2024 Annual Wine & Cheese Fundraiser

Tuesday, September 10
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Roanoke Country Club
3360 Old Country Club Drive
Roanoke, Virginia

We look forward to spending an evening with you and guests from across our region. We’re honored to have as our keynote speaker, Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, a dynamic woman of Virginia and Virginia politics.

As Chair of the Senate Education and Health Committee, Sen. Hashmi and the Democratic Senate and House of Delegates brought strong legislation to the Governor in 2024.

Sen. Hashmi can speak with personal, professional, and political experience to the key issues for women voters:

• Choice! Access to Reproductive Health Services and Abortion
• Protection of Civil Liberties • Guns • Housing Crisis
• Public Education • Climate Change and the Environment

Sen. Hashmi is certain to enlighten, energize, and motivate us as we roar into the final weeks of this critical election season. (Full bio here.)

RSVP and purchase your tickets now! Each ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine at the cash bar.

Sponsorship opportunities details are below. Thank you for your support of Roanoke Valley Democratic Women.

Member – $35
Non-Member – $50

Don’t want to order online? RSVP via email to Info@RoanokeValleyDemocraticWomen with subject line “2024 RSVP”. Please provide the full names of all attendees in your email. Payment can be made at the event.


Includes 1 event ticket.
Recognition in event program and event page.

Includes 2 event tickets.
Recognition in event program, on event page, and in social media posts.

Includes 4 event tickets.
Recognition in event program, on event page, social media posts, on event podium.

Includes 8 event tickets.
Name/Logo in event program, on event page, in social media posts, name/logo displayed on event podium, recognition at Dems After Dark throughout 2024, and opportunity to provide an introduction during the event program.

Senator Ghazala Hashmi, PhD, serves in the Virginia General Assembly and represents the 15th Senatorial District which includes parts of Richmond City and Chesterfield County. She first ran for office in 2019, defeating a Republican incumbent in a long-held red seat. Her successful campaign secured a one-seat Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate and also secured a Democratic trifecta for the next two years.

After winning her second term in office in November 2023, Senator Hashmi now serves as Chair of the Senate Education and Health Committee. She also sits on the following Senate Committees: Finance and Appropriations; Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; Transportation; and Rules. Senator Hashmi has also been appointed, for the past four years, to numerous boards and commissions; additionally, she was elected in 2023 to serve as Vice Chair for the Education Committee of the Council of State Governments – Southern Region. She is currently serving her second term as Vice Chair of the Virginia Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus (VAAPIC). Prior to her first election in November 2019, Senator Hashmi had a long career in higher education in Virginia.

Senator Hashmi immigrated to the U.S. from India as a young child. As an immigrant living in a small college town in Georgia, she saw first-hand how community building and fostering dialogue can bridge the cultural and socioeconomic divisions that we face. She earned her PhD in English from Emory University, and she and her husband Azhar moved to the Richmond area in 1991 as newly-weds. Their two daughters were born and raised in Midlothian, Virginia, educated in Chesterfield County Public Schools, and are graduates of the University of Virginia. Senator Hashmi is the first Muslim American and the first person of South Asian descent to serve in the Virginia Senate. She is running for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/rvdw-fundraiser-2024 to RSVP including ticket purchases and sponsorships!

Or contact Christina Ballard, VP of Ways and Means at info@RoanokeValleyDemocraticWomen.com.

McGuire, Nash, Woods win Dem Primary for Roanoke City Council

Terry McGuire, Phazhon Nash, and Benjamin Woods are the official Democratic ticket for three open seats on Roanoke City Council following this week’s Democratic Primary.

2024 RVDW Your Vote Matters

In addition to filling three council seats, Roanoke City will elect a new mayor in November. Current Vice Mayor Joe Cobb is the Democratic nominee in the three-way race for mayor.

We congratulate the entire ticket. Please contact the candidates to volunteer and donate.

Terry McGuire
Website: www.terryforroanoke.com 
Email: terryforroanoke@gmail.com
Facebook: TerryForRoanoke
Instagram: @terrymcguireforroanoke

Phazhon Nash
Website: www.votenash.org
Email: info@votenash.org
Facebook: Phazhon Nash for Roanoke City Council 
Instagram: @nash_for_city_council

Ben Woods
Website: www.benjaminwoods.org
Email: bwoods@benjaminwoods.org
Facebook: Benjamin Woods
Twitter: @I_benjaminwoods
Instagram: @ben_jaminwoods

In Remembrance: Helen B. Dean

Dear Members and Friends,

With heavy hearts we tearfully share the sad news of Helen Dean’s untimely death and plans for a Celebration of her life.

Helen Barbara Dean

Helen’s life was full of numerous accomplishments and extensive community service. Her impact on Roanoke Valley Democratic Women and so many other Roanoke Valley organizations is immeasurable.

Please join us as we give heartfelt thanks and pay respectful tributes for this remarkable woman, friend, and colleague, HELEN B. DEAN.

In Her Own Words

On April 10, 2024, just a month before her passing, Helen prepared a personal biography to be shared with U.S. Congresswoman and Gubernatorial Candidate Abigail Spanberger. Helen did not feel well on the day of the board’s much-anticipated meeting with Rep. Spanberger but we learn firsthand and in her own words, how Helen described her amazing life:

Bio for Helen B. Dean

Graduated from Knoxville College. During the summer at Knoxville, worked for the Atomic Energy Commission.

Helen Dean has worked with the Roanoke Valley Democratic Women in several capacities including fund raising. She is the past President of this organization, is a member of the Roanoke County Democrats and Botetourt Democrats and serves as an officer of elections for Roanoke County.

Companies she worked for: Junior high Teacher in Washington, DC, IBM as a Systems Analyst in Indianapolis, IN; Xerox Corporation in Chicago and Dallas at the field level, Regional Level and held a National Position. At Xerox, I managed a national support organization and led a sales team as a Regional Sales Manager in Chicago, IL. Worked for TruSecure as a technical team leader in securing networks and retired from Thomson Financial as the President of a group that worked with financial instruments in the US, London, Germany and in Paris.

Served on boards in the Roanoke Valley: Family Promise; Roanoke Symphony as chair for Education; Apple Ridge; Community Representative for the Junior League; president of the CASA Board; served on the Opera Board; Presbyterian Children’s Center; Moderator for Presbyterian Children’s Home in Wytheville; and am currently serving on the Arts Commission for the City of Roanoke.

Works in support of Harrison Museum of African American Culture with programs and grants to secure funding for this important organization in the African American community; served as one of the vice presidents for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and worked with Jabberwock to secure funding for scholarships for students; and worked as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for 5 years.

Served as an elder at Second Presbyterian Church; served as Moderator for Presbytery of the Peaks; Cabinet Moderator; Trustee Member and served on the Sexual Misconduct Committee for the Peaks. Serves as a permanent member of the Synod Judicial Committee and currently serving as Vice Moderator for National Black Presbyterian Women and as the Historian for Presbyterian Women at the Synod level.

Awards and Recognition: Dollars and Sense – Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women, recognized in Who’s Who in Finance, while at Xerox and Thompson was awarded President’s Club for achieving financial goals for the teams; Bella Magazine’s Women in the Community, and currently recognized in the Roanoker Magazine for volunteer support.

Meet the Dem Candidates for Roanoke City Council

UPDATE: On June 2, Jamaal Jackson announced via press release that he is no longer a candidate for City Council.

Following the invitation by Roanoke Valley Democratic Women, all four 2024 Democratic candidates for Roanoke City Council have accepted and will be at RVDW’s May monthly membership meeting.

On Friday, May 24, 2024, at Montano’s Restaurant (3733 Franklin Rd SW), meet and hear the Democratic Primary candidates for Roanoke City Council address their priorities and credentials and share their campaign materials. The program begins at 12:00 noon followed by our business meeting. Please arrive at 11:15 if you are ordering lunch. No lunch orders will be taken after 11:45am.

RVDW is pleased to provide the following information requested of and provided by each candidate. Early voting for the June 18 Democratic Primary began May 3 and continues through Saturday, June 15.

Learn more about the candidates at their websites, linked below (listed alphabetically by last name).

Terry McGuire
Website: www.terryforroanoke.com 
Email: terryforroanoke@gmail.com
Facebook: TerryForRoanoke
Instagram: @terrymcguireforroanoke

Phazhon Nash
Website: www.votenash.org
Email: info@votenash.org
Facebook: Phazhon Nash for Roanoke City Council 
Instagram: @nash_for_city_council

Ben Woods
Website: www.benjaminwoods.org
Email: bwoods@benjaminwoods.org
Facebook: Benjamin Woods
Twitter: @I_benjaminwoods
Instagram: @ben_jaminwoods

UPDATE: On June 2, Jackson announced via press release he is no longer a candidate for City Council.
Jamaal Jackson
Website: www.jacksonforroanoke.com
Email: JacksonForRoanoke@gmail.com
Facebook: JacksonForRoanoke
Instagram: @jacksonforroanoke

Meet Ken Mitchell, Democrat for VA 6th District US Congress

“The current narrative of chaos and uncertainty that is dominating our politics is a threat to our democracy. Americans face daily, real-life challenges and need leaders who listen to their problems and can work together respectfully to solve them instead of playing partisan schoolyard games.” – Ken Mitchell

Ken Mitchell for Congress logo

Ken Mitchell is running to represent the citizens of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District in the November 2024 election. Ken enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and retired from the U.S Army in 1998 as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 following 24 years of active duty. He is the fourth generation of his family to serve the country as a member of the armed services. He spent the last six years of his military career at the White House, supporting former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. During this posting, he held a variety of leadership roles at the highest levels of trust and national security. This experience allowed him to observe democracy at work first-hand and develop deep insight into the political process.

Ken Mitchell for VA CD 6

Ken Mitchell
For US Congress VA 6th District
Website: www.KenMitchellforVirginia.com
Facebook: kenmitchellforva
Instagram: @kenmitchellforva

Following his retirement from the military, Ken spent six years in the corporate telecommunications industry, building infrastructure throughout the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He received multiple awards for his executive leadership and management skills while overseeing a wide variety of operations.

In 2004, Ken relocated to Charlottesville and started a business remodeling historic properties. In this role, he was exposed to the labyrinth of rules and regulations small businesses must navigate. From here, Ken became a Vice President of Buildings and Grounds for all facilities at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, including the Visitors Center, Tufton Mansion, Jefferson library, and the 2500 acres granted to Jefferson’s father. In this role, he led the modernization of Monticello’s infrastructure and the protection of this World Heritage site.

Continue reading “Meet Ken Mitchell, Democrat for VA 6th District US Congress”

Meet Joe Cobb, Candidate for Mayor of Roanoke

Rev. Dr. Joe Cobb believes that our greatest calling as human beings is to love one another by honoring and celebrating what makes us unique and by discovering what we can create together. This calling both inspires and informs his devotion to public service in the Roanoke city, region and around the world.

Joe Cobb for Mayor logo

Joe is the Vice Mayor and a member of the Roanoke City Council (elected 2018 and re-elected in 2022) He served as Vice Mayor from 2018 – 2020. He also works as Chaplain at Hermitage Roanoke, a senior living community in Northwest Roanoke.

Joe Cobb, Vice Mayor of Roanoke

Joe Cobb
For Roanoke City Mayor
Website: https://joecobbforroanoke.com/
Email: joecobbforroanoke@gmail.com
Facebook: joecobbforroanoke
Instagram: @joecobbforroanoke

Continue reading “Meet Joe Cobb, Candidate for Mayor of Roanoke”

Meet Karen Baker, Democrat for VA 9th District US Congress

Southwest Virginia deserves strong voices and real representation in the US House of Representatives. In November 2024, 9th District voters have the opportunity to elect Karen Baker!

Karen Baker for Congress

The breadth and depth of her professional and personal experiences have prepared her to meet the needs of her district. As a hardworking, determined, proven public servant, Karen is exactly right for our region and our nation.

Karen G. H. Baker
For US Congress VA 9th District
Website: www.BakerforVa9th.com
Email: info@bakerforva9th.com
Facebook: bakerforva9th
Twitter: @bakerforva9th
Instagram: @bakerforva9th

Karen Baker was born in Chicago and grew up in Michigan. She graduated from William Smith College, with a degree in comparative religion, and moved to Washington, D.C., where she was a staffer at Americans for Democratic Action. She then went to law school at Catholic University. She began work at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a trial lawyer, trying large-scale sex, race, and age discrimination cases, and eventually rose to become the Assistant General Counsel for Systemic Litigation.

Continue reading “Meet Karen Baker, Democrat for VA 9th District US Congress”

Dr. Ivonne Wallace Fuentes: History as Argument, X-ray, and Weapon

(The following are Dr. Ivonne Wallace Fuentes’ remarks as delivered to Roanoke Valley Democratic Women Membership Meeting attendees on March 22, 2024.)

Thanks to Barbara and Priscilla for inviting me to speak to you for Women’s History Month.

As a professional historian, and a feminist historian, every day is women’s history month for me, but I do love how March offers us all an opportunity to reflect on the historical impact of women.

Dr. Ivonne Wallace Fuentes (Photo credit: Megapixie.com/A. Tonken)

Too often, I think, we tend to think of history in the way we might think of antique china and crystal — lovely, in its pristine cabinet, where its mostly admired in passing; treasured — maybe it was passed down to us by elder generations of women we loved. Maybe something we might even think to use, pulling it out for important ritual occasions like Thanksgiving, but not really a part of our daily life, like the rough and tumble Target dishes that go into the dishwasher every night. But history, and historical thinking, is not china we pull out once and twice a year. It is part of the air we breathe every day, whether we recognize it or not. As I teach my students, it’s not an empirical list of facts about the past — it’s not a long CVS receipt of names and figures. History is an argument, it is an x-ray, and it is a weapon.

Continue reading “Dr. Ivonne Wallace Fuentes: History as Argument, X-ray, and Weapon”

2024 Elections: We won’t go backward!

Janice Dinkins Davidson, President
Janice Dinkins Davidson, President

Hello, Roanoke Valley Democratic Women members past, present, and future! 

As we near the end of winter and the first quarter of 2024, I’ll admit I don’t have strong enough language to express how important this election year is and what it means for the stability of the country, to equality, to democracy. Without a doubt, Democratic women are key to winning in November!

The goal of Roanoke Valley Democratic Women (RVDW) is to ensure that you, our members, are up to date on topics and issues that interest you and are aligned with our “Big D” Democratic values. We aim to inform you about local, statewide, and national Democratic candidates and to offer a forum for social and political engagement, as last year’s busy schedule attests. Already this year we’ve heard from dynamic speakers Roanoke City Sheriff Antonio D. Hash, Roanoke Chapter NAACP President Dr. Brenda Hale, and Professor of History Dr. Ivonne Wallace Fuentes. We’ve supported actions to reduce gun violence and continue to press for necessary changes in our region. We have much more to come – at membership meetings, Dems After Dark, special actions, candidate Meet & Greets, and voter registration and GOTV efforts as voting season draws closer.

I’ll be blunt. What happens this year – in our local, state, and national politics – will determine if we progress or go backwards! Together, we make a difference. Let’s work together to learn, act, and make our voices heard! Please join us and share this invitation with your friends and family across the Roanoke Valley. The work of RVDW is dependent on your voice, support, and involvement! 

Thank you in advance for your new or renewed membership in Roanoke Valley Democratic Women. I look forward to seeing you and standing strong beside you in 2024!

Janice Dinkins Davidson
Board President

RVDW Logo 2024-Circle

Don’t miss a beat. Visit our upcoming events page regularly, subscribe to our Google calendar, and make sure you’re on our email list!

Introducing RVDW’s New Logo

A logo that centers women: Our new logo features visual symbols of our demand for suffrage and equality, improved font and visibility of the word “women.”

A logo for our region: RVDW encompasses the entirety of the Roanoke Valley. Our new logo uses the dogwood blossom, Virginia’s state flower, to visually expand and include our regional community.

A logo with a message: Women of the Roanoke Valley are in this 21st century struggle to advance equality, demand autonomy, secure our rights, and preserve democracy.

Thank you to the design team (Graphic Artist Beth Deel, RVDW Communications, and RVDW Board) for their work in developing our new logo.

Notes from the design team:

RVDW’s new logo and iconography represent our place in modern day politics and society while acknowledging the generations that came before us.

Pictured above are several examples of suffrage activism graphics. The yellow rose and the sunflower emerged as powerful symbols during the women’s suffrage movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The yellow rose became a symbol of hope and solidarity in the United States. In 1913, suffragists wore yellow roses during a march in Washington, DC, to advocate for women’s right to vote. Similarly, the sunflower gained significance in the UK and in the motto “Faith, Hope, and Courage.” The flowers embodied the resilience and determination of women fighting for their right to participate in the democratic process.

Why not a “donkey”? The association of the donkey with the Democratic Party traces back to the 1828 presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson when women and BIPOC were not full citizens of the United States.

RSVP Today!

Click Here to RSVP

An Evening with Sen. Ghazala Hashmi
Tuesday, September 10
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Roanoke Country Club
3360 Old Country Club Drive
Roanoke, Virginia

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