(This article was originally published at NC Policy Watch, and is a companion piece to an earlier article on the original Charlotte anti-discrimination policy that launched HB2, the anti-LGBTQ bill heard round the country. I felt compelled to write about this again because I still heard and saw sexual violence myths being used to justify this bill. Perpetuating myths about the who, what, where and how of the sexual violence epidemic in our country typically demonizes marginalized people - the LGBTQ community; immigrants; people of color; the poor - in an effort to scapegoat the "other" because we don't want to face the realities of who is actually perpetuating this violence (lost in the heated rhetoric about immigrants being classified on the whole as rapists, for example, are stories like the founder of the anti-immigrant group the Minutemen recently being convicted of child sexual assault). Demonizing marginalized groups for sexual violence often times leaves people with little political and social power at risk of danger themselves, while ignoring - and often, enabling - those who are actually perpetuating assault (would the Stanford swimmer be out of jail so soon if he were not a straight, white male athlete?).Read more
We are proud to be building our movement with fellow advocates like Roberta M. Madden ("Robbie, to her friends"). Robbie has spent a lifetime organizing and agitating, for gender equality, racial equality, and an end to homophobia and discrimination against the LGBT community. While most of this work was done in Louisiana before Robbie moved to North Carolina, we've felt her presence strongly in the few short years Robbie has been a member of our community. You can read more about Robbie's work here, here and here. And please check out the grassroots organization she started, Ratify ERA NC; it is an NCWU member. For more on Robbie's equity work in LA, check out her papers that have been collected at the Louisiana State University Libraries. Read our earlier write up below about Robbie's lifetime of work, including NCWU president Tara Romano's remarks during the award presentation in Raleigh on December 01.
Since 2008, NC Women United has awarded an annual Anne Mackie Award to a long-time advocate working to achieve the full equality for the women and girls of North Carolina. Our criteria for making this award doesn't focus on any particular issue affecting women and girls, nor does it focus on a particular type of advocacy. We are looking for an advocate who is in it for the long haul, who knows that the process of achieving the full political, social and economic equality for the women and girls of North Carolina will take more than one campaign, more than one election cycle and a focus on more than one issue. The advocates we honor are making sure they include a focus on women's issues in everything they do, from social justice organizing to local neighborhood initiatives.
NC Women United: Legislators Need to Focus on Women and Families
Report Card showed there was little regard for or understanding of the complexities of NC women's lives in 2014, and that the NCGA took too many steps backwards.
State legislators and advocates for women gathered on April 30 to release the results of NC Women United’s 2013 Legislative Report Card, an assessment of any progress made on the 2013 Women’s Agenda. NC Women United members–a coalition of organizations and individuals working to achieve the full political, social, and economic equality of all women across North Carolina–gathered with women from the community to call for an end to reactive legislation based on political ideology rather than what is good for the women and families of North Carolina.Read more
Press Release: NC Women United Releases Legislative Report Card, Calls for Policies that Support Women & Families
RALEIGH – Members of North Carolina Women United on Wednesday gathered at the North Carolina General Assembly to release their 2013 Legislative Report Card, which examines how women and families fared during the 2013 legislative session.
After each long session, NCWU and its members compile a report card detailing how legislators handled policy issues important to women. Healthcare access, education, violence against women, and economic issues are just a few of the topics that will be covered in the report.
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.
Named after our founder, the Anne Mackie award was established to recognize an outstanding lifetime of work advocating for the women of NC. There are so many great advocates doing work from the coast to the mountains of NC to empower women in the state; whether it is establishing programs to prevent violence against women, advocating for more women's voices at the NC General Assembly, founding a women's resource center, being a mentor to the next generation of advocates, or just spending a lifetime supporting women, both on an individual level and in the public policy arena, we want to recognize this good work. Too often, we can get caught up in the future challenges and forget about the work that has generated successes in the past; and we need to honor those that have laid the foundations on which we are continuing to work.Read more
NC Women United Looks Back at 2011 Legislative Session and Calls for an End to Attacks on Women’s Rights, Urges Pro-Active Steps in 2012
Report Card shows little progress on improving women’s status; highlights major setbacks in improving access to health care and equality
Each year, NC Women United presents its Anne Mackie Award to recognize a lifetime contribution to advocacy on behalf of women.
The 2011 recipient of the Anne Mackie Award is Paige Johnson, Vice-President of Public Affairs and Communications at Planned Parenthood of Central NC. Paige served as the President of NC Women United during its formative years from 2001-2005.Read more
The 2010 Anne Mackie Award goes to Nancy Shoemaker.
NCWU president Alison Kiser said, in announcing the awardee,
"Nancy is a strong advocate for women who is extremely deserving of our recognition. Nancy has been involved with NC Women United since 2001 and has been an invaluable resource to all those who have worked with her. She is also very engaged in the work of AAUW and many more of NCWU's member organizations. This is not surprising since Nancy is often the glue that holds our communications and coordination together as a broad-based coalition. She can always be counted on to work tirelessly to push the work of NCWU forward on the Board and in committees, manage IT needs, and to offer a helping hand to anyone who needs it. Nancy has been resource, mentor and leader for so many and I am delighted that NCWU can recognize her in a public forum."
After a career in mathematics and information technology, since 2002 Nancy has concentrated on supporting small nonprofits with web-based and virtual office systems. She came to NCWU through AAUW (the American Association of University Women) and is past-president of AAUW of North Carolina. She is a founding member of the AAUW webmanagers group and the Open Up AAUW network and is a supporter of several of the NCWU member organizations.
Nancy lives with her husband in Raleigh.