National NOW Conference Highlights
This weekend, members attending the National Organization for Women (NOW) National Conference elected Christian F. Nunes president and Bear Atwood vice president. The pair will lead the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the country, focusing on the core issues of reproductive rights and justice, economic justice, ending violence against women, LGBTQIA+ rights, constitutional equality, and racial justice.
Nunes became NOW president in August 2020 and was previously appointed vice president by the Board in May 2019. She is the second African American president in the organization’s history, the youngest person of color and the youngest president in 50 years. She is also a former NOW board member and national committee chair, as well as a licensed clinical social worker, consultant and a woman-minority business owner who is an active community organizer and public speaker. Prior to becoming a national officer, Nunes held local and state NOW leadership positions in the state of Arizona.
“I’m honored to lead NOW as we embark on a new era and recognize the need to reaffirm what it means to be an anti-racist intersectional feminist. We must be more inclusive and employ a more intersectional lens, centering diverse voices and experiences when it comes to our activism,” stated Nunes. “I know many challenges lie ahead, but I also know our grassroots coalition has the power to dismantle the systems that have perpetuated so many injustices and will continue influencing lasting change, as our organization has done for fifty-five years.”
Atwood first joined NOW in 1977 and has been a lifetime member for approximately 20 years. She is a past president of New Jersey NOW, current president of Mississippi NOW, and served on the National NOW PAC and the national board under four NOW administrations. Her previous experience includes serving as a civil rights lawyer representing LGBTQIA+ clients, acting as the Legal Director for the ACLU of Mississippi, and leading the Southern Poverty Law Center’s youth justice project as their executive director.
“Christian and I are committed to building a stronger feminist, anti-racist, intersectional grassroots movement of activists and allies,” Atwood told the Conference. “We want to bring NOW back to its roots and develop strong chapters across the country. Our diverse multigenerational grassroots is our greatest strength, and we are committed to providing the tools needed to build our bench of leaders.”
Christian F. Nunes and Bear Atwood were elected to a four-year term office, which begins on September 9, 2021.
Plenary and Workshops
Review coming from Jan
Bylaws & Resolution Outcome
National NOW President, Christian F. Nunes
- 5/01 – Equal Means Equal 2021 ERA Townhall (Both Christian and Bear presented NOW’s initiatives in ratifying the ERA)
- 6/03- Attended African American Policy Forum’s retreat— The War Against Racial Justice: The Aftermath of EO 13950 and the Urgent Need for Action
- 6/08- Speaker and Moderator for RUN NOW Candidate Training: So You Want to Run For Office?
- 6/09- Guest speaker at the S1 For the People Rally at the SCOTUS building, Washington, DC
- 6/17- Guest speaker at the National Coalition for the Homeless’ launch of Bring America Home Now: A Comprehensive Grassroots Campaign to End Homelessness in the U.S.
- 6/22- Guest speaker at ERA Coalition: Town Hall Senate Update
- 6/22- Attended GA NOW: Let’s talk PRIDE!
- 6/26- Guest speaker at the Rally for DC Statehood, National Mall, Washington, DC
- 6/28- Attended MANA Action Fund Launch Reception
- 6/30- Speaker and Moderator at NOW’s 55th Anniversary Celebration
- 7/06- Speaker and Moderator at NOW’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform – A Feminist Deep Dive
- 7/24- Speaker and Moderator at NOW’s National Conference, Springing Hope Into Action: Amplifying NOW’s Intersectional Feminist Agenda
- 8/03- Guest speaker at We Wear Many Hats: Rainbow PUSH’s International Women’s Roundtable Luncheon
- 8/07- Guest speaker at Leading Women of Tomorrow Chapter Summit
National NOW Vice President, Bear Atwood
- June 2nd: Panelist at the Run NOW Launch Party
- June 5th: Spoke at the Michigan NOW Conference
- June 30th: Participated in the NOW 55th anniversary event.
Welcome to our new staff members
Sara Swisher, Development Associate
Sara joined the National Action Center team in late May as the Development Coordinator. Her role is to promote the work of NOW through fundraising. Sara is currently living in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Christian Brothers University in Memphis and her Master’s in Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sara has worked in several nonprofit roles at organizations in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Peru working on issues like sustainable food systems, women’s empowerment, education, and the arts.
La-Donia Alford-Jefferies, Engagement Manager
La-Doina joined the National Action Center team in mid-July and serves as the Engagement Manager for the National Organization for Women. She has over a decade of experience working in politics, advocacy, and academia, with specialized expertise in strategic outreach and member engagement. La-Donia wrote and self-published her first Children’s book titled Homecoming. Homecoming was listed in Essence magazine as one of the “50 Must-Read Black Children’s and Young Adult Books of the Past 50 Years.” La-Donia lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is inspired by her two daughters daily. In her free time, she enjoys CrossFit and spending time at the beach. www.thehbcuchomecoming.com
Chapter Annual Report:
Thank you so much to those who have submitted their chapter annual reports for 2019. The submission for the 2019 chapter annual reports has closed. In the event your chapter has not submitted a 2018 or 2019 chapter annual report, please file the 2020 annual report so the status of your rebates is not affected. Failure to do so before March 1, 2021, will change the rebate eligibility status. The 2020 Chapter Annual Report Form can be found on the Members Only Page.
Campus Action Network (CANs):
The Chapters Department is currently working on contacting all inactive campus action networks. If any chapter leaders are still in contact with a school/university with a former that had a NOW CAN, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org their contact information to follow up. We would like to revive as many CANs as possible and convene a new Campus Action Network to motivate our youth to get involved.
Chapter Leader Portal:
- If you are a chapter leader and do not have access to the chapter portal, please reach out to us at email@example.com the Chapter Portal is a resource for your chapter to track members, update chapter information, and view chapter transactions.
- If you have held or will hold chapter elections, please update your chapter officer listing via the portal before your last day in office. Please bear in mind that they must be affiliated with the chapter to add an officer to your chapter officer list. If affiliations need to be changed, please reach out to our Member Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your chapter’s profile now includes a page that displays the chapter’s rebate eligibility status. The page will also highlight the requirements of receiving rebates and if your chapter meets those requirements.
Please be sure to stay up to date with your dues. If an officer’s membership expires, the system automatically removes them from their official position and revokes portal access. To prevent this from happening, please ensure your dues are paid.
Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, NOW staff is teleworking to ensure the health of their family and peers. Your order status is still pending and will be shipped once we can safely return to the office.
Please do let National know if you have any questions or concerns regarding your order and we will make sure to work with you.
Upcoming Chapter Events:
District of Columbia
- JULY 28, 2021 via Zoom: Jax NOW is hosting Duval County School Board Chair Elizabeth Andersen and Florida State Representative Tracie Davis to discuss critical education issues: the ½-cent sales tax; state legislation impacting school funding & student’s rights; recent attacks on teaching methods, and other important matters.
- Jax NOW played a big role in supporting the renaming of six Florida public schools that were branded after controversial historical figures. (This was in late June).
- Pasco County NOW Twitter, captioned: “Great day at Sims Park for Juneteenth.” June 19th 2021
Palm Beach County
- June 5th: Palm Beach Pride Market: Open air marketplace with Pride vendors
- June 19th : Juneteenth Solidarity Celebration
- July 12th: District Dialogue: Women’s Health, hosted by Rep. Kelly Skidmore via Zoom
Virtual Event for July 21st, 2021: Do We Gotta Seve? Women and the Draft. Chapter member Libby Frank will discuss Women and the Draft
June 23rd, Virtual event exploring The Impact of COVID: Three Women’s Experiences.
“At our June 23 event, we’ll explore how these challenges affected our mental health as a generational panel of three women — a high school student, a mother with young children, and a grandmother — discuss the experiences they had specific to their age group.
Facilitated by Dr. Judith Iglarsh, Ph.D., this event will focus on how COVID impacted the well-being of the panelists and their loved ones, and how they coped with their specific challenges.”
Northwest Indiana NOW
Tuesdays on the Square for Reproductive Heathcare (Last one was July 6th)
“Tuesdays on the Courthouse Square — it’s our (mostly) silent counter protest to Porter County Right to Life. Where they shame and degrade pedestrians, and press misinformation on them, we provide a hassle-free zone. Plus, when we’re there, they tend to behave themselves better.
Join us! We have NOW rounds and coat hanger signs, or feel free to bring your own. We provide cold water and there’s a picnic table if you want to sit.”
Monroe County NOW
July Chapter meeting
“Join Monroe County NOW members and friends for our July chapter meeting! We are excited to let you know what we are working on this month and beyond. Have ideas to share? Please bring them to the meeting!
For this meeting, we will hear about the working group created this past year to address housing insecurity in Monroe County. We will learn how we can advocate for funding in the upcoming city and county budget process and how American Rescue Plan Act funding can help.
Confirmed panelists are Efrat Feferman, Executive Director of United Way of Monroe County; Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Bloomington City Councilmember for District 5; Julie Thomas, Monroe County Board of Commissioners; and Kate Wiltz, Monroe County Councilmember for District 2”
Past Event and in the News:
Arizona NOW – On Saturday June 5th, 2021 – AZ NOW held their State conference 2021 and Election of Officers for 2021-2022
Central Phoenix (Inez Casiano NOW): Sunday July 18th, What to Do at the Legislature: Let’s Get Geared up NOW for 2022
“Join CPIC NOW upcoming workshop on how to make an impact with legislation in your community. The workshop will outline how a bill becomes a law, where are the points that citizens can make their views heard and have an impact, telling your story, organizing, advocacy, and putting it all together with practical worksheets and discussion.”
June 23rd, 2021 – Reframing Bullies and Defaults: The art of removing the emotion and getting right to the core of an issue. Presented by Deedra Abboud who is a Phoenix-based attorney, public speaker, media commentator and former Dem political candidate. Incorporated anti-racist training.
- June 26th, 2021 – 2021, California NOW Annual Membership Meeting/State Conference
- Saturday, July 17, 2021 – hosted ERA, The Big Picture: Are you looking for ERA 101? No fancy talk, only the plain story from the start to today, reasons to application, possibilities to action. Pictures, Stories, and Q&A. An hour with Zoe Nicholson. (tickets $20)
Orange County NOW
- June 12th 2021 – Morning of Action: Postcard Event, contacting Senate and Assembly Reps about relevant issues.
- July 17th 2021 – Board Meeting
- August 14th 2021 – Book Club Discussion, Selena Montgomery’s Hidden Sins
- June 8th 2021 – In-person General Meeting OUTSIDE
- Thu July 15th – Meeting + guest speaker from Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
- Mon July 19 – Book club discussion, Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit
Illinois NOW – Criminal Justice Reform, Fact vs. Fiction
If your chapter has events coming up or you have past events that you think chapters would enjoy seeing, please submit your entries here:
Politics and Advocacy
NOW is a multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights. Our priorities are winning economic equality and securing it with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive freedom, and other women’s health issues; opposing racism; fighting bigotry against the LGBTQIA community; and ending violence against women. You can read about all of our core issues, here.
PAC Update and Actions
NOW is a multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights. Our priorities include gaining economic equality, a Constitutional guarantee of equal rights for all; championing abortion rights and reproductive freedom, opposing structural racism; fighting bigotry against the LGBTQIA community, and ending violence against women. Read more about our Core Issues here.
Read the weekly messages from Christian and Bear about how they are implementing the Core Issues that NOW is structured around.
Campaigns, Initiatives, and Events
NOW in the News
A key component of NOW’s mission is to monitor and elevate the country’s progress and shortcomings regarding women’s issues through social media, press statements, and media outreach.
Recent highlights include our work for racial justice, reproductive health and abortion, and the incoming Biden/Harris administration. Below are our recent press statements and media clips or read more here in our Media Center.
Recent highlights include our work in pushing an intersectional feminist agenda and ensuring all six core issues are brought to the forefront of our work.