by Julie Hunter Galdo, a 40-year resident of Falls Church, co-founder of Writing2Win to support Democratic candidates and the issues Democrats support member of Network NOVA, Virginia Democracy Forward, FCDC/Providence.
Women’ Summit 2022 – ALL IN to Win Virginia
It’s happening again, and it couldn’t come at a more critical time. Committed people from every corner of the Commonwealth and from all walks of life are convening to once again stand together and make change happen. Network NOVA’s 6th Annual Women Summits kick off this weekend, June 24-25 in Northern Virginia.
“With our democracy on the ropes, our shared values of equality and social justice under attack, and Democratic control of Congress at stake, the Women’s Summit is where we go to get energized to win,” says Katherine White, Co-Founder of Network NOVA.
This year’s Women’s Summit is being called a festival of determination and action and will travel the state from now through fall stopping in the Shenandoah August 12-13 then on to Tidewater September 16-18.
The theme of this year’s Women’s Summit is ALL IN TO WIN Virginia. “We need to switch from organizing election to election, to strategizing for the long game,” says Stair Calhoun, Co-Founder of Network NOVA.
The Women’s Summit is an example of the lasting power of grassroots activism. When the election of 2016 unleashed a previously unseen level of progressive grassroots advocacy across our nation, what were to become two powerful organizations, NetworK NOVA and the Virginia Grassroots Coalition were born here in Virginia. Working in close alliance, these organizations played important roles in electing three Democratic women to the U.S. House of Representatives in previously Republican districts in 2018, and in 2019, in turning Virginia blue by flipping both chambers of the General Assembly.
The premiere event of this alliance is the Women’s Summit. The first Women’s Summit was held in June 2017 and has become a yearly, must attend event ever since growing in attendance size from 400 in 2017 to 800 in 2018. By 2019 it had grown from a humble one-day event to a 3-day celebration with over 1000 in attendance. When the pandemic hit, they didn’t back down! The Summit went online with an 11 day virtual event aptly named the Women’s Summit Experience. Then in 2021, the Summer of Summits went hybrid with online programming and, for the first time, three in-person events across the state.
Even with all this effort, the outcome of the past election proved that elections do not have a finish line. We have to go ALL IN for the long game if we want to take and hold power. So that is exactly what this crew plans to do. The 6th Annual Women’s Summit will meet the moment by traveling the state to activate and energize the grassroots base with three in-person events, online workshops, and a new online community platform, ALL IN to Win Virginia.
Network NOVA and the Virginia Grassroots Coalition continue to find new and impactful ways to empower our Democratic and progressive allies. Each week Network NOVA produces the Friday Power Lunch (a live video podcast) offering valuable opportunities to expand alliances, introduce new resources, address issues of concern and share stories. “As the challenges to our Democratic values evolve, our determination to become more strategic, more effective only grows,” says Robbin Warner, Producer/Director of the Friday Power Lunch. “Shared wisdom and shared hope spark energy and help build the capacity we need as we head toward November and whatever comes ahead.”
There is still time to register for the Northern Virginia stop of the Women’s Summit tour, go to networknova.org.