Tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is Ashley Pirani. I am one of the seven members of the Leadership Council and the liaison to the Racial Justice and LGBTQ+ Committees. Even though the term is thrown around a lot, I am striving to help create an intersectional chapter. Part of fostering this is meeting with folks from our community. I love meeting people, so outreach came naturally for me. And I've got to say, we really have an amazing community of people and organizations. I look forward to continuing collaboration with all of them.
What is your involvement with NOW, and why did you get involved?
I am one of the 7 founding members. I act as the liaison for the Racial Justice Committee and the LGBTQ+ Committee. I became involved with NOW after I was approached by Laura Collins about starting a chapter in Monroe County. I felt my time of being complacent needed to end. I knew I had a lot to lend to the cause and felt NOW was the organization that best encompassed my ideals.
How do you define “feminism”?
To me, "feminism" is a white woman term. I feel it's important that we recognize that when many of us look back at "feminist" icons, they are typically white. It's crucial to accept these realities and work towards an intersectional definition. The best way for us to do this is to support our brown and black sisters. They are always the last to gain, but the ones doing most of the heavy lifting.
Of NOW’s six priority issues, where are you most channeling your energy?
Racial Justice is an area I've always gravitated towards. I feel if racism were eliminated, the majority of our societal problems would cease. My hope is that I can assist in educating my fellow white allies on this topic. We must stand in solidarity with our brown brothers and sisters. We have a long way to go in establishing autonomy, many mistakes will be made, but I hope that we'll learn something new everyday.
When you aren’t working towards social change, what do you do for fun in your life?
I wear many hats in the community. I'm a Certified Health Coach, a Kickboxing and Strength training instructor at Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping, and an Etsy Shop owner. When not doing one of those things you can find me on the trails of McCormick's Creek State Park with my family, playing a game of slow-pitch softball, skating a Sunday morning away playing ice hockey or reading a book.