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Making the connection

National women’s commissions gathering in Los Angeles features an MSMU flavor.

August 3, 2018

Women’s commissions from across the nation traveled to Los Angeles this month, and they had the chance to learn plenty about L.A.’s only women’s university while they were here.

The 48th annual conference for the National Association of Commissions for Women took place at L.A.’s Millennium Biltmore, Aug. 1-4, and the event had a distinct Mount Saint Mary’s University flavor. For starters, the University served as a sponsor of the conference, which brought together state and local legislators, women’s commissions board and staff members, national and local women’s organizations, women’s empowerment activists and women leaders in nonprofit, business, academia and more. The gathering provided an opportunity for attendees to build relationships and to share best practices for effectively advancing gender equity in communities around the United States.

Among the speakers at the four-day event was Jackie Filla, PhD, associate professor of political science and healthcare policy at the Mount, as well as the current president of the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, which hosted the conference. Filla delivered opening remarks and served on a panel discussing, "From global to local: How to apply a gender lens to policies, programs and budgets."

Emerald Archer, PhD, director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s, also attended the event. Many participants were familiar with the Center's work, especially commissioners from the L.A. city and county commissions for women, as well as the California Commission on the Status of Womem and Girls. They are among several women’s commissions, local governments and nonprofits that have worked with the Center to create localized reports for their own communities. Some of those recent collaborations include:

Report on the Status of Women in Los Angeles County (2017)
Report on the Status of Women in Los Angeles County (2016)  
The City of Glendale Report on the Status of Women and Girls (2016)
The City of Los Angeles Report on the Status of Women (2015)
The Report on the Status of Women in Pasadena (2015) 
Report on the Status of Women + Girls in Kern County (2015) 

These reports have had real-world impact, encouraging cities and counties to change existing policies or create new policies that make communities more equitable and supportive for women and girls. Read a partner spotlight in this year’s Collectif journal, published by the Center for the Advancement of Women, describing the continuing effects of the University’s work with the City of Los Angeles and the L.A. Mayor’s Office. 

The Center even created a new resource last year that can be utilized by women’s commissions all across the country to start researching their own communities directly: Reporting on the Status of Women and Girls in Your Community: A Guide to Using U.S. Census Data.

A hub for gender equity research, advocacy and leadership development, the Center also annually publishes a Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California that reveals persistent inequities and gender gaps in California, and inspires action to address them. Learn more about the Center’s work at msmu.edu/CAW.

Learn more about the National Association of Commissions for Women at nacw.org. The Mission of the National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW) is to sustain, strengthen and advocate for women’s commissions in their work to promote equality and justice for all women and girls and ensure they are represented and empowered in their communities.