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Attorney General Maura Healey to Keynote Women’s Fund Event

EASTHAMPTON — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) will host “Women Lead Change: A Celebration of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) Class of 2015” at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on Thursday, May 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

More than 200 participants are expected to attend, including local and state elected officials. The keynote speaker is Attorney General Maura Healey, who began her term in January. She has led groundbreaking cases for civil rights, fair lending and housing, and litigation supporting access to reproductive health care for women. The Women’s Fund will honor her achievements with a “She Changes the World” award at the event.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse will welcome guests, and Emily McLaughlin, deputy director of the Massachusetts Treasury’s department on Economic Empowerment, will also give remarks. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online until Sunday, May 24 at www.womensfund.net.

“We are thrilled to host our distinguished speakers as we welcome 38 highly qualified women into our LIPPI ranks,” said WFWM CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román. “Our LIPPI program has trained more than 200 women in Western Massachusetts to run for elected office, 20% of whom have run their first race, with a 60% success rate. We know LIPPI women run, and LIPPI women win.”

LIPPI is a 10-month program, the only one of its kind in Massachusetts, designed to respond to the shortage of women stepping into leadership at all levels. Focusing on areas such as public speaking, community organizing, the legislative process and policy making, fund-raising and campaigning, collaborative and cooperative working models, and board service, LIPPI gives women the tools and confidence they need to become more involved as civic leaders in their communities and to impact policy on the local, state, and national levels.

Representing 40% women of color, LIPPI graduates comprise a wide spectrum of backgrounds, ethnic groups, and ages. They also represent all four Western Mass. counties, and their achievements range from running for office to managing campaigns; from fund-raising for female candidates to entering the Yale Women’s Campaign School. Two graduates are currently running for mayor in Pittsfield and Greenfield. Together, graduates form a strong cohort of like-minded women who support each other when they run for office, meet with policy makers, form coalitions, and conduct get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is a public foundation that invests in local women and girls through strategic grant making and leadership development. Since 1997, the Women’s Fund has awarded more than $2 million in grants to nearly 100 organizations in Western Mass.

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