Thirty years before Marge Schiller founded the Positive Change Core, Marge founded the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. On October 10, the MWPC honored Marge and presented her with the Dolores L. Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award at the MWPC’s annual tribute to Abigail Adams event. Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray introduced Marge at the event. In addition to comments Marge made about the amazing intergenerational work of MWPC, Marge is also so impressed by three women who help the MWPC advance its mission that she captured a picture of the three with here phone: MWPC Executive Director Priti Rao (right), MWPCP Associate Director Marissa Szabo (left), and MWPC Office Manager Jessica Gibbons.
Here is a copy of the thoughts Marge shared upon receiving this award:
“Right now, I am ‘blown away’ by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus because
you help us hold up our half of the sky here in our State and in Massachusetts’ cities and towns.
When we started the caucus, it was to get more women into local state and national political offices. It did not matter if they were Republicans or Democrats. Political party was irrelevant. What did matter was finding the women who represented women’s issues. We wanted to protect and extend women’s lives and rights.
Is it deja vu all over again or are we having some of the same women’s rights conversations again that we had 41 years ago? We like to believe that women in the USA have equality. But is that completely true?
When we started our political caucus many of us were about the same age, some of us had our mothers and mother-in-laws around …I don’t remember many daughters. But now I see our daughters and granddaughters (and Grandsons) working with us. Maybe they are not our blood relatives, but I believe the success and sustainability of this organization is because it is an intergenerational organization.
We are vibrant and relevant because ‘youngers’ and ‘olders’ and those of you in the middle are here.
This is a big honking deal. I work with groups in schools, in business, and in community organizations that talk about why intergenerational conversations are valuable, but they have trouble putting the idea into practice.
Segregation by age groups is rarely challenged. Now it is called multi-generational….focusing in on the demographics and buying patterns by age: teens do this, tweens do that, and the elderly… well don’t get me started. I will soon be 75 and (using multigenerational language) I am not a “Traditional.” That is a label I will not wear.
The Massachusetts Women’s’ Political Caucus is an intergenerational example. MWPC walks the intergenerational talk. Young leaders are not just separate, but equal. These young leaders are integrated and integral. Look at the under 30 staff, Priti, Marissa and Jessica. They are the heart, soul and positive core of this organization.
I believe this organization will stay vibrant alive and sustainable for 40 more years if there is meaningful inclusion of young people. That is foundational to sustainability… because we are wiser when experience and resources come together with new technologies and ideas.”