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Women’s Fund Seeks Applicants for Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact

Womens Fund Leadership Institute Graduation, May 31, 2012

Womens Fund Leadership Institute Graduation, May 31, 2012

This is the year of the woman voter and in Massachusetts, the woman Senatorial candidate.  The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts wants local women to make an impact on social change by getting involved in civic affairs and even running for political office.   To help develop future leaders, the foundation has developed the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact.  The Institute is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 training cycle.  Deadline to apply June 29, 2012.

 

The Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact encourages women to think seriously about becoming more involved as civic leaders in their communities and running for office.  Focusing on areas such as community organizing, the legislative process and policy-making, fundraising and campaigning, and running for office, the Institute gives women the tools – but more importantly the confidence – they need to become political leaders.

To date, 75 women have graduated from the Institute, and 30 graduated last week.  They represent Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.  Some already hold local offices, others are planning to run, and others are pursuing leadership positions on boards of directors.  At each training session, a woman working at the elected level presents her experiences.  These include Rep. Ellen Story, Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins, Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong, and many others.  Graduates include:

 

Political Leadership

 

  • Member of the Greenfield School Committee and initiator of the new Community Outreach committee
  • Member of the Springfield School Committee
  • Key member of a city councilor’s successful campaign
  • Member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees
  • Candidate for Northampton City Council
  • Campaign team member of the newly elected 22-year old mayor of Holyoke

 

Gubernatorial Appointments

 

  • Woman of color appointee to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
  • Appointee to the Great Barrington Housing Authority
  • Appointee to the Agawam Housing Committee

 

Executive Leadership

 

  • Member of the Springfield Superintendent Search Committee
  • Founder and head of the Alliance of Black Professionals
  • Vice President of Publicity and Education in local Toastmasters chapter
  • Advisory Council member of a local credit union
  • Co-chair of a town Finance Committee

 

 

Carla Oleska, chief executive officer of the Women’s Fund, says, “Perhaps more than ever before, the issues of our society require the engagement of increased numbers of women representing our diverse communities.  When women enter the political decision making process, the perspective broadens and the conversation changes.  It is time to create a pipeline of diverse women leaders who will create the change that our local, national and global issues require.

Julie Kumble, Director of Grants and Programs, says of the Leadership Institute, “We believe that a critical way to address the problems facing our communities is to engage the talents and the input of women at all levels and in all sectors of decision making. This project is developing a cadre of women leaders who will learn the next steps, support one another, and get involved at levels where they can make a tremendous difference in our communities.”

The year-long Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact will begin for new members in September 2012 but applications are being accepted through June 2012.  Applications are available on the foundation’s website www.womensfund.net

 

 

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