Barbara Hays joined the Midland (MI) Chapter of NOW in 1975, in the hopes of finding non-sexist reading lists for her two young daughters. Her NOW work in Michigan over the next ten years included being president of her chapter, the state’s ERA Task Force
Chair, and state president for two years. She worked as a volunteer for six months in Illinois on NOW’s ERA Countdown Campaign in 1982.
In the mid-1980s she moved to the Washington DC area and began working at the National NOW Action Center, first in NOW’s coalition work on federal legislation and then as National NOW’s Chapter and State Development Director, a position she held for over 20 years. She traveled nationally, visiting and working with NOW chapters, state organizations and regions, and leading activist trainings at the National NOW office. Barbara has also served as Maryland NOW state secretary, president, treasurer, and in her current role as executive vice president. She is also the treasurer of the Maryland NOW PAC.
Originally from Indiana, Barbara lived in Michigan for 20 years and graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Political Science and concentrations in Constitutional and Public Law. She also studied Political Participation in graduate school at the University of Maryland/School of Government and Politics.
She is an avid genealogy researcher and loves gardening and classical music.