The tremendous turnout at recent Women’s Marches across the country make it clear, if anyone needed to be reminded, that large swaths of this 51% of the population is not feeling fairly represented, equitably treated or ideologically respected. Regardless of one’s political leanings, there are issues that unite women and there is a fervor right now to shift the conversation and compel changes in culture, policy and law.

So often the barrier to impactful engagement is a matter of not knowing how to harness one’s energy. The silicon valley organization’s leadership san jose is offering an opportunity for women to gather, learn and, most importantly, take action around issues of social urgency.

Women Engaged! is a six-part series of salon-style conversations, each of which tackles a different topic. Each issue will be introduced by an expert in the field, but much of the time will be spent in conversation and participants will leave with a resource detailing specific ways in which they can become further engaged around that issue.

Women Engaged! is not a business networking or mentoring group, though when women come together, anything can happen. It will not focus on professional development but rather on community engagement, through philanthropy, service, spending, advocacy and peer modeling.

The series kicked off today and will continue on the last Tuesday evening of each month. In order to foster authentic conversation in a safe environment, the salons will be held in private homes and registration will be limited.

Topics for this first series were essentially “ripped from the headlines” (to misquote Law & Order). The series begins with a discussion of the gender wage gap that impacts women working in housekeeping through C level executive positions.

This topic will be followed in February with a conversation about violence against women, another injustice that impacts women across racial, ethnic and economic lines.

March will feature a discussion on Girls, Women and public education and will explore issues that impact both student performance and educators’ sustainability.

April will feature an exploration of the circumstances of women and girls who are engaged in the justice system and the consequent impact on children and families. If society as a whole is interested in breaking cycles of low level crime, abuse and poverty, a hard look must be taken at how women engage with the justice system from arrest to incarceration to reentry.

In May, “Campus rape culture” is a term that is often used casually, yet signifies a concern of the utmost seriousness to tens of thousands of young women on college campuses across the country. A local attorney will talk about some of the recent court decisions in campus sexual assault and rape cases and whether university culture is beginning to shift in meaningful ways from a focus on women’s actions to men’s responsibility for their own behavior.

The series will wrap up in June with a review of the state of women’s reproductive health rights six months into the current presidential administration.

For more information on speakers and dates, please register here.

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