Be Kind — No Hate

Fight For Justice And Equality For All

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." — Mother Teresa

Women's March Huddle Group

The Change or Die essay written by the Charleston Think Tank is at: Change or Die.

The slides for the recent talk by Keith and Ellen Wolcott on letters to the editor and framing is at: Your Words Can Change the World slides. The handout we gave at the talks is at: Summary Handout.

Shorter yet is a list of bullet points to keep in mind about framing: Framing Bullet Points.


Due to the corona virus it is prudent to minimize social contact. Therefore the upcoming meetings of the Huddle/Coles Progressives and the Think Tank are postponed until further notice.

Huddle Meeting:

  • Postponed: The next Huddle/Coles Progressives meeting, Sunday March 15, 2020, 2:00-3:00 in the Craft Room at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library (enter the children's section, turn right and go to the back).

Think Tank Meetings:

  • Postponed: The next Think Tank meeting is on March 15, 2020, 1:00-2:00 in the Craft Room at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library (enter the children's section, turn right and go to the back).

Democratic Candidates Forum: 2:30 - 4:00, January 26, at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library.

The Candidates Forum was a success. We filled the Rotary rooms with 85 in attendance.

Find us on Facebook at

Women's March Unity Principles

We must create a society in which women—including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments. Click here to download our full list of Unity Principles.

Women's March 10 Actions / 100 Days

We did it! On January 21, over 5 Million of us worldwide and over 1 Million in Washington, D.C., came to march, speak and make our voices heard. But it doesn’t end here - now is not the time to hang up our marching shoes - it’s time to get our friends, family and community together and make history.


See: Ten actions in 100 days.

Our Local Charleston Huddle Background and Focus

Our group is open to all progressively minded women and men. Our goal is to be action oriented, but to wisely choose actions that make a difference. Find us on Facebook at

Our group was formed in February, 2017 when we found that the nearest Women's March Huddle group was in Champaign, IL and we wanted more local action. Twenty-two people attended the first meeting in Charleston and that was the start. As a group we decided to focus on the 10 Actions in 100 Days that were announced on the Women's March website. We branched off with several additional actions (Women's Day rally, town hall meeting, ACLU Freedom Cities, etc), but the 10 Actions in 100 Days was our focus. After the 10 Actions in 100 Days were completed, we have done quite a variety of things from rallies, speaker series, campaign forums, networking with other progressive groups, letters to the editor, etc. A list of our activities is below.

Charleston Huddle Activities

  • January 21, 2017 – Women's March in Washington

  • January 28, 2017 – Action #1 write postcards to your representatives.

  • February 4, 2017 – Action #2 Huddle started (thousands formed across the country!) Twenty-two of us met. We began our letters to the editor campaign.

  • February 24, 2017 - Action #3 Contact your representatives during the President's Day recess. Four groups of Huddlers visited Shimkus' office in Effingham (fourteen people in all). One of our members had a personal phone call with Shimkus. Four of us had a Skype session with Shimkus.

  • March 8, 2017 – Action #4 A Day Without a Woman. On International Women's Day, we held a rally at Morton Park. Sixty of us gathered there where we heard four speakers, then stood along Lincoln Avenue with our signs.

  • March 29, 2017 – Action #5 Reflect & Resist. We began a series of discussion groups, reading articles on various topics. This group met every two weeks, discussing poverty, black and brown girls matter, immigration and deportation. On May 21, the group began discussing George Lakoff's Don't Think of An Elephant. The discussion group then became the Huddle Think Tank which has met every two or three weeks since to work on a framing document for use by progressives.

  • April 3, 2017 – ACLU Freedom City Action (not one of the 10 actions). Eight of us met with the Coles County Sheriff's Department and then the Charleston Police Chief to discuss ACLU's guidelines for making Charleston a Freedom City, that is, making sure our law enforcement agencies aren't helping ICE to deport immigrants. One of our members also contacted the Mattoon Police Chief.

  • April 19, 2017 – Town Hall with Carl Spoerer and the absent Rep. Shimkus. Seventy-eight people attended. Two Huddle members transcribed the entire event and it was video recorded. We sent a copy of the transcript to Shimkus.

  • May 5, 2017 – Shimkusfest - Shimkus traveling help desk in Charleston. The staffer on duty was given a copy of the video recording of the town hall. About fifty people from the Huddle, Coles Progressives, and the community in general filled the room as we voiced our questions and concerns for 90 minutes.

  • July 19, 2017 – First of our Speaker Series, Claudia Lenhoff, Executive Director of the Champaign County Health Care Consumers, a regional, non-partisan health care advocacy group, gave an excellent and informative presentation on the proposed changes to health care.

  • August 13, 2017 – Following the Coles Progressives Community Potluck, we held a Solidarity Vigil against White Supremacy, attended by more than 40 people. We stood by Lincoln Avenue with our signs.

  • August 26, 2017 – We had a table about the Huddle at the Mideastern Labor Council Picnic where we handed out flyers about the Huddle and buttons.

  • August 26, 2017 – We held a United Against Hate rally at Morton Park. More than 40 people attended.

  • September 28 – Second in our Speaker Series, The Opioid Crisis: How is it affecting our community? Four panelists spoke on the topic and answered questions.

  • November 19, 2017 - Take Action for Shirley Bell. The Huddle hosted a successful drive for getting signatures on candidate petitions for Shirley Bell, Carl Spoerer, and Kevin Gaither.

  • December 19, 2017 – A rapid response rally was set up in case Trump fired Mueller. Still in effect.

  • January 20, 2018 – March on the Polls in Springfield, the Coles Progressives organized a caravan from our area. At least 20 from our area joined the 700+ marchers.

  • January 21, 2018 – Congressional District 15 Democratic Candidates Forum, attended by 78 people.

  • April 12, 2018 – Send Shimkus a Message. Fourteen of us attended Shimkus's office hours in Mattoon to discuss gun issues with his aide.

  • May 14, 2018 – Letter about dirty coal sent to Coles Together with 47 signatures on it.

  • June 20, 2018 – Medicare for All Speaker Series at SBLHC, 27 attended.

  • The year before the midterm elections - Many worked on quite a few different political campaigns: canvassing, marching in parades, campaign manager, treasurer, media work, etc.

  • November 8, 2018 - No One is Above the Law Rally. We held signs along Route 16 at Morton Park. 38 of us braved the cold.

  • November 11, 2018 - Solar Panel Presentation. New Prairie Construction from Urbana, IL will be giving a presentation on solar panels for your home in the Rotary Rooms at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library, Sunday November 11 at 2:00. If enough people in the area are interested in getting solar panels, then a group discount is possible. Come and see if solar will work for you!

  • March 24, 2019 – Letters to the Editor Workshop.

  • May 7, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • May 19, 2019 – Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • May 30, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • June 6, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • June 19, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • June 27, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • July 8, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • July 11, 2019 – Reproductive Freedom Postcard/Letter to the Editor Party.

  • July 12, 2019 – Lights for Liberty rally in Brazil, IN. 18 Coles County participants joining in.

  • July 14, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • August 2, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • August 24, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • September 12, 2019 - Solar Power Hour for Solarize East Central IL.

  • In addition to events hosted by the Huddle/Coles Progressives, Huddle members were at many other events throughout the year – The March for Science in April, the rally for DACA students in September, PFLAG meetings, the October Trivia Night fundraiser to name just a few. Huddle members have also attended many out-of-town events and reported important information back to the Huddle.

Think Tank Background and Focus

The Think Tank is an offshoot of the Charleston Huddle. Our goal is to change the world. We work to learn about and understand the powerful forces that shape our world with the intent to find ways to leverage progressive change. We started as a discussion group for one of the 10 actions of the Women's March. We read about framing issues (George Lakoff) and we wrote the Progressive Framing Document at

Recently we read through the US Constitution, read Rigged, by Dean Baker and we are now reading Economic Analysis of Medicare for All which you may download at The reading for the next meeting on January 13 is chapters 4 and 5.

Next we will read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (not available by pdf and not many copies are in the library systems so most of us are ordering now so we have it when needed).

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