The Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) 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, WPI 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; WPI-State and WPI-Local.
To date, WPI 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. WPI Fellows build community power and shift the status quo.
WPI-State is a policy advocacy and leadership training fellowship for advocates and activists who work in non-profit or grassroots organizations.
WPI Local is a policy advocacy and leadership training fellowship focused on building strong policy and budget advocates at the local level. WPI Local is run in both English and Spanish.
Who We Train
Anyone affected by gender-based oppression and discrimination is welcome to apply to the Women’s 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 WPI 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 WPI programs and who they serve continues to evolve.
How We Work
Because we know that we are more powerful when we work together, our WPI 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.