Policy & Pride: 5 Reasons to Apply to SPI! - Women's Foundation California

As Pride month comes to an end, our Solís Policy Institute Reproductive Justice X Trauma Justice Team is just getting started. These badass hustling policy fellows caught the attention of prominent figures like Elon Musk seeking to undermine their bill, AB 957. This new bill aims to protect LGBTQ+ youth, encourage parents to affirm their child’s gender identity, and is now headed to the California State Senate for a vote.

One of the inspiring fellows behind this bill is Camila Camaleón, a paradigm-shifter, bridge-builder, and queer archivist based in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles. For her, “It is powerful to now be an alum and know that the steps ahead are informed by the TGI baddies I’ve met along the way.” Check out the five reasons Camila shared why you should apply to SPI this year

Camila’s Top 5 Reasons

  1. As someone who was a part of the Associated Student Body, Associated Students, and various types of leadership structures, it always confused me how bills get signed into law at various levels of government. What the SPI State Program offers is a hands-on approach to both learning, but also implementation of various campaigns throughout your time on the program and beyond. 
  2. As the Board President of the San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ+ Center, what this program was able to teach me is the power of being. As a Trans Femme Leader, I’ve learned I’m questioned more. And through being in a fellowship with other folks along the margins, it allowed me to know that my experience is not singular. 
  3. As a woman leader, I’m excited to grow further into myself, and to allow my dreams to further expand into the shape they were made to take. What this looks like is trusting the past three years in my role as Board President, and trusting the years that are ahead of me. 
  4. As a staff member of Gender Justice LA, it has been amazing seeing the other TGI folks who’ve been impacted by WFC’s various programs. Seeing the different folks who engage in policy and understand the power of this political realm not made by or for us reminds me that to take space we’ll also need to be in these rooms. It is powerful to now be an alum and know that the steps ahead are informed by the TGI baddies I’ve met along the way. 
  5. Everybody that was a part of the state program knew each other’s names, a bit of the journey we were all walking alongside one another and truly grew into ourselves this past year. The most powerful moment for me was the closeness that a four person team brings – and each member of the Smashing Patriarchy Team brought themselves to the table in many ways. It was exciting to see our resident lawyer bring their insights into the bill and inform the way our language took shape, our cosponsor meeting facilitator grow into herself and choose a graduate program in Los Angeles (whoo-hoo!), and our resident ED get into her dream program with sparse openings (you go baddie!). My team continues to grow into their sparkly selves and it is exciting to know that this program was a part of that journey.

In spite of the record number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced across the country, Women’s Foundation California’s Solís Policy Institute (SPI) continues to train women and gender expansive folks, especially people of color, who are reshaping California’s policy landscape.


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A post shared by Camila Camaleón (@camila.camaleon)

Interested in applying? Check out our website to learn more and see if SPI is right for you! To be eligible for the SPI-State fellowship, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Live or work in California.
  • Be employed at a community-based or non-profit organization.
  • Obtain full support and permission from your employer* and/or supervisor.
  • Agree to fulfill all participation requirements.

By applying to the Solís Policy Institute, you can join folks like Camila and continue to advance crucial causes and drive meaningful change. Through this program, you will have the opportunity to contribute your skills, knowledge, and passion to help shape policies that support and uplift transgender and gender-expansive youth and more! The deadline to apply is July 19th. Together, we can create a future where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential.

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