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Center for Women, Politics & Policy celebrates 10th anniversary
Author: Mariana Lindsay
Posted: October 4, 2013

The Center for Women, Politics & Policy celebrating a decade of service at its 7th Annual Women’s Leadership Luncheon at the Portland Art Museum Thursday, Oct. 3. More than 500 people attended the event.

Five accomplished women leaders received the annual Women Leaders of Oregon Award at the luncheon: Oregon Cow Creek Tribal Leader Sue Shaffer, Cheryl Ramberg-Ford, Ferguson Wellman Vice President Lori Flexer, Hon. Darleen Ortega, and Oregon University System Interim Chancellor Melody Rose.

Since 2003, when the organization was established, the Center has provided nearly 400 emerging women leaders with direct training and mentorship and 30,000 Oregon children with the opportunity to pursue their dream of leadership through educational materials and community programming. 

The Center, which began as the National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Oregon program, was started by Melody Rose. Then a professor in PSU's political science department, Rose saw that women were significantly underrepresented in leadership roles. She started NEW Leadership Oregon as a residential leadership training program that introduces college women to opportunities for leadership. 

It expanded and became the Center for Women, Politics & Policy in 2004. Current executive director Sunny Petit said she is proud of the wide reach the Center has on the state after a decade of service. It includes diverse leadership programs for girls through Teens Lead; NEW Leadership Oregon; a political women’s archive with curated digital exhibits; educational resources highlighting women’s achievements in history; teaching tools; and an academic speaker series. 

From highlighting women leaders in Oregon’s history to the Center’s life-changing leadership programs and educational resources (including an Oregon Women Firsts poster which has been sent to nearly all public/private schools in the state), the Center lives by its mission to illuminate the past, inspire the present and invest in our future.