Kauai Women’s Caucus aims to bring social change

LIHUE — Laurel Brier is fed up with the state of the country. As are other women in the re-imagined Kauai Women’s Caucus.

“We’re looking to cause a little commotion,” Brier told The Garden Island.

The chair of the women’s caucus, Brier is calling for change — but not just on a local level.

“We’re a group of women, primarily who’ve been part of the Democratic Party, but we’re really trying to take this in a much more progressive direction. We’re looking at a lot of these deeply rooted, systemic problems in our country. People are outraged right now with what’s happening in our country,” she said.

The Kauai Women’s Caucus isn’t just dealing with women’s issues.

“We’re really looking to redefine ourselves as more of a party of justice, looking at environmental justice, social justice and not just women’s issues, but people issues,” Brier said.

Brier said the caucus has been around for 10 years, but hasn’t done much outside of going with the flow of the Democratic Party. She is hoping to turn the tide and is expecting around 60 people to show up for the Caucus’ first meeting.

The caucus will be meeting three times this month. The first meeting will be at the Princeville Community Center on Friday, March 17, followed by a meeting at the Kapaa Public Library on Monday, March 20 and then again on Thursday, March 23 at HGEA union hall in Lihue. Each meeting will run from 7 to 9 p.m.

“We want to let people know what our mission is and invite people to join us. It’s a way to give people a voice,” Brier said. “So many people are asking, ‘what can I do?’ and at this point, despair is not an option. It’s a time for people to stand up and speak it.”

Some social issues the caucus will discuss regard racism, inequality, injustice and a focus on current immigration policies that unsettle Brier.

“Things are becoming unraveled. And how can we unravel it in a way to keep a just society for all? That’s our grand mission,” she said.

The group aims to set up town hall meetings on Kauai with that state’s legislators, voicing their concerns about decisions that have been made at local and national level.

“We can’t take this anymore,” Brier said. “There’s a few different groups on Kauai that are sort of doing this but so many of them are just on social media. We want to bring everyone together in person and be face-to-face with our elected officials. Only social movements like this can bring about real difference. Having people, having a community to create a social movement is what can bring change.”

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