WPI-Local Issue Areas

The Women’s Foundation of California’s Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) focuses on strengthening the economic security for all communities affected by gender-based oppression, violence, and discrimination. This year, WPI-Local will train leaders working in the following issue areas: criminal justice, economic justice, environmental justice, health, trauma justice, and reproductive justice. 

Criminal Justice 

WPI-Local will accept team applications from representatives of organizations that work to address the negative impacts that the criminal justice system has on the lives of individuals impacted by systemic gender-based discrimination as well as their families and communities. We prioritize fellows from organizations that work to protect human rights and promote racial and economic justice. In this context, criminal justice policy projects may include, and are not limited to: 

  • Working to reduce the prison population in the short- and long-term through prevention, ending jail expansion and promoting alternatives to incarceration; 
  • Remedying inequities in policing, sentencing, and incarceration that result in the criminalization of transgender communities; 
  • Addressing the causes and reducing the incidence and impact of the disproportionate incarceration of people of color and the recent increases in the numbers of incarcerated women and girls;
  • Protecting the human and civil rights of people incarcerated in county jails; 
  • Expanding and strengthening rehabilitation and reentry programs for currently and formerly incarcerated people; 
  • Protecting and supporting the children of incarcerated parents;  
  • Expanding access to public programs and benefits for formerly incarcerated people; or 
  • Repealing policies in K-12 school districts that criminalize youth, such as school push-out policies. 

 

Economic Justice 

WPI-Local will accept team applications from representatives of organizations that work or support programs 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 businesses ownership. In this context, safety net policy projects may include, and are not limited to: 

  • Boosting funding for and access to quality childcare;  
  • Improving Medi-Cal and CalFresh enrollment and alignment; 
  • Increasing occupational jobs for low-skilled, low-income people;  
  • Workforce development such as job placement, retention and advancement;  
  • Improving access to education, vocational and training services including basic skills training, computer literacy, and life skills training and in languages other than English;  
  • Expanding work readiness training and other services to prepare these populations for occupational jobs;  
  • Grants and programs that promote small business ownership among individuals who experience systemic gender-based discrimination; or 
  • Programs that improve college readiness in secondary school students. 

 

Environmental Justice 

WPI-Local will accept team applications from representatives of organizations that work or support programs that seek to prevent harmful pollution and change detrimental environmental policy. There is a special focus on environmental policies that disproportionately impact low-income communities, communities of color, and communities impacted by systemic gender-based oppression. This includes allowing for an intersectional approach to environmental justice and other issue areas. In this context, environmental justice policy projects may include, and are not limited to: 

  • The environmental elements and impacts of General Plans at the local level; 
  • Promotion of renewable energy use, adoption, as well as renewable energy industries and jobs, particularly for people impacted by systemic gender-based discrimination; 
  • Public transportation and the promotion of active living;  
  • Regulation of pollution as well as local policies and leadership in intergovernmental agencies regulating the environment; or 
  • The regulation of pollution producing activities near vulnerable populations or institutions such as schools. 

 

Health 

WPI-Local will accept team applications from representatives of organizations that work to create places where individuals impacted by systemic gender-based discrimination are healthy, safe and ready to learn. We believe that health is broader than a physical condition; health has social, cultural and economic impacts to an individual, family and/or community well-being. In this context, health policy projects may include, and are not limited to: 

  • Health Reform Implementation: expanding access (e.g. Affordable Care Act) to quality health care; 
  • Community Health: obesity prevention, land use/transportation, school health, food access/food marketing; or 
  • Healthy Youth Development: school-based health/mental health, trauma-informed services. 

 

Trauma Justice 

WPI-Local will accept team applications from representatives of organizations that work to reduce the negative impacts that gender-based violence and harassment has on the lives of cisgender and transgender women; genderqueer, gender-variant and non-binary individuals; and trans men, as well as their families and communities. In this context, trauma justice policy projects may include, and are not limited to: 

  • Expanding resources for sexual assault survivors on college campuses;  
  • Improving protections for victims of online sexual harassment and cyber-stalking;  
  • Protecting the rights of individuals who experience bullying in the local K-12 schools or in the workplace; 
  • Strengthening the rights of immigrants who experience violence; 
  • Increasing outreach and education to reduce teen dating violence;  
  • Strengthening existing law and policies that are intended to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or bullying; or 
  • Promoting or establishing programs or curriculum that prevent violence in K-12 education.

 

Reproductive Justice 

WPI-Local will accept team applications from representatives of 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. Reproductive health and justice policy projects may include, and are not limited to:  

  • Promoting policies that are shaped by and responsive to the needs of cisgender and transgender women; genderqueer, gender-variant and non-binary individuals; and trans men and address their right to bear and parent children; 
  • Access to safe and legal abortion; 
  • Comprehensive sexuality education; 
  • The right to bodily integrity; 
  • The right to express one’s sexuality, sexual orientation/identity and gender identity/expression; or 
  • Strengthening ties with other social justice efforts, including the reproductive health impacts of environmental pollution, affordable health care, and economic security. 

 For more information about the WPI-Local application process, please see the complete  application instructions (PDF). 

Check out further information on the application main pageprogram’s criteria, details on the training format and dates, and how to apply.