Women's Policy Institute

Through the Women's Policy Institute, a yearlong program of training retreats in Sacramento, we teach women activists and grassroots organizations how to successfully navigate the labyrinth of Sacramento.

Meet our 2015-16 WPI State fellows!

Meet our 2014-15 WPI-Riverside County fellows!


During the program, women work in teams to develop and implement specific policy advocacy projects of their choosing with a mentor who is experienced in public policy work. The Women’s Policy Institute has yielded tremendous success. In the first nine years, fellows have contributed significantly to the passage of twenty new laws in the areas of women’s health, safety and economic prosperity. And we’ve only just begun.

Learn about WPI History and Philosophy!

Learn about our Legislative Accomplishments: 24 bills passed!


The Program

The Women’s Policy Institute strives to:

  • Increase the number of policies in California that reflect the needs and realities of low-income women and families;
  • Increase and support the leadership, advocacy and public policy knowledge of Women’s Policy Institute Fellows that can be applied to local, state and national issues;
  • Strengthen links between grassroots leaders and organizations with those who influence and make policy;
  • Encourage lasting relationships between grassroots women leaders across California; and
  • Increase the number of community-based women involved in the policy making process who understand and work for issues concerning women and girls.

The Women's Policy Institute is a year-long program that includes four three-to-four-day experiential training retreats in Sacramento. During the program, Institute fellows work in teams to develop and implement specific policy advocacy projects of their choosing.

Team projects provide practice on the policy advocacy skills taught during the retreats and require participants to exercise their personal resourcefulness. A core faculty of experts provides continuity throughout the program and additional faculty is brought in to teach on particular topics as needed.

Teleconferences, emails and an Intra-net support an informal network that helps keep team members connected between retreats and provides additional training.

Watch our video to learn more!