The mission of Women's March West Virginia is to promote and provide civic and intersectional education on a diverse range of issues, to foster a citizenry of people confident in their ability to engage with local, state, and federal government. We will advocate for and support the people of our state through lobbying, peaceful protest, and direct action. In forming partnerships with other civic organizations, we foster our shared goals and work towards a society guided by self-determination, dignity, and respect.
It was November 8th and Donald Trump had just won the presidency.
For Hawaiian resident, Teresa Shook, it was an unsettling night.
"I went to bed the night of the election just discouraged and woke up feeling worse the next day thinking, 'How could this be?' I was just sad and dumbfounded,” Shook told a local TV station .
That night the retired grandmother created a Facebook event calling for women to march on Washington the day after Trump's inauguration. Her post came across Kate Savidan’s feed early November 9th and she instantly volunteered to march for West Virginia.
Thousands of miles away, on the other side of the country, New York-based fashion designer, Bob Bland, had the same idea.
“I think we should build a coalition of ALL marginalized allies + do this,” Bland wrote on Facebook on Nov. 10 . “We will need folks from every state + city to organize their communities locally, who wants to join me?!?”
It was in Bland's Facebook post that Kim Krapf answered from Harpers Ferry and offered to organize for West Virginia. It was a wild coincidence that friends and neighbors Kim and Kate had volunteered to organize for West Virginia. On November 11 the events were combined, and so were the friends in their efforts to mobilize West Virginia.
Almost 2,000 West Virginians signed up to attend the march. Kim and Kate worked with volunteers all over the state, as well as the organizers on the national level, to assist the thousands of West Virginia marchers with travel plans, transportation, metro cards and logistics.
Today they continue to organize on a state level in close collaboration with the National team, the Women’s March West Virginia Board of Directors, and the support of the twenty-strong WMWV team. Their purpose is to help shed light on women’s issues, including, but not limited to, immigration and health care reform, reproductive rights, the protection of the natural environment, LGBTQIA+ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers' rights. Team members around the state organize events and coordinate Huddles in an effort to help share the their message, assist in training, lobby for health care and more. Women's March West Virginia volunteers have partnered up with the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, WV FREE, NAACP, local Indivisible chapters, and other progressive groups throughout the state in an effort to make our movement stronger.
Women’s March West Virginia is guided by basic principles of human rights with a value on human dignity. Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age, or disability. We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgment and do our best to lead without ego. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
Board of Directors
Jessie East Ward
Jessie East Ward