As a coalition, the Pipeline builds a sustainable infrastructure that aligns current resources available in Massachusetts to increase and support the electoral participation of progressive women of color from low income communities, recognizing they are the least represented in politics and government.
The twenty-two women leaders and thirteen organizations that currently constitute the active leadership of the Pipeline represent a wide range of fields, skills and backgrounds, from community organizations, political organizing and advocacy, to academia and research, training and leadership development.
As progressive women of color and allies, we believe that our political leadership must include the full diversity of our communities. Our government must ensure people of all races, ethnicities, sex, sexual orientations, gender identities, socio-economic classes, religions, immigration status and physical abilities have equal opportunity and equitable outcomes in all areas. Our government and political leaders must ensure housing, nutrition, education, health care, safety and true opportunities for all. Progressive women have these values at their core and exercise leadership. They strengthen an ethical and accountable government that supports inclusivity and widespread participation in elections and governance.
In 2008, a powerful group of innovative women leaders started meeting and thinking deeply and collaboratively about the challenges and opportunities women of color face to run for office. Over 100 women leaders participated in these conversations convened by the Partnership for Democracy and Education, LLC.
Over the course of 2009, these women leaders confirmed a common agenda and a set of progressive values. They also defined solutions that addressed the needs of progressive women of color from low-income communities engaged in public service.
Through 2010 and 2011, the Pipeline’s leaders focused on the launch of their first initiative, the Participatory Action Research Fellowship for Women of Color Leaders. The research fellowship is being hosted by our academic partner institution, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at UMass Boston. The research fellowship began in April 2011.
In the summer of 2011, the Pipeline engaged over 200 women leaders in successful community outreach events in Boston and Martha's Vineyard. These events developed the groundwork to launch our second initiative, a one-stop resource network for women of color leaders.