YW Boston Advocacy Committee Members Announced
BOSTON, Mass – February 22, 2017 – YW Boston is pleased to publicly announce the members of its newly formed Advocacy Committee. Due to overwhelming interest, ten volunteer members were selected, 100% more than the originally stated five. YW Boston extends its deep thanks to the many qualified candidates who applied.
Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
I have committed the past 12 years of my life to conducting and disseminating research on the health and rights of women and girls from socially and economically marginalized backgrounds. I want to apply my education, skills, and passion to making a real difference in the health and lives of underserved women and girls in Boston, where I have lived for the past 10 years. I believe that all women and girls should not only survive but thrive and, in light of the current political climate in our country, am ready to get more involved to make sure that this belief is a reality in Boston and beyond.
Project Manager for the Project on Predatory Student Lending
Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School
In my free time I work as a co-organizer and co-founder of LGBTQ+ Lowell. We are a grassroots organization geared toward increasing LGBTQ visibility in the Lowell community. Originally developed in response to a Lowell City Councilor’s motion to stand against the “MA Transgender Rights Bill” myself, partnering with local organizers, engaged over 100 local citizens to attend the city council meeting to oppose the motion. Our action was a success and in response all but one city councilor voted to support the State Government Legislation. YWCA combines all of my passions in civil rights, gender equality, and policy. I would love to support this mission as much as possible.
South Shore Mental Health
I have been an active member of social action, mainly in Chicago. Given the shift in the politics, it is time to step up and get more involved in organizing with a group looking to create a dialogue and a safe space for conversation. It is time to join a group of people to make sure services remain accessible to the community.
I retired in June after teaching for 17 years, and I feel the need to continue working with others to build communities of understanding and learning. I have been an advocate for young children and adults. As a teacher in both history and English, my life’s work has been devoted to creating environments where individuals realize their own potential and the value of others’ perspectives and life experiences.
Project Based Program Coordinator
Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
As a City Year Corps member, I was constantly advocating for my students, and reminding them to advocate for themselves. Advocacy at its core is simply speaking up in support of a cause. Working in affordable housing, I advocate for my clients every day to ensure that they are being treated with the respect and consideration they deserve. I worked in India for two months doing research for The Centre for Budget and Policy Studies on violence committed specifically against working women. It is imperative that women unite as the half of the population that we are and fight for our rights as equals alongside everyone and anyone else who believes in not only equality, but equity for all.
Manager of the School Collaborative
I have 8 years experience working for non-profits in Boston, such as Rosie’s Place and Pine Street Inn and truly understand the YW Boston mission and how important it is to empower women and children through advocacy and support in the community. Currently, I manage the Community Collaborative Program for Boston Schools at Rosie’s Place, and we have partnered with 6 Boston Schools to provide advocacy services, empowerment groups and resources to women whose children attend the schools. I find it very important to keep evolving in the work I do everyday to better the lives I come across daily, so serving on the advocacy committee would allow me to extend my support in greater ways within our community.
Benjamin Kyle Golden
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
I have interned for a state senator, attended rallies for and against various government policies, and helped draft legislation. I believe my experience as an attorney in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has given me the skills necessary to help YW Boston enhance its public profile and develop its advocacy agenda. I am often teaching others, and I believe that I could help train staff and/or volunteers who may not yet possess the skills necessary to effectively advocate. In addition, much of my work involves identifying partner organizations who share the same mission and values, and thus I think I could help YW Boston develop a coalition of partners who may be interested in working on the same advocacy issues.
Social and Economic Policy Researcher
I am drawn to the YW’s values driven, non-partisan work. As the country feels increasingly divided, the YW’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women because it is right, not because it aligns with the platform of a political party, has grown increasingly important. I am excited to work with the Advocacy Committee to focus on issues that align with the national mission of the YWCA, but are specific to the circumstances in Boston. I would like to play a part in the Advocacy Committee’s decisions about which issues align with the needs in Boston, identification of ways to prioritize those issues, and advocacy for policies and actions that will bring positive social change. Now is the time that the YW must be visibly standing up for and recognizing women, and explicitly working against the rhetoric and actions coming out of the “alt-right” movement. Now is not the time for behind the scenes work.
Associate Director of Training and Capacity Building
Health Resources in Action
I have participated in advocacy work since during my time at Sociedad Latina as a community organizer 11 years ago. I supported twelve high school aged community organizers to move the needle on community development, violence prevention and tobacco prevention efforts in Roxbury and Boston at large. More recently I have done work with the 84, a tobacco prevention initiative my organization leads in partnership with MA DPH. I have been looking for an opportunity to join a board that is involved in up-stream work that helps move the agenda forward on eliminating racism and empowering women (my two main passions and driving forces). Given that my organization is now exploring and equipping staff with the skills and knowledge to do legislation and advocacy work, I would like the opportunity to try practice the skills that I have learned by working on legislation and advocacy efforts to move forward YW Boston’s advocacy agenda.
Social impact consultant & coach
I have been part of many advocacy initiatives but more as an engaged citizen than the person leading the work or executing it per se. When I think about the issues facing our country and our world, I am glad that YW Boston – with its reputation and history – has decided to be more involved in direct advocacy work. Like many others, I am very concerned about the upcoming Trump administration and even if the results of the election had been different, I find that the four themes that YW is targeting are 1) essential and 2) still need a lot of efforts to get to where they should be.
Volunteer members will be joined by several YW Boston staff on the Committee:
- Beth Chandler, Chief Program Officer
- Emily Boardman, Director of Communications and Marketing
- Leigh Chandler, Fund Development and Communications Associate
- Morgan Cowie-Haskell, Program Team Assistant
- Emily Stein, Community Health Educator
- Mu-Chieh Yun, LeadBoston Coordinator
The Advocacy Committee will meet first in March 2017, and will begin developing an advocacy agenda for YW Boston and designing and executing advocacy initiatives.
YW Boston has been a leader in building a better Boston for all since 1866, when it was founded as the first YWCA in the nation. Today, YW Boston serves over 3,000 Bostonians with programs that educate + empower people across racial, gender, class, and organizational lines. YW Boston is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.