Tulsa Rally with Riley Gaines on February 9

In a stirring display of determination and advocacy, Women for Tulsa is set to galvanize the community with an event that’s more than just a gathering—it’s a movement. The group is hosting a noteworthy event featuring Riley Gaines, Ambassador at the Independent Women’s Forum and a celebrated 12-time NCAA All-American Swimmer.

This event, which is free to all ages and the public, is scheduled for February 9, 2024, at the Cove at River Spirit Casino in Tulsa and represents a clarion call for action.

Gaines, a symbol of determination and perseverance, is the group’s chosen face to inspire young women and men to stand for their beliefs. According to Julie Woolslayer, co-spokeswoman of Women for Tulsa, Riley’s message is clear and universal: “Protect women’s sports, protect women’s spaces. This message transcends political boundaries and should resonate with liberals, conservatives, and moderates alike.”

Riley Gaines at a recent OurBodiesOurSports.com rally

Women for Tulsa is not affiliated with any political group. Their candidate vetting system and strategic focus on local politics stand out from other groups; their Christian Conservative perspective doesn’t hinder its inclusivity, as it supports the best candidate regardless of political affiliation. This approach aligns with the belief of Christy Rawlings, co-spokeswoman in finding a middle ground: “Women for Tulsa tries to reach that ‘gap’ instead of being too polarizing.”

“My previous work in Washington D.C. for then Oklahoma Senator David Boren showed me a lot of great things can happen in the middle,” states Rawlings. “We must listen to the other side and be able to reach common ground.”

The organization’s current mission is to awaken and activate the community. As Rawlings states, “There are a lot of people looking to get involved…we want to provide the vehicle for them to make a difference.” The group offers diverse roles for involvement, recognizing each member’s unique skills and time restrictions.

The inception of Women for Tulsa is rooted in a shared vision between Rawlings and Woolslayer. Meeting at a gym and bonding over shared frustrations, they transformed complaints into action. Woolslayer, with a background steeped in volunteerism, finds herself as an encourager and supporter in this movement.

“We were working out at the same gym, complaining, and went for a long walk with another friend — decided it was time to stop complaining and start doing,” recounts Woolslayer.

With 80 current members and an aspiration to grow to 400, Women for Tulsa is on an ambitious path. Their monthly newsletter, packed with calls to action, reflects their proactive stance in local governance.

The upcoming event with Riley Gaines is part of their strategy to amplify their voice and expand their reach. The event, capable of hosting 2,500 people, offers free bus parking and accommodation options, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity.

Riley Gaines

Women for Tulsa represents a dynamic force in local politics, advocating for women’s rights. The group’s hyper-focus on local politics, such as city council, school board, and mayoral races, will never change. Engaging speakers like Riley Gaines underscores their commitment to inspiring and mobilizing the community.

With a mission that resonates across political lines, Women for Tulsa is creating a platform where women’s voices, both young and old, can unite for a cause that transcends the usual divides. It’s a testament to their dedication and a step towards a larger, more active membership committed to making a difference in Tulsa and beyond.

For more details about Women For Tulsa and the Riley Gaines event, visit https://womenfortulsa.org.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in City News Tulsa online and in print and is republished here with permission.

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