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Women’s Fund Invited to White House Forum on Women and Girls

EASTHAMPTON — On Dec. 16, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román and Program Officer Ellen Moorhouse joined stakeholders from the academic, private, government, and philanthropic sectors at the White House for a forum hosted by senior Administration officials.

The forum, “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: Continuing Progress and Building Toward Change,” focused on developing strategies that break down barriers to success and create more opportunity for all Americans, including women and girls of color.

“We are eager to bring the voices of Western Massachusetts to the national conversation on women and girls,” Barajas-Román said before the event. “The progress we’ve made toward gender equity is at risk. But together, we can stand our ground. Our goal is to return from the forum with additional dynamic partnerships that will help us address problems we can fix together, in our lifetimes.”

The forum built on President Obama’s efforts on behalf of women and girls, like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, expanding fair pay and paid-leave protections, and convening the first-ever White House summit focused on building workplaces that support working families and business.

The White House Council on Women and Girls has identified five data-driven issue areas where interventions can promote opportunities for success at school, at work, and in the community. Continuing research in these areas and exploration of new efforts can help advance equality for women and girls of color.

“By representing Western Massachusetts at the White House, we can ensure that our collective voice is heard on important policy matters,” Moorhouse said. “Only by having a seat at the table can we work to safeguard the progress we’ve made, while simultaneously laying the groundwork for future policy and social change.”

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