Meet a Nasty Woman: 5 Questions with Danielle Walker

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Meet Danielle Walker, Nasty Woman and candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates. She is an advocate and an activist for survivors of domestic violence and abuse, gun violence, poverty, addiction and discrimination. In her own words:

“I am, Danielle Walker, mother of two kings, Demetry and Devin Walker. I was born and raised in Louisiana. I was a widow at 29 years young after Hurricane Katrina and Rita. At that moment in my life, I was no longer a victim but a survivor. I remarried some years later, but life happened. Yet, he moved my sons and I to West By God Virginia. We are proud to sing Country Roads, eat pepperoni rolls and I’m a Mountain Mama.”

What makes you a Nasty Woman?

I am a Nasty Woman because I take a stand with survivors of domestic violence/abuse, gun violence, poverty, addiction and discrimination. I am considered “the mother of the movement” in Morgantown, WV. My message is One Love for All where everyone and everything is included, even hate. My determination, motivation and ambition make me a Nasty Woman.

Share an experience that shaped your views or helped get you involved in activism.

One experience leads to another adventure. I’m a proud homeowner through Mon County Habitat for Humanity. This phenomenal nonprofit gave me more than a house because we were blessed with a home. I found my voice after so many years of shame, hurt and anger. Being a single mother of two disabled sons, we sacrificed as a family to save for our down payment, acquire our sweat equity hours and share our story with volunteers. I learned my story was my glory through the Libera van.

I've reached so many young adults by speaking the truth about my health, rapes and being a widow. West Virginia was my second chance state. On August 12, 2018, My world was shaken by unnecessary hate in Charlottesville. My oldest son had an opportunity to attend UVA. I know my child would have been in the midst. I have been awake ever since.

My youngest son and I attended a vigil in the Free Speech Zone at West Virginia University. I was consumed with so many emotions of fear, anger, hurt, shame, confusion and disgust. When the organizer opened the floor for any persons of color to speak, my son encouraged me, and something deep in my core was finally free.

That something was a message of love. That something was a call of action to get involved. That something was to stay WOKE. That something was to give a voice to the voiceless.

My journey began that Sunday evening. My mouth has not been closed yet. I spoke at Affordable Healthcare forums, Human Rights March, Women’s March, gun violence vigils, teacher walkout rallies, and pride walks. I joined every grassroots organization such as NAACP, Mountaineers for Progress, NOW, Moms Clean Airforce, Planned Parenthood, Working Families Party, Our Children Our Future, Mon County Read Aloud, Mountain Mamas, Move On, and Sierra Club. I immediately became a community activist and advocate.

Now, my name is on the Ballot for House of Delegates taking a stand for working people, children, disabled persons, and seniors.

What advice do you have for people who want to help enact change and push progress but don’t know how to get involved?

My advice for a person who wants to help enact change and push progress but doesn’t know how to get involved is to make yourself uncomfortable for a moment to be part of a movement. Ask yourself what concerns you. Contact a national nrganization and ask if a local chapter exists. Participate in marches, rallies and in your local government such as city council meetings. Research your Senators and Congressman and call them if their policies don’t align with your needs.

If you could look into the future, 10 years from now, and see that real progress has been made, what does that look like to you?

Ten years of progress would look like the opportunity for our children having a choice to reside in their home state because of economic growth. A reduction in the number of opioid addiction and children in the foster care system because we will change stigmas and provide more than 28-day treatment programs. Seniors will police independently and afford their medication. Families can invest in their future with safe, affordable housing for ALL.

Share with us a favorite wine moment, memory or pairing.  

My favorite wine moment was receiving a bottle of The Three Generations of Angelozzi 2013 Petite Syrah from Willie Jr. We were at a fundraiser for Mon County Habitat for Humanity. I stated I had 6 more events that evening. I’ve chosen not to consume any alcohol beverages until November 6, which is election night. He looked at me, shook his head, and walked away. As I was helping pack up, I heard a voice say, “Do you drink wine?” When I looked up, it was the volunteer, Willie Jr., who finished the flooring in my home. I was so humbled and honored. I can’t wait to open the bottle November 6,2018.

Tell us more about Mon County Habitat for Humanity.

Mon County Habitat for Humanity allows families to become part of a community. My mother is my neighbor in our 10 home universal build cul de sac. It’s a hand up not a hand out. I have a mortgage but it’s based on my income. I encourage any and all to donate your time, items, and money to your local affiliate. 

 

To support Danielle Walker’s campaign for the West Virginia House of Delegates, visit her website to donate. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Emily Davis