Indivisible? Yes, despite the fact that our name is not “Indivisible” … we registered with Indivisible as an existing group and take guidance and advice from that growing organization. What makes us different with other local Indivisible groups is our focus is on women. We also follow and take part in MoveOn actions and trainings, and are supporters of NARAL Massachusetts.
Who are we and how did we get started?
Cape Cod Women for Change was started in 2015 when we met, realized we were like-minded in many ways and became fast friends. We began working with other groups around the state on Equal Pay legislation that had been filed in the MA legislature and needed advocacy. We were both involved in other groups, but those groups were either focused on more finite women’s issues, or were not able to get involved in an issue that might have been considered partisan or divisive. We recognized a void and the need for a group that could advocate for issues that impacted women, families, and those with needs that were considered to the left of center politically.
We set up a website and Facebook page, and joined the MA Equal Pay coalition. Both of us are familiar with advocacy and we began our own campaign, posting and sharing Calls to Action that included details about who to contact and what to say to advocate for Equal Pay. We found we had an interested audience, so we expanded our focus to issues to that needed support in the Cape area.
Like many others we were shocked and dismayed with the outcome of the 2016 election. We resisted the impulse to bury our heads in the sand and grabbed on to that urge to fight back and resist, seeking new ways to take action. Interest in what we were posting increased even more. We expanded issues and shared Calls to Action. More people found us and Cape Women for Change grew, fueled by you and your shared passion.
As plans for the Women’s Marches began to come together, we did our best to keep up with the groups organizing for each march, and to aggregate this information, sharing who was doing what and how to contact them. Since then, interest has steadily intensified.
All of us want to DO something. We are frustrated and angry with each move against our freedom and rights. We find satisfaction when we take action. There is an energy that is growing across this country fueled by similar passions. The issues that must be addressed are multiplying and coming at us at top speed. For some of us, the concerns are impacting us psychologically. We are learning, however, that if we can continue to find ways support each other and come together it gets easier to face each news cycle.
We are watching people – especially those who are new to this – discover that speaking up, showing up, and fighting back is a way to take back some of the power they felt they had lost. As we exercise our rights to free speech, we can see the evidence that our actions have impact. We are seeing results.
We have added pages to our website, including Cape Cod and wider-ranging resources and we will be adding information and contacts for the newer groups that have sprung up since the women’s marches.
We will continue to post Calls to Action, asking you to make calls, send postcards, and to show up – with your friends – for hearings and other events where people’s voices must be heard. We will continue to do our best to provide research and provide background on the issues, adding links to sources along with contact information and suggestions about what to say with each call to action.
All of this takes time, and as we grow we need your help.
We aren’t interested in adding a busy schedule of meetings to your calendar, our gatherings will be limited and purposeful. We believe we have found an online community that can accomplish a great deal using social media, emails and our website.
Women have great ideas about how we can make a difference. We are already planning an event in the spring with Emerge, Massachusetts, to encourage women to run for office. We have plans and ideas about what this group can do to collaborate and network with groups on the Cape, about creating smaller groups to work on specific issues, and employing your vigilance to deliver information that we will share with the larger group.
We look forward to sharing ideas and making plans.
– Penny Duby and Janet Joakim
Co-founders, Cape Cod Women for Change
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