Like all organizations across the country, the National NOW team and our state and local chapters are learning to live with the “new normal” brought on by COVID-19, the coronavirus. At the national level, we are taking the utmost precautions to assure the safety of our staff and others who visit our office.
Our staff has the option to telework and we are providing parking and rideshare reimbursement for those who need to come to the office but want to avoid public transportation during this time. We have also cleaned and sanitized the office using CDC guidelines and our building is taking similar steps. The national office is open and staff is responding to voicemails and emails.
In light of ongoing efforts to curtail the spread of the virus, National NOW is postponing our annual conference, originally scheduled for June 5-7 in Washington, DC, to ensure the safety of our attendees. Notice of this postponement has gone out and more details on a future date will be made available.
Our chapters are also facing tough decisions on how to hold meetings, events and conduct their everyday work. If there is anything that the national office can be of assistance with, please contact Supria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State chapter presidents have started an ongoing list of resources for online organizing and a list of advocacy efforts to be aware of in your communities. National NOW is monitoring closely all coronavirus legislative efforts at the federal level to ensure that issues impacting women are addressed, including paid sick leave, paid family leave, food insecurity and resources for women at increased risk of domestic violence. Please stay tuned to your emails and @NationalNOW social media for updates.
We encourage everyone to stay informed and stay safe. Helpful resources include:
- The CDC Coronavirus Website
- The National Network to End Domestic Violence Resource List
- Ms. Magazine: The Coronavirus Gender Gap
If you have additional resources that you would like NOW to highlight on social media and in future communications, please email email@example.com.
Activists are especially adept at persevering during challenging times and together we will continue to take action to promote our intersectional grassroots feminist agenda. We wish you and your families the best during this difficult time.
NOW values the contributions and activism of each local and state chapter. We rely on you to disseminate NOW’s agenda and advocate around NOW’s core issues in your community.
- Chapter Leader Portal:
- If you are a chapter leader and you do not have access to the chapter portal, please reach out to Supria at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, in order to add an officer to your chapter officer list, they must be affiliated with the chapter. If affiliations need to be changed, please reach out to our Member Specialist, Priscilla, at email@example.com.
- Rounds Store: Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, orders from NOW’s Round Store will be delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience.
- Chapter Highlights: National NOW wants to showcase the amazing work of our chapters. If you have a media clip, event wrap-up or recent recognition that you would like to see included in the next issue of What’s Up NOW, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Politics and Governance
The National Action Center is launching a monthly digital training for NOW members to learn how local and state chapters can mobilize around the 2020 election in non-electoral ways. Each month NOW will host a webinar for all members on issues such as election security, talking to voters about feminist issues, and putting together an effective legislative scorecard. Click here for the full schedule and to register for the first webinar on Thursday, March 26!
NOW’s 2020 Legislative Agenda is available on our website. This partial list of legislative priorities includes reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, removal of the artificial timeline on the Equal Rights Amendment, the Equality Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and many more vitally important bills. Please see the Legislative Agenda here.
Campaigns, Initiatives and Events
Women’s March 2020
Women’s Marches in Seneca Falls, New York and Washington, D.C.
In January, NOW joined the mass mobilization of activist women rising up to march for women’s rights around the country. NOW President Toni Van Pelt delivered the keynote speech at the Women’s March in Seneca Falls, NY, the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement. And on the heels of Virginia becoming the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, NOW Vice President Christian F. Nunes, along with NOW staff, local chapters and supporters, marched our iconic ERA-banner down the streets of Washington, D.C.
Read more here.
NOW’s Racial Justice Summit
NOW Vice President Christian F. Nunes, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and NOW Board Member Kimberly Adams.
On Feb. 10, in honor of Black History Month, NOW brought together Congressional leaders, local and national advocacy experts and renowned authors for the Racial Justice Summit and Congressional Briefing: Addressing the Intersects of Gender, Health, Economics, Violence, and Race. The Summit was sponsored by Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton was honored for her lifetime of activism.
Read our intern blog here.
Rise Up Documentary
The PBS special Rise Up: Songs from the Women’s Movement is now airing on local PBS stations. The show documents the intersection of music and feminism from the days of suffragists singing their speeches to music icons such as Sister Sledge and Sasha Fierce. NOW President Toni Van Pelt is featured heavily in the show, where she shares her own perceptions of the role of music in the women’s movement.
- Where: Check for local air dates and station listings at: http://riseupwomensongs.com/watch/
- More information: riseupwomensongs.com
Clips featuring Toni Van Pelt:
- Before the 19th Amendment: https://vimeo.com/393848566/829e363222
- Suffragists: https://vimeo.com/393848463/c9d15957eb
- Bad Reputation: https://vimeo.com/393847189/6a2f30f0f2
- Tina Turner: https://vimeo.com/393846244/f1ec085b53
We encourage our members and chapters to share the special on social media, watch together and share your thoughts with @NationalNOW and @PBS with the hashtag #riseupwomensongs. And sing along with our Rise Up Spotify List inspired by the special!
Feminist Action Network Update
You did it! Thanks to you, and your fellow NOW supporters, we beat our February Feminist Agenda Rising monthly giving goal, welcoming more than 100 new sustainers to the program.
You heard the call, you met the challenge, and you made a commitment. Let us tell you what we’ll be doing with your much-needed support.
- We’re standing up to Donald Trump—working across the country to protect women’s rights and prevent the worst of his policies.
- We’re hard at work in the states to defend abortion rights and stop conservative legislatures from limiting access to reproductive health care and criminalizing abortion.
- We’re organizing, speaking out and stepping up our grassroots activism to promote economic and racial justice, end violence against women, and ensure that workplaces are safe and those who sexually harass or abuse co-workers are brought to justice.
Your participation in the Feminist Agenda Rising campaign makes all this—and so much more—possible. We couldn’t do it without you, and we are so fortunate to have you on our side
Legal Momentum Partnership
NOW is proud to be the inaugural founding champion of the Syms | Legal Momentum Helpline. Established in 1970, Legal Momentum is the nation’s first and oldest legal defense and education fund for women and its helpline is an early stage legal resource for women and girls facing discrimination in the workplace, home or school.
Offering legal information, assistance and referrals, the helpline can be reached by phone at (971) 3- LEGAL-1, online at LMHelpline.org or by email help@LMHelpline.org.
Join our conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #LawFightsSexism and stay tuned for more events as the official launch of this partnership gets underway.
#Shero Social Media Campaign
In honor of Women’s History Month, NOW is launching our “Who’s Your Shero?” series.
If you would like to submit someone to include, please message us on Twitter or Facebook and check out the @NationalNOW handle for our current Sheroes with the hashtags: #Shero and #womenshistorymonth
100* Centennial Campaign
NOW is gearing up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment later this year and while we want to lift up this iconic moment in history, we also seek to recognize that the 19th amendment did not bring full access to the voting booth for women of color and that there is still much work to be done. In a countdown to the centennial, we will highlight women of color in the suffragist movement who are often overlooked and present day sheroes who are still marching for voting rights.
We also want to hear your stories: What does the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment mean to you? What do you see as the challenges going forward for voting rights?
Please submit your suggestions for women to highlight and your answers to these important questions on our Wufoo form here.
In related news, find out more about the upcoming U.S. Postal Service’s Suffrage Stamp and the history of suffrage stamps here.
NOW in the News
President Toni Van Pelt being interviewed by the Washington Post Podcast in NOW’s Media Room.
A key component of NOW’s mission is to monitor and elevate the country’s progress and shortcomings regarding women’s rights through press statements and earned media. Recent highlights include our work on the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to hold accountable college athletic departments that are protecting sexual harassment and abuse.
Below is a sample of our recent press statements or read more here: Media Center
- NOW President Arrested at #FireDrillFriday
- NOW Celebrates ERA Ratification Day in Virginia
- Honoring African American Feminists Throughout History
- Today, Women Made History—A Women’s History Museum
- We Call for A Strong Majority Vote to Remove the Arbitrary Timeline on the ERA
- Supreme Court Hears Case That Could Decide Future of Roe
- NOW Celebrates Intersectional Feminists This Women’s History Month
- Why We Need the Equal Rights Amendment – The New York Times
- NCAA Board of Governors to review policies regarding sexual assault amid congressional pressure on ‘predator pipeline’ – USA Today
- TTC Extra: Louisiana’s Abortion Law – Act 620 – PBS To the Contrary
- ERA supporters rally on Utah’s Capitol Hill – Salt Lake Tribune
- Virginia Just Became the 38th State to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment – Supermajority News
- The 2020 Women’s March Commemorated in Seneca Falls – Spectrum News
- Faith-based adoption agencies can reject LGBT families under new rule proposed by Trump administration – MEAWW
- 6 microaggressions to avoid around women – Mashable
©National Organization for Women
What’s Up NOW is a bimonthly publication of the National Organization for Women. If you have suggestions or news items to include, please contact Kimberly Hayes at email@example.com.
The next issue will publish in May 2020.