Cookie Washington

Cookie Washington is an extraordinary transformative leader in our midst, who has worked for decades to make Charleston a better place for all people.  She is a spiritual and community leader, a bridge builder, beloved and honored by many.

Cookie has been involved in activism most of her life, serving as President of the SC National Organization of Women and a life-long NAACP member.  She is most proud of her work with the National Advocates for Pregnant Women in protecting pregnant women of color who were being arrested when presenting at the hospital under the influence of cocaine.  In 1989 she acted as an advocate and escort for the 39 plaintiffs as their lawsuit moved through the courts, culminating in a favorable verdict by the US Supreme Court in 2003 that these women’s rights had been violated.  She was also honored to be a part of the march on Columbia in 2000, along with 46,000 others, to lobby SC Legislators to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome.  Cookie has participated in many other actions, fighting for the rights of union workers, against war, and for women’s rights as recently as January 2017.

Cookie is an inspired artist and her quilts are widely renowned for their visual beauty and deep resonance in story.  She was honored by The Sophia Institute with the third annual Grimke Award for her vision and courage, and for the stand she is taking as a woman through her lifelong work for social justice, and through her work as an artist, quilter, and seamstress, work that celebrates and honors the dignity and the rights of all people.

"If you don't have a cause worth dying for, you have no reason to live."  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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