The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) will host Women Lead Change: a Celebration of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) Class of 2016 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on May 23 from 6-8 p.m. The event will include remarks from Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, special assistant to the president and senior deputy director of public engagement at the White House.
WFWM will acknowledge the Lt. Governor; as well as Ms. Rodriguez with a “She Changes the World” award presented to honor exceptional contribution to social change, creating economic and social equity for women and girls. Over 300 participants are expected to attend the annual celebration of graduates of the Women’s Fund LIPPI program.
LIPPI is the only one of its kind in Massachusetts. Through 11 sessions over 8 months, the program is designed to respond to the shortage of women stepping into leadership at all levels. LIPPI gives women the tools and confidence they need to become more involved as civic leaders in their communities and to impact policy on the local, state, and
national levels. The event is open to the public with online registration at www.womensfund.net.
“We are thrilled to host our distinguished speakers as we welcome an expected 32 highly-qualified women into our LIPPI ranks,” said Ellen Moorhouse, WFWM program officer. “Our LIPPI program has trained more than 230 women in western Massachusetts to run for elected office, 20 percent of whom have run their first race, with a 60 percent
success rate. We know LIPPI women run, and LIPPI women lead.”
The current graduating LIPPI Cohort represents 60% women of color, and LIPPI graduates also embody a wide spectrum of backgrounds, ethnic groups, and ages with ranges from 18-60+. They represent the entire state of Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to Boston Counties. Together, graduates form a strong cohort of like-minded women who support each other when they run for office, meet with policy makers, form coalitions, and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Karyn Polio is the 72nd Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From 2001 to 2011 she was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives representing the Eleventh Worcester District. She also served at a member of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen and as a member of the state Lottery Commission.
Julie Chavez Rodriguez is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Deputy Director of Public Engagement. In this role, Rodriguez manages a team of associate directors who work with leaders in the LGBT, AAPI, Latino, Veterans,Youth, Education, Labor, and Progressive communities. Over the past four years, Rodriguez has worked in the Office
of Public Engagement, supporting efforts to reform the nation’s immigration system, improve services for veterans, and increase access to affordable, quality health care, among other issues. Rodriguez has also worked in coordination with the White House’s National Security Council on efforts to normalize the United States’ relationship with Cuba, in addition to responding to the migration of Central American children and their families. Prior to joining the White House, Rodriguez served as the Director of Youth Employment at the Department of the Interior and the Deputy Press Secretary to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Before joining the Administration, Rodriguez served as the Director of Programs at the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.
The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) is a public foundation that invests in local women and girls through strategic grantmaking and leadership development. Since 1997 the Women’s Fund has awarded over $2 million in grants to over 100 organizations in Western MA.