Dr. Marie-Line (“Marie”) Germain was the original 2017 Women's March on Asheville lead organizer. She will serve as the lead organizer again in 2019. She was the 2016 grassroots campaign organizer for Hillary Clinton in Western North Carolina and served as the Communications Coordinator for the Clinton campaign in Greenville, SC. She is a professor at Western Carolina University. Her academic research focuses on dysfunctional leadership, behaviors in the workplace, and women employed in male-dominated professions. She has extensive experience speaking on local and national television and radio. She serves as the main point of contact for the march and the media and handles relations with our local government.
Tammy Gregg has been combining her gift of music and her passion for social justice causes for over 30 years. She started women's open mic stages in Indianapolis, Southwest Florida and Asheville as a means to help uplift and elevate women. She has participated in social justice choirs throughout the years; most recently with Womansong of Asheville, which has a strong outreach in uplifting and supporting women. Tammy has participated in organizing Gay Pride celebrations and World AIDS events and most recently worked on the Families Belong Together Rally in downtown Hendersonville. She hosted a Post-March Coffeehouse after the first Asheville Women's March in 2017 and is excited to serve on this year's planning committee.
Dr. Lori Horvitz is Professor and Chair of the English Department at UNC Asheville, where she teaches courses in creative writing, literature and women’s and gender studies. Part of the organizational team that put together the 2017 Women’s March on Asheville, Horvitz’ creative work has been published in a variety of journals including The Guardian, Bustle, Epiphany, South Dakota Review and Hotel Amerika. Her book of memoir-essays, The Girls of Usually (Truman State UP), was published in 2015. She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, Cottages at Hedgebrook, VCCA, Ragdale, Blue Mountain Center and Fundacion Valparaiso.
Shanti McKinnie was a member of the 2017 Women’s March on Asheville Planning Committee. She has been an advocate for equal rights for lesbians and gays across the age spectrum for over 45 years. She volunteers for many organizations dedicated to equality, nature conservation, higher education opportunities, separation of church and state, refugee/immigrant protection and empowerment, gun control, voting rights, mental health, and literacy. Shanti is a member of Wild Bodema and Sahara Peace Choir, performers for the Women’s March on Asheville in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Reverend Glenda McDowell - Deacon
Rev. Glenda McDowell Deacon Glenda is newly retired after 21 years with the Mediation Center of Asheville, as Program Director , Mediator. Facilitator and program designer, followed by 10 years with Asheville City School as The Conflict Resolution Coordinator for the District. A trained facilitator Glenda works within the Asheville community as A Community Activist also an Educator. She has a diversity of opportunities to engage the youth community within community and the juvenile justice system. Glenda designed programming for adjudicated youth and parents-she works with incarcerated adults on parenting skills. Glenda as a member within the The Faith Community sees community involvement truly giving action to words. Glenda looks forward to more time with her grandchildren. Glenda serves Presently as Deacon at The Cathedral Of All Souls in The Biltmore Village. Glenda was ordained in 2012 as The First African American Female to be ordained to the position of Deacon.
Sawyer Taylor-Arnold is 17 years old and a senior at Asheville High School. She has worked with the Women's March on Asheville for the past 2 years and was the lead organizer of the 2018 Women's March on Asheville. Sawyer is passionate about organizing, activism, and social justice. Through her work with the ACLU and as an advisor to a campaign for gender equality at the United Nation Foundation, she advocates for the rights of women and girls across the world. In addition to her activism, she loves to serve her school and her community. She is her school’s Student Body President and spends her afternoons interning at Planned Parenthood.
Grace Araujo attends Asheville High School as a Junior focusing on visual and culinary arts. Her passion for women’s and minority rights developed while attending Francine Delany New School for Children, a social justice charter school. She enjoys her volunteer work with unprivileged youth through Asheville Parks & Rec. She manages social media accounts for many local businesses and looks forward to contributing her skills to the 2019 Asheville Women’s March.
Audrey Meigs is a student and passionate social justice advocate with particular interest in women's rights. She volunteers with Ten Thousand Villages Asheville and founded Girl Up A.C. Reynolds, an affiliate program of the United Nations Foundation, that helps girls and women in developing countries receive life-changing education. Girl Up Reynolds also sponsors an annual drive for Helpmate. Audrey, who has lobbied for women's issues on Capitol Hill, serves as the leader of the WNC Girl Up Coalition, and was a coordinator for the 2018 March for Our Lives in Asheville, presenting an original slam poem.
Ruby Sanders is 12-years-old and attends North Buncombe Middle School in Weaverville, NC. In her own words: “Human rights and social justice are important issues to me. I began to notice the effects of gender and race in the way people are treated at a young age. I decided I wanted to apply my energy towards making change. I attended the 2017 Women’s March with my family which opened my eyes to what we are capable of when we work together. I remember it vividly; thousands of people coming together for equality. This was a moving experience, and it inspired me to want to do more. I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of the 2019 Women’s March on Asheville”.
Aryelle Jacobsen is currently a freshmen at UNC Asheville, and works for the Hatch Avl Foundation. She has a fierce passion for activism, as she was the head organizer of March for Our Lives Asheville (2018) and currently serves as the leader of Students Demand Action Asheville. Aryelle also is the author of "A is for Awkward: A Guide to Surviving Middle School" and truly believes in the strength of youth empowerment as well as standing up for what you believe in.