WEPOWER Recruits Second Cohort of Black and Latinx Women Preparing For Public Leadership

September 1, 2021

WEPOWER Recruits Second Cohort of Black and Latinx Women Preparing For Public Leadership

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In its second year, the Fellowship is designed to support and train Black and Latinx women to hold public leadership in St. Louis


St. Louis, MO – WEPOWER, a community of Black and Latinx changemakers and entrepreneurs who are working together to address systemic injustice at its root, announces open applications for the second cohort of their Chisholm’s Chair Fellowship (CCF). Chisholm's Chair is a training initiative designed to support Black and Latinx women along their public leadership development journey as they explore and consider pursuing publicly elected and appointed office. Named after Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in Congress, this Fellowship works to honor her legacy by inviting and training the next generation of Black and Latinx women to lead policy change in St. Louis and beyond. 


“The results of the latest census revealed that our city lost 20% of its young people, and nationally, we see this country emerging as majority people of color. To honor the rapidly changing population of our region and country, we need more unflinching Black and Latinx women like Mayor Tishaura Jones, leading policy and political change in a way that guarantees our city as a place that values young people and as a region that honors the humanity and rights of our growing Black and brown communities,” said Charli Cooksey, Founder and CEO of WEPOWER. 


The Fellowship supports a cohort of 15 Fellows over the course of four months, from October through January 2022. Throughout this time, Fellows will access monthly training sessions, guest experts, connections to vendors and consultants, community-building experiences, peer coaching groups, and healing sessions that prepare them to become dynamic, equity-centered public leaders with a commitment to advancing early childhood, K12, and economic policy change.


“We’re looking for Black and Latinx women in St. Louis who are unbought, unbossed, and who are committed to leveraging policies that advance the needs of young people and families in our communities,” said Allison Gibbs, Director of Public Leadership at WEPOWER. “Through this Fellowship, we’ll provide training and support to women who see elected and appointed office as a lever for effecting policy change, who are willing to work across lines of difference, listen deeply to others and lead with humility and love.”


Goals for Fellow development include: 

  • Gaining clarity on which position of regional power Fellows are interested in pursuing and establishing a timeline for reaching that goal.
  • Articulating a clear story of self that communicates a vision for change and identifies community-sourced policy solutions to address systemic issues. 
  • Building the knowledge and connections to run a well-resourced and strategic campaign for local elected/appointed office.


Chisholm’s Chair is focused on supporting Black and Latinx women in order to help remove those institutional barriers to seeking office Black and Latinx women face – mentorship, access to resources, connections, and training. 


Applications for the Fellowship will close on Wednesday, October 6 at midnight.