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Women's Policy Forum

March 2021
WPF HAPPENINGS

Monthly Program Meeting
March 10, 2021
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Sydney Thomas, MPA
Moving People to Action
Virtual Via Zoom

WPF Board of Directors Meeting
March 24, 2021
5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom

News & Networking
March 25, 2021
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
 
News & Networking

News & Networking is an opportunity for members to gather together to discuss news, trends & timely topics after hours in a relaxed, non-formal setting. If you have difficulty making the monthly membership meetings, News & Networking may be for you.

Amy Connolly, Assistant Director
Neighborhood Services Department
City of Fort Worth


Amy will discuss the city's response to the recent weather event (SNOVID) related to emergency shelter and home repairs for residents.

Thursday, March 25, 2021 
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Feel free to pour yourself a glass of wine and log in to this virtual meeting!
There is no cost but please RSVP here to receive the log-in link.
Cathy Holt
Chair, WPF/WPFF

 

FORWARD: February has been a month of challenges with the continued pandemic, accessing vaccinations, increases in responsibilities with both remote and continued in-person work, and the weather event that shut down our cities and towns. Throughout this all, I have witnessed the cohesion of our community and our resilience in coping with these stresses and hardships. It is my hope that Women’s Policy Forum enhances your sense of belonging and sisterhood.
 
Welcome to Women’s History Month. As we pause to honor those women who have paved pathways for women throughout our history and others who have supported our dreams and ambitions, I would also like to acknowledge those who are continuing to make history.  As women leaders who “ investigate and support policies and initiatives that will effect positive change for Tarrant County women and our community,” we are all participating in promoting and advancing pro women agendas that embrace economic equity and vitality in our communities. Thank you for your continued energy and commitment.
 
Program Committee Chair Karmen Rubin is planning our virtual luncheon programs that will incorporate issues raised in our strategic planning session, such as the impact of race, gender, age and ability on community matters. If you have any suggestions, please let her know.
 
Dana Burghdoff, who organizes our News and Networking series, continues with virtual programs of immediate importance to women in our community.  This smaller group meeting is a great way to learn more about Tarrant County and interact with other members.
 
Our Membership Co-Chairs Cortney Gumbleton and Debbie Cooley, and their marvelous team, are proactively reaching out to women in our communities and encouraging them to join our network. 
 
The Board has approved the creation of an Advocacy Committee that would interface with community organizations to identify volunteer, advocacy or other engagement opportunities. Debbie Cooley and Serene Fletcher are already on board, wouldn’t you like to join them?
 
The Board also discussed the 2021 Symposium and agreed to explore a partnership with Amphibian Stage (Kathleen Culebro). The programs would highlight women in the arts (with an emphasis on theater arts), their challenges and how the arts can provide an engaging platform for education about community issues and bring positive change to advance equity and inclusion. If this is of interest to you, please let us know!
 
As we continue to navigate these challenging times, I hope we all continue to support each other on being “women on the edge of change”.

 
Please reach out to anyone on the board if you have ideas or would like to get more involved.

Cathy Holt
WPF/WPFF Chair
 
Monthly Program Meeting
 
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
 

Sydney Thomas, MPA
Alzheimer's Association

Moving People to Action:
How Self-Advocacy Relates to and Affects Different Policies and Community Initiatives


Sydney Thomas is the Public Policy Coordinator for the North Central Texas and West Texas Chapters of the Alzheimer's Association. In her role, she coordinates grassroots advocacy efforts for state and federal legislative priorities. She successfully organized advocacy for legislation such as the State's Plan on Alzheimer's Disease, state mandated dementia training for Adult Protective Services, as well as $1 million in state appropriations to support caregivers. 

 
There is no cost to attend but please register here to receive the Zoom link. Guests are welcome but must register in order to receive the Zoom link.
Women's Policy Forum Foundation
The Women’s Policy Forum (WPF) began in 1984 when Peg Knapp and Karen Perkins gathered a group of proven women leaders in Tarrant County to identify mutual interests and agendas and to “speak local women leaders into existence” in new ways. With WPF officially registered as a 501(c)(6) organization, the first general membership meeting was held in January 1987. What began with a few women gathered around a table introducing themselves to the speaker each month eventually grew into a powerful network of 100 diverse women meeting to network and discuss issues critical to the greater community.  

In 1998 the Women’s Policy Forum Foundation was added as a 501(c)(3) to facilitate fundraising efforts that could 1) raise community awareness of issues impacting women and girls, 2) raise and distribute funds to organizations that impact women and girls, and 3) raise and distribute funds to support the mission of Women's Policy Forum.

For 15 years the WPFF sponsored a Celebrity Breakfast that funded an annual Service Award of up to $5000 given to a local organization that impacted women and girls. Speakers included such nationally recognized women as Jane Bryant Quinn, Hazel O’Leary, Diane Rehm, and Sally Ride. The last Breakfast was held in 2011; the last $5000 award was presented in 2016 to TCC in memory of former member and TCC Chancellor Irma Johnson Hadley. Since then, the Foundation has supported an annual scholarship at TCC in the amount of $500 -1000. In 2016, the WPFF and the WPF merged the two separate boards that governed each entity. 

Over the years members of WPF have volunteered and given time and money to other projects, most notably the Starfish Project which supported Maude Logan Elementary School for ten years and the mentoring program at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth. WPF continues to investigate and support policies and initiatives that will effect positive change for Tarrant County women and our community.
 
Margaret DeMoss
Chair, WPFF 2015
Chair, WPF/WPFF 2016

 
Members in the News

Congratulations to WPF board member Pat Alridge and her team!

JPS Health Network has been awarded by the State of Texas Maternal Designation Level IV, the highest level of care awarded by the state of Texas! JPS has also been awarded Neonatal Care Level III for exceptional service in newborn infant care.

 



Building a Better Non-Profit Board


Thanks to WPF member, Michelle Crim of Dynamic Development Strategies, for this excellent article!
Tarrant County Women's Organizations*
Foundation for the Young Women's Leadership Academy of Fort Worth

We believe in the transformative power of education.

That's why the YWLA Foundation exists. We're here to empower the students of YWLA, the first and only all-girls public school in Fort Worth ISD, with academic and leadership opportunities beyond the everyday curriculum. 76% of the students and their families are at or below the poverty line, and roughly 80% of each graduating class has been first-generation college students. We help prepare these talented, yet under-served young women for a college education and bright futures.

This year remains the most difficult academic year to date. YWLA's hallways see anywhere from 65 to 100 students of the roughly 500 in the entire student body. While most still opt to take classes virtually, the students continue to work hard — and their hard work is certainly paying off. All five of YWLA's previous graduating classes have achieved 100% acceptance to a four-year college, and the 40 students in the Class of 2021 are well on their way. They've even been awarded several million dollars in academic and merit-based scholarships, a number which will only increase as they near college decision day.

As part of our college-preparatory mission, YWLA and the Foundation host Senior Signing Day, an event the entire school looks forward to each year. Inspired by athletes' signing ceremonies, Signing Day is not just about college acceptance; it’s about celebrating the success of each senior over the course of their 7 years at YWLA; where younger students feel motivated to succeed; and where all our stakeholders come together to show their support. Since we were unable to host the event last May, YWLA and the Foundation are especially excited to announce that Signing Day 2021 will be held at Coyote Drive-In on June 11th — so we can safely celebrate the Class of 2021 in-person and send them off on their college journeys.

 
*In an effort to connect with more Tarrant County women, we are gathering and sharing information about other local organizations that impact women's lives.
Other News & Announcements
The 25th Victory Over Violence Walk/Run will return in April 2022! But we still need your help now!
 
The Victory Over Violence – Hope Starts Here Campaign will help us raise funds to support the anti-violence initiatives of The Women’s Center. These services give survivors the tools to heal from the devastating effects of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and other violent crimes, as well as empower the community by providing education centered around these issues.
 
How can you help? Buy a t-shirt or make a donation!

DA's Office Helps Teach Criminal Justice Classes In Fort Worth ISD

By Wayne Carter • Published February 2, 2021 • Updated on February 2, 2021 at 5:45 pm


The District Attorney's office in Tarrant County is taking on a new role as teachers. DA's have started working in the Fort Worth ISD to help teach students about the criminal justice process.

Jamauri Robinson may walk the halls of Eastern Hills High School these days but he hopes to soon be on the streets of Fort Worth working as a police officer in his community. "I want to be one of the good guys," said Robinson. "I just want to make a difference."

Robinson enrolled in a criminal justice course where he’s learned everything from police procedure to how the justice process plays out. While he love his teacher, he said his decision to enter law enforcement was solidified when a Tarrant County prosecutor came into class and taught for the day.  "When it comes from someone else who knows what they’re talking about, it’s a lot more helpful," said Robinson.

Fort Worth ISD and District Attorney Sharen Wilson partnered up to have DA’s trade out the courtroom for the classroom through live virtual class time to talk about everything from determining guilt and innocence to ending repeat offenders.

"My mom is a teacher and she has the patience of the saint, the virtual setting has been great, they can learn back and forth but I have a wonderful respect for teachers and what they do on a daily basis," said Jordan Rolfe, Assistant Criminal District Attorney.

Rolfe led one of the classes and said it was as rewarding for her as it was for the students. She said many times, young people’s interaction with the DA’s office isn’t pleasant, and this allowed them to improve that!

"Whether they disagree with our jobs or they look at the justice system as a whole, your job is to do the right thing and sometimes people understand that and sometimes they don’t and hopefully there's a mutual respect at the end of the day," said Rolfe.

Jamauri definitely has that respect and is ready and eager to put it to work, to protect and serve. 
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Women's Policy Forum has a public Facebook page and a Facebook group for members only.  Only members will see posts on the Facebook group site. This is an opportunity for you to let members know of upcoming events, provide links to articles about important issues, or provide other information valuable to WPF members.  Members must have a Facebook page, which is free, to participate.
 
Send news or announcements to Pam Anderson by the 20th of the month.  Submissions are subject to the guidelines for posting per the WPF Social Media Policy and must be received by the 20th of the month in order to be considered.

Send website edits to Hope Caldwell at hopecaldwell@yahoo.com.
 
Mission Statement
 The Women's Policy Forum is an organization of influential women
who investigate and support policies
and initiatives that will effect
positive change for Tarrant County women and our community.


WPF Mailing Address
P.O. Box 11246  |  Fort Worth, Texas  76110
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Women's Policy Forum · P.O. Box 11246 · Fort Worth, TX 76110 · USA

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