Red Wine & Blue is a national nonpartisan group aimed at mobilizing suburban women around various issues. That includes "Troublemaker Trainings" on how to speak up at school board meetings, write to elected officials, and bridge divides to spark conversation in their communities. 

The group formed in Ohio in 2019 and expanded to North Carolina last year.

Angela Levine is an organizer in a few counties in the state, including Forsyth and Watauga. She led a meeting at Radar Brewing Company in Winston-Salem Wednesday evening that drew a crowd of about 35 women. 

“What are the issues that you are the most concerned about right now?” Levine asked the crowd. The women mentioned topics like reproductive rights, gun safety, LGBTQ rights, and private school vouchers. 

Levine said this is how advocacy starts. 

“Women gathering together in relationship with each other, and sometimes in these social settings, is how a lot of power begins, because that's where a lot of activism is born. And people start saying, 'What can we do? How can we advocate on these issues we care about?'”

Those kinds of questions were answered at the bar. Speakers urged the women in attendance to write to county commissioners about the school district’s budget, sign petitions, and participate in banned book clubs. 

Levine said educating women on how to take action is crucial. 

“We're trying to be that way that people can ease into it, and not feel like ‘Well, gosh, I don't know enough. I don't know enough about politics. I don't know enough about how the school board works. So why would I show up? Why would I make public comment?’” Levine said. “Well, you’re a constituent. If your kids are in the schools, you have just as much right to make public comment. But I think people just don't always have that confidence and encouragement, and so that's really what we tried to provide."

The next Red Wine & Blue training will be held on May 25.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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