October social justice calendar 

From green to the red white and blue

Living lean and green

Paul Chase of Citizens Action Coalition Education Fund wants people to go on a diet. Not a waistline-slimming diet, though a healthier physique may be a side benefit of following his guidance. The diet he advocates takes aim at carbon, not carbs, in an effort to make an impact on climate change.

Starting Monday, Chase will preview the five-session Low Carbon Diet workshops in an introductory public forum offered at several locations throughout Indianapolis. The forum is titled “Living Lean and Green: Home Energy Strategies That Work for You and the World,” and the emphasis on “strategies that work” is no accident.

“Our overarching goal,” Chase says, “is to help people learn how to reduce their energy consumption in their personal lives and by doing so save money, which is a great thing, and in the process help to become part of the solution to global warming.”

In the Low Carbon Diet workshops, which begin mid-October, Chase will help participants calculate and subsequently reduce their household CO2 footprint, measured in pounds. He emphasizes that there are a variety of options for trimming pounds, and all steps have the added benefit of cost savings.

By the end of the fifth session, he says, most people participating will be able to cut at least 5,000 pounds from their footprint.

The free forum and workshops are made possible by a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Giveaways at both events, courtesy of Indianapolis Power & Light and Citizens Gas and Coke Utility, will include compact fluorescent bulbs, weatherization kits and programmable thermostats.

For locations and times, go to www.cacefindiana.org.

Happy anniversary, PP

Planned Parenthood of Indiana will celebrate 75 years of protecting women’s rights and providing reproductive health information.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana was established on Feb. 4, 1932, and affiliates spread quickly throughout the state. Now, this statewide organization serves nearly 130,000 men and women who may not have other health care options.

From the beginning, their mission, according to their Web site, has been to “protect, provide and promote reproductive health,” bringing accurate information about sex, birth control and family planning to the public.

Anna Quindlen, a best-selling author and New York Times columnist, will be the featured special guest at Planned Parenthood’s anniversary event. A supporter of women’s rights, Quindlen is also a member of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board of Advocates.

The 75th Anniversary Celebration will be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on Monday, Oct. 1, 5:30-9 p.m. Individual tickets cost $75 and are available online at www.ppin.org or by calling 317-637-4156.

Ecology House Forum

Indianapolis Ecology House will talk citywide greening when it hosts Allison Gritton, the mayor’s director of environmental affairs, at an Oct. 3 public forum. The subject of her presentation will be Indy GreenPrint, the city’s environmental stewardship initiative.

“Ecology House’s primary mission is to educate people on how residential lifestyles affect the environment,” says its president, Sam Miller. The GreenPrint program, with its emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation, supports that mission in the community.

The sustainability resource center’s previous quarterly forums have attracted engineers, architects, lay people, builders, planners, academics and “anyone with an interest in quality of life in the city, the environment and sustainability,” says Miller, who hopes a similarly varied group will attend this quarter.

The free program is set for 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday at the College of Architectural Planning Indianapolis Center, 50 S. Meridian St. More information: www.ecologyhouse.com.

Julian Center’s Beauty Bash

Organizers of the Beauty Bash, the first-ever “girlfriend-centered” benefit for the Julian Center, have put a new twist on the typical girls’ night out.

According to planning committee volunteer Lisa Cloud, the event was the brainchild of Circle City Planners and Blades Hair Design Studios. The evening promises to indulge attendees’ desire for the latest trends in fashion, hair design and shopping. With proceeds going to help battered women and children, there’s no downside.

“Women inspire women,” Cloud says. Organizers hope this unique approach leads to a successful fund-raiser that could be duplicated in future years. A silent auction, fashion show and “shopping extravaganza” round out the evening.

In Marion County, 21,000 women report being battered each year. The nonprofit Julian Center provides shelter and counseling to women fleeing domestic violence and/or sexual assault. More than 1,381 women and children found refuge at the Julian Center in 2006.

The Beauty Bash benefit will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Ritz Charles in Carmel. More information: www.indybeautybash.com.

Indiana AIDS Walk and Ride

Oct. 14 may be a Saturday, but that’s no reason to sleep till noon. Doing so would mean missing half the festivities surrounding the 2007 Indiana AIDS Walk and Ride, which will once again draw people downtown for the sole fund-raiser for the Indiana AIDS Fund’s Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (DEFA) Fund.

Betty Wilson of the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis explains that DEFA funds are used to help people with HIV/AIDS cover their basic needs during emergency situations. “For instance,” she says, “if someone has been prescribed meds [and their] insurance doesn’t kick in right away, this will provide medication. If someone has been ill and is not able to work on a short-term basis, these funds can help to pay their rent on a one-time basis.”

This type of relief is available to Indiana residents living with HIV/AIDS who are clients of agencies like the Damien Center statewide.

Organizers expect to raise at least $150,000; last year the proceeds reached $180,000.

The event includes entertainment and a health tent where a record number of agencies will be on hand. Prior to the walk, a 10:30 a.m. ecumenical service will be held at Roberts Park United Methodist Church.

More information: www.indianaaidswalk.org.

In Defense of Our America: A Call to Action

The ACLU of Indiana is bringing one of the most sought-after author/activists to help kick off their annual Bill of Rights fund-raising campaign. Naomi Wolf will be the guest lecturer at the organization’s Oct. 25 reception.

A passionate critic of the Bush Administration, the best-selling author has been taking her wake-up call straight to the people. Her latest book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, presents her indictment of the administration’s attack on Americans’ basic freedoms.

ACLU-IN Executive Director Claudia Porretti notes that the book cuts across political party lines. She hopes that people of all persuasions will come to hear Wolf speak.

“It’s time that we all stood up to save our freedom,” Porretti says.

“In Defense of Our America: A Call to Action” takes place Oct. 25, 5 p.m. at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. A student conference, also open to the public, is set for Oct. 26.

More information: www.aclu-in.org or 317-635-4059, ext. 233.

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