By Tonnie Cummings, member of WA, Vancouver-1
I have been a member of the Vancouver, WA chapter of Dining for Women (DFW) for 10 years. A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to take a more active role in helping marginalized women and girls. I looked at the DFW Advocacy Chapter webpage, where I learned about DFW’s partnership with RESULTS. RESULTS is a grassroots organization that promotes policies to end global poverty. Their goals dovetail nicely with DFW’s. I participated in the June DFW Advocacy Chapter meeting and a RESULTS orientation call, and then I joined my local RESULTS chapter. My timing was perfect!
A week later, I attended RESULTS’ annual International Conference (conducted virtually) which included excellent keynote speakers as well as workshops about such topics as how to write an effective Letter to the Editor. The conference was followed by RESULTS Advocacy Week, during which I joined other DFW and RESULTS members in virtual meetings with both of Washington State’s Senators and two of our U.S. Representatives. DFW Advocacy Chapter members across the country were holding similar meetings with their elected officials.
Thanks to the resources provided by RESULTS staff, the mentoring of my RESULTS chapter co-leaders, and the cheerleading of fellow DFW Advocacy Chapter members, I felt comfortable taking a speaking role in the meeting with my local Congresswoman. During introductions at the meeting, I explained how DFW operates and said we cannot end poverty without focusing on women and children. That really resonated with her!
The meeting resulted in my Congresswoman signing a bipartisan letter to House leadership urging them to include money for global health and nutrition in the next COVID-19 emergency funding bill. The experience was inspiring and empowering, and I urge any DFW member who is considering wading into advocacy to join the next Advocacy Chapter meeting.
Note: The next DFW Advocacy Chapter with RESULTS meeting is Wednesday, August 19 at 8:30 pm EDT. Sign up here.