October 2015 (Ecumenical Christian Ministries): The October meeting of the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network focused on Finding Values through a mini session on”Discovering Your Foundation.” This experiential, fun, and connecting session helped attendees discover what matters most to them, both as an inspiration, and as a template for decision making in their lives and work. The group explored personal values and discussed how to immediately apply these to the members’ life and leadership. The session was facilitated by KWEN member Sue Kidd along with Ginna Kellogg, Master Certified Coach, a founding partner of Leadership that Works Inc. and the creator of the Leadership That Works Coaching for Community Transformation program.
July 2015 (Lawrence Public Library): The July meeting of the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network provided space for members to present short “KWEN Kwiks” on topics they are passionate about or have expertise in. These two-minute presentations covered a wide range of topics, showcasing the diversity of interests within the group. Topics included grassroots sustainable agriculture, Diva cups, a fracking quilt project, the Pope’s Encyclical on climate change, what we can learn from bonobos and chimpanzees, the special hikes and conversational drink meetings KWEN members host, Moby-Dick as an environmental novel, KACEE, product transparency, the Farm Resettlement Congress, the upcoming potential Westar rate hike, and making connections between potential carpoolers.
April 2015 (White School House): The Kansas Women’s Environmental Network celebrated its second anniversary with a potluck gathering at the White School House on April 21, 2015. The celebration was bittersweet as the co-founders and co-chairs, Rachel Myslivy and Kim Bellemere, took that time to pass along the leadership torch to Jenny O’Brien and Jenica Nelson. After leading the organization for two years, Rachel and Kim decided it was time to make way for fresh ideas and vision for our growing network. The founders will continue to advise the leadership group and have written bylaws to ensure KWEN continues to move toward the mission of connecting, inspiring and empowering environmentally minded women. During this meeting, Jenny and Jenica announced KWEN’s new membership structure, which gives women the option to become dues-paying members at various levels. Because of our paying members, we can continue to offer quarterly meetings, host other social networking events and improve our communication channels and finding new ways to inspire and collaborate on projects that protect our planet.
January 2015 (Castle Tea Room): January 20th, 2015 marked KWEN’s second annual Forum on Environmental Issues. The forum featured a panel discussion on environmental topics in the state of Kansas. Speakers included Sharon Ashworth, Ph.D., an ecologist and Program Manager with the Kansas Natural Resources Council, Jennifer Byer, a native of the Kansas City area who serves on the boards of the Kansas Natural Resource Council and True Blue Women, Susan Stover, a professional geologist who recently joined the Kansas Geological Survey as Outreach Manager, and Nancy Thellman, a Lawrence native, former nurse, pastor and current Douglas County Commissioner. The panelists answered questions from attendees addressing issues like access to recycling services, the future of water conservation in the state, and what to expect from this year’s legislative session. The forum took place at the beautiful Castle Tea Room in Lawrence, Kansas. A representative of The Castle shared the building’s history and spoke briefly about the efficiency efforts that were incorporated into the building during its restoration. KWEN was thrilled to have the event catered by Raven Naramore, who always provides an impressive spread!