In mid-November 2016, in response to the misogyny, bigotry, and intolerance that permeated the U.S. presidential campaign, two former teachers invited a small group of friends to spend an evening sharing their concerns and ideas.

Both the campaign and the election results had been deeply personal and painful, and this group was determined to act. Questions were asked: What can we do to stand up and make a difference? What acts of resistance can we incorporate into our daily lives? What can we do collectively, in our local communities and beyond, to defend what we love and bring about the changes we desire?

After the initial meeting, a Facebook group was created to keep the conversation going. Word spread quickly, and the next meeting, held in December at the AniChe Tasting Room, in Hood River, Oregon, was attended by nearly 100 women. The energy in the room that night was palpable, and spoke volumes: The women of the Columbia Gorge were not going to sit idle while so much of what they cared about and believed in was threatened.

The Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network now publishes a regular Action Alert and hosts public events. Most importantly, it serves as the hub for a large network of activists in the Columbia Gorge. As we take daily action to create positive change, we are finding strength and hope in each other.

Civil rights veteran John Lewis said: “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something. We cannot afford to be quiet. We must not be silent. We must all fight.” The Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network thanks you for not being silent, for giving your time and energy, and for sharing your ideas, your experiences, your expertise, and your passion. We are proud to stand with you.

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