On the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave some womxn the right to vote a century ago, YWCA is proud to release our *official* list of 19 Bad a$$ womxn who are making a difference today to ensure that womxn, femmes, and all people of color are represented and able to participate in civic engagement. As we gear up for November 3rd, we’re thrilled to highlight these ladies who have been working to ensure that all of our voting rights are restored and in-check. Now, without further ado, please see our list and make sure to follow them to stay up to date on their incredible work:
- Winter BreAnne @winterbreanne
Winter is an activist, contributor to Crooked Media, and a TeenVogue 21 under 21. She curated a lesson plan to accompany WE THE FUTURE: Art for the Classroom and Beyond developed to “galvanize future voters about the power of their vote.” Winter has been recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for her work amplifying young voters as a “Young Leader of Social Change,” and at YWCA we are proud of her work to ensure that young people are fully informed about civic participation.
- Edna Lizbeth Chavez @ed.naaaa
Edna is an activist from South Central LA. She was a co-organizer for the 2018 March for Our Lives for gun reform and legislation. Edna has been active in ensuring that the people within her communities that have been marginalized are heard through civic participation on a variety of issues, and for this she has been profiled by Refinery29 for her work with Community Coalition where they are working to do voter outreach in advance of the 2020 election.
- Ajalaa Claussen
Ajalaa is the founder of a Yellow Rose Project, a grassroots online initiative to ensure that voting is not seen as a luxury, but a necessity for young people to be actively engaged in. Her work as a youth activist has been further amplified by the #BlackLivesMatter as she works to ensure that all people regardless of race, age have access to the polls this November. Rock on Ajalaa!
- Christine Chen @ChristineChenDC
Christine is the Executive Director at Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote where she is empowering APIA communities to leverage their collective voices at the polls this November. Christine has over two decades of experience organizing within her community, and she was able to share her experiences recently on the YWCA USA’s Virtual YWomenVote Town Hall!
- Tiffany Dena Loftin @tiffanydloftin
Tiffany is the Director of the NAACP Youth & College Division where she oversees youth councils, high school chapters, and college chapters. The youth vote is especially important this year, and we are pleased to recognize Tiffany for activating Black youth across the country to understand the importance of civic engagement on and off their campuses.
- Katrina Gamble @femmepolitico
Katrina is the Owner and Principal of Sojorun Strategies, a firm that “advises and supports clients to run advocacy, electoral, and civic campaigns.” With a background in political science she understands the ways in which the political is personal, and in was instrumental in developing and launching a Voting Rights and Democracy program that restored voting rights to nearly 40,000 formerly incarcerated people in the state of Maryland.
- Alicia Garza @aliciagarza
Alicia wears many caps within the civic engagement space. As the Strategy and Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Founder of Black Futures Lab, the Co-Creator of #BlackLivesMatter, she has been consistently at the forefront of what is at stake for the Black community this election season and how to mobilize at all levels to enact lasting change. She was also a featured speaker on YWCA USA’s Virtual YWomenVote Town Hall discussing this importance, too!
- Sarah Eagle Heart @Ms_EagleHeart
Sarah is the Co-Founder/Co-CEO at the Return to the Heart Foundation where she has been outspoken on how the 2020 election will impact the Indigenous population within the United States. As an Emmy award winning social justice storyteller, activists, writer, and strategist, Sarah tells the stories that matter to ensure that Indigenous folks are fully and fairly represented in the electoral conversation. Recently, she shared these opinions on YWCA USA’s Virtual YWomenVote Town Hall.
- Valerie Jarrett @ValerieJarrett
Valerie is the Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and has been an outspoken voting rights advocate for much of her career. As a Board Member of When We All Vote, she is working to “increase the participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.”
- Maria Teresa Kumar @MariaTeresa1
Maria Teresa is the founding President and CEO of Voto Latino where is she is leading the conversation about what is at stake this November, why voting matters, and information on the issues affected by civic engagement action. She was also a featured panelist on YWCA USA’s Virtual YWomenVote Town Hall earlier this month!
- Samyuktha Mahadevan @thelmahadevan
Samyuktha is the Campaign Organizer art the League of Women Voters where she is focused on the importance of League’s redistricting campaign, “Peopel Powered Fair Maps.” Understanding how and why districts are divided is crucial to making progress towards a more just voting society. The League of Women Voters is working to ensure that the fundamental right to vote is fully exercised – for this education and resource distribution YWCA is so thankful.
- Michelle Obama @MichelleObama
Michelle is the former First Lady of the United States having served during her husband’s time as President of the United States. As a Co-Chair of When We All Vote, Michelle has been working to ensure that “every single eligible vote is registered and ready to vote for the 2020 elections.” For this important work, YWCA is grateful!
- Shilpa Phadke @shilpaphadke
Shilpa is the Vice President of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress. She was recently featured on YWCA USA’s Virtual YWomenVote Town Hall discussing the ways in which civic engagement is so critical to ensuring a complete representation for women this electoral season.
- Carlene Pinto @CarleneNYC
Carlene Pinto is the Founder of NYC Action Lab Inc, and a strategist, social entrepreneur and organizer within her home of New York City. Through her social media presence and work on behalf of – and with – her neighbors and community, she’s working to show that through democracy, change is possible.
- Monica Ramirez @MonicaRamirezOH
Monica is the Founder and President of Justice for Migrant Women and a longtime advocate on behalf of migrant women fighting to secure gender equity across her work. Through Justice for Migrant Women, her social channels, and speaking engagements Monica has tirelessly increase the protections of migrant women and how voting this November will directly have direct impact on this vulnerable population.
- Najma Roberts @najmaroberts
Najma is the Director of Communications at the Democracy Fund and part of the Leadership Team for Vote Early Day 2020. Through this work she is helping to ensure that “nonprofits, businesses, election administrators, and creatives…ensure all Americans know their options to vote early.” Now more than ever it is imperative that Americans know that their access to democracy isn’t limited to just one, in-person day. Voting early is a way to skirt the challenges imposed by voter suppression tactic!
- Ashley Spillane @aspillane
Ashley is the Founder of Impactual LLC, a social impact consulting firm that advises organizations, companies, and philanthropists on how they can make the world a better place. As the former President of Rock the Vote, and a longtime strategist working at the intersection of politics and culture, she has been an outspoken voice in the fight to fair democracy and moving the needle forward when it comes to voter turnout.
- Julie Taymor
Julie is the Director of The Glorias a new biopic on political activist and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem. Through her adaptation of Gloria’s life for film, Julie has introduced film audiences to the importance of feminist representation in politics, on and off the screen. For this work highlighting the myriad of ways that civic engagement shows up in our lives, we are thankful.
- Jessica Yellen @JessicaYellen
Jessica is a journalist and the founder of #NewsNoteNoise – a new media company designed towards creating an online resource full of information “without the noise.” The former White House Correspondent and author of Savage News is committed to raising civic engagement through her platforms and in her work.
At YWCA, we know how far we have come since some women were granted the right to vote a hundred years. And we’ll keep on fighting for a world in which liberation is the default, until justice just is. Join us as we keep our legacy going – our future, and our collective right to vote – depends on it.