Posted on April 29, 2019

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), a preeminent advocate for advancing equality and opportunity for women and girls, today announced its inaugural Resident Fellowship program, and named Julie Kohler and Diana Ramirez its first Fellows in Residence. This new initiative is part of a comprehensive fellowship program that will deepen and broaden NWLC’s existing bench of expertise and continue to strengthen the organization’s ongoing leadership in the nationwide fight for gender justice.

“For more than 45 years, NWLC has been on the leading edge of every advance for girls and women’s rights through a strategic mix of litigation, policy research, advocacy at the federal and state levels. We know that we are most successful, and do our best work, when we gather a diverse cadre of minds and experiences to fight alongside us,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “The Residential Fellowship initiative builds on that belief and allows us to explore areas of work that are especially impactful for those facing multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination, including low-income women, women of color, and LGBTQ individuals.”

One of NWLC’s first Fellows in Residence, Julie Kohler, currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning at the Democracy Alliance. Kohler, a skilled writer and social commentator on issues pertaining to politics, feminism, and families, holds a PhD in family social science and has deep expertise in progressive politics, advocacy, and social policies affecting women, children, and families.

“Julie Kohler has been an indispensable part of the growth and impact of the Democracy Alliance for the last eight years. She is a trusted adviser and strategist for leading progressive donors,” said Gara LaMarche, the DA’s President. “Her unique and passionate voice has informed us all and challenged us to think more deeply. NWLC is the perfect wider platform for her to work in partnership with movement leaders at every level.”

In her new role, Kohler will amplify NWLC’s ability to position gender equality as a key theme in the political discourse and help to forge links between the national agenda on gender issues and states’ policy and advocacy work. Kohler’s work will also help infuse NWLC’s policy framework into the national dialogue and engage a diverse group of influencers and grassroots audiences to champion and forward NWLC’s agenda, including racial and ethnic diversity as well as inclusion of LGBTQ, veteran, and disability communities.

“I am thrilled to join NWLC at this critical moment, when issues of gender, race, and power are at the center of our nation’s political conversations, and women’s activism is transforming politics – and our sense of what’s possible,” said Kohler. “I look forward to working with the talented NWLC team to help amplify their important work.”

Diana Ramirez joins NWLC from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), where she is a Federal Senior Policy Advocate working to advance One Fair Wage legislation federally and within the states.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the National Women’s Law Center to end the subminimum wage for tipped workers and ensure that millions of women and men nationwide do not have to endure the economic instability and sexual harassment that results from having to feed families on a subminimum wage and tips,” said Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and President of ROC United. “NWLC’s new Resident Fellows program allows us to collaborate with NWLC and our Senior Federal Policy Advocate Diana Ramirez to ultimately win a historic victory in ending this legacy of slavery.”

As a Fellow in Residence, Ramirez will continue her critical work on One Fair Wage, especially as it intersects with ending sexual harassment in the workplace and implications for women of color.

“Joining the National Women’s Law Center as the One Fair Wage Fellow in Residence is an exciting opportunity to continue the critical work of advocating on behalf of workers nationwide,” said Ramirez. “The restaurant industry’s discriminatory and abusive practices perpetuate a cycle of poverty among people working in one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of our economy. I am excited to be working towards a brighter and more equitable restaurant industry and I am so glad to be doing this work alongside the team at NWLC.”

For immediate release: April 29, 2019
Contact: Uma Iyer (UIyer@nwlc.org)

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