YWCA hires Women’s Public Policy and Advocacy Position

Welcome Erin Jemison and congratulations to the YWCA!

Fueled by data and research from the Women’s Policy Research Institute’s The Well-Being of Women in Utah, a number of women advocates and leaders met last fall and identified the need for deeper research, understanding, and advocacy in Utah around issues of women’s safety, economic empowerment, and health. The YWCA has stepped up and Tami and I are excited to see the organization hire its first Women’s Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator.

Erin Jemison, a veteran of non-profit advocacy and organizing, previously served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA), a Victim Advocacy Representative, and Chairperson of the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board. Throughout her tenure at CCASA, Erin led initiatives to strengthen public policy and ensure that survivors received comprehensive services and that offenders were held appropriately accountable.

As Director, Erin will focus on social and economic issues related to the quality of women’s lives in Utah. The role includes developing and implementing mission-based strategies to promote effective collaboration, educate the general public, and influence constructive policy changes by working with policymakers, and community leaders. This position plays a key role in developing the YWCA’s Utah Women’s Well-Being Initiative (UWWBI), which advances the well-being of Utah women in key dimensions of their lives through research, issue education, collaboration, and public policy advocacy.

Erin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from William Smith College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Montana State University.

Peace and Possibility Project is a proud sponsor of the YWCA and we were happy to provide seed funding for this position. We’d like to congratulate the YWCA and their staff as well for successfully pulling together the additional resources and finding a great candidate for the position. To find out more information, please visit www.ywcautah.org.

YWCA of Utah kicks off Women's Policy & Advocacy Position

Jane Marquardt, Tami Marquardt, & Ann Burkholder

Jane Marquardt, Tami Marquardt, & Ann Burkholder

When women thrive, so too do those that surround them.  It is when women are safe, free, healthy, educated, economically secure, and are able to influence key decisions, that their strength benefits their families and their communities.

The YWCA in Utah has long committed themselves to the well-being of women, and provided support so women can flourish. The well-being of Utah women is fundamental to the health of our families and communities, and helps Utah to be more economically vibrant, educated, caring, and inclusive. In order to achieve these goals and support women to their fullest, the YWCA has created their first, full time public policy advocacy and outreach position in the organization working exclusively on women’s issues in 110 years. Tami and I are thrilled to support this position.

Since Utah has been recognized as one of the lowest performing states for women, the creation of this position is a great accomplishment. This position will develop the YWCA’s distinctive voice to engage and advance work for the well-being of women in Utah through research, education, collaboration, and advocacy.  It will help address the critical issues of Utah’s wage-gap, lower the number of women living in poverty, expand secondary and higher education opportunities, and promote safe relationships and marriages where a woman’s mental and physical health can thrive.  This work is deeply rooted in the YWCA’s historic identity and after 10 years of trying to have a more policy role in women’s issues, it is finally a reality.

We are proud to support the YWCA of Utah and hope that others will offer support as well.  We know that the creation of this position is long overdue and will help women have a unique voice in public policy and advocacy, something much needed in Utah.

To learn more about the public policy position or contribute to support its launch, visit www.ywca.org.