Support the Wisconsin Women's Policy Institute!
You can support our effort to increase women’s advocacy leadership in Wisconsin and to improve the quality of life for Wisconsin’s women and girls through a generous donation to the Policy Institute. Make a secured online donation today!
The Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute provides hands-on leadership, communications, and policy advocacy training to a select group of Wisconsin women every year. The Institute is a program of the Wisconsin Women’s Network, a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing the status of women and girls in Wisconsin through communication, education, advocacy, and connections.
The primary goal of the Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute is to increase the number of women community leaders who are actively involved in the public policy process. The Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute provides intensive intersectional advocacy and leadership training for up to sixteen Wisconsin women each year. Women selected are individuals with proven leadership or leadership potential who have an interest in promoting the advancement of women and girls in Wisconsin. Applications are welcome from women in all sectors, including individuals working in nonprofit organizations, academia, philanthropy, labor unions, and government.
The Policy Institute consists of four, two-day retreats, held in Madison. Through these retreats, participants get hands-on practice, interactive learning, and connections to leaders in numerous fields. The broad areas of focus for the 2016-17 Institute are women’s health, safety, and economic security. The Institute is led by Vicky Selkowe, a public interest attorney and lobbyist who has nearly 20 years of Wisconsin-based policy advocacy experience.
At the heart of the Institute’s learning are the real-world, small-group policy advocacy projects that participants work on collaboratively with the guidance of an experienced volunteer team mentor. Participants do not just practice skills in mock exercises, they learn skills and then utilize them in the real world. By the end of the Institute, participants will have made presentations to other Institute participants, learned how to write ‘one-pagers’ on complex policy issues, met with policymakers and advocates, learned from and received feedback from members of the media, developed education and advocacy strategies, honed their writing and speaking skills, and testified at legislative hearings.
For example, the 2015-16 participants successfully: assisted in the passage of a bill to create an address confidentiality program to protect domestic violence survivors, spoke at statewide conferences about the importance of the homestead tax credit on low-income women’s economic security, testified at a public hearing to build awareness about the importance of breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace, and worked tirelessly on a bill to improve access to local, healthy food options for individuals who need nutritious, affordable food the most.
When participants graduate from the Institute they are able to take what they’ve learned back to their communities and organizations where they will continue to engage in policy advocacy and educational efforts that advance the status of women and girls in our state.
The Wisconsin Women’s Network is committed to training women who represent all segments of Wisconsin’s diverse population. Women of diverse socioeconomic, LGBTQ+, racial, ethnic, generational, and geographic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to participate! You can support our effort to increase women's advocacy leadership in Wisconsin and to improve the quality of life for Wisconsin's women and girls through a generous donation to the Policy Institute. Make a secured online donation today!
Thank you to the generous sponsors of the 2016-2017 Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute!
- Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region, Inc
- End Domestic Abuse WI
- Hunger Task Force
- MKE Center for Children and Youth
- Winnebago County
- Interfaith Senior Programs
- AARP Wisconsin
- La Crosse Area Synod, ELCA
- Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
- Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH)
- West Cap
- Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families
- Evjue Foundation, Inc.
- Bonnie Dykman
- Helen Marks Dicks