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Momentum - Remaking the Women's Political Contract - Part 2

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Date and time
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Buoyed by the potential for women to win key statewide offices, leaders of a diverse group of women’s organizations will gather in person for a Town Hall event to continue the conversation about political culture and public policy — and to answer this important question: What do we need our state government to do to create a more equitable Commonwealth? GBH host Callie Crossley will lead what is sure to be a riveting conversation. Featuring: * Celia Johnston Blue, President and CEO, MA Women of Color Coalition * Sasha Goodfriend, Executive Director of MassNOW * Diana Hwang, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative * Melissa Ferretti, Chair, Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe * Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, Director of the UMass-Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy * Eneida M. Roman, Esq., Chair, Amplify Latinx This event is the second of a two-part conversation started on June 27 with moderator and GBH News reporter, Saraya Wintersmith. The video of Momentum Part 1 is available to watch on https://forum-network.org/ This in-person event starts at 6PM. Door open at 5:30PM. Parking: 15 Guest Street - bring your ticket with you to get it validated at the front desk Masks and registration are required for this in-person event. Sponsored by ![M&T Bank](https://www3.mtb.com/personal)

Sasha Goodfriend is a community organizer, curating feminist & queer experiences through partnerships with statewide government, community organizations & creatives alike. She works to advance this mission through her roles as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Mass NOW), a consultant with the Boston Tenant Coalition and Our Bodies Ourselves and serves as a board member with the Transgender Emergency Fund and member of Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. Sasha graduated with a B.A. from the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University majoring in International Relations with a minor in Women, Gender & Sexuality studies and received her Masters in Public Policy from Simmons University. [MassNow website](massnow.org)
Diana Hwang is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian American Women's Political Initiative (AAWPI), the country's only political leadership organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women. In 2020, Diana was the first Political and Organizing Director for She the People, a national network of women of color working to transform our democracy. Diana was profiled as "one of Boston's most powerful thought leaders" in Boston Magazine for her work and has been a featured speaker at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. and at several colleges, including Wellesley College, Northeastern University, Dartmouth College and Salem State University where she gave the annual convocation address. Diana was a former candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate. She carried the city of Boston and outraised her seven opponents in the race. Diana graduated from Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School.
Graduate Program Director, Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Director, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy
In 2015, Celia worked with 12 women of color from across Massachusetts and led the development and public launch of the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition (MAWOCC) Inc. In her current role as President and CEO, Visionary and Founding Member, she is leading the organization to realize its vision and mission, overseeing the day-to-day operations while strongly advocating for the voices of women of color to be heard addressing the inequities faced daily, which also impacts communities of color. Celia Johnston Blue was the Interim Director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS). A cabinet level position reporting to Governor McKee, Interim Director Blue oversaw approximately 1000 employees in multiple divisions, with a budget of over $900M, providing benefits and services to approximately 300,000 or 1/3 of Rhode Island’s population. She oversaw twelve programs, many partnerships and collaborated with federal and state stakeholders including the legislature and community organizations. Prior to her roles in Rhode Island, Celia spent nine years in the transportation industry in Massachusetts and nationally gaining experience in multiple modes; aeronautics, rail and transit, highway and the registry of motor vehicles. First appointed as a commissioner for the former Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, she was later appointed as Assistant Secretary for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and then promoted to the position of Registrar/CEO of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Blue is the first African American in Massachusetts’s history to serve as the Registrar for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Anna Maria College. She has received awards for her leadership and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and was named in the Power 50, Class of 2021 by Worcester Business Journal. Blue sits on the boards of several civic, public and community organizations in Central and Eastern Massachusetts. She serves on the Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School District Board of Trustees and Finance Committee, and she is a board member of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau Board. In addition. she is a board member of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy Advisory Board, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials Advisory Board, Boston Chapter. Additionally, Blue is a Corporator of Girls Inc. Worcester and the YMCA of Central MA.
A nationally recognized leader, Eneida is a trained attorney and organizational psychologist, and for two decades, she has used her expertise in law, conflict resolution and cultural competence to advise her clients. Eneida is Founder of Roman Law, a Boston-based boutique law firm focused on small business, real estate, and estate law. She is known as a catalytic pacesetter and a purpose-driven champion of advancing women and Latinos. Eneida has served in prominent board leadership roles in the American Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Eneida is a Governor Appointee to the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Advisory Board. She currently serves on the HOPE National Council, Latino Victory’s National Committee, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Advisory Board, MassINC’s Board of Directors, Eastern Bank’s Board of Ambassadors, City of Boston Women’s Advisory Council, ALPFA National Board and chairs their HR and Compensation Committee. In 2012 Eneida co-founded The Latina Circle, Inc dba Amplify Latinx, a Boston-based social venture that is advancing Latino leaders across industries into positions of power and influence and is Chair of its Board of Directors. Her organization prides itself in being a convener whose mission is to build Latino economic and political power by significantly increasing representation in leadership positions across sectors. Amplify accomplishes this by ongoing engagement through events and social media to bring together its followers, by visibility campaigns of leaders and by pushing forward a thoughtful policy agenda that advances the Latino community. Amplify has been distinguished as a unique organization with social capital & social impact by various groups at the local and national level. In 2018, Amplify Latinx launched its PowerUp Latinx Biz initiative focused on activating Massachusetts’ untapped economic potential by increasing growth and economic opportunity for Latinx-owned and led businesses. Five years later, PowerUp continues to create visibility for Latinx-owned businesses, meaningfully connect them to existing resources, and recognize them as an influential consumer market that must be engaged by our entire business community. PowerUp’s work and initiatives continue to be relevant for our nation given that our small businesses are the economic engine of the future of the United States. Among other notable accolades, Eneida is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a distinction limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Eneida has also been distinguished locally as a Top Lawyer by Boston Magazine and nationally as a Top Latino Attorney by Latino Leaders Magazine for several consecutive years. She is admitted to practice law in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts Federal District Court, First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Born in Wareham, the daughter of Bernard Marsden Harding (Herring Pond Wampanoag HPWT), raised in Cedarville/South Plymouth by Verna May Harding (HPWT Elder). Melissa attended Plymouth Carver School system most of her life through 11th Grade and graduated from Pembroke Academy, NH. She attended Cape Cod Community College and studied Information Technology. She is a happily married Mother of two wonderful sons and a proud Grandmother of four and has lived in Bourne for the past 35 years. Her professional career began in early 1998 in a position at the Town of Mashpee, Town Clerk’s office. She then worked for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe as the Executive Administrative Assistant for a few years. In 2003 Melissa went on to become a Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed Real Estate Sales Associate and Notary Public -- she still holds these designations today and is currently affiliated with Jack Conway & Company. She is the former Vice President of Operations for Select Staffing of MA, a position she held for over 6 years. Currently alongside her real estate work she does freelance research, consulting, and back office/bookkeeping. Melissa is proudly of her third term as the elected Chairwoman of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe located in Plymouth/Bournedale MA. She dedicates much of her time to better her community. In her role as Tribal chairwoman, she has worked tirelessly on the many initiatives and challenges that indigenous communities face in our society today. Some of the work she has dedicated her time to, includes but is not limited to the protection of sacred sites and ancestral burial grounds, tribal archival research, documentation and digitization, advocacy for tribal rights and self-determination, environmental justice, mental health, substance use, addiction and prevention, youth empowerment and grant programming. She is passionate about educating the non-native public about the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and its rich, well documented history. Spring 2020 she co-taught an undergraduate course alongside Dr Amy DenOuden at the University of Massachusetts Boston in the Women’s Gender Studies Department, namely Indigenous Women’s Leadership and Tribal Nation Self Determination. She recently ran a successful campaign for public office in the Town of Board as a Select Board Member and was elected on May 17, 2022. Melissa is the first Wampanoag woman to ever hold this role, and quite possibly the first ever Wampanoag person to ever be elected as a Selectman in this municipality.