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Empowering Women NOW

Kenna DeValor- Founder & President of the National Organization of Women (NOW) in Bloomsburg.

A new chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) has formed in Bloomsburg as an effort to promote inclusivity and advocate for women’s rights. The chapter, spearheaded by Kenna DeValor, a passionate advocate for campus and community welfare, is set to make an impact with its commitment to uplifting women and the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We are here to get equal rights, spread the word, and bring people together for a good cause, because I believe that we owe that to ourselves. Feminism is about the equality of the sexes, not exclusion or hatred of one or the other, simply equality,” says DeValor.

Upon arrival to the Bloomsburg campus, DeValor had the mindset to make a difference during their college career. “I hope that it will inspire me to be strong, confident, and stand up for what I believe in, even in the face of adversity,” DeValor said, reflecting on their motivation for starting the chapter. “NOW’s endorsement by the LGBTQIA+/Women’s Resource Center here on campus resonated deeply with me. It’s about creating a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels heard and protected.”

With 17 members and counting, the Bloomsburg NOW chapter aspires to make an evident effect both locally and nationally. NOW caters to all people who are assigned female at birth or identify as a woman. The chapter takes an intersectional approach, addressing a wide range of problems such as racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and reproductive rights. Allies are welcome at informational events and roundtables, which promote a varied and inclusive environment.

The executive board is made up of five members:

  • President & Founder: Kenna DeValor
  • Vice President: Liliana Valerio
  • Secretary: Nevaeh Garrett
  • Treasurer: Dorian Valentine
  • Historian: Gale Szczepkowski

The official start date is still pending university approval, but NOW remains optimistic. “Even if we cannot be on campus, we’ll be in the community, collaborating with downtown businesses and beyond,” DeValor affirmed. Collaborative efforts with Endless Records and the Democratic Party of Bloomsburg are already in the works, as are community outreach projects such as peaceful demonstrations and fundraising drives for the Women’s Shelter.

Meetings, which are now held bi-weekly via Zoom, provide an opportunity for members to share information, discuss challenges, and bond socially. Future plans include off-campus social meetings and events, such as body positivity nights, to encourage camaraderie and support among students. For current members, the organization plans to have closed events like craft nights, movie nights, and more.

The chapter’s logo, which features the renowned light purple color associated with feminism, proudly holds the NOW insignia, a symbol of unity and advocacy dating back to the 1960s. It is intended to be in a circle formation so that a circular sign of the logo could be held at parades, marches, and protests. “Women and LGBTQIA+ folks deserve to feel safe, heard, and protected on campus, and I want to help make that happen,” ensures the club president.

The list of chapters in Pennsylvania are in Harrisburg, Williamsport, Pittsburgh, Philly, Berks County, Bucks County, Johnstown, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Squirrel Hill, South Hills, Ni-Ta-Nee, York, Southwest PA, Clarion County, Chester County, and Bloomsburg, according to DeValor.

For those interested in joining the cause or learning more, follow @nowcan_bloomu on social media or reach out to Kenna DeValor at [email protected]. Additionally, visit now.org for information on the national organization’s broader initiatives.

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About the Contributors
Carly Busfield, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Kenna Devalor, Multimedia Journalist

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