Training Details

WPI-State HomeCriteriaIssue AreasHow to Apply

How will the training program be structured?

• Five mandatory three- to four-day overnight retreats in Sacramento and trainings led by Women’s Foundation of California staff, policy experts and guest trainers.
• Reading and homework will be assigned in advance of the retreats.
• Two to three webinars may be scheduled to supplement in-person retreats and trainings.
• Teams of five will each work in their own issue area.
• Between trainings, teams will be expected to meet and hold weekly or bi-weekly conference calls and continue working on their bill, including traveling to Sacramento when needed.
• Experienced mentors will guide the teams through the process.


What will the fellows learn and do during the training program?

By participating in the WPI-State program, our fellows will:
• Develop legislative and administrative policy advocacy skills;
• Learn how to conduct policy research using an intersectional lens and how to develop policy using an anti-oppression and gender justice framework;
• Gain knowledge and information about California’s policy landscape, including current legislative and administrative policy processes;
• Overcome perceived barriers and increase their confidence in participating in the policy process as it is today;
• Develop the relationships necessary to do coalition work that advances public policy;
• Produce state policy that reflects the needs of California’s women, trans people and their families and communities;
• Increase their participation in state policy formation and implementation;
• Build their communities’ capacity to use the policy process to address problems;
• Strengthen their relationships to and collaboration with other social justice organizations and movements in California;
• Create a peer learning environment among state-level advocates;
• Join a network of more than 400 community and nonprofit leaders who have already graduated from WPI-State and WPI-County and are currently working in public policy at the local and state levels.


What do the teams do during the training program?

All fellows participate in the WPI as part of a team. Teams will, together:
• Research a state-level policy concern to determine whether an issue of concern can be addressed by state policy makers.
• Help develop and support a state bill by securing a legislator as an author, participating in legislative hearings, and lobbying for their team’s bill in both the state Assembly and Senate.
• Develop lobbying materials and engage in outreach for supporters for your bill.


What is the time commitment?

The training program includes five multi-day overnight in-person trainings, various written assignments, some webinars and ongoing travel and teamwork between the trainings. Retreats are rigorous, intensive and usually consist of three to four long days (often 9am to 8pm). It’s important to come to the retreats rested and without the expectation that you will be able to work remotely on non-WPI projects. This program will require on average 40 hours/month from each fellow. Employers must be supportive of their employees and allow them to fulfill the fellowship commitments.


When will the training take place?

The WPI-State training is scheduled from September 2017–August 2018. All retreats are held in Sacramento. Key dates include:

• Retreat 1: September 25-28, 2017
• Retreat 2: December 4-6, 2017
• Retreat 3: March 6-8, 2018
• Retreat 4: May 8-10, 2018
• Retreat 5: July 30-August 1, 2018
Full participation in all sessions is mandatory. Webinar dates are TBD.

What is the financial commitment?

• The fellowship is offered free of charge.
• Participants will be provided transportation reimbursements (or in some cases, pre-paid travel) for the least expensive mode of transportation possible and offered a free, shared hotel room with another training participant. If participants would like a private hotel room, they will need to pay for it themselves (subject to the hotel’s availability).
• Hotel meals (and some restaurant meals) will be provided during the trainings. Participants will need to pay for their own dinners (and get reimbursed) on the nights that there are no group activities planned (approximately 1 evening each retreat).
• Participants are required to have their own computer and online access.
• Costs associated with regular teamwork that takes place outside of the trainings (phone calls, transportation to meetings etc.) will be paid by the participants.
• Each team can access up to $1500 of additional funding earmarked to support its policy project.
• Please note that all reimbursements must be submitted by the participant within three weeks of incurring the costs. Checks may take up to 30 days to arrive after the Women’s Foundation of California receives a complete and accurate reimbursement request.

For more information on applying to WPI-State, please see the 'How to apply' page. We encourage you to email us with any questions or concerns or to discuss your application.