Truly, women’s equality is not just a women’s issue. It affects the wellbeing and prosperity of every family and community.

Co-chairs Carol J. Williams, Ph.D. and Margaret M. O’Shea, Ph.D.

In 2017, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut commissioned DataHaven to develop a report on The Status of Women and Girls in Eastern Connecticut. The report is rich with data and context that speak to both the challenges and opportunities of advancing gender equality across our region. The purpose of this report is to help inform and guide thoughtful conversations and inspire local ideas for social and policy advancements and investments. Individually and collectively, there are attitudes we can shift, actions we can take, and investments we can make so that we can all reach our full capacity and enjoy life in thriving communities in Eastern Connecticut.

After launching The Report in 2018, the Community Foundation created the Women & Girls Funds Task Force on Public Policy to initiate and support policies to remove barriers for the advancement of women and girls. This task force is co-chaired by Margaret M. O'Shea, Ph.D., of Old Lyme, a retired professor at University of Saint Joseph and Carol J. Williams, Ph.D., of Willimantic, a retired associate dean of continuing education at Eastern Connecticut State University.

The Community Foundation, along with the Task Force and our four Women & Girls Funds’ committees, are working to advance advocacy efforts supporting women and girls – and their families. We have held advocacy trainings (open to all) and welcome inquiries from interested people in our community.


Building Democracy Together

The Community Foundation's Women & Girls Funds Task Force on Public Policy has been hosting conversations on equity and democracy so that our philanthropic focus is aligned with our values of integrity, equity, respect, courage and empathy. A healthy and equitable democracy requires a decent society; it assumes that we are honorable, generous, tolerant and respectful.

Democracy is not limited to free, fair and inclusive elections; it is about daily participation by all regarding policies and decisions that impact our communities. It requires that we all have a seat at the table – to have our voices heard and to listen in order to build a democracy that is fair for everyone. We know that when we invest in advancing public policy and legislation, we contribute to bringing about systemic changes that will create greater equity for all. This is the road to seeking solutions that will have long-lasting impact. As your community foundation, we are deeply committed to bringing together voices to educate and lead us towards a better tomorrow.

2021 Conversations and Guest Speakers

January 26th: State Senator Cathy Osten and State Representative Kate Farrar. Watch HERE.

March 9th: Diane Randall, Friends Committee on National Legislation. Watch HERE.

May 12th: Congressman Joe Courtney and Lisa Tepper Bates, United Way of Connecticut. Watch HERE.

October 6th: Emily Byrne, CT Voices for Children, and Sean Ghio, Partnership for Strong Communities. Watch HERE.

2022 Conversations and Guest Speakers

March 9th: CT State Senator Mae Flexer and CWEALF's Executive Director Janée Woods Weber. Watch HERE.

April 19th: CT Public's Lucy Nalpathanchil and The Day's Izaskun "Sassy" Larrañeta. Watch HERE.

Contact My Politician

"Contact My Politician" is a website that enables constituents to reach out directly to their elected officials. To learn more about this service, click below.