NOW What? Speakers on April 15th
Register for April 15th: NOW Town Hall: Building Generations of Intersectional Feminists
Heather Booth is one of the country’s leading strategists about progressive issue campaigns and driving issues in elections. She started organizing in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, and women’s movements of the 1960s. She started JANE, an underground abortion service in 1965, before Roe.
She was the founding Director and is now President of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. She provided training for early NOW from 1970 – about 1975 and helped design early NOW campaigns. She was very active in women’s liberation and helped to found the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union.
She has been involved in and managed political campaigns and was the Training Director of the Democratic National Committee. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped to increase African American election turnout. She was the lead consultant, directing the founding of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2005.
In 2008, she was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, she directed the campaign passing President Obama’s first budget. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. She was the national coordinator for the coalition around marriage equality and the 2013 Supreme Court decision. She was strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship (the largest coalition of the immigration reform campaign). She was the field director for the 2017 campaign to stop the tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires She directed Progressive and Seniors Outreach for the Biden/Harris campaign. She has been a consultant on many other issues and with many other organizations.
There is a film about her life in organizing, “Heather Booth: Changing the World.” It has been shown on PBS/World Channel stations around the country.
Alexia Emuze, Co-President, Austin NOW
Alexia Enosaze Emuze grew up outside of Austin. She is not only a first generation Nigerian American she is also the first of her generation to graduate college. She enjoys volunteering to feed the homeless and make hygiene kits for the homeless in her community of downtown Austin. Alexia was inspired into advocacy after she attended the women’s march of 2017 in Chicago.
Now as co-president of Austin NOW she strives to connect and uplift the women around her. She is currently Miss Lakeway USA and her interests include writing poetry, modeling, and pageantry.
Anjali Mehrotra serves on the Board of Directors of National Organization for Women (NOW) and is President of National Organization for Women of New Jersey (NOW-NJ). She is currently also a candidate for the New Jersey General Assembly to represent Legislative District 21.
Anjali was born and raised in Calcutta, India. She came to New Jersey to pursue higher education and received a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Science from Stevens Institute of Technology in the field of Computer Science. After seven years as a software consultant, she obtained her Certification in Digital Design from Parsons School of Design and started her own freelance design business.
Anjali worked on campaigns for Democratic Women candidates for President, Congress and State Assembly before running herself for the office of Borough Council Member in 2018. She is an elected Committee Member of the Union County Democratic Committee, elected Municipal Chair for the Mountainside Democratic Committee and Union County Director for the South Asian American Caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. She served on the national communications teams for South-Asians for Biden and is currently Co-Chair of South Asians for Murphy, for Governor Phil Murphy’s 2021 re-election bid.
Anjali earned her certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and serves on the Union County Advisory Board on the Status of Minorities. Through her experiences, Anjali strongly identifies as a feminist. In her role with NOW in New Jersey and on the National Racial Justice Task Force for NOW, she is an advocate for women of all ethnic backgrounds across the socio-economic spectrum, pushing for legislation in support of women’s rights and opportunities.
Anjali is sheltering through the pandemic in her home in Mountainside, New Jersey with her husband and twin daughters.
Bear Atwood is the Vice President of the National Organization for Women. Prior to becoming Vice President, she was a civil rights lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi specializing in representing LGBT clients. She is the former Legal Director for the ACLU of Mississippi and was the Executive Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s youth justice project. Prior to moving to Mississippi, Bear was a Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey working for the State’s Division on Civil Rights. She has also worked for Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey.
Bear is the current President of Mississippi NOW and a former President of NOW-NJ. She was a member of the NOW National Board and has served on the PAC.