Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Work

We are working hard to put together an incredible celebration of activists who have worked so hard this year to better our Community, State and Nation.

I cannot even tell you how LONG the list of proposed speakers was for this event. It was incredibly hard to narrow it down. Which speaks volumes about the depth of amazing women and activists in Missoula.

Let us tell you about some of the incredible women who will share their passion, stories and insight surrounding their activism with you:

Lauren Nicole. Lauren spoke at the inaugural Women’s March and attended the Women’s Convention this year in Detroit. Lauren is hands down one of the most powerful, loving, inspiring, brave and all around bad ass Indigenous Women in Missoula. Actually Montana!

Nereyda Calero. Nereyda is a Dreamer. A recipient of DACA. She has lived most of her life here, as have her children. Nereyda has blossomed into an incredible activist over the past year and just returned from Washington DC with a unified group of Dreamers.

Meshayla Imonie Cox is President of the UM Black Student Union and one powerhouse organizer. Even though a full-time, working student, she has been instrumental in planning the UM Black Solidarity Summit, which will feature Shaun King.

Anita Green. Anita has been at the forefront of advocacy and activism on behalf of transgender rights. And as many of us know, she was also the first trans woman to compete in Miss Montana USA. She was also the first openly transgender national delegate sent to a nominating convention We are so honored to have her speak!

Dr. Roslyn LaPier. Dr. LaPier is an award winning Indigenous writer and ethnobotanist with a BA in physics and a PhD in environmental history. Dr. LaPier studies the intersection of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) learned from elders and the academic study of environmental and religious history. As an activist, her longtime passions include environmental justice on Indigenous lands and the revitalization of Indigenous languages.

Laurie Franklin. Laurie is the Spiritual Leader and Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Har-Shalom. Laurie has done powerful work around combating hate crimes and anti-semitism. She is a force grounded in love and light. A women who always has her heart and arms open to other activists.

Karen Wickersham. Karen stepped up this year, rallied and organized the infamous “Boomer Brigade.” The Boomer Brigade has rolled up their sleeves and set to work using the benefit of their collective years of experience in activism.

Fernanda Menna Barreto Krum. Fernanda co-founded Imagine Nation Brewing. Her vision was one that has been realized and has been integral to the success of many grassroots organizations. The INBC is a space for activists to gather and work. The taproom hosts workshops on integrative community and personal transformation provides a stimulating environment for local groups to conduct positive initiatives that serve the surrounding community. In fact, Missoula Rises was able to grow and flourish with the unwavering support of Fernanda and INBC.

ADAPT Activists. We are not sure yet who will speak on behalf of ADAPT, but they have agreed to share the work they have done this year rallying around Medicaid and healthcare. I’d like to point out ADAPT was the ONLY activist organization to stage a true sit-in at Senator Daines’ office this summer. Suffice it to say, these activists are the real deal and literally put their bodies on the line to save Medicaid and healthcare. 

Kathy Little Leaf. Kathy is a therapist at Sunburst Foundation and has done extensive work around the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, among other areas of social justice. We have deep gratitude for Kathy agreeing to speak as one of the powerful Indigenous Women activists.

We are beyond excited to celebrate a year of dedication and activism. And the above is just a sample of the women that have contributed to positive change in our community. You will be hearing from many more, both in person and by videos to be posted in the upcoming weeks.

We truly are a community of ordinary women and folks, doing extraordinary work. 

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