One way to get things done is to recruit others to assist in the creative process. Asking more than one person helps, and eventually it begins to happen. The notion for starting Riverside Women Creating Change came from Jane Block. For decades, when Jane saw a problem or had an idea, she then enlisted enablers by suggesting persistently that change should happen.
Jane Block shared the concept of celebrating the accomplishments of women in Riverside with Connie Ransom. “Don’t you think it would be a good idea to collect stories of activist women who have created change in Riverside?” Then she added, “The stories could be captured in a book and provide tools so that younger women can learn from the successes and failures of these women.”
Jane was persistent. She asked this question of others at meetings, lectures, or parties. Connie had been approached about this project numerous times, and finally in October of 2019 she became the enabler and the collaboration began. Connie knew some people who knew how to get things like this done. She called and generous people accepted or encouraged the project.
Cathy Gudis, while unavailable to participate in our meetings, gave early encouragement and suggestions. Christine Gailey was amazing! Saying from the get-go that she could not take on the project, Christine came to the early meetings, was supportive, and provided great direction. Cati Porter jumped in enthusiastically and gave us focus and the stability of the Inlandia Institute. Paulette Brown-Hinds joined with a depth of community knowledge, plus skills and experience in writing and organizing.
We met regularly through the holidays and were joined by Nicollete Rohr, whose public history experience, enthusiasm for capturing stories, and energy helped to steady our purpose. Early in 2020 Deborah Wong joined our efforts! Her scholarly training included conducting ethnographic interviews and collecting stories. This, plus her deep connection to many aspects of Riverside including issues of social justice, broadened our reach. She jumped on board and would not let us slow down.
Jane Block had an idea. The germ of that idea took root with the help of the enablers. The embryo was nurtured and had its first public debut on July 24, 2020. The Riverside Women Creating Change (RWCC) is in its infancy. It will change as it grows with the goal of creating a book by the end of 2021.
“I have this philosophy if I’m involved in a project, that I have no enemies. I only have people who need more information.”Jane Block