Jenny’s Hope and Focus on Feminism

Welcome to Jenny’s Focus on Feminism (, a page of focused action towards achieving full equality, participation and representation for girls and women worldwide, with the realization that then, and only then, humanity will be sustained, population increases will be reasonable, and poverty will diminish.

We invite  you to learn more, please, as we perpetually construct and develop this website feminist page, until we are there:

Jenny Norton Humanities and Sustainability Lecture with Jamie Bechtel, Co-Founder and CEO of New Course
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – 4:30pm
WGHL 481

In the complex world of conservation and poverty alleviation, ambient noises can be deafening.  Listening to the right people, in the right context with a non-biased mindset not only demonstrates respect but saves precious time and resources as you craft solutions to global problems.   Jamie demonstrates – in a lively romp through jungles, villages, oceans and boardrooms – how our environment and its inhabitants present constant clues for solutions if we are present enough to tune-out the ambient noise and tune in to the message: today matters.

Bringing her unique perspective from working as a marine biologist, environmental lawyer, and chief executive officer, Jamie shares with her audience the crucial role that listening plays in fostering solutions in the natural and human worlds. Perhaps most importantly, Jamie’s experiences provide a powerful and inspirational voice for a new way to drive global change by engaging the people whose voices too often go unheard: women.


Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 4.10.39 PM

ASU Student Combats Global Vulnerabilities with Sustainable Technology, August 5, 2014

Source: Arizona State University News

Bangladesh. One of the world’s most populous countries, and one of its poorest.

akane-ota-sustainability-studentAkane Ota was living in a village far from Dhaka, the country’s capital. Her assignment with Grameen Bank, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning microfinance organization, asked that she survey villagers to assess their living conditions, then create a business plan to improve them.

Unfazed by the difficulty of this task, Ota made her way through the village, diligently collecting data. As she did so, two things become increasingly apparent: the connection between unreliable energy and inaccessible social services, and the environmental injury caused by non-renewable technology.

As Ota explains, “I was amazed by the beautiful untouched nature of Bangladesh. But I also saw highly polluted air and water, which was depressing.”

Around this time, Ota’s native Japan was shaken by a major earthquake that, in turn, triggered a tsunami reaching 133 feet in height. The wave disabled the power supply and nullified the cooling mechanisms for three reactors at Fukushima’s nuclear plant. The consequences of the subsequent meltdown left a lasting impression on Ota and heightened her passion for stable and sustainable energy.

Eager for solutions and up for a challenge, Ota enrolled in Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability. Three years later, Ota is a Norton and Ramsey Sustainability Scholarship recipient researching energy sources that are stable, renewable and can support internet-based social services.

“Improving healthcare and education is one of the best ways to mitigate poverty. Having stable energy is the most effective and affordable way to make this happen,” Ota says.

Now entering her final year in the Energy, Materials and Technology track within the Bachelor of Science program, Ota appreciates the transdisciplinary resources and collaboration opportunities provided by the school. While developing a watch that doubles as a personal security device for women travelling alone, Ota and her team received guidance from three sustainability scientists with different areas of expertise.

“The School of Sustainability is the best in terms of diversity of the faculty,” Ota says. “Our security device won third place in the Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge out of 60 teams from 40 universities. The diversity and great support from our mentors helped us achieve this.”

Whether tackling vulnerabilities in the First or Third World, it is evident that Ota is a force for change. Her conscientious approach to technological entrepreneurship is sure to have a lasting impact.

Established in 2009 with a gift from the Rev. Jenny Norton and Bob Ramsey, the Norton and Ramsey Sustainability Scholarship was the first endowed to undergraduate students. It is awarded each fall semester to a School of Sustainability undergraduate major (sophomore level or higher) who is interested in pursuing studies about how populations facing poverty and social justice issues may be more likely to benefit from sustainability practices.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 11.23.17 AM

Mary Margaret Fonow, professor of Women and Gender Studies, is founding director of the School of Social Transformation. Fonow is an international leader in the field of women’s studies and has been active in the formation and development of the field for the past 40 years. She provides leadership for the research training of doctoral students and is a member of the UNESCO Women and Gender Research Network.

In the past Fonow has conducted comparative research on workplace change and its impact on labor activism in the U.S., Canada and Australia and has more recently been analyzing the role union feminists are playing transnationally to secure basic labor rights for women in the global economy. She is interested in how union women developed a sense of themselves as transnational actors and how they build alliances and coalitions across national boundaries and between the labor movement and the women’s movement. Her current research focuses on embodied activism, somatic education and mindfulness, and she hopes to develop a new model of transformational leadership.

Fonow is actively engaged with students in the classroom and in helping students produce new research that is informed by an understanding of the intersection of justice with gender, race, class and sexuality. Fonow believes the School of Social Transformation is the ideal location to prepare students to make a difference in the world.

Women and Gender Studies (with supportive origins from Jenny)

  • exploring and researching women and gender in society
  • teaching gender issues
  • researching best practices for sustainability

Jenny Norton Research Cluster on Women

  • questioning how feminism contributes to knowledge and participatory citizenship
  • making visible the workings of oppression in our society
  • interrogating the intersectionality as feminist theory and method to theories of globalism

So many women need medical help, yet are uninsured or underinsured, undocumented or daughters of the undocumented — we are helping.

Women for Transition Support:

Our homeless population consists of 40% women, and many of them are without a home because they left a crisis situation of domestic violence.  Our Housing and Urban Development Agency provides funds for temporary stays in Domestic Violence Shelters, but when the funds run out, the resident, in refusing to return to a violent partner, she often chooses the street, sadly a safer harbour, but still not a safe harbour.  Our Foundation’s work purpose, with many partners, is to give her safe and appropriate choices.