Marching Orders 12.17.19

Volume 4  Number 4

December 2019

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.
Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

Maya Angelou

Strong but essential words reflecting the actions of many CWM members as they shaped lives and communities for the better long before the Charlotte Women’s March was formed following the last presidential election. We work tirelessly to raise awareness of inequalities facing women and take action through collaboration to achieve equality for all women. Some members even run for public office. 

As a nod to Maya, perhaps our role is to kick some you-know-what. Especially in the 2020 election year!

In addition to co-president Dr. Gina Navarrete running for City Council and member Julie Eiselt being re-elected as Mayor Pro-Tem this fall, here are other significant actions we took in 2019:

  • ERA Amendment ratification (road trip to meet with legislators in Raleigh), March
  • YWCA’s Stand Against Racism panel discussion, April
  • LGBTQ film festival (Reel Out Charlotte), April 
  • Habitat for Humanity Women Build Day, Our spring meeting’s highly-sensitizing Poverty Simulation facilitated by Crisis Assistance Ministry and hosted by Habitat for Humanity, May
  • Immigration panel discussion at International House (Trump v. Immigration – What’s Behind the Headlines), July
  • Successful kick-off planning meeting for the 2020 Women United March, co-chaired by CWM’s Becca Bernstein and NCBW-QC’s Atreece Bailey, September
  • Live story-sharing event on black women’s reproductive rights (Black Mama: ENDANGERED), October
  • Women Elected to Office Reception, that featured newly-elected women to office and Celia Rivenbark, nationally syndicated humor columnist and award-winning and bestselling author; and Lyric Thompson, Director of Policy and Advocacy in the International Center for Research on Women, December. For photos from this event click HERE  
Co-President’s Message

Why I Decided to Run For Office

Truth be known, it was my CWM colleague and friend Beth Davis who motivated me – no, challenged me – to run for office. It was a day when I was particularly frustrated because the NC General Assembly had failed to ratify the ERA. As we were driving home, I complained of how difficult it was to convince politicians to do the “right thing.” Her response: “Why don’t you run for office so you can do the right thing?”

It was at that precise moment I decided to rise to the challenge. 

When I chose to run in the Charlotte City Council District 6 race, I knew it was going to be difficult. It’s a predominantly Republican district that had never elected a Democratic candidate, and only once elected a woman. Running for political office in the best of circumstances is difficult, particularly for first-time candidates. Between hours spent raising money, canvassing door to door to meet potential voters, and attending multiple forums, it quickly becomes more than a full-time job. 

As challenging as it is, it’s also incredibly empowering as you champion issues important to you. You get the chance to speak to voters and hopefully help other candidates evaluate and expand how they view and approach important issues. You also get the unique opportunity of a close look at how local government and the political system actually work. 

Despite the hardships of campaigning and the possibility of facing a loss, I strongly recommend to anyone who seeks change in our government – particularly women – to run for office or help other women get elected. It’s said it takes seven asks before convincing a woman to run for political office. Perhaps, as women, we doubt ourselves and question the right to be at the table. But we can no longer wait to be invited to the table, particularly at a time when our civil rights are slowly eroding. Women make up over 50% of the population and we’re not anywhere close to equal representation. 

The fact is that no one can represent the interests of women like a woman can. In the words of Justice Ginsburg, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”

See why Gina started marching:  HERE  

A message from CWM Co-Presidents about our focus on women-centered issues:  HERE  

We’re so fortunate to have co-presidents like Laura Meier and Gina Navarrete. Start with Laura’s words at the 2019 Women United March, and then scroll down to read what Gina shared with the crowd:  HERE  

Gina Navarrete Co-President, Charlotte Women’s March

Women United March Wants You to USE YOUR POWER!

USE YOUR POWER. That’s the theme for this year’s Women United March, which will be January 25, 2020 at 11:00 in First Ward Park in Charlotte. We are encouraging everyone to USE YOUR POWER in 2020 – your power to change the course of history, to hold leaders accountable, to set the values for our country, to remove barriers that discriminate against members of our community, to keep our democracy honest, and to fight for what matters. 

This year’s march will feature speakers, music, vendors, and an incredible community coming together to celebrate our accomplishments, face our challenges, and help each other USE YOUR POWER.

The Women United March is run entirely by volunteers, and work is well underway to make the 2020 march the best yet. If you would like to be part of the planning, sign up to volunteer during the march, or make a donation, you can do so  HERE    Please do so now! And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @womenunitedmarch and Facebook @WomenUnitedMarch.

USE YOUR POWER to help build engagement and organically promote the January 25 march. We are seeking quotes and testimonials to post in Women United March social media. So, please do tell: Why do you march? What compels you to join together with other members of the community and fight for what you believe in? With your quote, you can share your name and photo, or do so anonymously,   HERE  

Click  HERE   to purchase t-shirts for Women United March  2020.

Deadline for orders is January 4.

CWM Needs You!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
Uptown Charlotte, Saturday, January 18: Help support this memorable event by recruiting volunteer marchers and organizing our group to march. Contact:

CWM Voter Registration
Interested in coordinating CWM voter registration opportunities with local groups in 2020? Click  HERE  

CWM Funding Challenge
Thank you to all who have supported our challenge! We’re still striving to reach our goal of $10,000 and would appreciate counting YOU in our donor base. There’s so much for our organization to do! Please donate here if you haven’t already:  HERE  

Celebrate the Power of Women In Song
Spend a few empowering moments reviewing this incredible collection of 14 chart-topping songs from leading female vocalists – from Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” in 1963, to Aretha’s “Respect” in 1967, and all the way to Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman” released in 2018. Organized by Sonia Sonseca C., this assemblage encourages women to get rid of taboos and prejudices so they can join together to end all stereotypes that promote inequality. For more information, go  HERE  

Such a productive year it’s been for CWM. We’ll soon be turning our eyes, minds, and hearts to the 2020 elections that will surely roar throughout the coming year!

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me
that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ 
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,
and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon

Charlotte Women’s Movement wishes you and yours much happiness
over the holidays and throughout 2020, despite the challenges,
in the   “We’ve-Always-Been-Great”   USA!  

Mary Tunstall Staton, editor, gratefully acknowledges the strategic assistance of
Beth Davis and graphic talents of Rachel Hewitt

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