YW Boston Welcomes 2024 Advocacy Committee Members

Aaron Halls
Advocacy Committee Blog

On Tuesday, January 9, YW Boston’s Advocacy Committee gathered for its initial 2024 meeting, kicking off a year of essential legislative work. YW Boston’s Advocacy Committee identifies relevant policy objectives, supports coalitions, gathers information, and facilitates action in supporting YW Boston’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. This work is necessary to ensure Massachusetts’ legislation is equitable and working to create more inclusive environments for women, people of color, and especially women of color.

Within three subcommittees, YW Boston’s Advocacy Committee focuses on legislation centered on Civil Rights and Racial Justice, Gender Equity, and Childcare and Education throughout the year. We are continuing to support and champion multiple intersectional bills that will create equitable workplaces. These include: An Act providing affordable and accessible high-quality early education and care to promote child development and well-being and support the economy in the Commonwealth, The Frances Perkins Workplace Equity Act (H.401), and An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters, and Public Schools (H.534 and S.2491).

Additionally, YW Boston leads the Parity on Board Coalition, which is working to pass An Act to Promote Gender and Racial Diversity on Public Boards and Commissions in Massachusetts (H.3095 Reps. Shande & Nguyen /S.2029 Sens. Miranda and Lewis).  

This bill’s goal is to ensure parity on public boards and commissions by asking for transparency, data collection, and reporting of public board and commission membership in order to disclose the inequities of representation and celebrate progress made. This approach is based on the Nasdaq diversity rule approved by the Securities & Exchange Commission. This bill is crucial to the equitable representation and successful leadership of our Commonwealth.  

The Advocacy Committee will join Mass NOW and IGNITE on Feb. 8, for Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House. Here, the Committee will gather alongside fellow activists and legislator champions and meet with State Representatives and Senators to advocate for our legislative priorities including Parity on Board (H.3095/S.2029) and The I AM Bill (H.534/S.2491).

This year YW Boston’s Advocacy Committee has welcomed 10 new members, including:

  • Gianna Barboza, Program Coordinator for DEI and Philanthropy, SharkNinja
  • Sudeshna Chatterjee, PhD-, DEIJ Director, Manomet
  • Kezia Chee
  • Ilana Coolidge, Manager of Marketing and Communications, YW Boston
  • Ciara Gogan, Senior Manager, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, CarGurus
  • Koren Phillips, Executive Director, Teaching and Education, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Adriana Raines, Engagement Manager, YW Boston
  • Gretta Schaaf, Dual Enrollment Curriculum Specialist, Boston Public Schools
  • Jeanne Wallace-Buckley, Assistant Vice President for Philanthropy Administration, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Toiell Washington, Program manager, BUILD

YW Boston’s returning Advocacy Committee members are:

  • Emma Anderson, Program Coordinator, MassHealth Flexible Services program, Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Rachelle Brown-Mitchell
  • Melanie Chapilliquen, Global Employee Experience and Social Impact Specialist, Mimecast
  • Aaron Halls, Marketing Senior Associate, YW Boston
  • Rachel Jellinek, President, Reflection Films
  • Helen Murphy, Associate, Neighborhoods and Housing, The Boston Foundation
  • Reem Papageorgiou, Cofounder and Chief Talent Officer, MomUp
  • Brianna Aloisio Savage, Associate Director of Advocacy, YW Boston

About YW Boston’s Advocacy Work: 

YW Boston works to eliminate racism and empower women through DEI services and advocacy. Our advocacy work is included under our 501(c)3, which means we do not endorse candidates, and we are non-partisan in the policies that we take on. Our advocacy work is planned and executed by a dedicated group of volunteers who apply and serve on our YW Boston Advocacy Committee.