Flour Sack Mama
January 17, 2011
“We shouldn’t have to risk our lives to paint our toenails.” Cassidy Randall has a familiar way of talking that makes you feel as if you’ve always been friends. Her tone bespeaks more than her masters degree in environmental studies at the University of Montana. She holds the post of Program and Outreach Coordinator at the nonprofit environmental group Women’s Voices for the Earth. I asked her recently to explain how and why the WVE organization came about. Randall’s explanation, including her involvement, was more personal than I anticipated.
Randall explained how the idea came to WVE founder Bryony Schwan in the mid-1990s. Schwan was then a graduate student in U of M environmental studies, attending a meeting of a local environmental group. Schwan became frustrated that she and other educated women weren’t being taken seriously when they wanted to get involved. Schwan perceived that women’s voices were not necessarily being heard, and that the movement was focusing more on topics like wildlife habitat preservation than on the places where humans are living every day.