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November 2012

November 29, 2012

Special Art Exhibition Sponsored by UNDERLINE Gallery

Artworks by: Cat Chow, Liz Collins and Margaret Evangeline Baselitz

And smaller artworks, artist books, jewelry, prints, ceramics, and other objects by a select group of the Gallery’s female artists who are dedicated to sustainable practices and approaches to artmaking will be available for sale at the booth outside the exhibition space.

UNDERLINE Gallery is a visual arts gallery that underscores important, innovative works by some of today’s most talented artists. The Gallery’s unique perspective–often marked by color, dimension, humor, and spirit–reflects an intimate and non-exclusive environment that facilitates art appreciation. A variety of price points and a range of small and large-scale works bring together a community of artists, curators, art lovers, and collectors.

UNDERLINE creates compelling and memorable experiences for visitors through a lineup of curatorial themes that are both provocative and contemporary. The artwork juxtaposes classic concepts and innovative techniques, just as the gallery similarly intends to revolutionize traditional standards of art exhibition. The venue extends in scope to platform and forum, offering a sense of community, showroom and conversation.

In addition to the main gallery, Underline’s shop offers affordable pieces by its rotating roster of artists, such as hand-crafted objects, limited-edition prints, and one-of-a-kind artist books, for a variety of art lovers.

November 28, 2012

Special Panel Discussion - Nov 30 at 6:30 pm Entrepreneurship for Empowerment: How Women Are Using Business To Lift Up Themselves & Their Communities




A panel discussion exploring the role of entrepreneurship and economic opportunity as a tool for female empowerment, at home and in the developing world. The panel will be preceded by a screening of the “Economic Empowerment” chapter of Half The Sky, featuring the story of the Umoja Women’s Village in Kenya, at 5:45pm. Beverages and light snacks will be provided by Equal Exchange.


Brenda Avery, Public Relations Director, Mercado Global. Brenda is Public Relations Director of Mercado Global, a fair trade organization that empowers female artisans in Latin America by connecting them to mainstream sales opportunities in the U.S. Mercado Global’s sales and business support for women’s artisan cooperatives lift families in rural indigenous communities out of poverty and invest in local women’s leadership. Brenda brings over ten years of branding and communications experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, having most recently worked for TOD’S, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier. Prior to her work in luxury goods, Brenda served on several bi-partisan political campaigns as well as in the executive office of California Governor Gray Davis. Brenda is completing an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and holds a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She also holds a Certificate in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design.

Cheryl Campbell, Managing Director, EILEEN FISHER Community Foundation. Cheryl Campbell is the Managing Director of the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation and a connecting partner of the Eileen Fisher Social Consciousness team. In the fall of 2009 she launched GREEN EILEEN, a recycled clothing initiative, which has raised over $1.35 million dollars and sold more than 40,000 garments. Proceeds support non-profit programs for women and girls. Cheryl facilitates the annual Eileen Fisher Business Grant program for Women Entrepreneurs. The annual grants awards $12,500 to five 100% women owned businesses that excel in the areas of innovation and sustainability.

Erica Dorn, Community Development and Loan Operations Manager, Accion USA. As a leader in U.S. microfinance, Accion empowers low-to-moderate income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs—often minorities and women—can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities.

Isela Hernandez, President and Founder, HERNÁN. Originally from the U.S.-Mexico border, Isela was raised in the best of both worlds allowing her to explore the opportunities of the U.S. while remaining closely connected to Mexico’s rich culture. After 8 years as a merchant in the fashion industry in New York and Los Angeles, Isela became active in community development and worked at the Synergos Institute – an international NGO with a mission to eradicate poverty and inequity in the developing world and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Inspired by this experience, Isela was determined to use her experience as a merchant to start a business that would promote Mexican culture. HERNÁN is a brand of Mexican premium gourmet products which includes a line of Mexican kitchenware and Mexican hot chocolate. All HERNÁN products are designed and made in Mexico by local artisans and producers, many of whom are expanding beyond their local origins for the first time. Isela is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Terri McCullough, Executive Director, Tory Burch Foundation. Terri is the Executive Director of the Tory Burch Foundation and guides its strategy. Terri was previously Chief of Staff and advisor to Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. She served in a variety of roles for more than 15 years in Rep. Pelosi’s Capitol Hill and San Francisco offices, with a focus on issues affecting women and families. Her experience also includes positions at NARAL Pro-Choice America, PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning) and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University. Terri serves on the Board of the Girls Leadership Institute. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Lyn Pentecost, Executive Director, The Lower Eastside Girls Club. Lyn Pentecost, PhD, is an anthropologist and Executive Director of The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York, a place where girls and young women 8-23 can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. All Girls Club programs develop environmental, entrepreneurial and ethical leadership in the girls they serve. The Girls Club owns and operates four successful social ventures: a Farmers Market, a Fair Trade Gift Shop, a Community Café and The Sweet Things Bake Shop – which makes the best cupcakes in NYC!

Moderated by: 

Kari Litzmann, Founder of ShopRubina.com and President of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs. Kari has spent eight years working as a designer and branding consultant in New York with the purpose of strengthening the voice of women around the world. Her clients have included microfinance organizations like Women’s World Banking and women’s academic institutions like Barnard College. She received her Masters from the Pratt Design Management program in 2005, during which she conducted thesis research on how Design Management is relevant in economically-impoverished communities, and where she discovered the power of design to make positive change in the world. She currently serves as the Chapter Leader of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs, a network of more than 1800 women involved in the social enterprise and CSR space in New York. She worked with Kala Raksha, a groundbreaking NGO that empowers artisans through design in Kutch India, and returned to India at the beginning of 2012 to spend five months building partnerships with design companies and women artisans for the launch of ShopRubina.com.


November 27, 2012

Craft Room Sponsored by BurdaStyle, Manufacture New York and Textile Arts Center: Nov 30 & Dec 1


NOV 30

12pm, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm – Fabric Notecard Workshop with BurdaStyle
Free (register here)

12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm - Fabric Button Workshop with BurdaStyle
Free (register here)

BurdaStyle is a DIY fashion and sewing community. Our aim is to bring the craft of sewing to a new generation of fashion designers, hobbyists, DIY’ers, and inspire fashion enthusiasts. We offer downloadable PDF sewing patterns, project ideas, tutorials and a community passionate about fashion.


2pm, 5pm – Paper Bag Printmaking with Manufacture New York
Free (register here)

Think that patternmaking is something you have to spend hundreds of hours (and dollars) learning in school? Well, that’s mostly true, but in this class you will learn the quick and dirty method of paper bag patternmaking. Save all your Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods bags, and use them to knock off your favorite garments! Along the way, you will also learn the basics of patternmaking and have a better idea of how your clothes are made. Bring one simple favorite: a T-shirt, vest, simple pair of leggings, or dress that you love. By the end of class, we will have created a flat pattern of all of the pieces of that garment, so you can just go home and cut/sew it in any fabric variation!  This technique can be a real time + money saver if you’re on a budget, and the best thing part is you won’t have to spend a boatload on materials. Prerequisite: Basic Sewing Skills or above.

Manufacture New York is a fashion incubator/factory hybrid dedicated to providing independent designers with the resources & skills to streamline their production process & transform local manufacturing into the most affordable, innovative option for all.



12pm - Shibori Tie Dye Tote Bag Workshop with Natural Dyes 
$10 including materials and either a tote bag or handkerchief
(register here)

1pm - Dry Felted Holiday Decoration Workshop 
$10 including materials
(register here)

2pm – Shibori Tie Dye Tote Bag Workshop with Natural Dyes 
$10 including materials and either a tote bag or handkerchief
(register here)

3pm – Dry Felted Holiday Decoration Workshop
$10 including materials
(register here)

The main goal of the Textile Arts Center is to provide support to fiber artists, designers, and everyday people interested in working with fiber, by acting as a resource facility and creative meeting place. Since its founding in mid-2009, the Textile Arts Center offers multiple ways in which the public can participate in the textile arts. Through classes, workshops, exhibitions, and special events, the Textile Arts Center aims to preserve ancient handcrafts and techniques, while enabling paritcipants to fit such processes into contemporary life.

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November 26, 2012

GIVE GOOD Market: Film Screening & Musical Entertainment



Half the Sky: Economic Empowerment in Kenya

An excerpt from “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” on the Umoja Women’s Village in Kenya, a community of domestic violence survivors that supports itself through sales of beaded jewelry.


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The Microlending Film Project w/ Special Presentation & Seeds Demo

Exclusive excerpts from The Microlending Film Project, preceded by a special presentation on microlending, technology, and women’s empowerment by director/producer Rachel Cook. The Microlending Film Project seeks to show a balanced, comprehensive picture of microfinance through the lens of the personal stories of the women it impacts. The issue of transparency and its paramount importance to the industry is a key focus, as is showcasing best-practices and suggesting how microfinance can most effectively be used as one development tool in a larger box, both domestically and abroad, specifically in terms of the opportunities mobile banking and crowdsourcing promise. Rachel will also provide special demonstrations of Seeds: a revolutionary new social game that facilitates direct mobile-to-mobile microlending from the developed to the developing world.


The Story Exchange

Selected clips from The Story Exchange, a global video project empowering women to achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. We know the importance of role models and that’s what The Story Exchange is all about: it’s women inspiring women. By producing and promoting video profiles of successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life and sectors we encourage others to gain economic freedom, create the lifestyle of their choosing, and uncover their full potential.

The Story of Stuff Project

Selected clips from The Story of Stuff Project, a movement from storyteller Annie Leonard to bring about awareness of issues related to consumption.

Vendor Videos
A selection of promotional videos and mini-documentaries from the vendors taking part in the GIVE GOOD Market.

Roshni Music

Roshni is a solar-powered contemplative, love-soaked, multi-faceted music movement dedicated to creating peaceful vibrations, both inner and outer, for every living being on the planet. They blend sounds from East & West in a meditational, transformative, women-centered and yoga-appropriate mantra music. They call themselves ‘devotional folk’ music. Roshni are: James Dean (guitar & vocals), Alexandra Weaverling (vocals) and Paul Harris (flute).

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November 19, 2012

You're Invited to NYWSE's GIVE GOOD Holiday Market!


Announcing NYWSE's first annual holiday market supporting some of the women-owned sustainable businesses in our network! We are so excited to host this event featuring more than 25 female vendors selling gift products that are making a difference in our world. The market will also include programming such as film screenings of women filmmakers, an art exhibition of women artists sponsored by Underline Gallery, DIY workshops sponsored by BurdaStyle and Textile Arts Center, and a panel discussion with reps from ethical fashion rockstars and women champions such as Mercado Global, Lower East Side Girls Club, Eileen Fisher, and Accion USA.

More info and the schedule of events can be found on our website: http://givegoodmarket.com 

WHERE: Starrett Lehigh Building, 601 West 26th Street at 11th Avenue 

WHEN: Friday, November 30 – Saturday, December 1; 11am – 8pm 

PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS: Mercado Global, Shannon South Handbags, KORA, and Study NY to name a few... 

PROGRAMMING PARTNERS: Half the Sky, BurdaStyle, Textile Arts Center, Eileen Fisher, Accion USA, The Story of Stuff, The Story Exchange, and Lower East Side Girls Club.

We are happy to co-sponsor this market with Centre for Social Innovation (whose enormous popup space is where the market will be held) and Rubina who shares our vision of supporting women-owned businesses, among several other like-minded organizations. You can learn more about them here: 



November 12, 2012

"How She Does It" Recap with Caitlin Kelley

by Theresa VanderMeer, Founder of WORK+SHELTER and The Lotus Odyssey

On October 15th the NYWSE community gathered for dinner and drinks at gastropub 121 Fulton to hear about Africa Volunteer Corps (AVC) founder Caitlin Kelley’s adventures in Tanzania and beyond. Caitlin founded AVC in 2009 after a tenure in Tanzania that left her grappling with a conundrum – many Westerners came to Tanzania to volunteer but weren’t able to actually make a positive impact. Conversely, local Tanzanians with the capacity, skills, and drive to make a difference in their own communities were told they didn’t have the right “experience” to get involved.

Discussions between Caitlin and her friend, Tanzanian Jafari Msaki, resulted in the birth of the Africa Volunteer Corps. AVC’s mission is to “unite passionate, qualified African volunteers with African NGOs to deepen their impact and empower Africans to play a vital role in shaping Africa's future.” The benefits are twofold – support existing development initiatives with local volunteers, and provide the opportunity for Tanzanians to gain the “experience” other international non-profits claim the candidates are lacking.

Caitlin brought the NYWSE community her hard-fought lessons. When prompted to share advice with the group on founding our own initiative, she advised us to:

1. Listen to your stakeholders

2. Trust your instincts in order move into uncharted territory

3. Fall in love with fear - Fear is a great indication that you’re getting outside of your comfort zone, and a good sign that you are where you need to be

Additionally we learned about working in Tanzania -

Don’t rush or push – it will inhibit your ability to get anything done and will alienate people. The best thing you can do is really invest the time into building relationships with the community. Formally introduce yourself and your organization to universities or the local police office, but don’t forget the informal route as well – bringing out those police offers for drinks could end up being just as important!

And finally, Caitlin’s advice for when the going gets tough?  

Nothing is impossible - you just need to figure it out. Always remember that challenges are blessings in disguise!


About Caitlin Kelley

Caitlin Kelley’s mission is to help people live their greatest potential and to shift the paradigm of how the West interacts with Africa. After studying African history at Northwestern University, the path to facilitate justice and self-determination wherever possible took her to Tanzania where she learned Swahili and worked at a grassroots NGO. While there, she saw the world of local NGO’s from the inside out and met many passionate, educated locals hungry to find lasting ways to make a positive impact in their country. In 2009 she and partner Jafari Msaki founded Africa Volunteer Corps, a service corps for Africans to work in African-initiated development projects. Contact her at [email protected]


About Theresa VanderMeer

Theresa VanderMeer is an American professional interested in development economics, what it means to be human, and harnessing technology and innovation for social change. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, founder of WORK+SHELTER and The Lotus Odyssey, and member of the NYWSE leadership team. She deeply identifies with the statement, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Contact her at [email protected]