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In this edition: Beth Ellen looks at women who changed the world, a variety of ways to celebrate, commemorate and share International Women's Day, a new regional leader, and our first look at the Grandmother Project. 
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Chapter Leader Newsletter

We are 424 Chapters 8521 Members Strong

6 Degrees of Connections

Door buster or door rusher? All women stand on the shoulders of those who broke down barriers before. In March, let’s remember, honor, celebrate and emulate them. 

By Beth Ellen Holimon
DFW Executive Director

International Women’s Day is upon us and it has me thinking about women who make sacrifices, who want more, and who are up for the long fight.  At Dining for Women, some of us are that one woman — the one who pushes the door open first. Others are the women who flood in behind her, tearing down the doors, walls and barriers to equality.

We understand that there is no “other.” When one woman stands up, she stands for us all.  We are connected through shared experiences as women — the very core of Dining for Women.

Read Beth Ellen's full blog post

March Featured Program

The Grandmother Project, Senegal

In  Velingara, Senegal, young and adolescent girls face various obstacles and violence like female genital mutilation (FGM), early/forced marriage, teen pregnancy and limited opportunities for formal schooling. In Senegalese villages, The Grandmother Project is working with grandmother leaders to empower them to fulfill roles as change agents in their communities. 

The interplay between grandmothers and adolescent girls creates a unique and powerful combination that utilizes the knowledge and respect of grandmothers with village parents and elders and sets into play a dramatic and innovative method for helping villagers make decisions about traditions that protect and benefit the girls and the entire village. While the project does benefit the girls, its focus is on grandmothers as agents of change, bringing them to the center stage as arbiters, sages and champions of adolescent girls.

— About the program
Hangout with GMP on March 6 at 2 p.m. ET - Register to get updates and live link via email
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Leadership

New Regional Leader Named for Southwest

Barbara Chatzkel of Phoenix, AZ, has been named the new Southwest Regional leader. Barbara is a consultant and coach who owns the New River Group, which guides organizations and individuals to successfully navigate large-scale change.  She has extensive national experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is active in her community, serving on the board of directors of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance. She was also named a 2015 Top Ten Businesswoman by the American Business Women's Association. She is actively involved with her DFW Phoenix chapter. "My hope is that as regional leader I will grow membership in Dining for Women in the Southwest Region by sharing the stories and passion of our members and programs. The ability to impact the world, one project at a time, while spending time with like-minded women in your area is a win-win-win opportunity." 

Co-leaders needed in several regions

Do you want to increase your involvement in Dining for Women? Would you like to play a key role in attracting, engaging, retaining and mobilizing DFW members within your region? We are currently looking for a co-regional leader, a vital part of our Dining for Women team, in the Southwest, Heartland and Central regions. Regional co-leaders, with the cooperation and support of DFW management, are responsible for the overall management of their region, including oversight of a team of volunteer leaders and the development and support of regional strategies for recruitment, retention, fundraising and public relations. If you are interested in joining us in this important leadership role, please complete the Regional Leader Volunteer form and a member of our volunteer team will be in touch with you. 

Connecting
SPREADING THE WORD: March 8 is International Women's Day but around the world, the entire month is celebrated. We've got a list of suggestions, ideas, events, books, videos and more that can help you keep IWD in the forefront every day this month. We'll be posting something every day on social media to #DFWshare our posts, but also tell about what you're doing, reading or watching. And post with #DFW2015IWD so we can follow you through the month, too. 
FOLLOW UP REPORTS: New progress reports published in the past month include Kakenya and Foundation Rwanda. The reports, when published, appear in the sidebar from the main program page. 
MEDIA CONTACT DATABASE: Do you know any journalists in your town? Reporters, TV or Radio hosts, bloggers with influence? If so, we're interested in gathering contact information and maintaining a centralized database of news contacts. This will be helpful for chapter and regional leaders as well as those of us here at the home office. You can help by contributing any news contacts you have. -30- (That's news speak for "that's it"). 
TRAVELERS BACK FROM BURMA: Most of us didn't get a chance to visit Burma/Myanmar on this last trip. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the experience vicariously. In addition to the sights and sounds of a country that had been closed off to tourists until recently, the group spent time with our featured program, Girl Determined. Read the blog posts and see some terrific photos through the lens and the pens of our travelers. 
Events
ON-DEMAND/CRP: View our conversation with CeCe Comacho from Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE). She joined us to talk about how the organization is tackling taboos, training teachers and developing innovative solutions to keep girls in school no matter what time of the month it is. Period.
MISS A MEETING, MISS A LOT: Stay connected even if you can't get to a meeting. You can attend a Virtual Chapter meeting live or on-demand. Please remind members they can connect and get notifications through the Virtual Chapter’s Facebook page.
Learn about how our Virtual Chapter works.  
Next Virtual Chapter meeting: March 3 at 7:30 ET. Click to join.
The Last Word(s)
BANNER CHAPTER:  Reshmi Das, a member of the Nesconset, Long Island (NY) chapter, sent this photo from their birthday meeting in January. The 2-year-old chapter, led by co-leaders Helen Farley and Connie Cahoon Calabro, has 20 active members and meets once a quarter. Says Reshmi: "In our meetings in addition to discussing the project of the month, we also discuss some table topics questions relating to the issues focused on.  Of course we round up the meeting with delicious food including recipes from the region being highlighted that month!" Thank you for sharing your photo and birthday with us.
BYE BYE VALENTINE'S DAY:  Pack up the heart candies for another year. Valentine's Day is over. We hope you had a chance to read our post on truth behind chocolate manufacturing. We are all about Fair Trade. And finally, a shout out to the Santa Cruz (CA) chapters that were among 35 groups in the region participating in a salute to women in philanthropy. Each group contributed a heart of some kind to represent their organization. This one was created by Cari Class and Denise Davidson to represent DFW.
Communication Services provided by Laura Haight, president of Portfolio. We welcome all suggestions, comments and proposed content. Please submit using our communication form (you can attach photos there as well). The form is in the LEAD section on the chapter resources page under Communications. 
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