Takeaways from Our 2023 Webinars
Our Acting Locally on the Issues webinar series is officially wrapped for 2023–but the lessons continue to shine! Popular research around women’s leadership often examines what prevents women from running for office, but we took a different approach: we examined what motivates women to run, the issues that matter most to them. We found that climate change, gun violence, reproductive health, the economy, and addressing racism were some of the top issues pushing women to get involved in their communities. We spent a lot of time this year with leading experts on each of these issues, and we’ve gathered some of our favorite quotes from our powerhouse speakers to inspire you to take action in your community on what matters most to you!
PS. While you’re here: sign up here to get alerted for our 2024 webinar series.
- “Get involved in campaigns, whether that is [in] your area or around the country, and find candidates you are excited about and learn how to host fundraisers, knock on doors. All of that is valuable experience to help train you for when it’s time for you to run for office.” –Yassamin Ansari, Vice Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
- “Even though the federal government wasn’t focusing on [climate change], I think it’s still important to focus and advocate on it. The government has so many levels: there is state and local, so if the federal level doesn’t do anything, there are also other levels.” –Pargoal Arab, Climate Equity Associate at Clean Air Task Force
- “There are so many ways to get involved and we think about that when we approach climate within our business. It’s not just one team but multiple teams. Be imperfect. We need imperfect activism. I’m not perfect and nobody is perfect. We all have things that people can point to that say you are not qualified to do this, you shouldn’t be talking about this. We need it all. Be imperfect.” –Alison Huyett, Director of Climate Activism, Campaigns and Advocacy at Patagonia
- “The question is always, what can I do about it? In this case, it’s the world I want to live in and raise my children in. To think back to my parents’ immigrant history, they uprooted themselves out of the only home they’ve known to fly across the country and give their children, me and my brother, the opportunity to build a better life. I’m almost continuing the legacy my parents set forth to ensure the next generation as a world safe to live in and the access to clean air and water and beautiful, green spaces.” –Shrina Kurani, Managing Partner at SNØCAP and 2022 candidate for Congress
- “Don’t feel like you have to come in with all the stats and all of the information, and ‘I know this person and I know this person, and this one.’ It doesn’t matter. Just come there with your heart open and your mind ready and all the emotions you have, whether sadness or anger or happiness, and let it fuel you and get you involved.” –Ariel Hobbs, Program Coordinator at March For Our Lives
- “Nobody really thought anybody was paying attention to their individual votes. And so, if you [mention] a couple of votes–a vote you liked, a vote you didn’t like–that makes [your representative] think, These people in my district are paying attention to how I am voting. It really will go a long way.” –Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson
- “You can show up however you want as a gun violence activist. You don’t have to wear a certain T-shirt or show up in person. You can show up online, and the one thing that gets me out of bed is that another world is possible than the one we are in right now. Kids shouldn’t be scared to go to school or us be scared to have kids go to school or be scared to go to the movie theater. We are on the right side of history, no matter what your politics is in terms of the issue, just by showing up today.” –Amber Goodwin, Founding Director at Community Justice Action Fund
- “There’s no right way to come to this movement. There’s lots of great groups on the ground doing the work. Really, what’s important is that there is a place for everybody. And what you need to know is, listen to the people most impacted by gun violence. Listen to their stories. People want to be heard and want to be recognized. There are so many people impacted.” –Dr. Nicole Hollywood, Deputy Chapter Leader at Maryland Moms Demand Action
Co-presented with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
- “When I was knocking doors for the constitutional amendment proposal last year, I had a man tell me about how the gestation time for human pregnancy was a solid year and he did not once stop to think about whether or not he was qualified to make that wrong statement, so I worry we judge ourselves too harshly. The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to be an expert on something to advocate with the person whose job it is to represent you.” –Michigan Representative Laurie Pohutsky
- “It’s really easy for folks to get in touch with their local representatives. You can go to usa.gov, enter your address, and find out who your representative is to speak up, and the contact info is there on a local level. It is critically important for folks to be in touch with them and to tell them about the issues they care about and lift these things up, since they do take notice. They hear their constituents. One of the things that we often don’t do once we’ve elected someone into office is actually keep in touch with them and tell them what we care about, but that is a critical part of being able to see change and hold our elected officials accountable for what we value and want.” –Lupe Rodriguez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
- “One of the biggest things we talk about with the collaboration of individuals, it’s [thinking about]: who are we missing? Who is impacted by these changes? And making sure that their voices are a part of the solution and understanding how they are marginalized as well. That’s a quick answer to your question. Just making sure we share that power.” –Ayesha Clarke, Executive Director of Health Equity Solutions
Co-presented with United WE
- “The thing about change is it’s hard. It happens when we don’t settle. It is finding your voice and owning your power. That for me, has been the most powerful thing that one can say and own for themselves. This is why women, money, and power are three words that are probably the most important to me.” –The Honorable Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States
- “How many women did we know that provided shelter or housing, or started small businesses without having this economic power or financial freedom or knowing anything about finances?They just got it done because that is what we do. We take a little, stretch and make it work. We have always done that. If we allow financial freedom or access to capital to open up to women, what we can do is exponential.” –Shannan Herbert, Executive Vice President of Inclusive Credit at Stratyfy
- “I encourage the audience to utilize their voice, don’t hold back, and also work to get a seat at the table, whether that be the Appointments Project or raising your hand to lead a project within your workplace. Step up and get a seat at the table. Support women candidates running for elected office. If you don’t raise your hand, there are great candidates that have, and we need to support the women candidates running for elected office. The final thing I would say is we are entering election season for 2024, and it’s not a long way away. To not tune out but tune in because there will be an economic conversation that women need to learn and educate themselves and most importantly, show up and vote.” –Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of United WE
Co-presented with YWCA USA and RepresentWomen
- “I realized that these issues that we’re facing in Portland are issues that I’m living in real time… my lived experience is experience. Only certain demographics of marginalized individuals in this country can [have that].” –Victoria Pelletier, National Partnerships Manager at RepresentWomen and Portland, ME City Councilor
- “The definition of leadership is any of us, and that means being able to seek out women of other communities to be a mentor. It’s so important to see women of all communities be mentors to other communities because then that definition of leadership expands.” –Madalene Mielke, President and CEO of Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
- “Remember you are very qualified. Your regular life experience is qualification enough to serve. As long as you care, and you really want to make this space a better place, you are very much qualified to be in that room.” –Victoria Pelletier, National Partnerships Manager at RepresentWomen and Portland, ME City Councilor
- “Learn more about the invisibility of racism. Learn about other communities and their struggles to be a good ally.” –Madalene Mielke, President and CEO of Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
- “Diversify your life! Don’t wait for Juneteenth and Black History Month to go shop at Black-owned businesses. Incorporate that into your life! Start to volunteer your time with communities of color who are doing incredible work because you want to be part of their work. Go to fairs, and festivals, and community events with people that don’t look like you just because you want to be there. And with that, you’ll be so surprised at how these relationships just start popping up if you really authentically just start engaging with communities of color.” –Victoria Pelletier, National Partnerships Manager at RepresentWomen and Portland, ME City Councilor
Across each issue, our speakers know that the best action is taken in your own backyard. You can take your first step today with our Building a Better Community email course–identify power players in your community, sharpen your leadership skills, and develop your action plan in just 4 weeks!
Thank you to all our remarkable panelists and moderators for sharing your expertise and talents. We are so excited to host a new series of webinars in 2024 with even more leaders from across the country! Sign up today to be the first to know when we release the lineup.
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