Who’s Got the Power? Moving a Women’s Economic Empowerment Agenda Forward

Who’s Got the Power? Moving a Women’s Economic Empowerment Agenda Forward

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 17 4:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 17 6:00 PM (Eastern)

A women’s economic empowerment policy agenda is a hot topic inside the Beltway this year, with leaders jumping on the bandwagon. So far, too few people are talking about these topics in the progressive community. With a presidential election looming, though, that’s about to change. After all, women are more than 50 percent of the electorate, the majority of social media users, make more than 70 percent of purchasing decisions and are 50 percent of the entire paid labor force for the first time in history. People (and leaders) are noting that our nation’s women’s economic empowerment policies, including on childcare, sick days, family leave and fair pay are seriously outdated. We’ll talk about how to focus the spotlight onto advancing effective policies that move our nation toward gender equality—and why it matters to everyone and to our national economy.


Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner


Executive Director/CEO and Co-Founder of MomsRising, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner has been involved in grassroots engagement and policy analysis for more than two decades. Started in May 2006, MomsRising is an on-the-ground and online organization with more than 1 million members working together to increase family economic security, to end discrimination against women and mothers, and to build a nation where both businesses and families can thrive.

Rowe-Finkbeiner is also a frequent public speaker, radio host, and an award-winning author of books, including The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy and The Motherhood Manifesto, which she co-authored with MomsRising co-founder Joan Blades. She has also been published in many outlets, including: Politico, CNN, USA Today, Washington Post, and Huffington Post.

Rowe-Finkbeiner has received numerous accolades for her work, including the ‪Black Civic Participation 2014 Spirit of Democracy Community Empowerment & Social Innovation Leadership Award; 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award; National Priorities Project Democracy Champion Award; and the Center for Women & Democracy Healthcare Heroine Award.

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Ellen Bravo


Ellen Bravo directs Family Values @ Work, a network of coalitions in 21 states working for – and winning — paid sick days and family and medical leave insurance. Before helping start FV@W, Ellen headed 9to5. Her most recent book is Taking on the Big Boys, or Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business and the Nation. Ellen served on the bi-partisan Commission on Leave appointed by Congress to study the impact of the FMLA. She’s on the boards of Working America and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Described as “moving, witty and sometimes bawdy,” Ellen writes regularly for Huffington Post, Ms. blog, the Broad Side and other sites. Among her commendations are a Ford Foundation Visionary award. Ellen lives in Milwaukee with her husband; they have two adult sons. Her novel on date rape and politics, Again and Again, will be published in August.

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Patrisse Cullors


Patrisse Cullors is an artist, organizer and freedom fighter. As founder of Dignity and Power Now and co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and the director of Truth and Reinvestment for The Ella Baker Center for Human Right, she has worked tirelessly promoting law enforcement accountability across the nation. She led a think tank on state and vigilante violence for the 2014 Without Borders Conference and produced and directed a theatrical piece titled POWER: From the Mouths of the Occupied. Ms. Cullors is a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, was named 2007 Mario Savio Activist of the Year, and received the Sidney Goldfarb award. Cullors’ vision has earned her numerous accomplishments and honors in the past year. LA Times named her a ‘new civil rights leader” for the 21st century; Diddy’s channel Revolt.tv named her one of the “New Leaders Of Social Justice”; she was featured in the rector’s forum at all saints church, delivered the 17th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture at Hampshire College, has been featured in Essence and Ebony magazines, and recently received the Louis E. Burnham Award. Earlier this year, Patrisse traveled to the United Kingdom to share with Parliament the role the #BlackLivesMatter movement can play in the UK.

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Holli Holliday


Holli L. Holliday currently serves as the campaign manager for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation as a key part of her portfolio as principal and chief strategist for Holliday Advisors, LLC. From 2012 to current, Holli has served as chair of the Research Committee for NCBCPs Black Womens Roundtable. In March 2015, this committee released “The State of Black Women 2015”, which included exit poll data report of the 2014 elections. As the daughter and granddaughter of former Elected Officials, Holli has always been engaged in politics, even before she could vote. In the last 20+ years, she has served in every possible role, from volunteer to campaign manager to consultant. In 1998, she served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Missouri Coordinated Campaign becoming the first African American woman, and the youngest person to serve in a senior leadership position with budget oversight on a statewide campaign.

Andrea Cristina Mercado


Andrea Cristina Mercado, Executive Director of Florida Rising, leads scaled civic engagement programs, and strategic campaigns that center Black and brown communities. Florida Rising is the result of the merger of New Florida Majority and Organize Florida. Under her leadership New Florida Majority registered over 150,000 Floridians to vote. The daughter of immigrants from South America, who made South Florida home, Andrea has been organizing in communities of color and immigrant communities for twenty years, she helped build Mujeres Unidas y Activas in the San Francisco Bay Area. Andrea is one of the co-founders of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and led the California Domestic Worker Coalition, a statewide effort to include domestic workers in labor laws, which successfully passed Domestic Worker Bill of Rights Legislation in 2013, seven states have now passed similar legislation. She went on to lead nationally recognized campaigns for immigrant and worker rights such as We Belong Together, and the 100 women 100 mile pilgrimage for migrant dignity. She is a graduate of Brown University, Fulbright Scholar and Emily’s list awardee, recently named best South Florida Activist by the Miami New Times.

Other sessions: Women Leading the Labor Movement

Neera Tanden


Neera Tanden is the President of the Center for American Progress and Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Tanden has served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, Tanden served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Center, where she oversaw strategic planning, operations, and fundraising.

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