Activists come in all shapes and sizes but, more recently, an increasing amount are seen in the shape of strong women. To develop the next wave of women becoming politicians, leaders and activists, the United State of Women, an action network rooted in Washington DC, launched the Galvanize Program. This program is dedicated to giving professional women the tools and skill sets they will need to succeed.
The Galvanize Program’s first two-day event was held from July 15 to 16 at the Hyatt McCormick Place in Chicago. According to an article by Essence, its launch was very successful, with roughly 1,000 people in attendance.
Pioneered by former leaders of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Tina Tchen and Valerie Jarrett, the event attracted over 5,000 women from “the [US] and abroad,” including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Kerry Washington, stated Essence.
Jarrett, who had also been a senior advisor to former president Barack Obama, said, “We know that it’s so important for all women to work together to begin to move towards equality for all women.”
With more events like this one planned for the future, the effect that this educational training can have on future women politicians in the US is tremendous.
This launch featured a series of, “workshops on important local and national issues, skills training and an engagement fair,” as stated on the official page. Women in attendance were also able choose their desired tracks, from a selection of running for office, grassroots organizing, leadership, or entrepreneurship, for which they received “in-depth and skills-based training developed by partner organizations.”
“We want you to leave the Galvanize Program with a clear sense of how you are going to continue working,” said the text on the program’s official page, stating the program to be, “for equality in your communities, and the connections with organizations and activists to make it happen!”
Essence reported that, “organizers said participants made it clear they wanted to continue learning and connecting, engaging in their local communities to tackle issues such as health care, pay equity and criminal justice reform.”
“Show up in the fullness of who you are, whatever that is, whatever it is that you came into this world as, whatever it is that makes you uniquely you. Because we absolutely need every single one of you.”
An inspirational speaker for attendees, Foxx was also the first elected African-American State Attorney in Cook County, Illinois.
“We know that it’s so important for all women to work together to begin to move towards equality for all women,” said Jarrett.
In addition to having registration open for its next two events in Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia, the Galvanize Program is scheduled to be traveling to more cities in 2018 including Miami, Albuquerque, and Philadelphia.
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