This year’s Legislative Reception will recognize the work of the Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) and celebrate 40 years of the Women’s Foundation of California. In doing so, we will honor Gender Justice Champions who have demonstrated a deep-seated commitment to advance gender justice. Take a look at our honorees!
A world-renowned organizer, activist, writer, and speaker Alicia is working on the frontlines for Black liberation. After the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, Alicia along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors created the Black Lives Matter Global Network, an organizing project ending state violence against Black people. She is the founder of Black Futures Lab and Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Alicia’s writing has been featured in publications including the New York Times. She has a MA in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of California, San Diego.
First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom
A filmmaker, advocate and thought leader, Jennifer is the First Partner of California. After graduating from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, she wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary MissRepresentation and launched The Representation Project, a nonprofit that uses media as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Her second film as a director, The Mask You Live In, premiered in 2015 and explores America’s narrowdefinition of masculinity. Jennifer is an executiveproducer on two Emmy Award-Winning documentaries, and is currentlyfinishing her third film The Great American Lie. She and her husband Governor Gavin Newsom have four young children Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch and reside in Sacramento.
Longtime government and civic leader Elmy has been recognized by organizations in the US and Mexico. Recently, she served as a Senior Adviser and Outreach Director for Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, the first woman ever elected to this position in California. She served under President Barack Obama’s Administration as the Regional Representative for the Secretary of Labor in the Western United States and as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in Washington D.C. She is the current President of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment and board member of The Beneficial State Foundation. Her family has owned Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, a San Francisco institution for more than 50 years.
Senator María Elena Durazo
María Elena Durazo serves as a State Senator to California’s District 24. She was born the seventh child in a family of 11 children to migrant worker parents. They followed crops throughout California and Oregon, experiencing the hardships that migrant laborers suffer. She graduated from St. Mary’s College where she became involved in the Chicano movement and later earned her J.D. from The People’s College of Law. She has been involved in leadership roles in the labor movement including with UNITE-HERE International, Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and the National AFL-CIO Executive Council. She served as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and as National Co-Chair of the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign.
A leader in the nonprofit sector, Judy has spent 30 years working as a CEO/Executive Director, a program director and manager, a fundraiser, and a public policy advocate. For 15 years, she worked at The Women’s Foundation of California including 7 years serving as CEO. Judy managed the merger that created the statewide foundation, and prioritized strengthening the leadership of women closest to the problems that needed solving. She is co-founder of the Women’s Policy Institute, co-creator of the Stronger California Women’s Policy Agenda and Coalition and serves in multiple roles on the board of Community Change.