Crows has proven that the excitement of a show and love of music is a regenerative source of energy that, when channeled into the right outlets, can lead to tangible progress and sustainable solutions to any issue. The warmth and wholeness we receive from the music we care about is ours to put back into the world however we can, whether it be to create change through volunteerism, self-education, awareness building, or whatever we are moved to do—this is our gift as music lovers, and our defiant answer to anyone who says that some problems are simply too big to tackle.

What I’m listening to:

Strong Women, Strong Girls joins BCTW!

Strong Women, Strong Girls joins BCTW!

We are so excited to introduce Strong Women, Strong Girls as our first BCTW partner! We hope that you'll be inspired by their work and support them by joining their efforts in Boston and Pittsburgh, or by finding similar models in your own community! Learn more about the Bringing Change to Women Initiative.

Calling All Crows was introduced to Strong Women, Strong Girls when Program Associate Sarah Kacevich introduced herself as a possible speaker for our Music & Lecture Series. At that MLS we learned about all the great work that SWSG is doing to mentor and support young girls, as well as what a natural fit they are for a partnership. We are excited to introduce them as a featured non-profit in this year’s Bringing Change to Women campaign!

Did you know that a girl’s self esteem peaks in the 4th grade, when she is only 9 years old and does not return to the same level until age 35? Around the world, girls hold immense potential, yet are also a vulnerable population that faces unique barriers, including issues ranging from pay inequality to concerns about safety and sexual violence. Strong Women, Strong Girls exists to help tap that potential and support and empower young women through adolescence and into adulthood with direct mentorship. Today's world needs strong women leaders to address complex social issues--SWSG will help girls become those leaders.

Their model engages women at three stages: as young girls, as college mentors, and finally, as professional. These volunteers are empowered with immense responsibility, resulting in leadership development for the volunteers, and increased staff capacity. Through this model, they continue to empowering girls beyond the mentee stage, and support them on their pathway to becoming strong female leaders as adults.

Last year SWSG Boston celebrated going 10 years. That chapter has served more than 9,000 girls in 60-plus communities and has worked with more than 3,000 college mentors.“SWSG girls often say that the program is a place for them to be themselves, find friends and mentors who are their true allies and learn about heroes they can look up to. It broadens their vision of their lives’ possibilities and helps them learn skills to stand up for themselves and others when facing challenges like bullying or shyness. College and professional women gain life-long relationships, become part of a positive female community where they can find support and gain critical leadership skills,” said Kacevich in a recent article on Monster.com.

On top of all that wonderful work, Kacevich also talks about the power of music to help support and empower young women,

“Music is a vehicle for youth and adults from all walks of life to share their stories. It has the power to transform hardship into joy, spread the message about a cause, and promote cross-cultural understanding. Music is one way to help youth think critically about what's happening in their world. The SWSG curriculum frequently features strong female musicians who our girls can look up to."

We encourage you to look for opportunities to support their work, whether by volunteering as a mentor in Boston or Pittsburgh, participating in an upcoming event, or finding a version of this great program in your own community. Reach out to us if you have questions or are interested in getting involved with SWSG or the BCTW campaign!

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