Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Ongoing Salons

Every two weeks

Salon #34 - Living the Maternal Gift Economy through The Foundation for a Compassionate Society

With Genevieve Vaughan, Frieda Werden, Chiquie Estrada, and Sally Jacques

Saturday, June 4th - 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM CT

Moderated by Letecia Layson

The Foundation for a Compassionate Society (1986 to 2005) was founded by Genevieve Vaughan. It was a feminist organization working for social change according to "women’s values". It was created on the premise that the socio-economic system of patriarchal capitalism is responsible for the grievous problems that plague not only women, but society at large, locally, nationally and internationally. By accessing and implementing the values of other-orientation that are necessary for mothering, it is possible to create a shift of paradigms. A new economic order, The Maternal Gift Economy, and a new way of thinking, with an alternative method of philosophy, psychology and politics can issue from the perspective of those human beings who are socialized to care for life rather than to dominate and destroy it. The Foundation with its many woman-led projects was an attempt to practice the Maternal Gift Economy in a variety of ways.

Genevieve Vaughan

Genevieve Vaughan (b.1939) is an independent researcher who lives part time in Italy and part in Texas. She created the multicultural all-woman activist Foundation for a Compassionate Society (1987-2005) and the Temple of Sekhmet in the Nevada desert (1992 – ongoing) and she co-created the network: International Feminists for a Gift Economy (2001 – ongoing). Her books are For-Giving, a Feminist Criticism of Exchange (1997), Homo Donans (2006) and The Gift in the Heart of Language: the Maternal Source of Meaning (2015). She has edited Il Dono/The Gift (2004), Women and the Gift Economy (2007) and The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy (2019). A volume of the Canadian Women’s Studies Journal dedicated to the maternal gift economy has just appeared (2020)

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Frieda Werden

Frieda Werden is co-founder and series producer of WINGS: Women’s International News Gathering Service, which provides women’s voices and issues coverage to noncommercial radio. The project started with the contact list from a radio women’s meeting called by Genevieve Vaughan at the 3rd World Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985. The pilot was funded and distributed by US National Public Radio, but WINGS found a more receptive audience through the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC). Werden’s paper on community radio appears in the anthology Women and the Gift Economy.

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Sally Jacques

Sally Jacques, founder of Blue Lapis Light, creates site-specific aerial dance works that speak to social, political and spiritual dilemmas. Recognized for her international efforts against human rights abuse, environmental endangerment, homelessness, and racism, her activist views inform her artistic journey. A native of England, Jacques’ early career included international performances in Munich, Barcelona, Vienna and Costa Rica. She studied dance at The Place and The Contemporary Dance Center in London and attended the Lee Strasberg Drama School in New York to study improvisation and acting. Jacques also studied experimental theatre at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona and movement at the Oval Theatre in London as a protege of John Trigger. Jacques has been the recipient of numerous grants and accolades, including the Susan B. Anthony Award for Peace, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin/Arts Commission and Art Matters, New York City.

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Chiquie Estrada

Chiquie Estrada, owner of La Casa dei Bambini in Kyle, Texas.

Supporting children to reach their full potential in a holistic way is my passion; guiding children’s self development by linking them to the activities in a prepared classroom and outdoor environment is my calling.

I was born in Guatemala and moved to the USA in 1976 where I began my journey with Montessori as a teacher’s assistant in 1977. After training as a guide in 1978 with the Association Montessori International in Atlanta, Georgia, I worked at several Montessori schools in Austin, Texas.

It was there that met my good friend Genevieve Vaughan in 1986 and became acquainted with the Gift Economy. In 2002, because of Genevieve, I was able to open La Casa dei Bambini; which combines the philosophy and practice of Montessori with the Gift Economy.

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