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Independent Women’s Network Launches Indianapolis Chapter

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Today, Independent Women’s Network (IWN), the national grassroots community activist arm of Independent Women’s Voice, celebrated the launch of its Indianapolis Chapter. This chapter joins 26 chapters around the country and an online community of more than 32,000 IWN members.

“Growing up in Wyoming, the equality state, it was always instilled in me the need to use my voice for good and always know that I could and should speak up for what I believe in. I’m sad to say that in the past few years I had lost sight of the importance of being taught this as a young woman. But attending the IWF gala this year and being surrounded by other strong women from Wyoming it re-lit the fire within me. I want all women to have the opportunities I had, to get a good education, and play sports in a safe environment, and to be supported and surrounded by strong independent women. When I joined IWN and noticed that there was not a chapter in my area it spurred me into action,” said IWN’s Indianapolis Chapter Co-Leader, Amber Hageman. 

Hageman continued, “The Indianapolis chapter will aim to bring women of different backgrounds together in an environment where we can all voice our opinions and have meaningful conversations while still respecting the beliefs of those around us. As a society today, we have lost the ability to respectfully agree to disagree.” 

The Indianapolis Chapter Co-leaders Amber Hageman and Linda Ball are both passionate about building a community of strong women to advocate for the Indianapolis community. 

As a dedicated mom of four, wife, and real estate broker, Linda Ball is committed to empowering women to succeed both personally and professionally. Linda resides on the west side of Indianapolis, where she helps real estate clients achieve their dreams in both residential and commercial real estate. 

Amber Hageman is a member of the development team for EdChoice and is an advocate for educational choice options for families. As a professional fundraiser, Amber believes in the power of conversations and learning about who someone is through those conversations. 

IWN was created to build a supportive community for women and to give them the tools they need to make a positive difference in their neighborhoods and our country.  

“We heard from thousands of women from across the country who said they wanted a community where they could connect, share ideas, and take action,” said IWN Director, Julie Gunlock.. “We launched the Independent Women’s Network to stand shoulder to shoulder with women who are ready to turn our economy around and fight to save our freedoms by countering the woke mob and standing up to cancel culture and out-of-touch bureaucrats.”

An engaging and growing community of independently-minded women work together to advance shared principles through chapter gatherings and the IWN online movement. Membership to IWN opens access to message boards, curated news, smart content, a resource center, exclusive events, and an action center.

“IWN members are happy warriors who stand up to bullies – bullies with positions in school boards; bullies on social media; bullies in corporations and in politics,” said IWN National Chapter Director, Christy Narsi. “Our Chapters are communities of women who form lasting bonds and are ready to take local action. We support one another, and our members are not alone when they stand up to lead on issues critical to our country.” 

Members of the community who are interested in joining Independent Women’s Network should email IWN Membership Coordinator Kiara Kincaid  (kiara.kincaid@iwnetwork.com) or visit iwnetwork.com for more information.

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www.iwnetwork.com 

Independent Women’s Network, a project of Independent Women’s Voice, in partnership with Independent Women’s Forum, is a positive, supportive community of engaged, informed, and activated women working together to inspire, interact, influence, and have impact.

Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae File Lawsuit Against Sorority Leadership For Blatantly Harming Women To Favor Men

COLUMBUS, OH — Alumnae of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority have filed a lawsuit, Levang et al. v. Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Kappa’s governing officials for their multiple violations of Kappa’s governing rules, fraudulent activity, failure to abide by Ohio’s free speech laws, defamation, and breaches of contracts. The suit is led by Independent Women’s Network (IWN) members Patsy Levang and Cheryl Tuck-Smith, both of whom were removed from Kappa after more than 50 years of service to the sorority, for speaking against Kappa’s hidden policy promoting the initiation of men despite the clear prohibition in Kappa’s governing documents. Ms. Levang and Ms. Tuck-Smith are joined by Susan Jennings, Margo Knorr, Karen Pope, and Ann Witt as co-plaintiffs.

Independent Women’s Law Center Director May Mailman, who is serving as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Levang v. Kappa Kappa Gamma, said, “Kappa leadership continues to disrespect its members not only by denying them the single-sex organization they were promised, but by lashing out in hopes of silencing the truth. This violates Kappa’s Bylaws and the basic freedoms women deserve.” May also serves as lead counsel for Westenbroek v. Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnae issue the following statements on the filing of Levang v. Kappa Kappa Gamma:

Patsy Levang, esteemed past Kappa Kappa Gamma National Foundation President and member of Independent Women’s Network: “As a prior foundation President of Kappa Kappa Gamma, I felt obligated to stand up for the young women in Wyoming. The current leadership in Kappa has deliberately engaged in a campaign to undermine the Bylaws of Kappa which harms not only these young women, but the entire organization. I’m not surprised that they also disregarded the value of lifetime membership and my 56 years of dedication by sending me a removal letter.”

Margo Knorr, Kappa Kappa Gamma alumna, daughter of Levang, and Independent Women’s Network North Dakota Chapter Leader: “It’s hurtful that Kappa would oust Patsy and Cheryl in retaliation for supporting our sisters in Wyoming. At some point, to stand up for ourselves and for our beloved sorority, we need legal intervention. Women still have the right to say ‘no’ to any male being admitted into their sorority and uphold their organizational Bylaws in doing so.”

Cheryl Tuck-Smith, long-time member and active contributor to Kappa Kappa Gamma and member of Independent Women’s Network: “Kappa Kappa Gamma has successfully promoted women and high standards for 150 years. It is incomprehensible that current leadership would discard that success by prioritizing men over women. I have learned through decades of experience how important it is to preserve and protect safe and secure places for women, which allow us to develop skills in leadership, encourage community involvement, and maintain lifetime bonds. Kappa must remain true to its existing mission, to support and promote women.”

Kappa was formed in 1870, when collegiate men outnumbered women 5-to-1, as a single-sex organization for women. Kappa has maintained this single-sex status through its governing documents, which restrict membership to women only.

As described in the complaint, starting in 2015, Kappa’s Fraternity Council (its governing body) unilaterally and deceptively took steps to broaden membership to men who identified as women. At no point did the Fraternity Council take the required steps to inform Kappa members of a change to the membership requirements, nor did they ever invite discussion or debate on the issue.

Moreover, the Fraternity Council continually demonstrated bias against women, in favor of men who identify as women. For example, the Fraternity Council admitted a male through its alumnae admission process and fast-tracked him to leadership despite his lacking the years of service to the sorority consistently required of female members.

The Fraternity Council also encouraged the admission of a male collegiate member whose grades did not meet Kappa’s baseline requirements by bypassing the anonymous voting system required for female candidates.

All the while, Kappa leadership sought donations from alumnae based on representations that Kappa had not altered its mission and continued to promote sisterhood and a woman-only environment.

Kappa leadership then retaliated against Ms. Levang and Ms. Tuck-Smith who exposed these improper actions by removing them from membership and falsely accusing them of injuring Kappa and violating “human dignity.”

This lawsuit follows on the heels of Westenbroek v. Kappa Kappa Gamma, an Independent Women’s Law Center suit, which is before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Yesterday, IWLC filed its final brief in Westenbroek v. Kappa Kappa Gamma, demanding that Kappa Kappa Gamma leadership adhere to Kappa’s governing documents, which limit membership to women. IWLC is representing six women in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority who were forced to initiate a man into their chapter. Three groups filed briefs in support of IWLC, including 450+ Kappa alumnae and feminist organizations Women’s Declaration International USA and Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF)

Direct all media inquiries to press@iwf.org.

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www.iwlc.org 

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the continued legal relevance of biological sex.

www.iwf.org

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.

“We Won’t Back Down” Rally at the NCAA Convention to Demand Equal Athletic Opportunity for Women

PHOENIX, AZ – On January 11, current and former NCAA female athletes, coaches, and parents will rally outside of the 2024 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, to demand that the organization stop discriminating against female athletes by allowing males to compete in women’s sports.

The rally’s theme, “We Won’t Back Down,” reflects the determination of female athletes and coaches to get the NCAA to revoke its controversial and unscientific Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy. The policy allows males who identify as women to participate in women’s sports if they suppress their natural testosterone for at least one year and achieve levels set by the governing bodies of their particular sport. A comprehensive review of the scientific literature by IWLC and IWF reveals that hormone injections do not eliminate the male athletic advantage over females. The report also concludes that, even without any male athletic advantage, the participation of males in women’s sports takes away opportunities for women to compete. 

In Phoenix, swimmers Riley Gaines, Paula Scanlan, Kaylee Alons, and volleyball player Macy Petty will continue to call on NCAA President Charlie Baker to meet with them to hear how allowing men in women’s sports hurt them. Baker has ignored numerous requests to meet with female athletes against whom the NCAA has discriminated.

Women have come too far to be erased.

The rally is sponsored by Our Bodies, Our Sports, a coalition of women’s advocacy groups from across the political spectrum, including Independent Women’s Forum, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), Women’s Declaration International (WDI-USA), Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS), Champion Women, International Consortium on Female Sport, Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, Concerned Women for America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Young Women for America, Independent Women’s Law Center, and Independent Women’s Network.

This event is the fourth Our Bodies, Our Sports coalition event featuring female athletes and coaches speaking out against men in women’s sports. Previous events include the 2022 rally in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, the 2023 rally at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, TX, and the 2023 rally at the USA Cycling National Championships in Knoxville, TN, which succeeded in pushing Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to bar biological male athletes from competing in the women’s cycling division.

The “We Won’t Back Down” rally will promote fair athletic policies rooted in science and advocate for female athletes and the elimination of discrimination against them in their own sport.

“Shame on Charlie Baker for continuing to enforce this discriminatory policy,” said Jennifer C. Braceras, vice president for Legal Policy at Independent Women’s Form and founder of Independent Women’s Law Center. “The NCAA may not be bound by Title IX, but the schools that make up its membership are, and the NCAA has an obligation to help its member schools comply with equal opportunity mandates, not subvert them.”

Riley Gaines, an Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, added, “Female athletes work our entire lives to compete in sports, only to have the NCAA destroy our even playing field. This devalues female athletes and women in general,” ahead of participating in her fourth Our Bodies, Our Sports event. “Sex-based categories are important for competitive sports just like age classifications and weight categories. We are asking very little of the NCAA. Maintain the fairness necessary for competition and safety.”

Following the rally calling on the NCAA to stop discrimination, the athletes, coaches, parents, and sponsor organizations will hand deliver a new demand letter and petition to the NCAA signed by thousands of female athletes from across the country. 

RALLY DETAILS:

WHAT: Our Bodies, Our Sports: We Won’t Back Down Rally

WHEN: January 11, 2024, at 11 a.m. MT (1 p.m. ET)

WHERE: Press Event and Rally at the Marvin A Andrews Plaza + Activity outside of the NCAA Convention in Phoenix, AZ

WHY: Show support for women athletes and single-sex athletic competition 

Speakers to include:

  • Riley Gaines, 12x All American swimmer, 5x SEC Champion and record holder, and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador
  • Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador
  • Kim Russell, former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oberlin College and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador
  • Kylee Alons, 31x All American swimmer, 2x NCAA National Champion, and 5x ACC Champion, and Young Women for America ambassador
  • Macy Petty, NCAA volleyball player and Young Women for America ambassador
  • Megan Burke, 2x NCAA Champion, track and cross country athlete from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Independent Women’s Network chapter leader
  • Cady Mullens, mother of Lily Mullens, NCAA athlete and captain of Roanoke Women’s Swim team. Lily joined her team in October to speak out about a male joining their team after swimming on the men’s team the year prior
  • Jamie Holmes, former Head Volleyball Coach at UC Davis
  • Madisan DeBos, Southern Utah University D1 cross country and track athlete whose relay team competed against a male athlete
  • Nancy Hogshead, 2x All American swimmer, 4x ACC Champion, 3x Olympic Gold medalist and one-time Silver medalist, and CEO of Champion Women
  • Marshi Smith, former NCAA and PAC-10 Champion swimmer from the University of Arizona, and co-founder of Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS)
  • Christy Mitchell, mom of Chelsea Mitchell, NCAA athlete and plaintiff in Soule v CAS. Chelsea lost four state championships, two all-New England awards, and additional other honors to male competitors
  • Barbara Ehardt, former 15-year career NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach; former NCAA basketball player; and current member of the Idaho House of Representatives from the 33rd district
  • And more!

*Mult-box provided

MEDIA RSVPs: Please email press@ourbodiesoursports.com with name and outlet.

The rally’s theme, “We Won’t Back Down,” reflects the determination of female athletes and coaches to get the NCAA to revoke its controversial and unscientific policy allowing men to complete on women’s teams.

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www.ourbodiesoursports.com

www.iwf.org

Independent Women’s Network Launches Central Pennsylvania Chapter

LANCASTER, P.A. — Independent Women’s Network (IWN), the national grassroots community activist arm of Independent Women’s Voice, celebrates the launch of its Central Pennsylvania Chapter. This chapter joins 27 chapters around the country and an online community of more than 26,000 IWN members.

The Chapter Leader is Wendy Voulopos. Voulopos is a Sales and Leadership professional who led complex projects for several of the largest Global Technology Outsourcing firms, while working with the top three Global Advisory firms over the past 16 years. Recently retired, she is on the advisory board of Petzey (telehealth for Pets), and open to mentoring recent graduates and serving on additional boards.

Voulopos said “As a high school athlete, and the mother of an accomplished collage swimmer, it was Riley Gaines who inspired me to join IWN. Once I joined IWN, I realized many more important areas of focus that IWN engages in to drive critical legislation. The insights and information IWN provides has been instrumental in helping me speak on these women’s issues at my local school board and to our elected officials. I love the action center and how easy IWN makes it to have my voice heard to our lawmakers and key influencers.”

Wendy’s interest in IWN started when she engaged with her local school board to keep girls sports and spaces dedicated to girls. She was an athlete and her son was an accomplished state level swimmer. The work that Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador Riley Gaines has done to save women’s sports, inspired Wendy to join IWN, and she was delighted to see the depth of the organization and the breadth of women’s issues that IWN engages in.  

IWN was created to build a supportive community for women and to give them the tools they need to make a positive difference in their neighborhoods and our country.  

“We heard from thousands of women from across the country who said they wanted a community where they could connect, share ideas, and take action,” said IWN’s Carrie Lukas. “We launched the Independent Women’s Network to stand shoulder to shoulder with women who are ready to turn our economy around and fight to save our freedoms by countering the woke mob and standing up to cancel culture and out-of-touch bureaucrats.”

An engaging and growing community of independently-minded women work together to advance shared principles through chapter gatherings and the IWN online movement. Membership to IWN opens access to message boards, curated news, smart content, a resource center, exclusive events, and an action center.

“IWN members are happy warriors who stand up to bullies – bullies with positions in school boards; bullies on social media; bullies in corporations and in politics,” said IWN Director Julie Gunlock. “We support one another, and our members are not alone when they stand up to lead on issues critical to our country.”

Members of the community who are interested in joining Independent Women’s Network should email IWN Membership Director Jenny Avis (jenny.avis@iwnetwork.com) or visit iwnetwork.com for more information.

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www.iwnetwork.com 

Independent Women’s Network, a project of Independent Women’s Voice, in partnership with Independent Women’s Forum, is a positive, supportive community of engaged, informed, and activated women working together to inspire, interact, influence, and have impact.

Independent Women’s Network Launches Charleston, South Carolina Chapter

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Independent Women’s Network (IWN), the national grassroots community activist arm of Independent Women’s Voice, celebrates the launch of its Charleston, South Carolina Chapter. This chapter joins 24 chapters around the country and an online community of more than 25,000 members.

“When women lead things will happen. Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women. Fierce minds, kind hearts, brave spirits – that’s our formula for successful women,” said Charleston Chapter Leader Denise Johnson.

Specializing in millennial leadership and personal development, Denise Johnson was born in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up on James Island. Denise is the founder and president of Opportunity Calls Everyone (O.C.E.) Family Development Center, wife, and mother. Denise holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Benedict College, a Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Luther Rice University & Seminary, and is a proud member of the Charleston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In addition to her role as the IWN Charleston Chapter Leader, is also an Independent Women’s Forum Education Freedom Ambassador.

For the launch, the IWN Charleston Chapter was joined by Andi Bottner, Vice President of External Relations for Independent Women’s Forum, to discuss common sense policies that preserve women’s freedom and rights. 

“It is terrific to see a new chapter of the Independent Women’s Network launch in Charleston,” said Andi Bottner. “These energized women working with Chapter Leader Denise Johnson, will undoubtedly make a huge impact in their community. These women know that parental involvement matters in schools and I have no doubt their voices will be heard. It is uplifting to see women come together, unite around issues that matter to them and then go make a difference.”

IWN was created to build a supportive community for women and to give them the tools they need to make a positive difference in their neighborhoods and our country.  

“We heard from thousands of women from across the country who said they wanted a community where they could connect, share ideas, and take action,” said IWN’s Carrie Lukas. “We launched the Independent Women’s Network to stand shoulder to shoulder with women who are ready to turn our economy around and fight to save our freedoms by countering the woke mob and standing up to cancel culture and out-of-touch bureaucrats.”

An engaging and growing community of independently-minded women work together to advance shared principles through chapter gatherings and the IWN online movement. Membership to IWN opens access to message boards, curated news, smart content, a resource center, exclusive events, and an action center.

“IWN members are happy warriors who stand up to bullies – bullies with positions in school boards; bullies on social media; bullies in corporations and in politics,” said IWN Director Julie Gunlock. “We support one another, and our members are not alone when they stand up to lead on issues critical to our country.”

Members of the community who are interested in joining Independent Women’s Network should email IWN Membership Director Jenny Avis (jenny.avis@iwnetwork.com) or visit iwnetwork.com for more information.

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www.iwnetwork.com 
Independent Women’s Network, a project of Independent Women’s Voice, in partnership with Independent Women’s Forum, is a positive, supportive community of engaged, informed, and activated women working together to inspire, interact, influence, and have impact.

Independent Women’s Network Launches New London County, CT Chapter

GROTON, CT — Independent Women’s Network (IWN), the national grassroots community activist arm of Independent Women’s Voice, celebrates the launch of its New London County, Connecticut Chapter. This chapter joins 23 chapters around the country and an online community of more than 20,000 members.

The Chapter Leader is Mary Bell. Bell has served as a community activist most of her life. While working in healthcare and social services, the experiences of vulnerable populations opened Bell’s eyes to the hypocrisy of the left and the fact that women are often subjugated to unjust practices.

Bell said, “I object to the erasure of women, who are the givers of life. Our personal spaces are being violated, personal spaces women have worked hard to obtain. I feel we have gone too far down the rabbit hole, in this country, and something must be done to stop the tyranny of the left.”

Chapter Leader Mary Bell

For this chapter launch, the special guest speaker was Amie Ichikawa, Founder of WomanIIWoman.org, who is advocating for the protection of single-sex prisons and for the safety of incarcerated women. She said in a statement, “As the Executive Director of Woman II Woman, and as an active duty woman in the fight against our colonization I am honored to be included in the launch of the New London County chapter. There is so much encouragement that I can share with my community through the inclusion and partnership with IWF.”

IWN was created to build a supportive community for women and to give them the tools they need to make a positive difference in their neighborhoods and our country.  

Amie Ichikawa

“We heard from thousands of women from across the country who said they wanted a community where they could connect, share ideas, and take action,” said IWN’s Carrie Lukas. “We launched the Independent Women’s Network to stand shoulder to shoulder with women who are ready to turn our economy around and fight to save our freedoms by countering the woke mob and standing up to cancel culture and out-of-touch bureaucrats.”

An engaging and growing community of independently-minded women work together to advance shared principles through chapter gatherings and the IWN online movement. Membership to IWN opens access to message boards, curated news, smart content, a resource center, exclusive events, and an action center.

“IWN members are happy warriors who stand up to bullies – bullies with positions in school boards; bullies on social media; bullies in corporations and in politics,” said IWN Director Julie Gunlock. “We support one another, and our members are not alone when they stand up to lead on issues critical to our country.”

Members of the community who are interested in joining Independent Women’s Network should email IWN Membership Director Jenny Avis (jenny.avis@iwnetwork.com) or visit iwnetwork.com for more information.

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www.iwnetwork.com 

Independent Women’s Network, a project of Independent Women’s Voice, in partnership with Independent Women’s Forum, is a positive, supportive community of engaged, informed, and activated women working together to inspire, interact, influence, and have impact.