Elevating Women in Politics, From Galax to Gainesville


NWPC-VA Board Candidates

Tonja Roberts is the outreach director for VoteEqualityUS which is a grassroots campaign advocating to make gender equality the law of the land. She has volunteered as a voter protection advocate for over 15 years serving as an inside poll observer. She has a B.A. in government from the University of Virginia and a JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is a member of Trinity Baptist Church, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the National Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and International Focus, Inc.  She has served on parent advisory boards for Halifax County School District. Her passion is advocating for human rights to include immigration rights (particularly family reunification), quality education for all and safe housing opportunities with a focus on veterans.

Jessica was an Americorps Service Volunteer for a middle school in Wilmington Delaware. She began her career in event planning with Events of the Heart, a non-profit organization raising awareness about Women's Heart Health through the power of theater.  She has wandered and explored New Zealand, Australia, China,Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, and hiked 500 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, and taught High School English in Bangkok Thailand.  She was also a First Grade Teacher in Alexandria, Virginia and Stafford, Virginia.

After the birth of her second child, Jessica felt the true depth of the inequalities that exist in our society. She was always involved with community organizations focused on education and health but it wasn't until Jess had her own children that she was able to understand the struggle women face.  She discovered Va Ratify ERA when THE BUS came to town. When the IScream for Equality tour came to town she signed up immediately to be an organizer, and was also one of the five parade organizers for Celebrate 38!

Robin J. Whitley, is a native of Wilmington, DE and a graduate of North Carolina State University. She has been employed with the City of Suffolk for  27 years in the Water Quality Division of Public Utilities as a QualityControl Lab Technician.. She considers herself a social/political activist and works within her church, First Baptist Mahan and her community to educate and spread awareness about issues that affect and impact Suffolk, the commonwealth and the nation.  She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Suffolk Alumnae Chapter where she currently serves as the Social Action Co-Chair and with Program Planning Development, Fundraising and Media Relations. She works with the planning committee for Virginia Organizing, is part of Women United,The League of Women Voters and chairs her church's political awareness ministry as well as a 112 Youth Worker. 

Katherine White is a feminist trailblazer and a proud Ohio State Buckeye alumna. Since the first Women’s March in 2017, Katherine has become an activist in the grassroots movement in Virginia. 

Katherine is dedicated and passionate about empowering women and girls through education, collaboration, and partnership. A believer in volunteering to make a difference, Katherine uses her talent, skills and expertise to effect change. A lover of learning, her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies at Ohio State University and Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit studies at George Mason University (2017). She is an honorary member of The National Society for Public Affairs and Administration (Pi Alpha Alpha) and an active member of the American Association of University Women.

From being part of the advocacy team that delivered smoking ban legislation in Virginia restaurants, to Medicaid Expansion, to the rights of all women to access equitable working conditions, pay, FMLA, and Women's Health, to ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, Eileen has been an on the ground advocate in Central Virginia for decades. She was a cofounder of Women-Matter, which became VaRatifyERA, which after the Virginia General Assembly ratified the ERA, became nationally focused as VoteEqualityUS.

She is a Leadership Metro Richmond Alumna, an Emerge Virginia Alumna and Board Member, a Nursing Instructor at JSR Community College, a member of NAACP State Health Committee, and a Board Member of Richmond Behavioral Health.

A strong community advocate, Karen is the current Sully District Representative on the Fairfax County Tree Commission and serves as the Land Use Chair for the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.  She was a graduate of the Emerge Virginia program. 

Karen is the Environment and Climate Justice Chair for the Virginia State Conference NAACP, and the Co-Director of the Green New Deal Virginia Coalition. Karen provides resources and support to local communities to address environmental injustices, promote efforts to improve quality of life and health, and advocate for transformative policy and program changes.  She is also the Co-Chair, Transportation for the Sierra Club, Virginia and believes addressing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector is a crucial link towards building sustainability and equity in our communities.

Yvonne J. Lewis matriculated from Howard University in Washington D.C. where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1971 and Master of Arts in 1973. She notes that she is a “Washingtonian” and grew up there during the 50’s 60’s and 70’s.She has always taken an active role in her community. Mrs. Lewis has  served as a member of the Virginia Beach Community Service Board, the Virginia Beach Re-Entry Council, African American Round Table, the League of Women Voters-SHR and her Community Civic League. She is a Golden Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a member of the Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter, as well as serves on the Delta Sigma Theta South Atlantic Region Team. She has done tireless work on behalf of the VaRatifyERA campaign. Yvonne is a member of the Virginia African American Advisory Board. She believes “Love one another is our greatest command.”

Meredith Dean has been working with and for women in southwestern VA for over 30 years. In that time, she has co-founded four nonprofits dedicated to the safety, security, health, and well-being of women and families in Appalachian communities, including Appalachian Women of Action and Healthy Floyd. She has taught Appalachian Studies and Ecological Ethics at Virginia Tech and Radford University, with Masters degrees in Education and Rural Development from UVA and Antioch, graduate Theological study at Drew, and a B.A. from Davidson. Meredith’s family roots go back eight generations in Carroll and Wythe Counties, and she lives with her husband and son in Floyd County. In her spare time, she hikes, swims, gardens, and spends as much time outdoors as possible.

NWPC-VA Proposed Bylaw Amendments

August 2021





Article III

Section 2

Members have the right to vote in general membership meetings, serve on committees and belong to local caucuses as determined by the State Board.

Defines and clarifies membership

Article IV

Section 3

The State Board will meet in person or by conference call not less than three times yearly. A quorum for purposes of conducting business shall consist of 60% of the named board members. Board business moves forward with a majority vote of those present and voting. 

Defines quorum

Article V

Section 6

(D) (d)


Receives, records, and archives current versions of bylaws submitted by local caucuses; 

Added duty for VP Records - archiving records

Article V

Section 6

(E) (j)

Complies with audit requests

Added duty for VP, Finance - complying with audit requests

Article V

Section 6

(F) (c)

Arranges and facilitates interviews of candidates seeking endorsement

Reflects current & best practice of the VP, Endorsements

Article VI

Committees of NWPC-VA shall be of three

classes: standing-continually functions; policy-advising in nature; and special-task oriented.  The purposes, terms, and function of any committee is determined by the president and state board. No committee or representative shall incur costs on behalf of the caucus except as authorized.

Clarification & consistency - defines three types of committees and clarifies financial duty

Article  IX

Section 2

Any group consisting of 15 or more members residing within the territory in which such chapter is desired may apply for permission to establish a local caucus by forwarding a petition, in writing, to the VP Records at least 60 days before any regular meeting of the state caucus.

Outlines method to establish a local caucus

Article XIV

Section 2

Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by the State Board or by a petition submitted to the VP Records and signed by at least 5% of active members.

Adds another method for members to amend the bylaws

Click here to view the complete NWPC-VA Bylaws

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