The Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute (SPI) is an experiential policy advocacy training program advancing racial, economic, and gender justice throughout the state of California. Over the course of a year-long fellowship, SPI delivers tools, builds networks, and develops leadership across a dynamic cohort of leaders who are ready to shape California’s policies. This non-partisan program is run in two versions; SPI-State and SPI-Local.
To date, SPI has trained more than 500 advocates and organizers who have passed 43 new laws or local policies improving the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of their communities statewide. SPI Fellows build community power and shift the status quo.
SPI Local is a policy advocacy and leadership training fellowship focused on building strong policy and budget advocates at the local level. SPI Local is run in both English and Spanish.
MOVING BEYOND THE BINARY
Our new Solís Policy Institute celebrates Bea’s commitment to championing the leadership of self-identifying women and girls of color and gender expansive folks across the state. Renaming the Institute honors Bea’s legacy and brings greater alignment to our gender inclusive work at the Foundation. The fellows who participate in the Solís Policy Institute identify with a broad range of gender expressions and identities and we are grateful that the Institute’s new name will be a more accurate reflection of our community and our values.
Who We Train
Anyone affected by gender-based oppression and discrimination is welcome to apply to the Solís Policy Institute. Our past and current fellowship classes include cisgender and transgender women, genderqueer, gender-variant and non-binary individuals, and trans men.
Among the current SPI class, 80% of fellows identify as people of color. We remain committed to expanding the training and leadership of fellows who identify as people of color, low-income, immigrants, and LGBTQIA. As we transition towards greater gender-inclusiveness and deepen our learning as our organization, our SPI programs and who they serve continues to evolve.
How We Work
Because we know that we are more powerful when we work together, our SPI fellowships are collaborative. Fellows work in teams of three to five people on a specific policy issue and often collaborate with larger coalitions.
Past teams have taken on policy projects including criminal, economic, environmental, LQBTQIA, reproductive, and trauma justice.