Thursday, June 25, 2015

It’s time for a change! We will no longer be posting on this city blog, but make sure to check out our National Blog where you can find anecdotes from your Oxfam Action Corps Organizers and dedicated volunteers. The National Blog will feature events from across the country, important action items and news from Oxfam America. We hope you will move with us!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Making It Happen: IWD 2015

Each year, March 8th marks International Women's Day. It is a day to come together (regardless of gender) to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Even in 2015, women all over the world (yes, even here in the United States) face major hurdles that not only result in the loss of their potential contributions to society and our shared economy but also violates their basic human dignity and respect for the lives they lead. March 8th is used by governments, organizations, and individuals as day to share how far we've come but also how very far we still have to go. This year, as in previous years, International Women's Day has had a theme: Make It Happen.

That message was heard loud and clear in Des Moines, Iowa – that's for sure!

International Women's Day supporters and allies joined for an evening celebration at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in downtown Des Moines on Tuesday, March 10th. The presenters included: Kim Reynolds – current Lt. Governor of Iowa; Dr. Deborah Turner – Vice President of International Programs at Outreach Inc.; Patty Judge - former Lt. Governor of Iowa; Catherine Swoboda - World Food Prize Director of Planning; Laura Krouse – owner of Abbe Hills Farm in eastern Iowa; Hannah Owusu-Koranteng – community activist and founder of WACAM in Ghana; and Barbara Lawton – former Lt. Governor of Wisconsin. Each gave a remarkable and amazing account of how their vision and their leadership has worked and continues to work to build brighter futures not only for women but also for their entire communities. Also in attendance was a 2015 International Woman of Courage award recipient and peace activist Majd Izzat al-Chourbaji who stood against the Assad regime in Syria to work with women and advance human rights. Ms. al-Chourbaji received a standing ovation from the entire room!

The event is about to begin!
The evening's speakers (left to right): Catherine Swoboda, Dr. Deborah Turner,
Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, Barbara Lawton, Patty Judge, and Laura Krouse.
2015 International Woman of Courage award recipient Majd Izzat al-Chourbaji
receives a standing ovation from the room.
Iowa Oxfam Action Corps volunteers

Most definitely – these women have been and continue to be making it happen in a big and much needed way!

In addition to the formal event and presentations given by the speakers, there were several local and international organizations and co-sponsors present to share the work they do for women's empowerment. Without their support, the event would not have been possible and without their presence, the event would have lacked a critical element of community. Together, we're making it happen.

#makeithappen #internationalwomensday #IWD2015 #womensday #paintitpurple #oxfamamerica #oxfamactioncorps 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Reminder: It's Time to Become an Action Corps City Organizer!

Hello Everyone!

Let's talk about Action Corps: it is awesome. Period. No two ways about it. And luckily, it is once again that great time to join this amazing group of individuals as an Organizer!

Check out our page for more information about our locations in 16 different cities, the job description, and the application! And look below at what other Organizers have said about their experiences...

"This is leadership in practice. You can't just read a book on leadership. You have to put it into practice." --Jill Mizell, Researcher, New York

"Oxfam Action Corps has given me a ton of confidence... Gaining knowledge and being able to speak to people about the issues." --Amy L., Business Operations Analyst, Des Moines

"This has become one of the best parts of my life... I can't express enough how satisfying it is to be organizing with people who are just as committed and dependable and passionate. It is so great to have the support from the Oxfam America staff, and I've been really impressed by their accessibility, competency and friendliness." --Isaac E., Educator, New York City

Ready to join them? Apply to be an organizer or if you aren't ready yet, consider volunteering with any Action Corps in efforts to help Oxfam fight hunger and social injustices! Remember, Oxfam is here to Right the Wrong so come join us! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Make a Difference in 2015!

With the New Year now fully underway (although, maybe you're still writing 2014 on checks), I have one question for you:

How are those New Year's resolutions coming along?

So, maybe you're not the New Year's resolutions type or maybe you're doing great working towards your 2015 goals. Whatever the case may be, "volunteering more" is a focus for some of you in 2015. To help you reach your goals, we have a great opportunity that you should learn more about: becoming an Oxfam Action Corps Organizer for Des Moines.

Our Oxfam Action Corps volunteer leaders are based in 16 cities across the country (including Des Moines) and, in the last year, they have helped change the world by:
  • Delivering reports and petitions to big food companies like Kellogg and General Mills to push them to stand up for farmers rights and fight climate change;
  • Visiting Congressional offices – in DC and in their hometowns – to advocate for poverty-fighting foreign assistance, lifesaving reforms to food aid policy, and more;
  • Hosting Oxfam America Hunger Banquets, World Food Day Dinners, and other events to raise awareness about the global fight against poverty, hunger, and injustice;
  • Recruiting hundreds of new Oxfam supporters at concerts (80/35 Music Festival), food festivals (World Food and Music Festival), and other events like farmers' markets (Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market); 
  • ...and so much more.
Oxfam America is looking for skilled volunteers of various ages and backgrounds for a free national training in Washington D.C., April 24-28, 2015. Oxfam will provide online training and opportunities to meet other volunteers in Des Moines (we have a vibrant group here!). If you have some organizing experience and a passion for global justice, we want you! This is a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills with support from Oxfam staff and to take meaningful action locally to help change the world. In return for this opportunity, organizers who attend training in D.C. need to commit to 1 year of leadership in their community following the April training.

Action Corps volunteers include people of all ages and backgrounds, including moms and dads, professors and students, nurses, pastors, bank tellers, tech experts, retirees, food workers, musicians and, yes, even rocket scientists! 

Check out more info here, and then apply to join the Oxfam Action Corps here. Applications are due on February 1.