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The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is committed more than ever to empowering women to seek leadership positions for themselves professionally and within their community. While the details are still in the planning stages, we are exploring several exciting partnerships that will bring a broader range of options to the women in Western Massachusetts. Stay tuned for more information.

What It Is

And Still We Rise is a six-month leadership forum offered through The Truth School for womxn of color and nonbinary leaders. Womxn of color leaders face enormous pressures. Every day, juggling the demands of caring for families and communities while feeling the strain of establishing credibility, competence, and worth in a society that devalues and marginalizes. Womxn of color often do not have the support needed to be successful within the white supremacy structures and practices that are embedded within the culture of organizations. While experiencing high levels of stress and burnout, they push against a concrete ceiling.

And frankly…it’s exhausting. Yet, leadership from womxn of color is needed now more than ever. And Still We Rise is a forum that offers a special opportunity to come together in community with other womxn of color leaders to:

  • Celebrate and affirm our experiences and identities as womxn of color leaders
  • Prioritize our needs and nurture ourselves by practicing radical self-care and self-compassion
  • Reclaim and embrace our authenticity, wholeness, power, and brilliance
  • Create a network of essential and life-sustaining support with other womxn of color
  • Revitalize our vision and faith in ourselves as leaders
  • Share the stories of our struggles, strength, and resilience in a space where we are fully seen, honored, and embraced
  • Sustain our ability to continue to do the work and make a positive impact.

We will explore the following topics/themes:

Leading with Vision: Affirm our unique vision and practice of leadership and values as womxn of color leaders and develop strategies for bringing our authentic leadership more fully into the world.

Naming and Claiming our Needs: Identify areas where we need support and learn how to prioritize our wellness and practice radical self-care.

Stepping into Our Power: Explore the dynamics and challenges to our power and influence at the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, age, ability, religion, and other dimensions of social identity and intersectional oppression. Identify strategies for navigating these complex power dynamics as WOC leaders in white-led organizations/culture.

Building from the Inside Out: Addressing Internalized Oppression: Examine our internalized oppression and the impact it has on our ability to lead and succeed.

Empowering Our Communities: Explore ways to come together and build powerful and effective coalitions and movements for social justice and equity. Identify next steps for ongoing networking, partnering, and coalition building.

Where we focus

Why It Matters

“I don't think I had ever been in such an uplifting space before.”

Angelica Lopez

“This beautiful group of inspiring WOC was so welcoming, supportive, and nurturing. I felt like I finally found a place where I belong and where I feel validated. I wish we could meet more than once a month!” – Angelica Lopez

This program is for all self-identifying BIPOC womxn leaders, including our nonbinary siblings. We welcome womxn of color who are biracial, multi-racial. We welcome womxn of color across the spectrum of skin color.

We welcome womxn of color of all sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, social classes, abilities, religions, and other dimensions of social identity. Our definition of leadership is broad and inclusive, and we invite and lift up all forms of leadership, both formal and informal. Oftentimes, behind the scenes leadership is the most powerful and influential. We are all essentially leaders. Since this program emphasizes community-building and deepening relationships, participants are strongly encouraged to participate in all 6-sessions.

Is this program for me?