“That’s how we are gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love.” Rose Tico, Star Wars: Episode VIII
United Way CLAWW volunteer and Star Wars fan Chastity McGraw’s favorite quote is the by the character Rose Tico. McGraw also wants to save what she loves – for herself, her family, and her community. She is the Event Coordinator for Women’s Health Advocacy, and she is working on “Lunch and Learn” workshops that educate Black women on how to speak to medical professionals about their symptoms and educate medical professionals on how to listen to Black women’s health concerns.
“There is absolutely a need for health care services for Black women. We don’t know how to talk to doctors. We have been told since we were young that we don’t need health services because we can’t afford health care; and because we are supposed to be strong, take care of others, and ignore our needs,” McGraw said.
McGraw, 41, has worked at ATT for 22 years, and through the United Way workplace campaign, she has an opportunity to donate and volunteer. From an early age, McGraw’s mother led by example and would take the family to volunteer at the Salvation Army. “We may not have money, but we have time, and time is as valuable as money,” her mother said. McGraw has, in turn, handed down the volunteering tradition to her son, who is 14 years old. By volunteering, you meet like-minded people, get satisfaction from serving, and grow as a person, McGraw believes.
She sees volunteering for CLAWW as a long-term, permanent thing. “I feel as though there are not a lot of groups for Black women in Milwaukee. CLAWW is a safe space, and I don’t see very many safe spaces like this. It is a community for us and by us. Any Black woman – regardless of age, education, or socio-economic status – is welcomed here,” McGraw said.