Since 1966, members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) have been taking action through grassroots campaigns all over the United States. A non-partisan, multi-strategy group, NOW approaches intersectional activism through six key issues: reproductive rights and justice, ending violence against women, economic justice, LGBT rights, racial justice, and constitutional equality. On Thursday, May 11, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Mid-Willamette NOW will host its first interest meeting right here in Corvallis.
One of the organizers of this event is Renee Reichart, a veteran and Quality Improvement Coordinator at the Benton County Health Department. A recent transplant from North Carolina, Reichart said, “I’ve been trying to find my way to get involved with the community here…I’m hoping to get more into this activism space where I am right now.”
She’s made some great connections in Newport, attending their chapter of NOW since last October. Reichart was especially impressed by Newport’s efforts to improve STEM education in the community. They were able to raise enough money to a host a STEM camp for girls that live in that area. Reichart decided we needed our own chapter on this side of the mountain.
At this first interest meeting in Corvallis, Reichart and her fellow organizers, Jessica Nixon and Robyn Davis, will introduce NOW’s background and talk about what activism looks like at the national level versus the individual chapter level. “I think it’s important, once we get folks in our community together, to really see what the passions are of the membership of this chapter [and] to prioritize that,” said Reichart. The NOW interest meeting is open to everyone, including men. The group plans to have meetings move around the Mid-Willamette so they can provide access to members in rural areas as well.
Reichart sees the group as a really great place for people who want support, who are looking for ways to get connected, and who need a safe space to talk about things that are happening in the world right now.
“I think in all communities of the world, there are gaps in women’s rights. I think that working toward making all of that better is something that this kind of organization does,” said Reichart. She also acknowledged that there’s a lot of good work being done around these issues already. This is just another way for people to collaborate and create change at the local level.
To learn more about the Mid-Willamette chapter of NOW, check out the interest meeting at 132 SW 4th Street from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
on Thursday, May 11. Look for the purple balloons. You can also send questions directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Anika Lautenbach