If you are not the architect of your own destiny, you will end up living in a structure somebody else designed for you.

Andrea Chmelik

I grew up in communist Czechoslovakia, a country that no longer exists. Bearing witness to changing regimes, and both the rise and crumbling of democracy, I’ve always been passionate about social activism and community engagement. But mostly on the inside.

What made me take the lead was the 2016 presidential election, the first I was able to participate in as a US citizen. It didn’t go the way I had anticipated. People often say, “If you don’t like it here, leave!” but I am a firm believer in working toward the change we want to see in the world.

With that in mind, I co-founded Women’s March San Luis Obispo, a women-led nonprofit organization that advocates for equal rights and social justice. On January 21, 2017, WMSLO organized the largest single-day demonstration (watch below) in the history of San Luis Obispo.

Since then, I’ve helped organize over 40 events attended by 25,000 people.

When Covid-19 pandemic hit, I’ve used my skills and passion to coordinate and moderate Answering the Call (Watch Here), an online talk series focused on women who have followed their calling and transformed their communities.

As a content creator and communications professional, I craft messaging that empowers women, amplifies diverse voices and builds a community of tolerance and empathy, while encouraging positive and peaceful action.

The best part about my activist journey has been meeting the most amazing people and being reminded all over again how much we have in common, and how much work we still have to do.