In the Spring of 2012, from May 10th – 13th, Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP) will host the first-ever World Courts of Women on Poverty in the U.S. (WCW) to highlight the grassroots reality of the housing, jobs, and poverty crisis in this country. With advice and counsel from Corinne Kumar, the founder of the Asian Women’s Human Rights Council (AWHRC) ( and director of El Taller International (, WEAP has been planning for this incredible event for over 18 months, working to build the support and infrastructure needed to make this groundbreaking event succeed.

This past year has been monumental in the movement to highlight and protest against social inequality, corporate greed, and disparities between rich and poor with the emergence of the Occupy Movement. Within months, over 2,700 communities across the world joined the movement to address the impact of rising unemployment and cuts to social service programs. As part of our leadership in this movement, WEAP developed tools to document injustices facing the “99 percent” including Fact Sheets and a Health Addendum that expose human rights violations (found on WEAP’s website).

The World Courts of Women could not come at a more critical time. WEAP has been working hard to build on our transformative people’s movement to end poverty and highlight injustice facing women and families. Through planning of the WCW, we built alliances and partnerships with over 30 organizations across California to develop organizing committees that meet on a bi-weekly basis. These endorsing organizations, including Central Valley Journey for Justice, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), Hip-Hop Congress and many others, that bring a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the planning process. This Planning Committee has made major gains in the progress of the WCW including creating a “Visual Call to Action,” a Youtube video advertising and explaining the Oakland Court ( ) and a blog providing daily updates on the progress of WCW ( Additionally, we’ve started our registration process, making our registration form available online and developed an extensive volunteer database and descriptions of opportunities to become involved.

Over the past 15 years, the WCW has had a significant impact on placing gender at the center of the theory and practice of human rights as well as strengthening the networks of grassroots NGOs locally and transnationally. In every region they are held, the WCW gather people in conversations across race, religions, and cultures to highlight the knowledge and wisdoms of women in the region; laying the groundwork for transformative practices that challenge the dominant world view that move us all collectively towards a new generation of women’s human rights. Women, men and youth from all areas and histories bring their personal testimonies of violence to the Court.

We need your support now more than ever in this final stage of preparation. In the face of state budget cuts slashing crucial services to the most at risk communities, corporate greed and record numbers of women living in poverty, we offer a critical analysis of capitalism through a women and poverty lens. We are calling on you to become involved and to mobilize your communities to help present both the problems and the solutions.

The World Courts of Women will expose the great violence poverty is doing to increasing numbers of women in the U.S and assess the toll poverty is taking on our nation’s families, and protect & expand public resources for the benefit of the 99%, such as truly universal health care.

Come listen to the soul-searing stories and share your own, bring your organization, endorse, donate or volunteer. As the Assembly to End Poverty says, “It is time we STAND UP AND BUILD a new United States of America.

Who are we who support the World Courts of Women on Poverty in the U.S.?

• We are the mothers of children experiencing the pangs of hunger.

• We are the families who have lost our homes to foreclosure due to the tremendous greed of bankers and politicians.

• We are the incarcerated fathers who were ripped from our families by the prison industrial complex.

• We are the homeless veterans who have been abandoned by the government we fought to protect.

• We are the mothers who fear and suffer from the separation of our families due to our immigrant status.

• We are the millions of uninsured in this country who suffer and die daily due to lack of adequate health care.

•We are the youth that have been thrown away by a government that has continuously revoked all our after-school programs, public libraries, and recreation centers.

• We are the workers who struggle every day to make ends meet while corporations reap billions in profit from our labor.

• We are the immigrants who work tirelessly in a country that denies us basic human rights.

• We are the educators that find ourselves incapable of developing the leadership of our youth while schools are shutting down and funding is cut back.

• We are the women who survive and resist in a world that perpetuates tremendous violence at our expense.


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