Charlotte Women’s March: Year One
by Mary Hopper
On January 21, 2017, we marched. Then we got down to work populating eight committees to address pressing issues, building communication channels to keep in touch, linking with over 100 like-minded groups for events and ongoing collaboration, and building a structure to sustain us for what we now know would be a long haul.
As we prepare to march again, we want you to get a feel for how we tackle this work and a sense of all that has been done. We hope this will encourage you to find ways to deepen your engagement with the Charlotte Women’s March (CWM) in 2018.
CWM events will always remain the face of our work. Last year, they included:
- Joining in other marches including the Pride Parade, March on Science, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. We even marched on Representative Tillis.
- CWM’s committees hosted or co-sponsored meetings that looked at health care, immigration and racial justice.
- We held candidates’ forums, providing opportunities for voter registration and candidate awareness.
- One CWM meeting had a panel to educate us on being more effective activists.
- When asked, we sat on panels and did interviews. And we supported the events of others by our attendance and contributions.
- Our year ended with the December 19 “Celebration of Women Elected to Office” jointly-sponsored by the Black Women’s Caucus and others.
Those are the most visible parts of what has been accomplished.
In 2017, CWM’s eight committees fanned out to focus on key areas, offering a myriad of entry points for new volunteers. Of equal importance, those committees insured that we could alert you as needed to call, write, testify, attend or get involved in emerging issues.
Members of these committees are our ears and eyes; they are our foot soldiers. In addition to meeting and directly communicating with their members, committees also report actions taken and needed via CWM alerts to keep you informed. To date, some 1800 people have joined and serve on these committees; more are always needed.
Please use our website to review the efforts of the individual committees that cover Education & Family, Immigration, Voter Registration and Candidate Support, Legislation, LGBTQ, Science and the Environment, HealthCare/ Women’s Health and Social Justice. Go here to get involved with a committee…
Another group of volunteers staff the Communications Committee. They strive to walk that fine line between keeping in touch without overburdening you with information. Your feedback is encouraged on what you need to know and how you want to receive that information. The electronic newsletter feeds to additional details on the website and Facebook. Likewise, past activity is archived — including the impressive first 100 days report— to allow your appreciation for what has been done.
Chaired by the dedicated Jan Anderson, the Executive Committee has built a strong organizational structure and oversees CWM’s work. CWM is organized as an unincorporated non-profit that seeks to be collaborative, never wanting to duplicate the efforts of others.
What has been so enormously rewarding is the steady stream of women who have disrupted busy lives to support this committed group. That’s the good news. The bad news is the work is far from finished. We hope once again to build off the energy that will be generated at the January 20 March to sustain and indeed amplify our work. To accomplish this in 2018 we will focus on candidate awareness and voter education, informing our membership of candidates’ positions on important issues and encouraging everyone to participate in the electoral process.
The hard lesson of 2017: We need to stay hyper vigilant and VOTE.
#remarchablewomen #charlottewomensmarch2018 #marchoncharlotte
You can help rally the troops so we don’t ever forget:
this is NOT the new normal!