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.

Ashley De La Rosa

Education Policy Director, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Donna Tang

Education Equity Coordinator

Dannie Cesena

LGBTQ Program Manager

Kimberly Gudino

Advisor and College Ambassador

Lucy Ngo

Program Coordinator

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.

Liz Kroboth

California Program Manager

April Grayson

Policy Associate

Katrina Baptiste

Policy Analyst/Community Liaison

Mayra Lira

Supervising Staff Attorney

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.

Stacy Villalobos

Acting Director/Attorney, Racial Economic Justice

Karin Umfrey

Staff Attorney

Sam Lew

Senior Communications Manager

Jocelyn Lopez

California Lead Organizer

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.

Nishara Gunasekara

Senior Policy Advocate

Jeanine Erikat

Policy Associate

Lania Watkins

Wellness Services Director

Esther Priscilla Ebuehi

Birth Equity Analyst

Janae Sargent

Prevention Education Manager

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.

Pallavi Garg

Staff Attorney, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator

Christine Smith

Public Policy Coordinator

Suzanne Dershowitz

Staff Attorney

Lidia Ruelo-Salazar

Co-Executive Director

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