Author Archives: Barbara Belknap

About Barbara Belknap

Barbara Belknap spent the first half of her life in almost twenty different communities, from her birthplace of Portland, Oregon, to Kodiak, Alaska, to Puerto Rico. With a father in the Marine Corps and then a husband in the Coast Guard, moving was the norm. In 1989, her family chose Juneau, Alaska, to put down permanent roots. Her community of Juneau and the stunningly beautiful nature that surrounds it are very important parts of Barbara’s life. In October of 2001, Barbara was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer and had two major surgeries. She reluctantly retired from her job as Executive Director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute in 2002 to allow her body to recover. After several months of healing and adjustment, she went about the task of learning how to follow her passion for lifelong learning, community building, women’s issues, politics, and travel. Barbara has been involved with many women’s organizations, and is the current President of Gather the Women. She is also one of two Alaska delegates to Vision 2020, a Drexel University program that is focuses on achieving equality for women by 2020. Barbara married her husband Doug in 1969. They have two wonderful adult children: Amy, a Chef at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Will, a computer programmer with the State of Alaska, and a wonderful daughter-in-law, Shonda, in Juneau. Their grandchildren, Patrick and Marlena, live just 6 miles away.

Thanksgiving Week in America

November 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s one of those holidays that has always been a Food Event. There is a traditional menu that is almost sacred script: turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes/yams, and finished off with pumpkin pie with whipped cream topping or Cool Whip. I will set the table with my grandmother’s …
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Weaving Silken Threads

November 12th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Circles | Inspiration - (0 Comments)

In Berlin, Germany, late in the evening on Monday, November 10th, a young woman named Katharina Sebert sits at her table all prepared for the Gather the Women Regional Coordinators monthly call. Her phone, the meeting agenda, her pen, and a cup of tea are arranged in front of her. In Juneau, Alaska, I, an …
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Post-Election Musings

November 6th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Inspiration - (0 Comments)

I am a political junkie. I’ve always been interested in politics, but I have never wanted to run for office myself. In a state like Alaska, running for office and winning is not an insurmountable goal like it is in the other 49 states. There are just over 735,000 people in our huge state and …
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Women’s Voices

October 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Inspiration | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I believe that women are the greatest force for good in the world today. Yes, that is a blanket statement big enough for a theoretical King Size Bed, but I believe it’s true. Countries where women are empowered do better than countries where women’s voices are silenced. All over the world, there are conflicts that …
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A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

October 18th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Inspiration - (0 Comments)

Today I’ve been so touched by what I’ve read on the Gather the Women Facebook page that I am “tongue-tied”. I’m going to use TuBears and Lorraine Lima’s women to speak for me today. I love these women!

Our Altars

October 10th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Circles | Gatherings - (0 Comments)

Hali Karla’s blog post on October 8 has been on my mind ever since I read it on GTW’s Facebook page. It is what Heather Plett calls “open-hearted writing”. If you didn’t catch it as it flowed through the Facebook River, you will be rewarded if you go back and find it. Her website is …
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Women’s Laughter

October 7th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Gatherings | Humor - (0 Comments)

On my way home from grocery shopping, windshield wipers going full tilt, I was thinking about my next blog post and up popped women’s laughter. Juneau is breaking all records for rain and that’s saying something in a city that measures annual rainfall in feet. As I was checking out at Safeway, I said something …
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Re-Entry into Normal Life

September 28th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Circles | Gatherings | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Our annual Gather the Women gathering ended with one last ring of the bells at noon on Sunday, September 21st. Our GTW Facebook pages glow with images of brilliantly colored scarves laid out like the spokes of a wheel around the center altar. In honor of the history of the Black Hills, there were times …
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Our Charging Station

August 30th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Gatherings - (0 Comments)

In a little over three weeks the women will be gathering. Last year, we said our long goodbyes on the shore of an exquisite turquoise lake in the mountains of California. This time, we will greet each other with warm hugs in Rapid City, South Dakota, in the Great Plains. After months of making do …
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Women’s Equality Day

August 25th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation - (0 Comments)

by Barbara Belknap Today I wrote a letter to our local newspaper, the Juneau Empire, to mark Women’s Equality Day on August 26. I’m going to repurpose it with some editing for my GTW blog post. It might be a good circle discussion to talk about the status of women’s rights in your state or …
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