Women Transcending Boundaries

This profile was last updated in 2006

“This is not like any other group I’ve ever been a part of.”[1] With these words, Betsy Wiggins paints a picture of the group she helped co-found: Women Transcending Boundaries (WTB). Her comment sheds light on the uniqueness, creativity and appeal of this innovative women’s interfaith group in Syracuse, New York. Four years ago, neither Betsy nor co-founder Danya Wellmon, imagined the power of women coming together across differences to learn about one another through discussion, service and social activities.

Methodology

The research for this report on Women Transcending Boundaries comes from an informal interview with the two founders and the current president of the group, Jan Garman. It also includes casual conversations with various members of WTB and attendance at the November 2005 WTB monthly meeting. Additionally, this report builds on the research conducted by Harvard Divinity School student Ella Auchincloss during the fall term of 2003. Her unpublished paper, entitled “Women Transcending Boundaries: Post 9-11 Interfaith Success Story” is available here. (link) Finally, the WTB website is a wealth of information about the organization, their vision, their past work and their future plans.

The Beginning

It all started with a cup of coffee between two women after September 11, 2001. Betsy Wiggins recalls, “People were in shock and we simply did not know what to do.”[2] Wiggins, a Presbyterian, attended an adult forum at her church right after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. There, a young woman spoke of having seen a Muslim woman at the grocery store who looked anxious and nervous. The young woman had wanted to reach out to her in some way, but was uncertain of what to do or say. She did not want to intimidate the woman or aggravate the fear in the Muslim community. At this forum, the young woman told her Christian group, “‘Thinking about it later, I still don’t know what I should have said.'”[3]

Realizing that she did not know what to say either, Betsy felt certain that somebody had to do something, but she wasn’t sure where to start. She went to her husband, Jim Wiggins, executive director of the Inter-Religious Council of Central New York and asked him to put her in touch with the local mosque. The imam introduced Wiggins to Danya Wellmon, a Muslim woman well-connected with the Muslim women’s community. The two women met for coffee and talked for hours–learning from each other and modeling a microcosm of what would become Women Transcending Boundaries. Wiggins reflected on how ignorant she had been about Islam and how much she learned just from those early cups of coffee with Danya.

Sensing that this was bigger than just them, the two women decided to involve others in the conversation. Betsy made calls to ten women she knew personally who she thought might be interested. Not one woman turned her down; “When I called, I had a half-baked idea, but everyone I called said that they wanted to do something, too.”[4] Muslim women took a bit more prodding because, as Danya points out, “Muslims lived in fear and continue to live in fear to this day.”

Within a month after the twin towers fell, the first meeting of the yet-unnamed WTB gathered in Betsy Wiggins’ living room: twenty-two women–eleven Muslim women and eleven women from a variety of Christian, Jewish and Buddhist faiths.[5] At this first meeting, the goal was simply to get to know one another. Several Muslim women wanted to talk about the events of September 11, 2001. In doing so, the women were careful to remind the non-Muslim women that they do not speak for all of Islam. Thus, “WTB…quickly learned the importance of speaking from personal experience.”[6] Danya, in reflecting on those early days of WTB, remembers that one of the first things the group learned was how much more they all had in common rather than how different they were.[7] This lesson continues to guide WTB’s work.

Vision

As the group grew, the founding members created a vision statement for Women Transcending Boundaries: “We are an egalitarian community of women coming together to respect and learn more about each others’ various spiritual beliefs and common concerns. It is our intent to share these experiences with the wider community, to educate and to serve.”[8] The WTB of today is an organic group, attentive to its members and ever-vigilant about providing a safe space for women’s voices.

Activities

Monthly Meetings
Sunday afternoon meetings are the heart of WTB. One of the hallmarks of the group, as well as a component of its success, is its careful attention to creating a safe space in which dialogue can occur. The choice of meeting place is evidence of the need to create a safe space: “Going to a house of worship different from our own can test our comfort levels and bring up deeply ingrained fears. Some of us might not be ready to transcend that boundary. That’s why we meet in a neutral location at a local private school. We want women to feel safe at our meetings.”[9]

As is evident from the first meeting described above, the group decided it was critical to start with the personal experiences of its members. In the first few meetings, the women were invited to share their stories and fears after September 11, 2001.

This attention to personal experience as a starting place for learning about other faith traditions led to a series on “Life Cycles.” Women from various faiths and cultures explained how their traditions deal with birth, coming of age, marriage and death. Women asked each other questions, probed the traditions and listened to one another. A summary of this series is on pages 11-13 of Ella Auchincloss’ report (link).

Starting from personal experience has also enabled the group to delve into tougher issues. The March 2005 meeting, “Speaking Out About Our Lives: Sharing Stories, Seeking Support” is one such example. At this meeting, six women–an African American, a Jew, a Hindu, a lesbian Buddhist, a blind African American Christian and a Muslim–were panelists for a discussion about how their identities as minorities affect their worldview. Each woman answered four questions. First, “What is good about being a part of my group(s)?” Secondly, “What is difficult about being a member of my group(s)?” Thirdly, the women commented on things they would never want to hear again. Finally, they answered, “What do you want from your allies?”[10] In a format similar to the life cycles series, this discussion relied on women courageously speaking about these sensitive, personal issues.

The format of the monthly meetings is planned and evaluated by one of the six committees (see the Organization section), the Program Committee. The meetings used to include small group discussions, but the committee discovered that women wanted to hear more perspectives from the large group and wanted more of a chance for exchange with the panelists.

In early 2003, the Program Committee faced one of their most challenging meetings. Fear was rifling through the Syracuse Muslim community as one of their elders was accused of fraud by the FBI. Full details of the events are on pages 14-15 of Auchincloss’ paper (link). The investigation affected 150 Muslim families and made women, again, fearful to participate in WTB. The Program Committee decided to drop the planned meeting and shift the format to a safe space to talk about these events. The group sat in a circle and each woman had the opportunity to speak just once. In the spirit of creating a safe space, notes were not taken at that meeting. The Program Committee continues to work to be attentive to its members as it also seeks to allay their fears.

The November 2005 meeting is evidence of the bridges that are being built among women who participate in WTB. Just fewer than forty women attended and the members came early and left late.[11] There was hugging, warm greetings and a general air of joviality. Personal relationships have been and continue to be critical to the success of WTB.

Service

Another foundational characteristic of WTB is the strong commitment the group has to service. As the founders reflected on their beginnings, they remembered that it “became clear early on that we needed to educate each other, but also needed to do something.”[12] But what? One early WTB participant, Romana Hosain, knew a woman by the name of Nuzhat Ahmad. Nuzhat’s family had started a school in rural Pakistan, “where as many as 10 million children will never have the chance to go to school. Her visionary grandmother sold her own wedding jewelry to make sure Nuzhat’s father got an education. Then she forbade Nuzhat’s father from marrying Nuzhat off until Nuzhat finished school.”[13] Today, Nuzhat is a physician in Philadelphia. Her education was the start of a legacy of educating young Pakistani girls. The school is called Ibtida, which translates to beginnings from Urdu. Energized by this story, WTB decided to get involved. As of November 2005, WTB has raised over $15,000 for Ibtida. Nuzhat keeps the group up-to-date with the happenings at the school.

Just as supporting their international sisters is important to WTB members, WTB has also been active in local service projects. Again, relying on the connections of WTB members, they learned of the work of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, a group that offers English as a Second Language courses as well as reading skills to adults functioning at or below a sixth grade level.[14] One of the founding members of WTB has been active with the organization for several years. WTB has raised over $3,000 for this group and many members of WTB have been involved in translating literacy materials into Urdu.

In addition to garnering monetary donations, WTB is active in the local community. The November 2005 meeting included presentations by the Executive Director of Chadwick House, a transitional housing nonprofit for women in Syracuse and the Service Coordinator at the Syracuse-based Onondaga-Oswego Chapter of the Red Cross. Both organizations talked about their work and offered ideas for how WTB members can be involved.

Additionally, the Service Committee plans regular volunteer opportunities for members. In December 2005, WTB hosted a booth at a local holiday event, selling baked goods and encouraging people to write their dreams for peace on a “dream tree.” Their booth made the front page of the Syracuse Post-Standard. Overwhelmed by WTB participation, members of the Leadership Council were unable to count how many women helped make their booth a success.

Social

While the Sunday afternoon gatherings are at the core of WTB, social activities are important for nurturing the group’s livelihood. The Sunday meeting format, Wiggins noticed early on, was not overly conducive to helping women build social bonds. During 2003, a Syracuse University student involved in WTB conducted a self-study of the group. The results revealed that Wiggins’ sentiment was widespread in the group. As a result, the Service Committee started hosting “get-to-know-you” events to nurture relationships and fellowship among members.[15]

Two years after the social activities were initiated, a book club and cooking classes are among the most popular social events. Jan Garman, the current WTB president, noted that there are some women who can never make it to Sunday afternoon meetings, but are able to come to a book club or a cooking class and, through these, be tied into WTB.[16] The cooking classes are especially important for sharing a way of life, as food preparation is often affected by religious and cultural traditions. In October 2005, a Muslim woman originally from Iraq offered a cooking class and December’s cooking class is to be taught by a Hindu woman originally from India.

Additionally, WTB has a semi-annual tradition of hosting an “International Dinner.” In the past, these have been attended by over 200 women and helped raise funds for Ibtida. Plans are underway for the March 2006 dinner.

Organization

The organization of WTB relies on the work of the Leadership Council to determine the overall direction and vision of the group. An Advisory Board assists, as needed, the Leadership Council in its work. Additionally, members are encouraged to be involved in one of the six WTB committees.

The development of WTB’s structure has happened very organically. It took more than two years for WTB to elect officers and formalize their structure. Betsy Wiggins suggests that it is important to “[l]et the activities and sentiments of the group evolve until you see what type of structure would best serve those needs.”[17] Danya Wellmon describes the heart of WTB’s organizational strength with these words: “Someone has always stepped up with a talent.”[18] Whether it has been website design, leadership skills, or a cooking talent, members of WTB commit their time to making the group successful.

Leadership

A fifteen-member Leadership Council provides guidance and formal leadership to WTB. Women volunteer to be on the council for a three-year term, with a maximum of two consecutive terms. After a break of at least one year, women are welcome to return. In the spring of 2005, WTB elected four officers to chair the council–President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. This is the first time there has been this type of leadership structure. One of the reasons for creating the officer positions is to move the group away from reliance on the two founders–Betsy Wiggins and Danya Wellmon. These two will remain active participants with lifelong appointments to the Leadership Council.

The Leadership Council is a diverse group of women. According to the WTB website, there are six Christians, three Muslims, two Jews, one Hindu, one Buddhist, one woman who identifies as Jewish, Buddhist and Wiccan and one woman who does not identify with any tradition. More than their religious diversity, these women bring diverse backgrounds and experiences to their leadership in WTB.[19] Many of these women have become involved by personal invitation. Ann Port, the current vice president, said that she attended one WTB meeting, was asked to be on a panel for the next meeting and invited to be on the Leadership Council by her fourth meeting. Smita Rane, also a current member of the Leadership Council, tells a similar story of being drawn in by personal invite.

One of the strengths of the Leadership Council is its ability to evolve and be responsive to the group. WTB is now four years old and, unlike many nonprofits in a similar place, it is still willing to admit that there are many things to learn, challenges that will pop up and mistakes to be made. As Ann Port puts it: “WTB–it’s a learning thing.”

Recently, the Leadership Council has been engaged in a process of establishing a method for decision-making. The question was sparked when, several months ago, WTB had to make a choice about whether or not to take a stand on a particularly thorny issue. While one member of the council vocally dissented, the majority decided to go ahead and WTB issued a statement. In a brief moment of embarrassment, WTB had to rescind the statement. According to Jan Garman, president, this “festered in WTB.”[20] Danya Wellmon explained that “it exposed the fact that we did not have a good mechanism in place for decision-making.”[21]

After much discussion, the council members were not willing to implement a simple majority system because that silences the voices of the minority–voices WTB is actively trying to promote. Yet, they were hesitant to use a strict consensus model because it could slow the movement of the group. As a result, instead of using just one method, the group draws from many decision-making models. According to Jan Garman, the agreed upon process is “When we hit an impasse, look at yourself and ask: ‘Why am I so attached and can I let it go for the greater good of WTB?'”[22] If something is so important to one person that they simply cannot concede, the council will take a deeper look at what is going on. The assumption, of course, is that council members will not use this on small disagreements, but only issues of crucial import.

Advisory Board

In addition to the Leadership Council, the Advisory Board is an ad hoc group of women (many of whom were participants in the first meetings of WTB) who receive all of the Leadership Council’s meeting minutes and come to meetings as they are able. The council uses them as a sounding board for new ideas, as resources for different perspectives and for their individual skills. They are also resources for their experience in interfaith dialogue and/or various faith traditions.

Committees

Six committees offer ways for any women involved in WTB to become more connected with the group and its mission. The committees and their goals are: Membership: to encourage new membership and diversity; Public Relations: to assist handling the growing media attention of WTB; Service: to organize and administer the various service projects WTB is involved with; Finances: to manage the budget and other money matters; Program: to determine the meeting topics and recruit speakers/panelists; and Nominating: to propose members for election to the Leadership Council with the goal of ensuring a diverse leadership.[23]

Membership & Funding

WTB has grown as its message has spread by word of mouth. What was once a small group in Wiggins’ living room has developed into an important model of women-led inter-religious dialogue. Members of the Leadership Council created a brief list of the types of women attracted to WTB: “very sensitive, intentional and critical thinkers.”[24]

An average of 40-60 women attend the monthly meetings. The WTB listserv has about 325 women on it. The count is an estimate because, according to the listserv manager, it is always growing. Funding for Women Transcending Boundaries comes from local support and annual membership dues of $10. Not paying dues, though, does not exclude women from participation.

New members are always welcome and members invite other women to attend. For example, at the November 2005 meeting, a member of the Leadership Council, Smita Rane, announced her companion who was new to the area and a first-timer to a WTB meeting. The two women had met at the local Wal-mart. Smita, a Hindu woman originally from India, spotted a woman from Pakistan across the aisles. After getting to know each other a bit, Smita invited her to come to WTB and the woman accepted. The two, old friends after three weeks, laughed together at the happenstance of their connection. The “first-timer” reports that she will return to future WTB meetings.

Legal Identity

In the middle of 2003, one of the members looked at the structure of WTB and said, “Listen, I’ve noticed that groups who have by-laws tend to stick around.”[25] As a result, the group is completing their formal by-laws. Fortunately, a legal writer had just joined the group as the idea was emerging and she has taken over the task. Similarly, a friend of a friend has donated time and resources for developing and maintaining the comprehensive website. The Leadership Council is currently discussing whether or not to become a formal 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Women Transcending Boundaries

WTB is a group of women working together to transcend their assumptions and step outside their comfort zones. Asked why it is important that it is an all-women’s group, responses included themes of safety and openness. For Betsy, co-founder, “The tone of the meeting would be radically different with men. We’re seeing each other as women.”[26] Danya, also a co-founder, remembered that the topic about whether or not to include men came up for discussion, but “at the end of the day, women felt it would not feel as safe with men involved.”[27] Ann Port, vice-president, has been involved in other all-women’s groups, which she did not find fulfilling. But, she noted, WTB is different. “Because with this group it is so inclusive of women. And if you educate the woman, you educate the family. It is empowering women to think and experience for themselves.”[28]

A professor from Syracuse University pointed out that, “This is a women’s group, not a feminist group. It’s a different mindset.”[29] Two self-identified feminist members of WTB had a brief conversation about what it means that WTB is not necessarily a feminist group. After some discussion of their personal challenges in being involved in the group, the two turned to each other–one Buddhist, one Christian–saying, “I guess this is how we are transcending boundaries–to transcend our feminist assumptions!”[30]

Impact of WTB

Ann Port describes the impact of WTB well when she says, “These are people I would not have met. The one-on-one is where we can start making inroads. Things have a way of snowballing. My being involved puts a face to a Jewish woman, so people can say, ‘she’s not so bad’ and also for myself to see the reality of a Muslim woman. This is my little part of making the world better. This is what I, as one person, can do.”[31] It is what over 300 women in Syracuse have done.

One of the women Auchincloss interviewed echoes Ann’s sentiment as she talked about how the group had become the source of many friends and “added a special dimension to her life. She spoke of the sacredness of the meetings because of the importance of what is shared.”[32]

This is change on a personal, local level. The members of WTB look forward to continuing to make these types of changes.

Response to WTB

Media Coverage
WTB has become accustomed to media coverage of their work. The local newspaper, the Syracuse Post-Standard has printed several articles about WTB’s progress and occasionally sends reporters to the meetings. Other local news outlets have also featured WTB: WCNY-TV’s Religion Matters and Access featured WTB on their programs during 2002. WAER-FM aired a feature story about WTB in December, 2002. Straight to the Source on Time Warner Cable also featured in-depth interviews with WTB leaders.

The local television station, News 10, has also reported on the group several times since WTB started being active. Below are links to several recent stories:

In addition to local media coverage, WTB has received national and international recognition for their innovative work.

  • The New York Times printed a story about WTB written by ones of its members entitled, “A Diverse Group of Women are Working to Change the World”: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/17/nyregion/17WOME.html?ex=1133931600&en=d7c9b022 7eece2d8&ei=5070&ex=1049086432&ei=1&en=ca3e977e88cdf03d
  • O, The Oprah Magazine featured WTB in a series on the power of women’s groups across the nation in November 2003
    CNN International, as part of its 2003 anniversary coverage of the tragedies of September 11, showed news segments about WTB and its impact on Muslim women.
  • Family Circle ran a story called, “Full Circle” in the November, 2003 issue. It featured an interview with WTB co-chair Betsy Wiggins who shares her gratitude for the women of WTB: “Through the group, I’ve learned what a single person can do. If I hadn’t made that first call, I might have gone on feeling helpless and afraid. But I did call, and the result is that I’ve made friends for life, and together we are making a difference.”
  • In the magazine, Women’s Faith & Spirit, the 20-year friendship between Syracusans Magda Bayoumi (a Muslim and WTB Council Member) and Mary Giegengack-Jureller (a Roman Catholic) is the subject of a four-page feature article in the Fall, 2003 issue. Mary and Magda recount the beginnings of WTB and their involvement in it. The story closes with this quote: “Magda and Mary have indeed transcended boundaries to form a lasting friendship—built on honesty and mutual respect—that’s rich with warmth and humor. At a time when the world sorely needs hope and healing, all of us stand to learn from their example.”[33]

Local Response

The city, broader community and churches, synagogues, temples and mosques of Syracuse have responded favorably to WTB. Most recently, in the Fall of 2005, WTB received the Peace Award from the Peace Action of Central New York, a group whose mission is “to provide information about ways toward peace to the people of Central New York, and to offer an organized structure for grassroots citizens who want to actively participate in bringing about a world at peace.”[34]

Of course, there has been some hesitancy from the community. Betsy tells the story of one woman who, after a WTB meeting, told her that this woman’s friends had warned her against attending. They had also told her that if she did go, be sure not to give any money because it goes to terrorists. The woman happily told Betsy that she had very much enjoyed the meeting, learned a lot and would be back the next month! On the other hand, one Jewish woman told a story of a Jewish friend of hers whose husband was killed by Palestinians and simply cannot bring herself to even hear stories from WTB.

Despite the occasional negative response to WTB, members of the Leadership Council continue to believe that WTB is a positive tool to help women bridge differences.[35]

Leadership Changes

While their work to found and develop WTB has been inspirational, there is a challenge in the strong leadership roles Danya and Betsy offer. As the Leadership Council grows in strength, Betsy and Danya will step back. They both see their ongoing role on the council to keep the group focused on the vision of WTB.[36]

Outreach

The growth of WTB has been primarily through word of mouth. When the local or national news outlets pick up a story on WTB, participation swells. However, WTB leadership is not content with that as an outreach mechanism. Several months ago, Jan Garman visited a Baha’i group to learn more about the tradition. During the introductions, she told them a bit about WTB and two Baha’i women have since joined. More systematically, the Membership Committee has been concerned with the lack of participation from African and Asian American women. One thought is that African American churches’ Sunday services stretch into the afternoons, making a 3-5 pm Sunday meeting impractical and unappealing for many. Discussions about the regular meeting time are ongoing. In the meantime, the Membership Committee, in partnership with the Interfaith Council of Central New York, has sent out 52 letters to local African American and Asian American congregations, asking them to let their congregants know about WTB.

Another lacking demographic of WTB membership is women in the 24-40 year old age group. Members of the Leadership Council suggest that younger women are often so busy with new families, jobs and children that they cannot find the time to participate. Conversations about childcare at meetings and creative ways to involve this younger demographic are ongoing.

In thinking about the younger generation, Danya has started working with a group of high school girls. She and a Jewish member of WTB brought together three Muslim and three Jewish girls to start a youth version of WTB. The two women stepped into the kitchen and the girls “just went at it.”[37] The young girls have recruited several Christian and Buddhist girls and are developing the group on their own.

Replicating WTB

One of the future ideas shared by several members of the Leadership Council is to create many local WTBs around the country that could be networked together. Each would be organized in whatever ways seem fit to their local dynamics, but would be able to connect with women and other groups around the country who are engaged in these questions.

Expanding Service Commitments

WTB has initiated conversations about being involved with a micro-financing program through a group called “Women for Women International” (womenforwomen.org) based in Washington, D.C. According to this group’s website, Women for Women International“, helps women in war-torn regions rebuild their lives by providing financial and emotional support, job skills training, rights awareness and leadership education and access to business skills, capital and markets. Through the program, women become confident, independent and productive as they embrace the importance of their roles in rebuilding their families, their communities and ultimately, their nations.”[38] Betsy excitedly describes micro-financing, especially in women-initiated projects, as one of the best ways to alleviate poverty. WTB will host members of this organization at their Third International Dinner in March 2006.

Challenging Meeting Topics

The Program Committee has begun developing a program about Islam, Christianity and Judaism that they are calling “Pluralistic Dialogue.” It is a sensitive topic for WTB, so the committee has been strategizing with the Leadership Council for how to most thoughtfully approach the issue. They have decided to frame the discussion in terms of women telling their own stories–reminding everyone that if a Jewish woman is speaking from her own experience, she does not speak for all Jews. She speaks only for herself. The moderator will be well-briefed and the speakers will meet before the meeting to shape the vision of the discussion and set guidelines, in order to maintain a safe space.[39]

Members of the Leadership Council would like to have a meeting on the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Much like the pluralism dialogue event mentioned above, this is complicated territory. Nonetheless, members of the council feel confident that WTB can broach the topic. Danya tells a story of her experience at the last International Dinner where she sat with a Muslim on one side and a Jew on the other and the two women laughed, enjoyed each other and were able to see across the divide. The trust that WTB has built between members and the personal approach of WTB will facilitate this challenging dialogue.

The future of WTB will, undoubtedly, reflect the evolving nature of the group. Many members said they did not quite know exactly where WTB is headed. The future will be as the past and current life of WTB–evolving and reflective of the membership. Vice-President Ann Port is happy to be uncertain of exactly where WTB is going. She thinks that lack of clarity for the future will lead to more creativity and will leave plenty of room for new ideas from new members: “When new people come in, they come with many ideas and that is important for the group.”[40]

Conclusion

In sharing about WTB in 2002, Betsy said, ‘A year ago I thought all I was going to do was have coffee with Danya. I had no idea the women we invited would become a dynamic group. I didn’t realize what sort of response our little group would engender. I didn’t know we had touched a nerve in the community and that we would become a salon of discussion for many spiritual women with complicated questions.'”[41] WTB is a group committed to growing and learning. Auchincloss suggests that the success of WTB has been, in part, aided by “the lack of any strategic plan and the lack of any deliberate outside paradigm to guide their efforts…Instead, they have created their own organic model.[42]

The personal impact WTB is an indicator of the group’s success–and will ensure the viability of this group, and others like it, as Americans learn to navigate religious pluralism. WTB has woven together the importance of education, working together and building social bonds. Ann Port summarizes the value of WTB in these frank, honest terms: “The more we know, the less we have to fear.” This is at the heart of WTB.[43]

Tips for Starting a WTB

Co-founder Betsy Wiggins has created a list of Tips for starting your own inter-religious group. They are available here.


 

[1] Wiggins, Betsy, Co-founder of WTB. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[2] Wiggins, Betsy. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[3] Wiggins, Betsy. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[4] Wiggins, Betsy. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[5] Auchincloss, Ella. “Women Transcending Boundaries: A Post 9/11 Interfaith Success Story” Unpublished research, 21 January 2004. Used with permission.↩︎
[6] Auchincloss, 6.↩︎
[7] Wellmon, Danya, Co-founder of WTB. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[8] Women Transcending Boundaries. Accessed 28 November 2005.↩︎
[9] Women Transcending Boundaries. Accessed 2 December 2005.↩︎
[10] Women Transcending Boundaries. Accessed 9 December 2005.↩︎
[11] This was lower than average attendance. The mosque held a family afternoon on the same day to which many Muslim women were committed. Danya Wellmon said that average attendance at the monthly meetings is 40-60 women.↩︎
[12] Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[13] Women Transcending Boundaries Projects. Accessed 14 November 2005.↩︎
[14] Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, local affiliate of ProLiteracy America. Accessed. 15 December 2005.↩︎
[15] Auchincloss, 8.↩︎
[16] Garman, Jan, Current WTB president. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[17] Women Transcending Boundaries Tips. Accessed 15 December 2005.↩︎
[18] Wellmon, Danya. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[19] Women Transcending Boundaries Leadership. Accessed 12 December 2005.↩︎
[20] Garman, Jan. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[21] Wellmon, Danya. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[22] Garman, Jan. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[23] Auchincloss, 14.↩︎
[24] Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[25] Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[26] Wiggins, Betsy. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[27] Wellmon, Danya. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[28] Port, Ann. Vice President, WTB. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[29] Thompson, Margaret Susan, meeting attendee. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[30] Thompson, Margaret Susan and Bonnie Shoultz. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[31] Port, Ann. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[32] Auchincloss, 23.↩︎
[33] Quoted at: Women Transcending Boundaries Media Coverage. Accessed 15 December 2005. Forsyth, Sondra. “Mary & Magda & Faith & Friendship” in Women’s Faith & Spirit.” Fall, 2003.↩︎
[34] Peace Action of Central New York. Accessed 2 December 2005.↩︎
[35] Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[36] Wellmon, Danya. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[37] Wellmon, Danya and Wiggins, Betsy. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[38] Women for Women International. Accessed 1 December 2005.↩︎
[39] Members of Leadership Council. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[40] Port, Ann. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎
[41] Quoted at: Women Transcending Boundaries History. Accessed 2 December 2005.↩︎
[42] Auchincloss, 23.↩︎
[43] Port, Ann. Interview 13 November 2005.↩︎