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Friday, August 23, 2019

Alumni

Cougar fights for women’s rights


Frustrated with recent legislation, like the mandatory sonogram bill, alumna Reesa Graham decided to create an event, “Wear White For Women’s Rights,” which will take place Monday.

The purpose of the event is to encourage people to stay informed, talk about issues and vote.

“The real goals of this movement are empowerment, education, motivation and change. I want us all, average citizen and lawmaker alike, to remember who has ultimate control over this — and that’s us — the voters,” Graham said. “I know our political system is far from perfect, but if we don’t speak up when it matters, then it will never get any better.”

Graham, who currently lives in New York City, said she never considered herself political until recent events “forced” her to pay attention.

“This whole thing started because I was so frustrated at what was happening in the world around me,” she said. “I was home on a Saturday evening, reading yet another article about yet another crazy bill that impeded on women’s rights. This particular one was the one in which a Georgia Senator compared women to livestock. And reading the comments that people had written (online) as well, the outrage that people had.”

Graham said on that evening she came across Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee’s nonviolent protest for women’s rights in Liberia. Gbowee inspired Graham to start her own movement.

“There is so much outrage online, but no one does anything with it. We make our comments on bulletin boards and articles and then walk away,” Graham said.

“I wanted to find a way that the average American could support this movement — Americans who may not have the resources to travel or even the ability to take the time off work.”

As far as her critics go, she said what is most important to her is that she and her board respond to any feedback by being polite and civil.

“I am tired of politics being about who can out-rude the other.

“No one learns anything that way; people spend too much time defending against the attack,” Graham said

Graham asks people to wear all white or a white shirt with pink “I support women’s rights” on it Monday to remind those who write and pass bills to think twice about the laws they are trying to pass.

“I want everyone to have a voice, and I want to find a way in which all those voices are heard,” Graham said. “Restrictions or laws that effect only on a single subset of people — in this case, women — is discrimination, pure and simple. Discrimination, in all its forms, should be fought against at all times and by all people.”

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/WearAllWhiteForWomensRights.

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