November 14, 2019

NYSUT Women’s Committee working to empower union women

Author: Kara Smith
Source:  NYSUT Communications
nysut women
Caption: Political activism in upcoming 2020 elections is one of many items on the agenda for this weekend's meeting. Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

To chart its course for the year ahead, the NYSUT Women’s Committee will meet Nov. 15–16 under the theme “EmpowerHER” at NYSUT headquarters.

Rollout of the NYSUT Sisterhood Grant, which offers funding for members to start local women’s committee chapters, is an event highlight. The grant was made possible thanks to a generous donation by former NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino.

“We’re excited to once again roll up our sleeves on the Women’s Committee and continue the important work of the NYSUT’s women’s movement,” said Jolene DiBrango, NYSUT executive vice president, who serves as committee chair. “We’re particularly looking forward to introducing our new mentoring toolkit to help nurture the next generation of female union leaders.”

This year’s meeting shines a light on the members of the committee and the work they’ve done in the field to grow the movement. A year ago, only 12 NYSUT Women’s Committee chapters were in existence; now there are 23 and counting. NYSUT women will share tools to create regional empowerment events and learn how to accelerate the movement in every region of the state.

The meeting will include workshops on a range of issues, from how to form local and regional women’s committees, to coalition building with other organizations, to political activism in upcoming 2020 elections. Representatives from NYSUT’s legal department will provide an overview of legal issues impacting women, including the family and medical leave act and workplace discrimination. Committee members will also discuss resolutions for the upcoming NYSUT Representative Assembly.

The NYSUT Women’s Committee is a permanent, standing committee with four main goals: encourage more locals to develop in-house women’s committees; educate female members about the work of the union; highlight women-specific issues, including inequalities in pay, health care and education; and involve more union women in leadership roles.

Visit for more information about the NYSUT Women’s Committee.