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avatar for Michelle Manire Fowle

Michelle Manire Fowle

The Resistance-Northridge, Indivisible
Founder and Chair
Los Angeles, California
On November 7, 2016, I barely knew who my Senator was and thought the name “Feinstein” sounded familiar. On November 9, 2016, I could professionally teach an advanced course in civics.
With a background in marketing, sales, and advertising leading award-winning campaigns nationally, I also have a long-standing reputation for creating something from nothing. In fact, that’s how I landed my first job. My pitch? “If I don’t pay for myself in 3 months you can fire me.” There wasn’t actually a position open but one was made for me. From there I was often recruited by companies who were looking to turn around poor producing areas or create revenue where there was none. The corporate world worked for me. I thought I knew all about racism and considered myself evolved. When Trump was elected, the terror and threat I felt changed everything. It was at that moment I said: “Oh my god, I don’t know anything about racism or oppression.” Crying for days turned into weeks and months with no end on sight. I would wrap my arms around every brown and black person I saw and start sobbing and apologizing. It didn’t matter if I knew them. These were common instances at the grocery store, movie theaters, pretty much any public space where people were.
At the time of the election, I was working for a well-funded startup where I had been for a few years. Suddenly I saw everything through a different lens. My heart was heavy but not for me, for those who have been screaming about oppression, lack of opportunity, mass incarceration, unwarranted murder, harassment, young girls like my 11 yr old niece at the time, and more. I reflect on myself often and take the time to learn more about my own white privilege, implicit bias and unapologetically challenges other white people to be better allies.
Eventually, I left my job to become a full-time activist. Having never done anything like this in my life, I jumped in all the way. First was the Women’s March on Washington; next, I put out a notice of a community meeting where 50 women showed up on my doorstep. The Resistance Northridge was born that night. A few months later we joined Indivisible. For two solid years, I held meetings in my living room where I challenged other to do what’s uncomfortable leading from behind to help others understand their power; watching them come into their own as committed and effective community leaders because the real revolutionists are the ones who are most concerned with the least glamorous stuff.
From our group there are now four neighborhood council board members, two new CA Delegates, one of which ran on her own with no slate, garnered almost 150 votes, although she didn’t win, Congressman Nazarian called her and said he saw her Delegate speech, was very impressed and appointed her Delegate on the spot. Lastly, another member, who has also come up through this Indivisible group, is running to fill Mitch Englander's seat for LA City Council in a special election on June 4; she has already secured some impressive endorsements like the National Union Of Healthcare workers, in an already crowded race.