Member Mondays: Rachel Guglielmo

Tell us who you are and what you do:

In addition to being a full-time Mom of three very engaging and active ten year-olds, I'm also a full-time volunteer activist. I focus on advocating for common sense policies and legislation to reduce gun violence as Indiana chapter lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and on encouraging and training young women to run for office as a coordinator for the Bloomington Hub of Rise to Run.

What is your involvement with NOW, and why did you get involved?

I first got involved with NOW in college, after I was first exposed to feminist ideas and thinking through my friends, the books I was reading and the classes I was taking. I got involved because I perceived that young women pursuing higher education and embarking upon their careers were not accorded the same respect, encouragement and opportunity for advancement as young men -- not to speak of women who weren't so fortunate as to be in a position to pursue higher education in the first place. Then I got more involved in challenging all of those barriers in my own career in international development. But when I saw that a NOW chapter was starting up in Monroe County, I jumped at the chance to be part of it. It's time for women to step up and shoulder our responsibility to participate fully in demanding and enacting the changes we want to see.

How do you define “feminism”?

Feminism is about celebrating the positive contributions of women in every aspect of social and professional life. Feminism asserts that women should have the same opportunities to engage in politics, policy-making, business, and virtually every profession as their male counterparts; that women have a unique perspective, and that creating space for their contributions, skills and strengths yields benefits for society as a whole.

Of NOW’s six priority issues, where are you most channeling your energy?

My priorities are cross-cutting: I believe that promoting more progressive women to take on leadership roles in every field, from grassroots activism to every level of political office, will lead to gains for women in all of these areas.

When you aren’t working towards social change, what do you do for fun in your life?

Working towards social change is lots of fun, first of all, but I also love to hang out with my family and friends; travel; watch movies; and read and discuss all kinds of books.