Solís Policy Institute - State
What We Do

Solís Policy Institute – State

The Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute (SPI)-State is a policy advocacy and leadership training fellowship for advocates and activists who work in non-profit or grassroots organizations. We accept applications from genderqueer and non-binary people, cisgender and transgender women, and transgender men, especially BIPOC folks, who want to build their skills, on behalf of their organizations, to influence public policymaking at the state level.

At its core, SPI-State affirms that the people closest to the problems and harm should be centered and shaping the solutions to address them. SPI-State seeks to diversify the policy arena by building the leadership of people impacted by gender-based oppression, violence, and discrimination. Each year the WFC chooses specific intersectional issue areas for SPI fellows to advance. Check out our past policy wins.

SPI-State Issue Areas:

The Women’s Foundation California’s Solís Policy Institute (SPI) focuses on shaping just policies that will positively impact the lives of non-binary and genderqueer people, cisgender and transgender women, and transgender men in California. This year, SPI-State aims to feature teams working to address racism, anti-Blackness, and cis-hetero-patriarchy through the following specific areas:

For grassroots leaders and community organizations that work to create places where families and communities are healthy, safe as is possible within our current systems. Health includes more than physical conditions; health has social, cultural and economic impacts on the well-being of communities. Health is also determined by racial, gender and economic circumstances, with direct ties to the history of anti-Blackness and oppression in our country.

Catherine Garoupa White

Executive Director

Swati Sharma

Research and Policy Consultant

Felisa Vallejo

Program Assistant

Patricia Leal-Gutierrez

Program Manager

Héctor Plascencia

Board Member

For grassroots leaders and community organizations that work to address the harmful and oppressive impacts that the criminal justice system has on the lives of Californians, especially those impacted by racial and gender injustice.

Claudia J. Gonzalez

Policy Advocate & Economic Security Coach

Katie Dixon

Fair Chance Community Organizer

Leah Daoud

Policy Associate

Kelly Savage-Rodriguez

Program Coordinator

Zakiya Prince

Campaign Lead/Manager

For representatives of organizations that work or support programs around police reform Californians, especially those impacted by gender injustice. This includes protecting low-wage and informal workers such as sex workers, advocating for the expansion and improved implementation of safety net programs, strengthening the diversity and size of the state workforce, and establishing standards for economic security.

Elizeth Virrueta

Team Lead Youth Organizer

Erika Céspedes

Network Director

Briana Zweifler

Youth Law & Policy Attorney

Rocio Zamora

Community Organizer/Outreach Specialist

Chloe Cheney-Rice

Mental Health Therapist

For grassroots leaders and community organizations that work or support programs that focus on the economic security of individuals impacted by systemic gender-based discrimination. This includes organizing low-wage and informal workers, advocating for better implementation of safety net programs, local workforce development, and the promotion of small business ownership.

Vanessa Teran

Policy & Communications Associate

Sunhee Kim

DV Program Manager

Esmeralda Flores

Immigrant Rights and Binational Affairs Advocate

Alma Lopez

Executive Director

Lucia Mattox

Policy & Outreach Associate

For grassroots leaders and community organizations that work to support programs that expand and protect the rights of all people to make informed decisions about and exercise control over their sexual and reproductive lives.

Trina Greene Brown

Executive Director

Jessica Navarro

Administrative and Project Coordinator

Gina Moore

Southern California Organizer

Nikki Lanshaw

Project Director

Tanisha Payton

Policy and Research Associate

For grassroots leaders and community organizations that work to reduce the negative impacts that violence and harassment, which is often gender-based, has on the lives of Californians.

Adrianna Griffith

Interim Volunteer and Outreach Program Coordinator

Jaden Fields


Carielle Escalante

DV Regional Coordinator

Laura Alberti

Prevention Coordinator

Estefany Garcia

Alumni Organizing Coordinator

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