SILA banner
April 2010Vol 1, Issue 8
SI Los Angeles NEWS 
Fellowship with a purpose!
Greetings Fellow SILA Members:


After a very successful Women of Distinction Luncheon on March 27th, April is proving to be as hectic as March. Please accept this somewhat abbreviated and delayed newsletter for April and we'll hopefully get back on schedule next month.


Editor Janet

April and May Meetings at New Locations
The second meeting in April on Wednesday, April 21st, is a special Recruitment Meeting for prospective new members to be held at Prime Focus in Hollywood. Watch for an Evite from Recruitment Chairs Emily Dell and Irene Recendez for directions and additional information.
The first meeting in May on Wednesday, May 5, will be held at the Monterey Hill Restaurant at 3700 W. Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754, a prospective new meeting location.  Watch for an email with more info.
In This Issue
April and May Meetings at New Locations
B-Girl Teaches More Than Break Dancing
It's Not Too Late to Attend Camino Real Spring Conference
Register Online for SIA Biennial Convention
Report from the UN
Body & Sold
Quick Links
2009-2010 Board
President:  Jeri Durham
1st VP (Programs): Ginger Cole
2nd VP (W&M):  Maria Romero
Secretary:  Dona Lawrie
Fund Treasurer:  Karen Johnson
Club Treasurer:  Irene Recendez
Directors 2008-10: Joyce Jacob
             and Barbara Jury
Directors 2009-11: Lupe Solorio
             and Cindy Van Steelandt
Contact Information
For more information about SILA or this Newsletter, please contact:
President Jeri Durham at or 626-826-2224
Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438
B-Girl Teaches More Than Break Dancing
Dell SistersThe program meeting on Wednesday, March 17 featured Member Emily Dell, writer and director of the feature movie B-Girl. Emily provided an interesting look into the lengthy process of writing, financing, filming, editing, promoting and selling her movie. Working with her sister Elizabeth, who was the producer of the film, she shared the perspective of two sisters who do not have a Hollywood background . But she also shared the larger lesson she learned about the importance of women getting involved and getting the power to control the money which, in turn, controls how decisions are made. Her message: get involved in politics!
It's Not Too Late to Attend Camino Real Spring Conference

Call to ConferenceThe Camino Real Region Spring Conference is being held at the newly renovated Radisson Hotel in Culver City on April 23rd, 24th, and 25th. For the first time, it combines the Leadership Training Retreat (the training session previously held in July for newly elected club officers) with Spring Conference. On Friday morning, April 23rd, a "Leadership Academy" will provide future club officers and all club members with club leadership training and a copy of the Leadership Academy Resource Book.


The Conference provides an opportunity to be updated on the state of our region, to honor presidents and clubs within the region, to honor the wonderful women who win our signature awards (Ruby Award, Women's Opportunity Award and Violet Richardson Award) at the regional level, to celebrate the accomplishments over the past two years of outgoing Governor Cheri Fleming and look forward as Governor-Elect Michele Memmott takes the helm for 2010-2012. Click here to go to the Camino Real Region website and download the Call to Conference for full details about activities and registration as shown above.

Our own Sheila Tatum is the Conference Coordinator.  Ginger Cole, Joan Johnson and Julie Mairs will be attending as our conference delegates.  Several other club members have already registered.  Newer members and those who have never attended a Spring Conference are particularly encouraged to attend. 
Register Online for SIA Biennial Convention

Biennial Convention


Every two years, our Federation, Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA) holds a Convention.  Because SIA includes all of the North and South America, and, despite the name, numerous other countries including  Japan, Korea and the Philippines, it is not often the Biennial Convention is held as close as it will be this year, in San Francisco.  From July 7-10, 2010 (with a variety of tours offered before and after the actual Convention) Soroptimists will gather at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square for 3 1/2 days of updates on programs, speakers from Headquarters, voting on Bylaws revisions, and various awards and recognition events.  For great insight into the impact of Soroptimist International and fellowship with hundreds of like-minded professional women, consider attending the 41st Biennial Convention.  For more information, click here.  Early registration rates apply through May 7.

Report from the UN


Member Julie Mairs was in New York from March 1-12 to attend the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as they undertook a 15 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which was adopted in 1995.  She submitted this report of one session she attended which particularly impressed her:


On March 3, 2010, I attended a workshop on the reduction of trafficking in which the work of the Women's Front of Norway was presented.  The workshop was sponsored by UNANIMA International.  Agnete Strool represented the front.  What I found attractive about this work and the organization was their capacity for evolution, collaboration, and their unabashed self description as radical and feminist.


The Norwegian Women's Front worked for women's economic independence, their right to legal, safe and free abortion, and issues related to women's bodies and sexuality, pornography and prostitution. Over the last 30 years they worked against prostitution and in 2008 a law criminalizing the purchase of a sexual act was passed in Norway, becoming effective on January 1, 2009.  The law provides for a fine and jail time upon conviction.


Strategy:  The success of the front's efforts rested on their mission commitment and the alliances that they built between the women's movement, feminists in academia, the female dominated labour unions, other labour unions, women and youth in the political parties and the police. Through networking in Norway and linking up with networks internationally, the front extended their reach on the matters of importance to Norwegian women.  They specifically worked to have discussions, actions, meetings, conferences and campaigns that were open and inviting to as many as possible to take part. The strength of these connections supported the effectiveness of their work to lobby the Norwegian political parties in power for a law to reduce demand through the criminalization of purchasing or arranging for acts of prostitution.


Sample tactics:  

  • Target sex tourist agencies organizing trips to the Philippines and Thailand.
  • Joint actions against the sex tourists with feminists in the Philippines:
    • demonstrations when the "tourists" left from the airport in from Oslo, and
    • The Feminists in the Philippines demonstrated when the men arrived at their hotel in Manila.


    • Implementation was slow, but is improving.  In 2009, the police arrested 334 buyers who were charged and fined in Norway.
    • Off street prostitution and ads for services declined in Oslo and Bergen in 2009.


    Future work is needed to help prostitutes to integrate into the workforce.  This will be especially true for foreign women who want to remain in Norway.  There is some public leadership support for efforts in this area, especially education and training.



    Respectfully submitted:  Julie Mairs, SI of Los Angeles

  • Body & Sold


    Body & SoldSoroptimist International Glendale is presenting a staged reading of "Body & Sold", a play by Deborah Lake Fortson designed to increase awareness about human trafficking. One performance only will be held Saturday, June 19 at the Glendale Community College Auditorium. For more information click here. Several SILA members plan to attend. If you are interested in joining them and supporting this activity of another local Soroptimist Club, pleased contact Julie Mairs.