Soroptimist International of Camas and Washougal recently hosted an evening showing of two award-winning short films, in an effort to promote its future “Dream It, Be It” program.
Gail Hitchcock, president of the local Soroptimists organization, said the career support program for girls is being developed.
“We wanted to make the public aware of this new program, in hopes each could help us spread the word,” she said. “It is our goal to help young girls think about goal development and at the same time think about some of the non-traditional jobs available to them.”
Sixty-five people attended the Nov. 14 event, held at the Liberty Theatre, in downtown Camas, which included the showing of “Mothering from the Inside” and “SISTA in the Brotherhood.”
Dr. Roberta Hunte, an assistant professor of child, youth and family studies at Portland State University, produced the “SISTA” film regarding a young, black apprentice carpenter who endures harassment when she starts a new construction job. The film was about women who work in non-traditional roles.
During a panel session, Hunte talked about challenging the culture of disrespect and addressing sexual harassment on the job site. She also mentioned economic, racial and gender justice, and the need to address working conditions.
Hunte said the “SISTA” film is relevant, and work is fundamental to support families.
Katie Kuchta, a laborer with Union 737 of Oregon and Idaho, said women want to earn an honest wage, and they want to learn.
Kuchta, of Vancouver, graduated from Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., which provides education, leadership and mentorship opportunities for women interested in working in the trades.
Andria Swann, the industrial pretreatment coordinator for the Clark Regional Wastewater District, in vancouver, was also on the panel at the Liberty. She is president of the Oregon Water Education Foundation.
The film, “Mothering from the Inside” shows female inmates involved in the Family Preservation Project (FPP) at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Jessica Katz, coordinator of the FPP since 2003, attended the Soroptimists event at the Liberty Theatre. She is a field education instructor with PSU’s School of Social Work.
The FPP enables the inmates to have expanded visits with their children.
The “Mothering” film shows bonds being rebuilt, and hope and pride being restored. The young visitors go through metal detectors at the correctional facility before reading, eating and taking naps with their mothers.
In the film, one of the FPP inmate participants said, “children are hurt by the choices we make.”