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Progressive Women celebrate year of activism

Progressive Women of Henderson County gather at Sanctuary Brewing Co. Progressive Women of Henderson County gather at Sanctuary Brewing Co.

About 50 people celebrated a year of progressive activism in Henderson County on Monday night at Sanctuary Brewing Co.

The Progressive Women of Hendersonville started after Abby Robertson organized transportation for five busloads of women in Western North Carolina to travel to Washington for the Women’s March, the largest protest in U. S. history.

Members celebrated achievements of the past year and plans for the upcoming year. In the past year the group has hosted a weekly postcard event at Sanctuary Brewing, where progressives can meet and write state, local and federal officials and candidates about issues that concern them. Lisa McDonald, co-owner of Sanctuary, was one of the founding members of PWH.

20180115 184603Organizers Katt Nevel (left) and Abby Robertson spoke about organization's 2017 achievements and 2018 plans.The group has also sponsored educational, art and activist events in the 12 months since the 2017 Women's March. Some of the events include hosting an art show that was funded by Advocates For the Arts (about 100 artists participated), an educational program on the county’s Opioid Crisis, and screening of documentaries on Gerrymandering, Climate Change, Equal Rights for Women and Gender Issues. PWH has supported a variety of local programs including Dignity Period that provides feminine products for marginalized females in the county through the school system and homeless shelters and the Henderson County Housing Assistance Women for the Win Program.

Also during the celebration Dr. Marie Germain, organizer of the 2017 Asheville Women's March, outlined progressive accomplishments in the past year and looked ahead to the mid-term elections via YouTube video from Philadelphia, where she is assisting the organization of the 2018 Women's March.

Goals discussed at the celebration include electing progressive candidates, getting younger people involved in progressive actions and advocating for Better Angels that seeks to find common ground between conservatives and liberals. Postcard writing sessions on issues such as protecting DACA immigrants, healthcare for everyone, climate change and equal rights are 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Sanctuary Brewing on First Avenue East. For information visit pwhendo.org.