WOMEN’S CAUCUS – As the World Stood Still, a New Movement Begins

Valerie King, Co-Chair, Women’s Caucus

The year of 2020 has been a time to pause, reflect, re-evaluate, and establish a “new normal!” Some say, “I can’t wait until things, go back to normal!” There is no going back, we must move forward. It is time for change!

There have been so many unprecedented, horrific, events this year that have shed light on rogue leadership, government dysfunction, attacks on voting rights, social injustices, police brutality and political unrest across the country and in other nations.

An awakening of sorts has taken place. People are no longer denying the effects of systemic racism that create policies and hierarchies based on culture, race and ethnicities that produce privilege for some and, on the flip-side, one that causes dissension based on our differences. We must embrace our differences and recognize that we are all human beings deserving of equality and fair justice.

Our resiliency as a people is shown through our collective action, diversity, and a willingness to dismantle racism. “We the People” can work together to build an America that is truly a nation offering liberty and justice for all!

We cannot grow tired. There is a movement going on that needs to continue in order for disenfranchised people to be recognized, treated as equals, and given the same opportunities (housing, education, healthcare, employment, citizenship, etc.) that others benefited from over the years. We have to ask ourselves, “What is our contribution?” “How do we get in good trouble?” “What can we do better?” It is important that we are part of the solution. Supporting our community is one way, focusing on the needs of others, being of service, touching and repairing lives.

The National Women’s Caucus “Rosie the Riveter” Virtual 5K Run/Walk held September 19 – 26 is one way we within the union are helping others. This solidarity fundraiser benefits community partners including Monterey Food Bank, Matthew 25 Ministries, Black Veterans for Social Justice, Community Food Bank, Women’s & Children’s Crisis Shelter, and many more that have been impacted by COVID-19 across the country.

August was the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, how timely that it would fall in the year that so much discord is centered around elections!

We are now working on the 2nd UWUA calendar series depicting women in leadership, traditional and non-traditional jobs, and commemorating the Women Suffragettes, so “Stay Woke”!