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Harmonies and heroes
What can I learn from you
That I must do the thing I think I can not do
That you do what's right by your heart and soul
It's the imperfections that make us whole
One life can tell the tale
And if you make the effort you can not fail
By your life you tell me it can be done
By your life's the courage to carry on

-Ann Reed, "Heroes"

by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

Harmonies and heroes

What's the theme song of your life? We asked our readers to respond to this question for April's women-and-music-themed issue. It's a question that resounded. We received more reflections on this question than any month-and each woman chose a different theme song. (Read here)

Madonna's "Like a Virgin," Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and Helen Reddy's "I am Woman" are songs that have defined elements of the women's movement. We watched the PBS special aired during Women's History Month, "MAKERS: Women Who Made America." If you missed it, watch it! You can access it at PBS.org/makers. The three-hour documentary shares a strong, balanced history and critique of the "women's movement." It portrays the power of women to make change both individually and collectively.

In this April magazine, we share stories about Minnesota women musicians-composer Libby Larsen, taiko drummer Iris Shiraishi, Maia Maiden's Sistah Solo event and a group of "comfort singers"-the Morning Star Singers. Columnist Shannon Drury writes about music and feminist parenting. Marilyn Bengtson shares her thoughts on the importance of music in education and its threads throughout a community. Vicky Mountain writes about the power of voice.

In an online-only story on MWP's website, Gabby Landsverk interviews her local "sheroes"-women musicians from the Twin Cities-who share their thoughts about challenges and triumphs, about getting the respect they deserve and about being a feminist or not. "I'm not a feminist, but I believe in equality" is something that we hear often today.

In Twin Cities musician Ann Reed's song, "Heroes," she names and honors women who have cleared a path and lighted the way, thanking women, who by their courage, made a difference in the world: Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Rosa Parks, Billie Jean King, Gloria Steinem and more.


PBS' "Makers" shares stories of women who became accidental changemakers-Katherine Switzer (the first woman to run the Boston marathon), Barbara Burns (a woman coalminer in West Virginia)-and women whose names are well known-Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan.

The documentary affirms that women have strong voices and are effective changemakers. It also assures us that the critique and backlash of feminist values will continue. We're grateful for these strong, feminist women who acted with courage on behalf of all women. Heroes. Who are yours? Tell us! Send a paragraph to editor@womenspress.com.

Coming up:
May's focus is grandmothers, mothers and daughters and we're asking: What have you learned from another generation of women? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: April 10, 2013

May advertising section:
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: April 10, 2013
Watch for the results of the annual What Women Want MWP readers' survey in the May issue!

In June our focus is food and we're asking: Cooking aversion? Hospitality? Diet Woes? What's your food story? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: May 10, 2013

June advertising sections:
• Elder Guide
• Women Going Places Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: May 10, 2013

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