Learning From Global Thought Leaders

Editor Mikki Morrissette recently attended the global, virtual @SkolFoundation three-day conference focused on “Closing the Distance.” Here are a few highlights from what she participated in. [Editor’s Note: There are about six more video-recorded clips coming, plus links to the full discussions (that have better visual clarity)].

Panel About Gender-Based Violence

Description: Addressing gender-based violence is a matter of not just gender equality but of racial justice, as girls of color in the U.S. are often criminalized for their victimization. Historically, efforts to address mass incarceration have left women and girls of color behind. This interactive workshop will discuss findings from the Abuse to Prison Pipeline report and recent developments in the US justice reform movement to examine: 1) the intersection between abuse and criminalization for women and girls of color, 2) the importance of reforming laws to decriminalize and better support survivors, and 3) promising legislative responses to dismantle the pipeline. This session was curated in partnership with Rights 4 Girls.


Khara Jabola-Carolus, Executive Director, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women 
Maheen Kaleem, Deputy Director, Grantmakers for Girls of Color 
Melanie Thompson, Youth Outreach Coordinator, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
Yasmin Vafa, Executive Director, Rights 4 Girls 

With our March and April issues focused on “Transforming Justice” and the “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives” crisis, Mikki asked a question about how community-specific and trauma-informed policy can make a difference in best-case scenarios.

Panel About Gender and Race in U.S. Politics

Description: The value of women’s leadership in American democracy is being challenged by hyperpartisanship and extreme, conservative women. Today, intersections of racial justice and the weaknesses of our democratic systems require deeper analysis of the impact of gender in democracy. Leaders ready to close the divide must understand & navigate these complexities & systemic inequities in our history (and identity) to move us forward. Women, especially of color, are at the heart of America’s most progressive movements & reforms, from labor to civil rights to today’s voter surge. The workshop will center a new gendered analysis around racial justice and systemic reforms as the solution to today’s challenges & rebuild trust with leaders on the frontlines. This session was curated in partnership with VoteRunLead. 


Erin Vilardi, Founder and CEO, VoteRunLead 

LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder, Black Votes Matter Fund 

Patricia Torres Ray, Minnesota State Senate 

Pakou Hang, VoteRunLead 

more coming…