Monday, November 22, 2010

Successful Feminist Art Show by One of the Taskforce Members

Layla Love, one of the members of the NOW-NYS Young Feminist Taskforce, is also a talented artist.  On Thursday, Nov 11, 2010, the taskforce showed up to the opening of her newest art show in NYC.  As in the past, we were impressed by Layla's talent, and moved by her dedication to feminism in all aspects of her life - especially her photographs. 

The event was standing-room only, with her big-name fans like Anthony Haden-Guest and Liz Abzug making appearances.  The taskforce members were happy to find each other in the crowded gallery space. 

It was a pleasant surprise to see NOW NYS Executive VP Gaby Moreno, who took time out of her busy schedule to support Layla.

I was lucky to take some photographs of the event.  One of my favorite photographs is the one below, of Liz Abzug speaking to Micah Bochart (of the taskforce) in front of a photo of Gloria Steinem. 
I am partial to this photo not only because my husband happens to be in it.  Liz has been a long-time mentor and has always been vocal about making the feminist movement as inclusive as possible.  It seems only appropriate that she is speaking to a male feminist.  Ms. Steinem was a close friend of Liz's mother, Bella Abzug, and is on the board of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, (BALI), which Liz runs.   BALI helped organize a historic feminist conference at Hunter College exactly three years ago, on November 10-11, 2007, where I met Layla for the first time.  I remember wondering who this important young woman was, whom Rosie O'Donnell and the rest of the veteran feminists seemed to know. 

Since 2007, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Layla better each year; she never stops to amaze me.  Her impressive resume of photographing icons like Gloria Steinem aside, what draws people to Layla is her genuine compassion and humble nature.  The feminist movement, just like any other movement, has its in-fighting.  However, I have never heard Layla say one bad word about another woman.  In fact, she has stopped me and others when we feel the need to vent about women whose actions we find to be less than feminist.  Layla embodies what feminism's most important ideal should be - do no harm to another woman.

I feel privileged to have members like Layla in this taskforce, which has become a feminist safe haven and extended family for many of us.

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

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