Be an Agent of Change

The fight for women’s rights has been center stage thanks to more women running for office and movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up. But what’s next?

The Women’s Legislative Briefing is the next step for those looking to impact powerful change.

The WLB is the premier and longest-standing women’s legislative event in Maryland. The purpose of the briefing is to provide information on legislative issues of concern to women and families, including bills that will be introduced in the upcoming sessions of the Maryland General Assembly and U.S. Congress. Local and state officials will attend, as well as hundreds of community organizations working to “ignite change.”

This year’s major sponsors include Universities at Shady Grove, AARP, Kaiser Permanente, and Planned Parenthood Advocates for DC, Maryland and NoVa.

Monica Ramirez will be the keynote speaker at the Women’s Legislative Briefing on Jan. 27.

The Montgomery County Commission for Women is excited to share that Mónica Ramírez is this year’s keynote speaker. Ramírez, a former Montgomery County commissioner, is a longtime advocate, organizer and attorney fighting to eliminate gender-based violence and secure gender equity.

For more than two decades, she has fought for the civil and human rights of women, children and immigrants. In November 2017, Ramírez wrote a letter to women in the entertainment industry on behalf of Alianza that was published in Time magazine and has been credited with helping to spark the Time’s Up movement. In 2018, she attended the Golden Globes with Laura Dern as a part of the Time’s Up action.

She is a leader in efforts to build a cross-sector movement to end workplace sexual violence. She has also been recognized as a prominent voice in advancing the rights of low-paid workers, immigrants and women in the United States. Ramírez has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including Harvard Kennedy School’s inaugural Gender Equity Changemaker Award, the Feminist Majority’s Global Women’s Rights Award and Forbes Mexico included her on its 2018 list of 100 Powerful Women, among other recognitions. In November 2018, she was awarded the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for Social Progress on behalf of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas for the “Dear Sisters” letter and their role in the Time’s Up movement.

The conference will open with a plenary session, followed by compelling seminars on upcoming local, state and federal legislation. This year’s seminar topics include safety and justice for women, creating change through leadership, health care for women, justice-involved women, human trafficking, Breaking Down the Status of Women report, economic justice for women and creating healthy work environments.

The conference also includes a special Emerging Leaders track for students in grades 6 through 12. This year’s theme is We Run the World: Developing and Enhancing the Leader in You. The seminar topics include Level Up: Taking a Positive Approach to Body Image, and Cultivating Resiliency and Roar: Speaking Out Against Bullying in Schools for middle school students. For high school students, the topics are Roar: Speaking Out Against Bullying in Schools, and Break Free: Promoting Positive Psychological, Social and Emotional Well Being in Future Leaders.

The Women’s Legislative Briefing is taking place at the Universities at Shady Grove from 12:30 to 5:45 p.m. Jan. 27. General registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Buy your tickets in advance and save time and money. The deadline to buy tickets online is 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25.

The Montgomery County Commission for Women is a 15-member board charged with the responsibility of advising the public, the county executive, the county council, and the agencies of the county, state and federal governments on the issues of concern to women. It was formed in 1972 through county law. Each of the commissioners is appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the county council. Commissioners serve three-year terms without compensation.

We look forward to educating more people about legislation and policies that impact us all. Come join us as we ignite and achieve change for women in Maryland. Attend the Women’s Legislative Briefing. Become an agent of change.

–CARMEN KAARID

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