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.

Women Will Save the World

January 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Empowerment | Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

By Barbara Belknap I’m very tired today. Last night I didn’t feel well, but I pushed myself and went to a Planned Parenthood online conference meeting about a half mile from our house. It was worth it. There were several young women there, three of us over 50, and Alyson, the brilliant young local Planned …
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Musings on a Sunday Afternoon

January 12th, 2015 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Circles | Gatherings - (0 Comments)

Last Sunday, my friend Darcy and I met at Vintage Faire, a coffee shop tucked away in our local mall and a halfway point between our homes. We each picked out a teabag, carefully filled our mugs with scalding water from the spigot, and found a table for two. In Juneau, we forego the darling …
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Forgiveness and Strength

December 30th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Empowerment | Inspiration - (0 Comments)

This month I let go of two grudges. Both were righteous and based on pain inflicted on two women I love very much, but both of those grudges needed to go. It turned out to be as easy as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz clicking the heels of her ruby red slippers together three …
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Om Durga

December 21st, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Empowerment | Inspiration - (0 Comments)

“Earth Mother” by Jenness Cortez with Patricia Gutierrez Salazar and Veronica Negrete Om Durga by Julie Freeman You can be sure She is awake Summoned by the gods again For battle Perplexed by their own chaos They quietly confess they need her Now more than ever To move mountains Put out fires End the endless …
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Refusing to Release a Big Idea

December 14th, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Empowerment | Gatherings | Inspiration - (0 Comments)

by Barbara Belknap How many women in the world got an email from Jean Shinoda Bolen today? I’m on her mailing list, and when I see her newsletter I stop whatever else I’m doing and read it. Today, her newsletter features an essay she named “Still Here”. Jean is one of many women on this …
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Inclusion is Love

December 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

By Barbara Belknap, GTW Regional Coordinator, Juneau, Alaska On December 1st, Alaska’s new Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott were sworn into office. It was a momentous day for the Alaska Native community because Byron Mallott is a Tlingit from the tiny village of Yakutat. It was also a momentous day for Progressives …
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Thanksgiving Week in America

November 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (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 Gather the Women | Inspiration - (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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