Godmother of intersectionality, activist, and professor Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw once said, “It’s not about convincing those who are currently in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself.” Our Solís Policy Institute and this year’s new state class embodies this very idea.
Each of our 23 fellows create and shape feminist policy born of their own experiences that serves communities throughout California in the ways they deserve. Whether it’s protecting reproductive rights for all, defending the wellbeing of domestic workers, or building economic opportunity in the midst of a pandemic, our Solís Policy Institute fellows shape our feminist future. Since 2003, nearly 600 people have participated in our fellowship and passed over 40 bills into law.
This year’s class includes fellows from all across the state from San Diego to the central valley’s Kern County to Los Angeles. Representing a new face of power, over 80% of our current fellows identify as Black, Indigenous, and or people of color. Over the next year, these leaders will conduct their own policy research, draft bills, and connect with legislators to change the course of California’s future.
Each of our fellows are agents of change, changing the face of power itself. Together, these leaders and the five teams they’ve created illustrate our belief that those closest to the problem are the best equipped with the solutions we need to create a California where we all can thrive.
This year is no stranger to crisis, but with crisis comes opportunity and the ability to move forward and transform the status quo. We are thrilled to have such a powerful cohort creating change and building our feminist future in communities across California.
Across the board, our Solís Policy Institute fellows and alums are changing what power looks like in California and beyond. And in doing so, we are realizing vital feminist policy victories advanced and architected by folks who know from experience what’s needed to help their communities thrive and heal.
Just this year, our Solís Policy Institute network and broader Women’s Foundation of California community played a key role in getting seven feminist bills signed into law – advancing critical policy to protect the health of Black birthing people and parents, shift the sentencing standards for people who are survivors of violence and trauma, and bring greater accountability to local police forces.
And the change that is created through our Solís Policy Institute doesn’t end when the fellowship is over. Our alum network is a powerful force that is over 600 fellows strong. Fellows like Haleema Bharoocha work to end period poverty in Santa Clara and while Diana Zuniga builds creative healing work to honor the lives of those we lost in prison and that’s just the beginning. Between now and November 30th, you can invest in our Alum Advocacy Fund to ensure that the folks changing the face of power have the resources they need to do the work.