Since its founding, NC Women United’s mission has always been to bring women’s voices to the policy table, knowing that our unique experiences and perspectives are valuable and necessary if we want to create a North Carolina that is a just and equitable state for its women and girls. This mission requires us to both seek out the voices of the women we want to represent and to translate those voices into a public policy and critical services agenda that will lift up all women in the state. This year’s Anne Mackie Award recipient, Becky Mock, is an outstanding example of how to combine these two actions in a way that provides a solid foundation for advocacy.
Ms. Mock’s long advocacy career began in Alamance County, where she has been a leading advocate for women and families through diverse organizations such as the Alamance-Caswell Area Mental Health Authority, the NC Women’s Political Caucus and the Alamance Coalition on Adolescent Pregnancy. This work provided her a breadth and depth of understanding of a multitude of issues impacting women and girls in the county. Seeing the needs that existed, Ms. Mock went on to help found the Women’s Resource Center of Alamance County in 1989, providing a range of services to countless women needing a new start. Empowering displaced homemakers as they made plans to start over, generating opportunities for women to network with other women, creating space for mothers and daughters to have open discussions as the daughters grew into adulthood, and providing a place for women to go when they felt they had nowhere else to turn was an invaluable service to so many women and girls in this rural part of the state.
Using this on-the-ground knowledge and experience, Ms. Mock has also been a strong policy advocate for women and girls, promoting legislation at state and local levels that best speaks to women’s lives and is rooted in the understanding of the unique barriers women and girls have historically faced and continue to face as some try to regulate and control women’s role in society. Ms. Mock was one of the architects of NC Women United in its present form, as it transitioned to an all-volunteer, grassroots organization. She has amplified its mission to lift up women’s voices as a Women’s Agenda Assembly coordinator for over 20 years. And believing that “when women run, women win”, she has even thrown her hat in the political ring, as well as supported and promoted other women choosing to run for office.
Although officially “retired”, she continues to focus her substantial efforts and energy to the cause of lifting up women and families. Whether that is guiding a grassroots genetic disorders organization to organize around its people power or staying active in the local policy and political scene, Ms. Mock is still “a force to be reckoned with”, as one nomination stated. When local residents all give the same name to a town newcomer looking to get involved with the women’s movement and another tears up when relating what Ms. Mock’s help meant to her, you know this is someone whose community roots run deep. Advocates like these are few and far between, and we hope by honoring Ms. Mock we can inspire many more.