When over 125 leaders from across New Hampshire and Vermont came together for Rights & Democracy’s First Annual Membership Assembly, it was hard not to think back on how far we have already come. A little over a year ago we thought it was not only possible but necessary to build a new grassroots vehicle to advance the political revolution in 2016 across both states, but it is still incredibly empowering to actually pull it off. If you couldn’t make it on Saturday, here’s a recap of what you missed:
We had powerful panel discussions and skill building workshops that featured many of the elements of building the political revolution locally. This included:
A panel on Race, Class and Gender featuring Ebony Nyoni of Black Lives Matter VT, Anthony Procik from RAD NH and the Transgender Organizing & Leadership Development (TOLD), State Representative Mark King of Nashua, NH - moderated by Maria Fitzsimmons, RAD’s Director of Organizing.
Three break out workshops to spend time building an array of leadership skills including: how to talk to the media, how to share our narrative, how to effectively invite people into our movement, and how to politicize our experiences.
A panel on the local political revolution featuring former Portsmouth Mayor and NH Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Marchand, recent candidate for NH State Representative Marcy Katz Rothenberg, and VT State Representatives Selene Colburn (Burlington) and Rachael Fields (Bennington) - moderated by Jessica Early, RAD VT leader.
We held elections for our Rights & Democracy Project Board of Directors, the leadership board comprised of members from both states. We had a few key folks take a step back from the board including founding chair Michelle Salvador, who played an integral role in launching RAD and will continue to stay involved in the the Vermont Leadership Committee. While we have great people stepping down, incredible folks also stepped up, including Sylvia Gale (NH) and Brittany Nevins (VT) our new co-chairs. Sylvia and Brittany headline a strong slate of leaders who are ready to take the organization to the next level.
“I’m honored be given the opportunity to help lead RAD in this next period. The challenges for our country and our communities are enormous, and we need this organization more than ever,” said Brittany Nevins, new co-chair and RAD founding leader from Burlington. “The truth is, we are just getting started and we know that the vast majority of people support the the political revolution and the changes we are pushing for. It’s up to us to help get our communities organized for the long haul.”
To read more about Brittany, Sylvia and our incredible leadership check out the board description here: radvt.org/board
Also, check out the Board of Directors for our the Rights & Democracy Education Fund (the 501c3 charitable organization focused on grassroots organizing and education) led by new co-chairs Sheila Reed (VT) and Janice Kelble (NH) here: rights-democracy.org/board
By popular demand, we released a whole bunch of new RAD gear at the Assembly including more hoodies ($27), long sleeve shirts ($20) and short sleeve ($15), bumper stickers ($3) and some very cool new winter hats ($15 or free to new monthly sustainers*). Check it out at www.radvt.org/gear