Dear 9th DDWN Sisters,
As many of you already know, we recently lost one of our beloved founding officers, Lorraine Watkins.
In the fall of 2015 a steering committee was formed to create a new chapter of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women. The 9th District Democratic Women’s Network was born. Shortly after that, officers were elected and Lorraine stepped up to serve as Vice Chair of social media and outreach. Boy did she ever fullfill that mission and then some! She was instrumental in helping create the website and then she created the women’s history website.
She was way ahead of most of us who came late to the women’s movement.
As many of you know, she was a physician in her professional career. Many of us affectionately called her Doc, but she said, “no, no I am just Lorraine”. Her heart was with the underserved who came through the healthcare system. She served them throughout her career and then she spoke out and was a strong voice for healthcare for all and continued to fight for women’s equality up to the time of her passing.
When we would have our meetings of the Democratic Women across the District, several people would walk up to me and say “I want to meet Lorraine Watkins is she here?“ They wanted to meet her because of her communication and her eloquence and her stance on the issues. They all came to know her through Facebook and social media and always wanted see this person who was a voice for women, the underserved in the community, and the world.
Through her joint effort with Melissa Teague, our membership quickly grew to 275. She was instrumental, along with Melissa, one of our other VP‘s, in helping us become state chapter of the year in 2018. That was quite an accomplishment for such a young chapter.
To say we miss her is an understatement. Facebook is a little lonelier now without her posts, her offers of information, her research, and keeping us abreast of what is current on the political and human rights’ horizon.
One of the last people I had lunch with before the coronavirus kept us from meeting was with Lorraine and 3 other ladies. Of course, one of the ladies that attended the lunch with us had never met Lorraine and came to lunch specifically to engage with her and see who this outspoken champion of women and children was. What a great time we had sipping our wine, talking our politics, sharing our stories, and lifting each other up as sister warriors.
We can pay tribute to Lorraine by doing as she did: showing up, standing up, and speaking up for women’s rights and the 9th DDWN. Also if you go out to her Facebook page you can still post your comments there.
We love you Sister Lorraine and your memory is a blessing and will carry us through these hard times. There won’t be one such as you come our way for a long while.
Former Chair 9th DDWN