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‘Women Lead Change’ Event Slated

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 2016 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on May 23 from 6-8 p.m. The event will include remarks from Mass. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and a keynote address from Julie Chavez Rodriguez, special assistant to the president and senior deputy director of Public Engagement at the White House.

WFWM will acknowledge the lieutenant governor as well as Rodriguez with a “She Changes the World” award presented to honor exceptional contribution to social change, creating economic and social equity for women and girls. More than 300 participants are expected to attend the annual celebration of graduates of the Women’s Fund LIPPI program.

LIPPI is the only program of its kind in Massachusetts. Through 11 sessions over eight months, the program is designed to respond to the shortage of women stepping into leadership at all levels. 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. The event is open to the public with online registration at www.womensfund.net.

The current graduating LIPPI Cohort represents 60% women of color, and LIPPI graduates also embody a wide spectrum of backgrounds, ethnic groups, and ages with ranges from 18 to 60. They represent the entire state of Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to Boston-area counties. 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 get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) 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 over 100 organizations in Western Mass.

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