Ain’t I a Person….Who Wants Equality?


Sojourner Truth, a girl gone wild?

“In 1858, at a meeting in Silver Lake, Indiana, someone in the audience accused her of being a man (she was very tall, towering around six feet) so she opened her blouse to reveal her breasts.”

(from Women in History’s Sojourner Truth biography)

Ain’t she a woman?  Yeah.  But in 1858 she still didn’t have constitutional equality, in Indiana or anywhere else.

We want to change that.

In honor of this feminist pioneer’s 212th birthday, we’re going to celebrate with cocktails and conversation at the W Bar on the first floor of the historic Foshay Tower in Minneapolis.

WHEN: 5-8 pm, Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WHO: the scintillating women and men of the MN CAFE Coalition, including some special guests

WHY: to discuss the progess we’re making to pass a state Equal Rights Amendment ballot initiative in the 2010 legislative session


Coalition Meeting, Thursday, October 22

Please join us at the Minnesota Women’s Building on Thursday, October 22nd for our next MN CAFE Coalition meeting. On our agenda will include approving coalition by-laws, formalizing our business plan, and discussing a November fundraising event celebrating the birthday of Sojourner Truth.


First Lady Michelle Obama on April 28, 2009, witnessing the unveiling of a memorial bust of Sojourner Truth sculpted by Artis Lane.  The sculpture is the first tribute to an African-American woman in the U.S. Capitol Building.  (

WHERE: 550 Rice Street, St Paul MN 55103

WHEN: 5:30-7:30 pm


Why we can’t wait.

Why now?

Why 2010?  Why not 2012? 2014? 2016?

That’s a good question.  But here’s another.

Why NOT now?  Consider this:

The latest Census statistics show that the gap between men’s and women’s earnings widened slightly between 2007 and 2008. (National Committee on Pay Equity)

Women are more likely than men to feel the pinch of rising health costs and eroding health benefits, with about half (52%) of working-age women reporting problems accessing needed care because of costs, compared to 39 percent of men.  (Commonwealth Fund)

“I would say 80% (of colleges) have compliance problems, enough problems that they would technically be in violation of Title IX,” says Valerie Bonnette, a San Diego-based Title IX consultant.  (USA Today)

The MN CAFE Coalition is committed to amending our state Constitution to reflect gender equality NOW, not later.

We have waited long enough.

Where do your skills fit?

At our September 17th meeting, the MN CAFE Coalition agreed upon the establishment of five Action Teams as we work towards making a Minnesota ERA a reality.  Take a look and tell us where your strengths might be put to use!

Fundraising Team

Have grantwriting experience?  Do you know secret sources of corporate funding that aren’t in the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits’ orbit?  Do you have the verve and gusto necessary to head up an individual donor campaign?  Do you like to throw elaborate fundraising parties?  We need you.  Equality costs a lot of money.

Coalition Recruitment Team

We have a great list of people, political parties, women’s groups, schools, businesses, unions, religious groups, social justice non-profits, corporations, etc. etc. that we want to join the MN CAFE Coalition.  We need you and your friends to help us reach out to them, one and all.

Communications Team

Currently, our communications team consists of li’l old me, alerting you of happenings via this blog and Facebook, and Kathleen, crack designer of MN CAFE printed literature.  As our Coalition grows, and when the Legislature reconvenes in Feburary 2010, we’ll need to step up our game.  Press releases, public research polling, targeted advertising: we will need it all.

Education & Outreach Team

If you are a feminist Toastmaster, we have a job for you.  We want a great team of speakers who are willing and able to talk to small groups in neighborhoods and to large groups at conferences.  We also need a team of extroverts to staff MN CAFE information tables at community events around the state.

Legislative Strategy Team

This team gets to storm the halls of power in St. Paul in 2010 with an effective plan to win passage of an ERA bill in both the House and the Senate.  Smart, friendly, feminist schmoozers wanted.

Please drop us a line at to let us know where we can put your skills to work!

Knocking out inequality, one eye at a time

The MN CAFE Coalition is honored to have been chosen by the Minnesota RollerGirls to be the Black Eye Booth charity for next weekend’s Brawl of America Regional Tournament!

We can’t wait to talk to Minnesota derby fans about our efforts to put an Equal Rights Amendment on our state’s ballot in 2010. We’re also going to talk to fans of derby teams from Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin and ESPECIALLY Illinois about what they can do to support the ratification of the long-overdue federal ERA.

Click on the link below to learn how to get your tickets! See you in St. Paul!

Brawl of America Ticket Information

Coalition Planning Meeting, Thursday September 17

Join us at the Minnesota Women’s Building on Thursday the 17th for a MN CAFE Coalition meeting. This is the time to lay out our strategy for building our coalition ahead of this next February’s legislative session.

WHERE: 550 Rice Street, St Paul MN

WHEN: 7-9 pm


Blogging from the MN CAFE kickoff event!

Tonight we’ve had a great show of equality-minded friends here at Fabulous Fern’s in the heart of Cathedral Hill in St. Paul.  Guests noshed and sipped while perusing the FAQs about our Minnesota campaign, as well as information about the national push to kickstart the ERA at the federal level.

Head instigator Kathleen Murphy welcomed the crowd with a little background information on this grassroots campaign, inspired by the energy being generated at the national level by the new leadership at NOW, the new administration in Washington, and the progressive groundswell after the 2008 campaign.

Our next speaker was Senator Dick Cohen, who has introduced an ERA bill into the Minnesota Senate for the last (gasp) 20 years!  He commented on how happy he was that there is a fresh groundswell of support for the measure.  Then the crowd was thrilled to hear from Franni Franken, the indomitable spouse of our new U.S. Senator Al Franken.  Franni recalled how she and Al marched for the federal ERA back in the last ratification fight.  She connected the ERA to the current battles in Congress over health care and economic justice.  The Frankens, she said, are committed to legal equality for all.

As I type, I see so many different folks milling about, talking about equality.  DFL candidates for governor that are here to support the ERA are Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, and Matt Entenza.  I chatted with a representative of the Minnesota Green Party, and with a new NOW member who is driving to Nebraska to show support for embattled abortion doctor Dr. LeRoy Carhart.  There are representative from NARAL, NOW, Organizing for America, the Teamsters, Breaking Free, the Dead Feminists Society, the DFL African-American Caucus, and many others.

Our BIG announcement is that the next meeting of the MN CAFE Coalition will be held on Thursday, September 17th, at the Minnesota Women’s Building in St. Paul.