About WEPOWER

We partner with Black and Latinx communities to build power to re-design education, health, economic, and justice systems to be just and equitable for all. We envision a future where we all have the power to lead, so every community prospers. One of the ways we do this is by training community members to create new policy solutions, organize, and lead change. We invest in early-stage companies ready for scale and provide curriculum, coaching and connections as they spark wealth-creating job growth in communities with whom we partner. We engage the community, facilitating meaningful connections and amplifying resident voices to inform critical decisions that impact their lives.

About Chisholm's Chair

WEPOWER is launching our pilot cohort for Chisholm's Chair (CC), an initiative for Black and Latinx women interested in seeking appointed and elected office in the St. Louis region. Chisholm's Chair will support a cohort of 15 CC fellows over a seven-month period. Throughout the seven months, CC fellows will access weekend trainings, a team of mentors, coaches, connections to vendors and consultants, community building experiences, and support from a dynamic and experienced executive coach. By the end of the seven months, CC fellows will: (1) Have deepened relationships within their community; (2) Understand how to navigate the local political landscape; (3) Have a completed campaign plan and policy platform; and (4) Be ready to seek elected and appointed office if they so choose.

The Commitment

  • 7 months (June 2020 to December 2020)
  • Virtual and in-person convenings will take place every third weekend of the month. We’re asking participants to be available Friday evening to Sunday afternoon on those third weekends.
  • Pre-work and extension assignments that will require you to work in groups and engage in learning experiences beyond the monthly convenings.

Who Should Apply?

  • Identity + Qualifications
    • You self-identify as Black/African-American and/or Hispanic/Latinx.
    • You self-identify as a woman (trans women are welcome!).
    • You will be at least 21 years of age or older by the start of the cohort (June 19, 2020).
    • You are a registered voter in the City of St. Louis or St. Louis County.
    • You are a resident of the City of St. Louis or St. Louis County.
  • Mindsets, Beliefs + Skills
    • Vision + Values. You “get it.” Chisholm’s Chair is for women who understand that the way things are, isn’t okay. To borrow the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired”. You see that the systems that are supposed to make our lives better are often hurting the most vulnerable people in our communities. And you want to, have to, do something about it!
    • Movement. You are deeply rooted to your community or the St. Louis region at large, demonstrated by active involvement/participation in community groups, civic organizations, school networks, religious groups, etc.
    • Policy Analysis + Issue Acumen. You received your undergrad and masters in urban planning and want to put your policy chops to use thinking of ways to revitalize St. Louis neighborhoods. Or, you’re an active member of your church’s homeless outreach committee and spend a lot of your time learning from folks experiencing homelessness and connecting with service providers to find ways the faith community can better serve their brothers and sisters. Whether you have a degree in a specific field or just dedicate your time and effort to deeply understanding an issue, we want women that see the value in research and analysis so they can seek solutions.
    • Identity Development + Commitment to Equity. You are committed to equity and comfortable talking about race, class, gender and its various intersections with a variety of stakeholders.
    • Confident + Coachable. You are charismatic and self-possessed. This isn’t to say you were high school prom queen (although that’s dope if you were); by this we mean you have a sense of yourself and you let your light shine. At the same time, you recognize that you’re not perfect and welcome constructive feedback to help you flourish.
    • Story of… You, like all of us, have a story to share. You’ve thought about your story, how you’ve gotten to where you are and are ready to engage others, using your story to build collective power in the pursuit of transformative change.
    • Execution+Results Oriented. We want dreamers and doers. Action-oriented go getters and creative thinkers. Show us that you imagine innovative plans, then go out and get great results.

Take a look at the Chisholm's Chair Fact Sheet here to learn more.