NC Citizens Urged to Go Beyond Voting
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Political pundits are talking of the possibility of a record voter turnout here in North Carolina, but a growing number of groups are encouraging citizens to take things one step further. Specifically, they're asking citizens to participate with their time and expertise by volunteering for civic groups or sharing their voice for a cause they care about.
Women AdvaNCe, a policy-education portal for women in the state, is encouraging women to vote and then add at least one more thing to their civic action, according to executive director Naomi Randolph.
"Voting is absolutely what we should and must do," she said. "What amplifies that vote, what amplifies that level of civic engagement, is: Go out and do the next thing. So, vote and then become engaged in your local PTA, or vote and also start your own conversation in your community."
This Friday night, Women AdvaNCe is hosting the first stop of its listening series – "In Her Own Words" – at the International Civil Rights Museum and Center in Greensboro. The free event aims to encourage women to express their concerns and experiences and offer their own skill sets to advance policies that improve the lives of women in the state. Other events are planned in Durham, Roanoke Rapids and Washington, N.C.
Laura Edwards, founder and board chair of Women AdvaNCe, said visiting the women of the state in their own communities is intentional and has a much broader goal.
"We are going to take the next 240 days to cover the whole breadth of the state to hear from women and their families," she said, "and we're going to come into their communities so that we can use actual human voices and concerns and needs. We will have a report to pull out and give to the state of North Carolina."
Although this is the first time a woman holds a major party nomination for president of the United States, Randolph said, language regarding specific issues impacting women has been largely absent in this election cycle.
"There has not been a voice, during this electoral season, that has amplified the power of women," she said, "and there really hasn't been a voice that talks about the policies specifically that these folks who are running for office have the opportunity to enact to improve the lives of the women and their families."
More information on the Women AdvaNCe listening tour is online at womenadvanceNC.org.