A Message From The President

January 2023

“The one precept we had was support of the ERA because we felt that no woman who was  intelligent, well-informed, and responsible could really claim to support the cause of all women if  she didn’t support the amendment.”  

 –Nancy Ford, Founding Member 

As we welcome 2023, we will continue getting back to basics by focusing on our commitment to promote equality  and opportunity for women. During the month of January, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), our founding  bedrock principle, will be the featured topic of  

our monthly membership meeting and the  Long Range Planning (LRP) Committee,  chaired by Mary Gamble, will kick-off our LRP process. 

Genet Stewart, Lorna Taylor, and the  Community Action Committee’s ERA  subcommittee members have planned an  evening reception as well as a conversation 

during our membership meeting with Zakiya  Thomas, President and CEO of the National  ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality.  Also, special thanks to the Communications  Committee, chaired by Diane Egner, for the  external contacts with the media and local  organizations.  

As we all know, legal sex discrimination and  pay inequity are not yet things of the past, and  the Dobbs decision has shown us progress and  rights not codified into law may be here today  and gone tomorrow. Additionally, in 2010,  the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia  publicly stated that the 14th Amendment  does not prohibit sexual discrimination under  the law. So, the ERA— “Equality of rights  

  • Equal protection from discrimination for all people, regardless of sex; 
  • A clear federal judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination; 
  • A strong legal defense against a rollback of women’s rights; and, 
  • The United States’ standing in the world community. The governing documents of many other countries  already affirm legal gender equality. 

Upon reflecting on the history of the ERA, it’s hard to believe 2023 marks its 100th anniversary. And, sad to realize  women remain vulnerable now and in the future to erosion and reversal of the political and judicial progress made  unless the U.S. Constitution is amended.  

We can all be ERA advocates by sharing information with your friends and family and supporting ERA Ratify FL, if  you haven’t done so already. To help with advocacy efforts, EqualRightsAmendment.org has created an ERA Toolkit containing a wide variety of ready-to-post social media items, white papers, presentations, and ready-to-print  poster, button, sticker, and postcard files — all for free. We can also exercise our political voice by contacting our  legislative representatives to urge support of ratification. 

As we advocate for equality, please also make time to actively participate in our LRP process to help ensure Athena’s  relevance now and in the future. Ben Franklin recorded in a letter, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain,  except death and taxes.” I have often thought his statement should be revised to “…nothing can be said to be certain, except change, death and taxes,” because change is constant and inevitable. Change is an external factor  we must plan on and manage by willingly reframing our approach and adapting our governance, methodologies,  and tools when needed. Nothing that stays the same thrives. So, please also advocate for Athena by engaging in  the LRP process. 

I’m looking forward to a productive new year and I hope you are as well!