Calling All Crows

Making time to give back

Making time to give back

Calling All Crows is currently working to raise $7,500 by April 15. Here, our Executive Director, Jen Hallee Little shares why supporting our organization is about more than simply donating--it's about inclusion in a movement dedicated social change. Read on and please consider making a gift to CAC today.

There are a few things that are always worth making time for... Love. Family. Lasting friendships. Kindness. Courtesy. Making a good meal. Sleep. Pursuing a passion. Giving back to a cause you care about. Building a life of purpose. I feel so incredibly grateful that my life includes many opportunities to make time for all of those (though maybe not the sleep part with a two year old and pregnancy insomnia with one on the way!)...

I also find that many are involved in my work at Calling All Crows. When I came to work here three years ago, I knew I was becoming a part of something really special--I had attended an Annual Benefit Weekend in 2009 and felt the energy of the ABW experience and the dedication of the Calling All Crows community--but I really had no idea how inspiring it would be.

From Chad and Sybil’s tireless but humble pursuit of justice, women’s rights, and really, just altogether goodness for humankind… to the incredible passion and willingness of our network of volunteers, Alternative Break Tour alumni, community organizers, and all of those familiar faces we see whenever we hold events or are out on tour… to the generous support of our Crow Club members and donors who really share the belief that there is something special when music and service/activism comes together. I am continually motivated to lead this organization in the best way possible because of all of you.

This year and in the next few years, we're strengthening our model of fan engagement and building our reputation as a non-profit with tangible opportunities to work for social change for women. As we experience changes within the music industry, and as our co-founder Chadwick Stokes’ career evolves, we find we must respond and adapt to continue to provide the types of opportunities that are so meaningful for you and impactful in the world. That means more reliance on individuals who are willing to support our work financially to sustain and grow our movement. It is what will allow us to stay on the road in an industry that is hungry for engagement in social issues and inspired by these efforts.

We’ve got 15 days to meet our spring goal of $7,500 by April 15 - so don’t wait, make a gift today! You can make a one-time donation on our website, or join the Crow Club and make a long-term commitment. Donate at least $50 by April 15 or join the Crow Club at the $10/month or more level and receive a CAC gift pack that includes stickers and an "I'm with her." t-shirt!

Thank you in advance for your support and for making Calling All Crows one of the things for which it is worth making time.

Celebrating resiliency on the 5th anniversary of the Syrian Crisis

Celebrating resiliency on the 5th anniversary of the Syrian Crisis

Earlier this month we wrapped up the second leg of our Forced to Flee tour with Chadwick Stokes. To date we’ve been in 30 cities raising awareness about refugees and the situation in Syria tabling at concerts and and through service projects and engagement events at 16 stops along the way. We’re incredibly inspired by the response you all have had to this work and are excited to see you join in this effort.

Sunday, March 15 marked the 5th Anniversary of the ongoing crisis in Syria. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International has called it “one of the worst refugee crises since World War II, displacing millions of civilians, mostly women and children,” Estimates indicate that the number of people in need inside Syria is around 12.2 million, approximately 6.4 million of whom are internally displaced. More than 200,000 people have been killed and around 680,000 injured. More than 3.7 million people have fled Syria; the largest numbers are hosted by Lebanon.

According to our partners at Oxfam America, Syrian women and girls face increased risks and multiple forms of violence, as a result of the conflict and displacement, including domestic violence, forced and early marriage and sexual violence, such as sexual abuse, exploitation and other negative coping mechanisms. While women and girls report domestic violence as one of the key protection concerns, anxiety over the safety of family members and exploitation at work affects men too. UNHCR has faced challenges with regards to underreporting of sexual and gender-based violence, particularly of sexual violence, for example due to cultural constraints and access so the numbers of those affected is likely to be much higher than estimated.

83% of all the lights in Syria have gone out since the start of the conflict, according to the #WithSyria coalition, of which Oxfam is a member. In some places, like Aleppo, the darkness is even greater, with 97 percent of the lights off. We need to do more to stand by this community and show them they are not forgotten.

However, the news isn’t all bleak. Ordinary people are showing extraordinary courage in the face of fear, violence and devastation, committing unseen acts of heroism and courage as they continue through the crisis.

Here are a few stories that we wanted to share:

  • Abu Mahmood started a pizza delivery service in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp. You read that right. Mahmood, who lost his home and livelihood and was forced to leave Syria in 2012, has shown true entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency in the face of extreme adversity.
  • The White Helmets, a group of volunteers have stepped in as first responders and risk their own lives to conduct search and rescue missions. Women have played a key role, “In some cases, they are the only hope for other women or girls who are trapped under rubble. In Syria’s most conservative communities, people have refused to let male volunteers rescue women and girls – but the women have intervened to help those who wouldn’t have been helped otherwise.”
  • In Jordan, around two hundred refugees were involved in painting three UNHCR tents over three days, transforming the shelters into works of art. The images speak for themselves (click the link or image to see more) and the tents will be used as exhibited as part of Refugee Week celebrations and at events commemorating World Refugee Day on June 20.

Stories like these are being shared every day and we're excited to continue our campaign to raise awareness about the Syrian crisis. From teachers and parents maintaining a sense of everyday life to civil society leaders negotiating ceasefires, these heroes offer some light in the darkness. We can help support them. Learn more about how to suppot current efforts to stand #WithSyria.

#WomenWednesdays: Amy, Kimberlé and First Aid Kit

#WomenWednesdays: Amy, Kimberlé and First Aid Kit

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, Shayna Lewis, Program & Communications Manager, is taking a moment each Wednesday to share stories of an artist, activist, or our personal favorite: artist-activists that have had an impact working towards gender equality. Read on to learn about a few of Shayna’s feminist icons...

Amy Poehler

From founding Smart Girls at the Party, to celebrating Galentine’s Day as Leslie Knope to bringing feminism to the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler has long been a personal favorite. For me, it’s how her so many of her on and off screen relationships are built on supporting and encouraging her friends. We can all do a little more to empower one another and I love that Poehler does it while cracking me up. From her book, Yes Please:

“The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Getting a little academic, I’m adding Kimberlé Crenshaw to this list. Crenshaw is a professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School specializing in race and gender issues, and is credited with coining the term “intersectionality.” Intersectionality is a framework that recognizes the multiple aspects of identity—e.g., gender, race, sexual identity, economic status—that result in privileges or compound and complicate oppressions and marginalizations. By working to recognize the specific spaces that we all live in, we can work together to empower all people. Crenshaw says:

"Women come from a whole range of backgrounds. If our visions of peace don’t include these differences, then our peace will be partial."

First Aid Kit

Sisters Kiara and Johanna Söderberg from the band First Aid Kit pulled me in with their music and they’re an easy addition to just about any playlist I’ve made in the past few years. Recently, however, I also realized that consistently support women’s rights and feminism, which made me even more stoked to support them. Johanna’s comment about wanting to see more female sound engineers and producers in the The Telegraph last year is definitely an interesting way to think about how women can change the music industry, and of course, I’ll always love ideas like Kiara’s:

"I want to see the whole of society changing. But we can only do our part! A lot of other people from a lot of bigger places need to make changes too."

Have a feminist icon that you want to see featured in this series? We’re just cracking the surface and have so much more to share and want you all to share alike! Email Shayna with stories about individuals who inspire you take action for women’s rights and gender equality.

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