Second Annual Women's Political Engagement Forum

panelist seated in front of room address students seated in amphitheater

Forum attendees included, seated from left, ENACT's Melissa Stimell, Massachusetts state Sens. Cindy Friedman and Diana DiZoglio, and, appearing on screen via videoconference, Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott.

April 8, 2019

Throughout history, women have been under-represented in the U.S. government. Despite continued advances and reforms targeting this issue, the problem persists.

On April 8, 2019, ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation hosted a Women's Political Engagement forum at Brandeis University that featured two Massachusetts state senators and a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Panelists Massachusetts state Sen. Cindy Friedman, chairperson of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and vice chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee; Massachusetts state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, chairperson of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business; and Kentucky state Repr. Attica Scott, a former community organizer (who joined via videoconference) shared personal anecdotes about campaigning and the challenges they have faced in the legislature, advice for students in the audience and current policy areas which need ardent advocacy campaigns.

The panelists spoke to their experiences on the campaign trail, in the state legislature and the obstacles that they have overcome to get to the position they are in today.

Melissa Stimell, national academic program director for ENACT, moderated the panel following the welcoming remarks and panelist introductions delivered by Assistant Director David Weinstein.

Panelists took questions from an audience that included Brandeis ENACT students, as well as ENACT Faculty Fellows Lynn Chandler-Garcia of the U.S. Air Force Academy and Jason Gainous of the University of Kentucky, who joined the audience with their students via videoconference.

The forum was hosted by ENACT and sponsored by the Rice Family Foundation. It was co-sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Center; Legal Studies program; Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Politics Department; Social Justice and Social Policy program; and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.