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2020 Rose Parade We Heart float

2020 marchers Rose Parade for Women;s Suffrage Centennial 

Above: The 2020 Rose Parade float  commemorating the Women's Suffrage Centennial


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June 2024 Newsletter


  1. President's Letter: Pride Month, Juneteenth.

  2. Juneteenth Celebration Saturday,June 15.

  3. Aug. 10 California NOW conference HERE in Santa Rosa

  4. Calling all members for contributions to the newsletter.

  5. No montly meeting in June.

  6. Board members sought.

  7. Important action to pass the ERA needed.

  8. Feminist Fun at SF Museums

  9. Freedom Festival

  10. Cecilia Payne, astronomer/astrophysicist

  11. Special Historical Dates in June

Hello NOW Friends!

1. June is Pride Month and I was thrilled to attend the Santa Rosa Pride Parade and festival that took place on June 1st. There will be other celebrations throughout Sonoma County all month, including in Rohnert Park on June 14th and in Cotati on June 26th. While the LGBTQIA+ community deserves attention every day, not just for 30 of them each year, what this month does is offer us a clear opportunity to investigate and protest against anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, either that which is already in place or that which is proposed. Did you know there are 515 bills in the United States that the ACLU is tracking right now? I encourage you to read as much as possible of, by, for, and about the LGBTQIA+ community and history--check your local library for reading materials!



Community Foundation Sonoma Co. image

2. This month, we also commemorate the end of slavery in all 50 states, when on June 19th, 1865, the Texas population finally received word of the Emancipation Proclamation that had been in effect since 1863! Here in Santa Rosa, the 54th Annual Juneteenth Celebration will be held at MLK Park in Santa Rosa on June 15th. See  for more information on the schedule of events for the whole family and for donations to help support the celebration. We hope you will attend this important festival. See more info below. Here's a short video on the history of Juneteenth.

54th Annual MLK Juneteenth Celebration 

                 A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion

Contact: Nancy Rogers – President Board of Directors
Event: 54th Annual Juneteenth Festival Celebration in the Park

Date: Saturday, June 15, 2024
Place: Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
1671 Hendley St., Santa Rosa CA.
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Cost: This is a FREE family event

To begin the celebration: Join the march with the Hubbub Band. March from Julliard Park to MLK Park starting at 9 a.m.

Background: Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had a minor impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Special Entertainment by: San Francisco band Pride and Joy, Zumba, drumming, and spoken word. Special proclamations from the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. There will also be an exciting 50/50 raffle with ongoing DJ music playing throughout the day.

Special Activities: Live Entertainment, Food, Basketball Games, Arts and Crafts, Dominoes, Kids Activities, Spoken Word, and more.

Special Scholarship Presentation by Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (EOT). EOT is specifically designed to provide support to local youth programs, mentoring, and scholarships for high school and college students. At this event, they will be providing three scholarships for students of Sonoma County.

Also included will be historical artifacts along with a variety of vendors and live music.


3. Our state conference is Saturday, August 10th—save the date! The theme is "Moving Forward and Igniting Change." This year the conference will be held in Santa Rosa, at the Presbyterian Church of the Roses. We expect people from all over the state to attend and we can use volunteers to help in the days leading up to and including the conference. The conference will be a hybrid one, though attending in person is more fun. More details to come as well as a call for volunteers. Email us at


 4. Calling all members! We'd love to get to know you better. We are looking for submissions to appear in the newsletter, such as a short bio, an event you wish NOW members to attend, an article you find important and think our readers would appreciate, a poem you've created, even a photo of you. Up to two submissions per member allowed at a time and these will be published at the discretion of the editor. Please send submissions to . Our newsletter deadline is the 25th of each month. We hope to hear from you!


5. No meeting this month of June, but we hope to see you at the Pride parade or Juneteenth! Please help help by sending in a contribution to our chapter so that we can expand our presence in Sonoma County. We now have a PayPal account! You can either click here or use the following QR code with QR Reader app.

Paypal NOW Sonoma County QR Code


6. If you are interested in joining our board, please write to . We'd love to be able to do more in the county and need your skills for many different types of special projects, including planning upcoming events, such as our NOW State Conference.

—Amy Nykamp, President




 Important action for the ERA, still needed!


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Here's something we can do right now. Send your US representative the message below.

This letter came from Judi Polson of NYC NOW:

Taking advantage of a potential opportunity to publish the ERA?
Greetings, all.  I think we may have an opportunity to get a vote on
H.J.Res.25: Removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment. As you know, Biden has said that if this passes, he’ll direct the Archivist to finally publish the ERA. Here is my thought:
Now that Speaker Johnson has FINALLY gotten a Ukraine funding bill through, the radical right may follow through on their threat to take a motion to vacate the chair forward, and attempt to remove him. If they do:

  • Johnson can still keep his Chairmanship, IF the Dems vote to keep him.
  • I expect there will likely be some negotiations around this, and I would like to see the Dems use their negotiating power to “persuade” Johnson to bring HJ Res 25 to the floor.
  • This should not be a heavy lift: as you’ll see, 211 Reps (all the Dems, if I’m not mistaken) have signed on to Discharge Petition 6,which demands that HJ Res 25 be brought to a vote. I believe it takes only 218 to force it to the floor, so we’re almost there. Getting Johnson to go ahead and bring it would just be faster and less labor-intensive than Carolyn Maloney’s current sheroic efforts to persuade more of her former colleagues to sign DP6.
  • We need Pressley to get the message to Hakeem Jeffries;  maybe Pelosi would push for it. We should have a push to get NOW members in Dem Reps states to call their Reps to do this.
  • Here's what i wrote to my Rep:

I am delighted that the House Democrats supported the Ukraine/Israel/Taiwan funding bill. Simultaneously, I am shocked, but delighted, that Speaker Johnson brought it to the floor.
If a motion to vacate the chair is brought, please condition your support of Speaker Johnson on his bringing HJ Res 25 to the floor for a vote immediately. As Speaker Johnson said about the Ukraine funding, "It's time to do the right thing."
Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of women's equality
---[your name here]



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Library of Congress photo, 1897

 Feminist fun in San Francisco at the museums this year

At the de Young Museum (through August 11) is an exhibition, Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style, which includes a bit of history of Bloomerism in the Bay Area. Bloomers really took off in San Francisco in the mid-1800s, along with other rebellious feminist advances.

Also, the
Legion of Honor museum turns 100 this year, and is hosting Legion of Honor 100, a yearlong celebration. Alma de Bretteville Spreckels created this, our most beautiful museum, and donated the bulk of its collections. If you have never read Big Alma, I recommend it—great for San Francisco and Sonoma County history, and an inspiring story of a real working girl who made good.



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A Freedom Festival from Coast to Coast for All

by Jacqueline Grace Hayward

Dr. Raquell Holmes is a Black activist-scientist-improviser friend of mine and founder of improvscience, the company she founded in 2010, which teaches communication, equity, and inclusion in academic and corporate settings. She grew up and resides in Sonoma County and offers workshops around the world. 

Last year, inspired by the dream of Opal Lee, the grandmother of Juneteenth, to have this federal holiday be celebrated from June 19th to July 4th—symbolically connecting emancipation with true freedom for all—Raquell and a team of volunteers initiated a Freedom Festival, which invites people of all walks of life to share with each other, through in-person and/or virtual events, who they are and what they do. 

We had an amazing festival in 2023, with
35 fascinating events across the U.S., all representing, in one way or another, people’s views of freedom and independence. There were all sorts of interesting slideshows, conversations and entertainment. There were opportunities to make collages, poems, and decorated gourds. There were film shows, concerts, storytelling, a tour of the beginning of the Underground Railroad in North Carolina, and much more.

We are now busy building this year’s festival. Visit our smashing new
website to learn more about the festival and ways to be involved, whether as host, attendee, or donor. See our Events page, which is being added to every day, and mark your calendar with the events you’d like to attend, including a performance by the choir I’m in, Harmonia, which will be singing songs of freedom and celebration on June 30th in Sebastopol.

All festival events are free, and we happily accept donations to keep the festival growing into the future.

Dr. Holmes is one of the speakers at Sonoma County Juneteenth 2024. She will be speaking on the relationship between building community, activism and our history then and now.



Cecilia Payne

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A NOW member noticed this on Quora (Wikipedia photo above):

“Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.”—Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets for her revolutionary discovery (via alliterate).


Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.

Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said to heck with that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of. (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish.)

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.

Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.



Do you like our events and enjoy our newsletter?

Your contributions can help our chapter grow and provide opportunities to make our community even better. We accept checks and cash to the address below, but you can send in your contributions even faster through our PayPal account, using the following QR code or

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Sonoma County NOW
PO Box 6223
Santa Rosa, CA 95406


Note, while contributions are not tax-deductible, you can feel good about knowing your money is going to a great organization that will work for YOU!



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Marteal Perry, Santa Rosa Juneteenth founder, 1954 ( photo)
Special historical dates in June

11   Jeannette Rankin (1880–1973), suffragist, first woman elected to Congress
15  Juneteenth Celebration, MLK Park, Santa Rosa
16   Father's Day
17   Starhawk (1951– ), CA feminist leader, author
19   Juneteenth
20   Summer solstice
21   Alicia Sanchez (1951– ), Sonoma Co. rights activist, President, KBBF Radio
23   Title IX signed (equal access to education)
27   Emma Goldman (1869–1940), anarchist, writer
27   Helen Keller (1880–1968), author, activist
30   Lena Horne (1917–2010), singer, civil rights activist



If you are not yet a NOW member or need to renew your membership, please join our growing organization! Our chapter's ID is CA0660 and you can select it when you sign up here. If you prefer to write a check, here is a form you can clip and mail.

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P.O. Box 6223
Santa Rosa, CA 95406

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Our proud Chapter

Celebrating the NOW's 50th Anniversary in Santa Rosa, CA

Above: Our Chapter celebrating the 50th Anniversary of NOW with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, October 2016.


August 26, 2020, the 19th Amendment Centennial and Women's Equality Day was celebrated in Sebastopol with the Women's Suffrage Banners.

City of Sebastopol Celebrates 19th Amendment Centennial and Women's Equality Day August 26, 202          City of Sebastopol Celebrates 19th Amendment Centennial and Women's Equality Day August 26, 2020


The 2020 Rose Parade featured the We Heart float commemorating the Women's Suffrage Centennial and won the Theme Trophy. See video clip below for the passage of the float and the Women Suffragist marchers in front of KTLA cameras January 1, 2020.


Susan B. Anthony


Susan B Anthony grave decorated with I Voted stickers

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