From | July 1, 2017

Members of the National Organization for Women voted Saturday to elect Toni Van Pelt president of the organization. Gilda Yazzie was elected vice president.

Van Pelt and Yazzie were elected by NOW members at the annual Forward Feminism Conference, which drew nearly 500 activists from around the country. Van Pelt, of Seminole, Fla., is the current president of the Institute for Science and Human Values, and brings decades of experience volunteering for women’s rights nationally and in Florida NOW leadership. Yazzie, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation in Durango, Colo., has served on NOW’s national board since the early 2000s. Both will relocate to Washington, D.C. to lead the organization.

NOW’s current president, Terry O’Neill, and vice president, Bonnie Grabenhofer, will conclude their eight-year tenure as leaders of the national organization on July 31, 2017.

“Toni and Gilda worked hard to win their election, and I congratulate them wholeheartedly,” said O’Neill. “As long-time local and national activists, they have proven themselves capable organizers prepared to resist misogyny in all its forms. As I pass the torch to these good women, I wish them all the best.”

“As president, I will work tirelessly to build an unapologetically intersectional feminist movement,” said Van Pelt. “NOW’s progressive voice and grassroots strength are essential to resist misogyny and to achieve fundamental equality and justice for all.”

“We are eager to continue the fight to dismantle interconnected systems of oppression–including racial injustice, LGBTQIA discrimination, and economic inequality,” said Yazzie. “Challenging times lie ahead for feminists, but we will lead the grassroots movement to fight back!”

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From | July 1, 2017

Toni Van PeltA long-time feminist activist whose campaign resume noted that she had an illegal abortion in 1968 has been elected as the new president of the National Organization for Women.

Toni Van Pelt, 69, who has been active for decades in NOW’s Florida affiliates, was elected Saturday night at the organization’s national conference in Orlando, Florida. Elected as vice president was her running mate, Gilda Yazzie, a Navajo Indian from Durango, Colorado.

They defeated a ticket headed by China Fortson-Washington, a longtime advocate for victims of domestic violence who would have been NOW’s first African-American president since 1971. Her running mate was a 29-year-old daughter of Cuban immigrants, Monica Weeks.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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