WPI-Local is a year long experiential learning fellowship. Applicants apply in preformed teams of exactly three individuals from the same county in California. Once selected, fellows attend two central multi-day training retreats and eight mandatory webinars followed by team work time in their respective region, and engage in various other “learning-while-doing” activities. Fellows work collaboratively in small teams to develop a policy advocacy project.
All individuals who are affected by gender-based oppression, violence, and discrimination are eligible. This includes cisgender and transgender women; genderqueer, gender variant and nonbinary individuals; and trans men. (‘Cisgender’ describes someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth; ‘transgender’ describes someone who identifies with a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth.) Gender justice is a core value of the Women’s Foundation of California and we welcome applications from the trans community.
This program is open to anyone who speaks English or Spanish. (While trainings and webinars will be interpreted into Spanish, applicants should consider how they form teams in regards to the ability of the team to conduct policy meetings and prepare fellowship work.)
All team members must have employer support for all requirements of participation and must be able to commit to full attendance at the retreats and webinars.
Training sessions at the retreats are all day and every sessions is mandatory. Team members will gather together for each webinar, which takes place from 10am to 12pm PST, followed by in person team work time. The webinars and team work time are both mandatory. Fellows should therefore also plan for travel and meeting time within their region for the days of the mandatory webinars. Fellows who miss a significant number of webinars or days of training may lose their fellowship. Applicants should block off these dates and times in their calendar until they receive an email notifying them of the Foundation’s decision.
We evaluate applicants teams based on the criteria listed in our complete application instructions (PDF). These criteria include deep content knowledge in one of our issue areas, an avid interest in learning the policy process, full support from the employer of each individual applicant to attend each retreat and to work on a policy project during work hours, the ability to work well with others, and the flexibility to continue working on the policy project after the fellowship ends.
Due to funding, the WPI-Local fellowship is recruiting teams for certain regions, populations, and/or issues. The Foundation is seeking:
- One team focused on environmental justice in San Bernardino County;
- One team focused on criminal justice from any county;
- One team composed of at least one WPI-State alum from any county;
- One team focused on issues related to children and youth in Monterey County;
- One team focused on any one of our primary issue areas from San Mateo County (acceptance of this team depends on pending funding);
- One team focused on any one of our primary issue areas from Santa Clara County (acceptance of this team depends on pending funding);
- One team focused on any one of our primary issue areas from any county;
While many of the teams must be focused on a particular issue or come from a particular county, the Foundation will be accepting at least one team from a county not named above. Teams from diverse areas of California are encouraged to apply.
For more information about what we look for in applicants, please see the complete application instructions (PDF).
We encourage you to contact Senior Program Associate Elizabeth Ayala with any questions or concerns and to discuss your team’s application.