A Women’s Agenda Assembly starts as a gathering of women in a North Carolina community. It includes a facilitated conversation on public policy issues of importance to the attendees, with the goal of improving the participants' expertise in sharing their views. These meetings take place in counties around the state in the late summer/fall of every even year (before the long legislative session begins).
The purpose of the Agenda Assembly is to help women learn to express their views on public policy issues, to prioritize issues that impact women and families, and to ensure the voice of women is heard through advocacy in the General Assembly.
Watch NCWU founder Anne Mackie, current Pres. Jina Dhillon and First VP Tara Romano talk about the origins of the Agenda Assemblies and NCWU's goals for future assemblies on Tarheel Talk's September 30, 2012 episode (video courtesy of Fox50).
The Women's Agenda Assembly was established in 1988 by North Carolina Women United, and we are responsible for facilitating the coordination of Women’s Agenda Assemblies by providing background information on issues at a state level (the Draft Women's Agenda), access to speakers for those assemblies that want to hear presentations on the issues, and other logistical support.
Why You Should Attend
The Women’s Agenda Assembly is a way to share your views with your neighbors on issues affecting your community. In this process, you and they support each other and improve your abilities to communicate your priorities to your legislators.
Each Assembly will start with one or more keynote speakers who describe the current status of women, girls and families in the region. Round table discussions follow when all the attendees share their experiences and priorities, using the Draft Agenda and its topics as a starting point for their discussions. The group reports its priorities (and any new issues) back to NC Women United, and is encouraged to share those priorities with their legislators and other public officials.
The priorities from the local assemblies are a key input to the NC Women United program cycle and inform the topics that appear on the Legislative Report Card, the "Final" Agenda presented to the Legislature at Women's Advocacy Day, and the Draft Agenda in the following cycle.
Why Should You Bring an Agenda Assembly to Your Community
These Assemblies don't happen without planning and coordination. If there isn't an existing organization that hosts one in your county, why not consider stepping up to host one. Organizers find this is a good way to build a coalition of women's organizations that can be tapped for other events or when specific issues arise. NC Women United provides planning help and ongoing support. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.