Strong leaders are made, not born. Strong leaders in turn sustain solid organizations and thriving communities, creating a vibrant progressive movement.
Our Gender Justice Program addresses sexism, heterosexism, transgender oppression, reproductive rights, family security and body sovereignty in the context of racial and economic justice. Women, people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by these forms of oppression because they are largely excluded from decision-making leadership while facing intentional aggression by those who believe in upholding systemic oppression.
We strengthen the ability of grassroots organizations to address these challenges by shifting societal norms and perceptions and influencing positive policy changes. We use a movement-building approach that places the experiences of people most affected by injustice in the front and center of this work.
Our current projects and initiatives are:
Western States Center also partners with national initiatives and coalitions to connect our local and regional work to movement building across the country.
We are the state lab of the Coalition for Abortion Access and Reproductive Equity, a coalition of national reproductive rights groups. We Are BRAVE is considered a model for national efforts to advance gender justice through movement-building approaches.
We also serve on the Leadership Team of the Strong Families initiative to change the dominant notion of a family, where a mom stays home while a dad goes to work. This dominant notion however is not the reality for 4 out of 5 people living in the U.S. The goal of Strong Families is to change the cultural and political definition of “family” so that policies support ALL women and families well.