The inaugural recipients of the Garrett County Democratic Central Committee INSPIRATION Award are three native Garrett County women who saw a glaring need in our community and had the courage to work on a solution. We are thrilled to recognize and honor Chantelle Friend, Hannah Schroyer, and Elizabeth Sines.
This award is given in recognition of the initiative taken by these Democratic women in organizing and engaging other Democrats in Garrett County. Their work with Anti-Racist Appalachia has been inspiring and will be of benefit to all persons in our community.
Anti-Racist Appalachia was formed by this team in October, 2020 with the intention of briefly creating a space for individuals within their region of Appalachia. They were motivated to address mounting concerns about the safety of our neighbors of color following an extreme display of discriminatory aggression.
They received an immense level of support and encouragement from our community to continue what they had started. Since their initial town hall-style meeting, they have provided weekly email updates to their subscribers, hosted a virtual Black Love Day celebration, held educational monthly member meetings on a variety of topics including Criminal Justice Reform and Critical Race Theory, and hosted book/film club discussions. Their monthly meetings and book/film club discussions occur virtually or with the option to join virtually. Along with the opportunity to work with local government officials and other organizations, they say they have truly loved meeting, speaking with, and learning from folks throughout our region of Appalachia.
If you’re interested in staying up to date on these events and other Anti-Racist Appalachia events, subscribe to their weekly email at http://eepurl.com/hwKRW9. You can also follow them on Facebook.
Their work has developed out of Garrett County, and their goal is to continue to expand throughout other regions of Appalachia, made possible with the rise in technological accessibility. All three women call Garrett County “home”. They identify their heartfelt love and appreciation for their home and the greater Appalachian region as the driving force behind their desire to continue community work in Garrett County. A bit about them:
Chantelle Friend (she/her): Chantelle was born and raised in Oakland, MD. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2020. She remains at WVU as a Master of Social Work student and will graduate in May 2022. She is currently a “Rural Integrated Behavioral Health” trainee and is passionate about racial equity, criminal justice reform, and educational equity.
Hannah Schroyer (she/her): Hannah was born and raised in Oakland, MD. She graduated from James Madison University in 2020 and is currently attending graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill where she will graduate in May 2022 with her MS in Speech Pathology. She is currently a “Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities” trainee and is passionate about advocacy, educational equity, and advancing accessibility.
Elizabeth “Liz” Sines (she/her): Liz was born and raised in Oakland, MD. Liz graduated from Cornell University in 2016 and from the University of Virginia Law School in 2019. She is now a practicing lawyer who lives and works in Baltimore. Liz was a counter-protester at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally in August 2017. She and other members of the Charlottesville community are plaintiffs in the Integrity First for America case, Sines vs. Kessler, which is a lawsuit against the neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups that violently attacked Charlottesville. It is headed to trial this year. For additional information, go to www.integrityfirstforamerica.org. Liz is passionate about rural advocacy, racial equity, and community organizing.