51% Show #1366

Sep 25, 2015

On this week’s 51%, we'll hear about how a famous New York City park could see its first female statue; a Malaysian woman is a virtual mom, and another mom takes issue with a few words. 

There are no statues honoring real women in Central Park. That's in line to change as a group has advocated for a statue of women’s rights and women's suffrage pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to be placed in the famous New York City park. That group is The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund Inc. In May of 2015, New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver penned a letter confirming conceptual approval for the organization's effort to commission and endow a monument to the two women. Dr. Myriam Miedzian is a vice president of the fund. I asked her how she become involved in the effort.  

That was Dr. Myriam Miedzian, author, philosopher, lecturer and vice president of The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund. Her husband is the fund's secretary and treasurer.  They reside in New York's Hudson Valley region.

In addition to Stanton and Anthony, a list of the names of others whose work was crucial to the success of the movement will be inscribed around the statue's base, including: Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Alva Belmont, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and Alice Stone Blackwell.

A note that the 200th anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Cady Stanton is in November this year; the New York State Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2017; the National Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2020; and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony also in 2020.   

Soraya Ahyaudin goes to graduate school in Los Angeles. She uses Skype to stay connected to her children in Malaysia.
Credit Jocelyn Coffin

Millions of migrants to America have been forced by war or poverty to leave their children behind. Far fewer have done so because of religious rules regarding child custody. Jocelyn Coffin has the story of a Malaysian mother (Soraya Ahyaudin) who left her children 9,000 miles away, and stays connected via Skype. She has the intention of reuniting with them one day. That day is fast approaching, but changed circumstances make her uncertain about what to do.  

With Mother's Day a good few months behind us, or several months ahead of us, depending upon your point of view, writer Dr. Jeri Burns reflects upon an article that day  and the need to pay attention to certain words, every day.  

Dr. Jeri Burns is a storyteller, writer, and educator living in New York's Hudson Valley. You can find her at www.storycrafters.com

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio