History of the Organization
In 2009, four Lynchburg women, Carolyn Bell, Joan Jones, Ellen Nygaard, and Rosel Schewel, organized the Central Virginia Farm team (CVFT) as a local chapter of the statewide organization, The Farm Team---created in 2008 by Mary Sue Terry and others with the mission of electing Democratic women to statewide and local political office. CVFT represented Lynchburg City, as well as Appomattox, Amherst, Bedford, and Campbell Counties. Its purpose was to identify women with leadership skills and encourage their participation in public service, to provide education about polling, fundraising, and other leadership and candidate matters, to assist candidates in creating a support system to balance political/public life with personal life, to endorse candidates as deemed appropriate, and to assist candidates with the work of the campaign. The goal was to make political life for women achievable by training and supporting women in political leadership, as well as those seeking leadership positions.
In February of 2014, The Central Virginia Farm Team held what was to be its last Farm Team event when we hosted the Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, Stacey Abrams, as our guest speaker. Ms. Abrams went on to run in 2018 for governor of Georgia, the first African-American woman to run for governor in Georgia.
The CVFT then re-organized and renamed itself ROSEL’s List, to honor the work of one of its founders, Rosel Schewel, whose life-long work was to lift women into leadership positions. No longer a part of The Farm Team, the new group dedicated itself to a broader mission of promoting public and political leadership by progressive women in Lynchburg and Central Virginia by identifying viable women candidates for local office and boards, and by providing mentoring, and financial and emotional support to those women.
Both CVFT and ROSEL’s List have a proven track record of helping local women candidates run tough campaigns, while encouraging all progressive women to consider applying for city boards and commissions, such as the LCS School Board, Economic Development Authority, The City Planning Commission, The Historic Preservation Commission, The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company, the Electoral Board, the Museum Advisory Board, and the Community Development Advisory Board. Throughout the history of the CVFT and ROSEL’s List, our women have always been encouraged to support all progressive women running for political office on the local, state and national level.