History is filled with women who used their voice to make a difference.
And this month, we celebrate them. On March 8, we marked International Women’s Day, but the entire month of March is deemed Women’s History Month.
So, we think it’s appropriate to use this space to tell you about one woman, Amy Jo Hutchison, who is certainly making history — especially in West Virginia — by using her voice.
Hutchison, a native West Virginian, has become a voice for those who are experiencing poverty in the Mountain State. In 2017, she started working to connect people who had lived with poverty, including herself.
In 2020, she took that information and presented it in Washington, D.C., before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Her testimony regarding the poverty level was so powerful, and it thrust her into the national spotlight, creating the basis for her Rattle the Windows movement.
She has continued to focus on economic justice, especially in an episode of “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” in which she took the information she had gathered and discussed the “working poor.” That episode, called “The Economy,” aired in October 2021.
Hutchison will now share some of those insights with a presentation over Zoom called “Advocacy in Action: Bringing a Mountain State Voice to a National Platform.” The free-to-attend presentation will be moderated by Women United’s Nikki Bowman-Mills, founding publisher and editor of New South Media Inc. Registration is required and is available at www.unitedwaympc.org/amyjohutchison.
“Advocacy in Action: Bringing a Mountain State Voice to a National Platform” will be presented from noon-1 p.m. March 30. It’s the first in a series of discussions called Women United Presents.
Women United is an affinity group of the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. The group is known for being the primary stakeholder for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Mon County, and each year, members spend countless hours putting together the Power of the Purse event, which raises funds for the Imagination Library in this community.
In 2021, the organization expanded its outreach, adding committees that focus on mentorship, volunteerism and fundraising. The Zoom with Hutchison is being organized by the mentorship committee, and members hope it will be the first of many presentations to give young professionals more skills for their playbook. But Hutchison’s presentation will likely appeal to a plethora of people, especially those in the social service or health and human services realm.
The webinar is open to anyone and is completely free. If you’d like to learn more or attend the webinar, sign up at www.unitedwaympc.org/amyjohutchison.
In addition to the mentorship committee, the other two Women United committees are working hard in their respective areas.
Fundraising is focused on making Power of the Purse the best one ever. Tickets are now available for the fourth annual event, which is set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 23 at the Erickson Alumni Center. This year’s event will be a “teal party” and feature silent auctions of mid- to high-end purses, food and drinks, as well as entertainment.
For more information about sponsorships or to buy tickets to Power of the Purse, visit www.unitedwaympc.org/POTP.
The volunteerism committee is working on various projects in the community, such as the Born Learning Trail at Krepps Park. Volunteers are always needed for these types of efforts.
If you’re interested in being part of the volunteerism committee or becoming a part of Women United, visit www.unitedwaympc.org/womenunited. New members are always welcome to this great group of women working to create positive change in our community.
Amanda Posey is the director of marketing and communications for the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.