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WELCOME TO HELP ME 2 UNDERSTAND: Where Women Give Their Voices to Issues of Social Justice, Political Activism and Giving Back

Building on their experience as the nurturers, more and more women are leading the way for constructive change on important social and political issues of the day.

We seek to make the world equitable–where everyone has equal opportunity to engage and develop their talents to the best of their ability, and long-held prejudices and injustice are remedied.

Sometimes this means working on the forefront for greater social justice; other times it means giving back via philanthropic work.

In these interviews we hope to cut through the chatter and allow women to teach us about what inspires them. We’ll find out what changes they hope to make in the world as they share their challenges and their triumphs.

Meet Felicia

Felicia Garland grew up in Oregon and after graduating from college, moved to the east coast to attend law school at Georgetown University.


“I’ve been interested in social-justice issues for as long as I can remember,” says Felicia. Some of my earliest memories with my father are riding with him in his pick-up truck on Thanksgiving delivering boxes of food to those less fortunate.

That was typically followed by serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless at a local shelter.”  At Christmas we did the same.

“My father was raised speaking Spanish in a very poor family. He and his four siblings grew up in an orphanage even though his parents were still alive. They simply could not afford to care for their children.”

Capital Hill

In adolescence he was fortunate to live with what could be described as foster parents. They encouraged him to get an education and to break the cycle of poverty. After serving in World War II, he used the GI Bill to study dentistry. He went on to establish a successful dental practice.”

“I’ve been working for over 50 years, in or contributing to, causes that I feel make a difference in our community. I hope I have inspired my two sons to do the same.” “So far, so good,” Felicia says proudly.


“While my family wasn’t involved in politics, except for voting, I somehow got the bug,” she says. In sixth grade she captained the victorious “quiz-show” team that focused on politics and current events.

At age 18, she was approached by then-US Senator Bob Packwood’s (R-OR) re-election campaign and became an ambassador reaching out to newly-minted voters.

In her first job out of law school she worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to the Senate Commerce Committee (chaired by Senator Packwood). Later, she worked for then-Representative Ron Wyden. (D-OR).

After getting married, she moved to New Jersey where she served as Assistant State Treasurer for Legal Affairs. Later, she became a partner in a New Jersey law firm, and finally in-house general counsel.

Having recently moved to North Carolina, Felicia continues her volunteer work on behalf of candidates for local and federal office, and as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for abused and neglected children in the foster care system.

Now divorced, she, along with her ex-husband, raised two sons, both successfully building their own lives.