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Inside This Issue:

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Solidarity That's More than Choosing a Side

I have been fascinated with solidarity for decades. It was the focus of my dissertation. I continue to learn more and more about this complex phenomenon (learning is always undone!).

The war between Israel and Hamas has elevated the term solidarity to everyday parlance. Yet, the way it is represented and practiced often minimizes its generative potential. Here are a few assumptions about solidarity, which I propose to disrupt, that have bubbled up to the surface for me recently:

  • The main purpose of solidarity is to express a political commitment

  • Solidarity means picking a side when two groups are in opposition

  • Expressing solidarity for one group forecloses the opportunity to express empathy or support for the other(ed) group

  • The freedom of one group is contingent upon the material or cultural oppression of another group

In other words, it is possible to resist binaries yet be trapped within them.

In my dissertation, I studied how women leaders in progressive social movements engage their complex similarities and differences as they practice solidarity. Here are a few things I learned from the women who so generously shared their time with me:

  • Solidarity involves five interrelated leadership practices: 1) recognizing and appreciating differences; 2) seeking connections and commonalities; 3) convening people; 4)using power and privilege; and 5) working through conflict

  • Solidarity is an emotional, relational, strategic, and spiritual practice

  • Dialogue and negotiation are ways to work through conflict

  • Conflict can be creative and transformative, breaking down barriers that divide

  • Engaging difference can be a generative, rather than an oppositional, practice

  • Similarities and commonalities can be relational and dynamic rather than static and representing unity/conformity

  • Experiencing 'others' with respect and curiosity can lead to personal growth and transformation

  • Solidarity is something to be worked toward - a process rather than a prerequisite

What if we....

  • Truly believed that the freedom of one group was contingent on the freedom of all living beings?

  • Acknowledged the pain and suffering of the 'other' group?

  • Used our collective creative energy to envision and advocate for possible solutions that will work for everyone?

  • Made public solidarity commitments to the peacemakers and coalition builders?

  • Made claims for people's rights without perpetuating the myths of scarcity and separateness, and without universalizing experience?

These are not acts of complicity, but an acknowledgment of the need to move beyond binary political frameworks to sustainably resolve human conflict and affirm the humanity of all people.

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Here are some resources that have been helpful to me in making sense of what is happening between Israel and Hamas. 

Here is information about groups that are working to establish peace in the region:

These resources were shared by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation:

Americans of Conscience Checklist also offers a helpful resource - Navigating American Divisiveness: Polarized Challenges and Hopeful Solutions.

IfNotNow has a Guide for Discussing Israel/Palestine at Your Dinner Table

Leadership Learning Center also shared several resources:

January 16, 2024 is the National Day of Racial Healing

What She Said

“It just reminds me of how powerful we are as women when we stick together. And this doesn’t mean that we’re coming after you men. If we’re together, you’re taken care of. Relax….You will benefit, trust me.”  

Actor Taraji P. Henson after being asked what she got from being in The Color Purple on CBS Sunday Morning, December 2, 2023


Why I Changed My Name as a 48-Year Old Professional Woman

There is a lot of 'conventional wisdom' about women changing their names. This includes:

- You shouldn't change your name when you get married because that is a patriarchal practice (as though arbitrarily accepting your father's name is not)
- You shouldn't change your name if you're a professional woman because then people won't know who you are

While there is some truth in both of these statements, I decided – at 48 years old with a doctorate and extensive professional experience and publishing credits – to change my last name. It is something that I wanted to do for about four decades, because my other name was difficult to spell and Aviva – my assumed name – is both my Hebrew name and represents what I (aspire to) embody as both a leader and as a human being. I delayed the decision because it seemed like a huge commitment and I wasn't sure which name to select. So, I decided to be decisive (!) and to make a choice, knowing that there isn't always one best solution. 


The Gender Justice Data Hub is a new resource from Global Fund for Women. This resource will be used to identify and attract funding for emerging movements.

The Peace Leadership Collaborative is a "global hub for the collective wisdom of peace leadership."

The Guardian published a collection of Illustrated Stories of Women's Rights around the World.

UN Women published a mid-term review of their strategic plan for 2022 to 2025.

Your group can apply to host a screening of Robert Putnam's new film, Join or Die, about how to reconnect our broken social ties.

Washington Area Women's Foundation released Thrive As They Lead: Advancing the Infrastructure to Advance Black Women Leaders in the D.C. Metro Area Nonprofit Sector.

Candid offers a free class - Centering Intersectional Feminism in Philanthropy and Beyond.

Next River published Freedom's Revival: Research from the Headwaters of Liberation, which identifies four elements of freedom that stems from "a deep connectedness with other living beings."

From HUD Exchange, a video about Sapelo Island, home of the last intact Gullah Geechee community now inhabited by about 50 people.

Network Weaver is offering a Brown Paper called Healing Love into Balance. The authors suggest that "balance asks us to start with ourselves and attend to our inner imbalances, then move out from there to our relationships to find what needs mending, and from there to our organizations to shine a light on culture and power dynamics, leading us finally to reenvisioning the systems that impact what we need to live."

SHINE is "is an online hub for global knowledge exchange on ending violence against women and girls." 

The Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice is offering Songs in the Key of Resistance: A Movement Songbook – a toolkit that includes song lyrics, links to videos to see and hear a performance of the songs, and actions that align with each song.

Learn about India's feminist foreign policy in this video from We Woman Want on NewsX.

This video from UN Women profiles the work of women climate leaders in Bangladesh.

Learn about equitable leadership as an environmental sustainability strategy in this video from Women's Forum for the Economy & Society.


Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the need to restore our planet and to heal relationships globally, even though I know I am responsible only for a small piece of it all. This series from BBC Radio 2, Pause for Thought: How I'm Saving Planet Earth, helped me to feel rooted in that place. Thanks to Lynette Davis for sharing.

Jessica's Bookshelf


Sark's Succulent Wild Woman literally changed my life. Her powerful messages of self-love, creativity, and living life to the fullest still resonate with me 25 years later. This gem was recently re-released with updated material.

"I believe we have the power to create the solutions that are needed to transform this world into one that is more succulent for everyone. We will do this by living authentically and expressing ourselves fully." - Sark


Back to Eden was another life changing book for me. I used to read it at my aunt and uncle's house while everyone else was playing Pinochle. My ideas about health, wellness, and living in harmony with the earth were deeply informed by this book. I just got my own copy and look forward to reading it once again! Because it is nearly 800 pages long, I will likely skip right to the sections that interest me most, possibly starting with the chapter all about oatmeal.

At Club Fruition, the Fruition Coalition's learning network for feminist leaders, we have many events planned over the next few months: 

Friday, January 26

3 p.m. Class – Self-Determination

3:30 p.m. Workshop – Loosening :The Art of Letting Go x Honoring the Past


Friday, February 2

2:30 p.m. New Member Orientation

3:30 p.m. Monthly Circle

4:30 p.m. Happy Hour


Thursday, February 22

1 p.m. Class – Dialogue 


Friday, February 23

9 a.m. Workshop – Network Mapping

10:30 a.m. Co-Create Play Space


Friday, March 1

9 a.m. Monthly Circle

10 a.m. Connect x Collaborate


Wednesday, March 13

9:30 a.m. Class – Peaceful Coexistence

10 a.m. New Member Orientation


Friday, March 29

9 a.m. Reimagine! Solutions to Family Homelessness

10 a.m. Show, Tell, and Ask


Monday, April 1

1 p.m. Monthly Circle

2 p.m. Happy Hour


Thursday, April 18th    

1 p.m. New Member Orientation

Be Our Guest!

You can join Club Fruition for two months at no cost. Get to know us so you can decide if membership is right for you.

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It's Never Too Late to Start Something New

About 30 years ago, a well-meaning but nonetheless uninspired relative put me and my dreams in my place by saying "you can't just start a magazine," words that might have shattered my dreams if I didn't know that there are many ways to do nearly everything, except possibly successful specialty surgery (and I already had the experiencing of publishing a zine). It's true that things that seem seamless from the outside take tons of time, effort, and resources to produce. It's also true that we can create, individually or collaboratively, our visions into tangible, shareable resources that can be used and enjoyed by many people.

Well, here it is – Fruition Journal. 30 years and a lot of blogging and writing for other people later. It is certainly not what I imagined 30 years ago, nor is it what I imagine it could possibly be today. But it is a start.


Whatever your dream or vision is, it is never too late to start. Plant a little seed. Tell a friend. Make a plan. Do something to start putting your vision into action. 


School-based arrests have dramatically decreased in Philadelphia over the past 10 years - along with behavioral incidents, suspensions, and expulsions – through a diversion program. Read more at The Conversation.

Kindness can improve our emotional and physical health. Listen to learn more at The Science of Happiness.

Economic growth does not need to be dependent on environmental destruction. In many countries, including the United States, GDP has increased at the same time as carbon dioxide emissions decreased. Read more at Our World in Data.

I want to lead artfully, lovingly, and beautifully. Whenever I speak about leading beautifully or creating a more beautiful world, many old school feminists cringe. Stephanie Acker's study reveals the importance of beauty by sharing how refugees beautify their temporary spaces to "build hope, celebrate culture, create community, and honour past and present realities."

A recent Brookings Institution report explains democratic erosion in the United States. 

UN Women published a report summarizing their Investing in Adolescent Girls' and Young Women's Leadership and Voice in the HIV Response. The first case study focuses on building feminist leadership skills.

UN Women also recently published Feminist Climate Justice: A Framework for Action.

A new study explores the impact of bias that Black women have experienced as leaders over the past 200 years using all kinds of interesting math. If your eyes glaze over when reading quantitative research, the discussion section explains their findings.

A study published in Sociological Forum suggests that identity politics may contribute to more diminished wellbeing for progressives than class-based activism. The author notes that this does not suggest identity politics is strategically ineffective.

It's official - feminists don't hate men. Read more in this study. This article suggests that feminist should empathize with working class men. Another article argues that we need the support of men in order to have a safe world for women and girls.

Performance evaluations are impacted by gender bias, according to a recent study.

Living with Pocket Change: What it Means to Do More with Less from Ms. Foundation for Women demonstrates the need to invest in organizations led by women and nonbinary people of color.

Based on feminist theory, this article proposes the concept of epistemic generosity. It feels so good when things I viscerally understand and love get a name.

This article describes how Black women navigate feminism through African spirituality. So interesting.


17 Things I Learned in the Past Month

I’ve been making an effort to document all of the random things I learn through reading, conversations, and performing arts. Most of my headspace is used for analysis, drawing connections, and deepening understanding which is difficult to document! Instead, I’ve been keeping track of the new to me ’facts’ that I encounter. There were 17 from the past month.


1.    Squirrels make a loud screaming noise to attract mates and warn off predators. When one woke me up a few weeks ago, I could not tell the difference between the two noises but apparently mates and predators can!

2.    The movable picket line was started to prevent arrests for loitering.

3.    The Book of Ruth in the Tanakh (aka "Hebrew Bible") takes place during the barley harvest.

4.    The annual cost of climate disasters in the United States is $150 billion.

5.    UFOs are now called UAPs -Unidentified Areal Phenomenon (thanks Stan!).

6.    Most countries that have been colonized do not ask for reparations or even an apology. Why? It's complicated - learn more in this article.

7.    People sang before we spoke.

8.    A record number of Americans chose to take their own lives in 2022.

9.    Geddy Lee's parents met at Auschwitz.

10.   Choreographer Marius Petipa worked with Tchaikovsky on Sleeping Beauty before their collaboration on the Nutcracker.

11.    Each purple saffron flower has just three red stigmas.

12.   Crops planted in the spring in Pennsylvania are planted in the fall in southern Texas. 

13.   The third component of a whole grain, along with bran and germ, is the endosperm.

14.   A garrison is a place where military troops are stationed.  

15.   Sleeping on your left side may be bad for your heart.

16.   Cats have more than 250 different facial expressions.

17.   There are more than 750 islands in Scotland.


If you're interested in fashion there are two exhibits you may want to visit, both in Manhattan:

- Women Dressing Women at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (until March 3)

- RBG Collars: Photographs by Elinor Carucci at The Jewish Museum (until May 27)

Ithaca College holds an annual Women Leaders Series and they are seeking presenters. Applications are due January 31.

Nonprofit Quarterly is seeking pitches for a new column called "We Stood Up."

The government of The Netherlands is seeking input from feminist and women's organizations based in the Global South to inform their funding framework. Click here to view the survey. Responses are requested by January 19.

UN Women is accepting applications for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women through February 1.


First All-Female Council of a Large US City (CNN)

The National Organization for Women issued a proclamation about the value of including people with disabilities (this article in Psychology Today explores the intersection of gender and disability in leadership)

New Graphic Novel about the Feminist Revolution in Iran (El Pais)

Global Fund for Women denounced sexual violence against women everywhere (there has been quite a bit of public criticism about feminist groups' failure to condemn sexual violence against Israeli women)

Indigenous Women Leaders Took Center Stage at COP28 (Amazon Watch)

Sexual Assault Accusers Can be Sued for Defamation (Ms.)

La Via Campesina issued a Declaration of Solidarity and Commitment to the Rights of Migrants and Refugees around the World

Amnesty International published a report documenting human rights violations related to the forced relocation of thousands of people in Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cambodia, in 2022 and 2023

The Feminist Battles We'll See in 2024 (Ms.)

Indigenous Women Play a Growing Role in Managing the Colorado River (AZ Central)

Pacific Forum Leaders issued a Revitalized Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration


Fruition Journal is free for everyone!

You can help to sustain and improve this publication with a voluntary monthly payment.

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