If you're not willing turn your back to women's issues, you may ask about the best ways to make a statement and get heard. Here's a basic map you can follow if you choose. But if you want to fast track your involvement, you can do that, too.
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Here's how to move "Forward, Not Back" as a NOW Member:
Today: Take a few moments to sign up at right for our meeting notices as well as news and actions regarding women's issues. When you opt in, you automatically receive current information from us. If you want to get news from the blog without revisiting the web site, you'll want to look for that little orange box allowing you to get the feed delivered in your email box, too.
This Month: Visit a NOW meeting or attend a NOW event. As a rule of thumb, meetings are second Sundays monthly, and there's no charge to check us out. Though we have formal agendas and use an established rules of order, we also make time and space to discuss issues, share insights and brainstorm solutions. If you want to get involved, you've only to raise your hand to claim your space at the table. And we do other things too: rallies, outreach projects, and public or state events.
Next Month: We hope you'll attend your next meeting or event as a new member. When you join the chapter, you also become a member of North Carolina NOW and National NOW. Your new member card and packet will arrive in the mail, and you'll be a card-carrying member of NOW.
60-90 days: Throwing your hat in the ring to work on - or even chair - a project or committee is a great way to move into choosing a role. Our committees function by concensus, so you're on equal footing with the entire team.
3-6 months: About once per quarter, the NOW chapter road trips to other locations in the state or nation in order to take part in issue-centered, coalition building activities. Road trips are super awesome bonding experiences. What happens on the road, stays on the road. We've been known to change history from our hotel rooms while on a road trip.
6 months: By now, you've enjoyed some successes, worked with a wide range of personalities, and learned enough to see where the problems lie. Instead of disappearing, why not consider stepping into a bigger role. If you were leading, what would you change? What is the first step to that change? Offer to do that, and lay the groundwork for the change you wish to see.
1 year: You're a renewing member, and that's to be celebrated! We're lifting a glass to our successes. Tell me: what have we achieved? What lies ahead? Your heart's desire as a NOW member is important. Share your vision - and get into action. As an active member, you're in the driver's seat and the owner's manual is yours to write.
Sherri L. McLendon is 2015 president of Asheville NOW. Email her and the chapter at email@example.com.