We Choose Joy

“Joy is a choice…
reclaiming joy is transgressive…it is a threat to systems of control…It allows us to move from extracting from others for our own self-centered benefit towards transformation for all society.”

-Akaya Windwood & Rajasvini Bhansali, Leading with Joy

We choose joy. Today, we are asking you to stand alongside us and choose joy too.

At Women’s Foundation California, we nurture an organization rooted in joyful activism and leadership. We are (re)learning that joy and sorrow live side by side. Choosing to bring joy to that which causes us pain allows us to co-create new ways of being and doing that hold the possibility of profound transformation.

We felt deep sorrow at the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We felt a rich joy as we rallied alongside our partners and legions of California voters to codify abortion access with Proposition 1. We know that everything is not okay and we refuse to let that steal away our power or dampen our joy. We are fueled by a clear vision, a grounded sense of purpose, and a commitment to joy. Together, we are building an intersectional feminist future that is irresistible.

People can dismiss California’s legislative victories protecting reproductive freedoms this year and say “California is different,” but part of why California is different is because of Women’s Foundation California and how we do what we do. With over 51 bills passed into law through our Solís Policy Institute, and decades of investing in movements led by and for women of color and gender expansive people, we’ve changed the legal and cultural landscape of California. We know that the people closest to a problem have the ideas needed to solve it and we are clear in our purpose to build community power and move resources to make those solutions real.

Purpose and joy are also interconnected. Our whole team gathered together in person (!) just as we moved into fall. We circled around fire pits and dining tables and reflected on all the changes we’ve seen in our organization, our country, and our culture over the last few years and several decades. We made space and time to reconnect as a community – as some of us met each other for the first time! We listened. We asked big questions. We wondered aloud and together: Does our purpose change? Or does the expression of our purpose change as issues shift?

For Women’s Foundation California, I believe the expression of our organizational purpose continues to evolve and shift, while our core purpose has stayed true. There is beauty and power in that. Over the last forty-some years, our purpose remains, we are an organization created to build power, shift culture, and strengthen community in pursuit of gender, racial, and economic justice. It is true now, and it was true then.

As we continue to evolve and grow, the vision and purpose of the organization in its founding days endures. We want health, safety, and prosperity for everybody and we know supporting the work and wisdom of women of color and gender expansive folks is the way forward.

We are so grateful for all of the ways our community of donors and advocates has invested in our work together. Like everything we do at Women’s Foundation California, this is a collaborative, interdependent effort. We invite each and every member of our community to make a gift that emboldens our shared future, a gift that builds power, shifts culture, and strengthens community in pursuit of gender justice.

Together we are joyfully making our intersectional feminist future irresistible.

This work is powered by you.

The feminist future we are building together in California is going to be built by all of us sharing our time, our money, and our skills.  Please consider contributing today.

Together We Are Unstoppable.

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