Who We Are

Strong Women Action Network, a project of The Advocacy Fund, connects women to training, leadership development opportunities, political infrastructures and women-focused local and national organizations. The purpose is to create environments that will help women move into action and participate in the public arena.

Our work is focused on what do women need to reach their goals and increase their impact and power for the long term – Why do I do what I do? Who can help me achieve my goals? What will I do to make this happen? Where will I make it happen? How do I prioritize my work? What about self-care and skill building? How do I create a network of support? Do I need a  mentor? Who will sponsor me? How do I change policies and systems in my organization or community to help me and other women achieve more power?

Our target audience is women, with a focus on women of color, of all ages, economic and cultural backgrounds in the United States. The long-term vision is to achieve a diverse and inclusive society that supports women’s leadership styles and women’s impact on society. The mission is to support and connect women of diverse economic and multicultural backgrounds at all levels of government, corporations, civic organizations and academia so they can achieve more power and increase the influence and impact of women in our culture and society. The goal of our programs is to help women transform organizations and systems to achieve racial and gender justice.

What We Do

  • Develop or connect to educational and career pipelines to ensure opportunities for recruitment and retention of women.
  • Implement regional and state trainings and retreats that provide safe and supportive spaces for women to develop personal and professional goals and plans. The trainings will provide access to follow-up personal and group coaching sessions for continued guidance and support.
  • Provide personal development and promotional opportunities for women regardless of where they live and work.
  • Nurture a network of support within state geographies and provide opportunities to develop relationships and increase power by connecting women to regional and national structures.
  • Provide diversity and inclusion, strategic planning, technical assistance and group and individual coaching services to organizations and government institutions to address structural and systemic barriers for women and people of color.

How We Do It

We combine multiple layers of activities and support strategies to achieve our mission. The goal is to create a 50 state network focused on supporting women across age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, economic status and professions that want to be in positions of power. We connect women to training, leadership development opportunities, political infrastructures and women-focused local and national organizations. Strong Women Action Network does not duplicate what is already in place at the national and state level.  Our focus is to be persistent and diligent in supporting women to gain access to what is available after they develop their own long-term professional plans. Individual and group coaching sessions are a key aspect of identifying which position of power they want to reach and then developing and implementing strategies to get there. The end game of our programs is to help women transform organizations and systems to achieve racial and gender justice.

Theory of Change

Continuum of Leadership Development

Three Levels of Engagement

SWAN Theory of Change

SWAN PowerPoint Presentation

Our Team

Lupe Lopez, Founder and Principal

Lupe Lopez is a nationally recognized expert in facilitating organizational transformations and leading and managing issue campaigns at the local, state and national level.  She has decades of experience as a bilingual writer, social strategist, coach, trainer, organizational development consultant and facilitator.

Lupe believes in cutting-edge strategies to advance progressive values.  She coaches executives and leaders so they can be effective agents of change. Lupe also develops diverse, inclusive and innovative networks and alliances. Her specialty is facilitating complex situations and implementing ambitious plans with an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and women’s leadership and equality. She is an expert in developing and implementing strategic plans, facilitating meetings, board development and creating strong teams. Through the years she has worked with scores of nonprofits at the local, state and national levels.

Lupe is passionate about women’s issues, diversity, and inclusion, access to health care, working with young people, immigrant rights, and faith communities. Currently, she is the Founder and Principal of Strong Women Action Network, a project of The Advocacy Fund that connects women to training, leadership development opportunities, political infrastructures and women-focused local and national organizations. The purpose is to create environments that will help women move into positions of power so they can impact organizations, structures, policies and participate in the public arena. The long-term vision is to achieve a diverse and inclusive society that supports women’s leadership styles and women’s impact on society. More information here on Lupe’s LinkedIn profile.

Founding Council

  • Natasha Chavez, Immigration Community Activist, AZ
  • MeLisa Collins, Electoral Organizer/Author/Journalist/Trainer, OH
  • Andrea Diaz, Immigration Attorney/Daughter of Farmworkers, AZ
  • Lizette Escobedo, Communications/ Women Own Communications Business, CA
  • Angela Hall, Faith Community Organizer, OH
  • La Shonda Jones, Education Community Organizer, OH
  • Yolanda Jones, Immigration/Electoral Organizer/Human Resources, CA
  • Lupe Lopez, Coach/Trainer/Human Rights/Women Issues/Immigration/Health Care, IL
  • Karina Odonez, Criminal Law Attorney, AZ
  • Zully Rodriguez, Union Organizer/Political Director/Campaigns/Electoral, AZ

Advisory Board

  • Nicola Chin, Founder, Up With Community, Portland, ME
  • Lynn English, Nonprofit Consultant, Fundraising and Strategic Planning, Chevy Chase, Maryland Chair
  • Tannaz Haddadi, Senior Privacy Analyst, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, DC
  • Linda Garding, Executive Director, Mountain Plains Network for Youth, Bismarck, ND
  • Lupe Lopez, Founder and Principal, Strong Women Action Network, Richmond, IL
  • Kathryn Snyder, Senior Advisor, The Advocacy Fund, San Francisco, CA

Regional Contacts

Strong Women Action Network is organized into seven regions. The projects in each region are supported by women leaders who represent the states within the regions. Currently, we have staff i based in Phoenix, Maryland and Washington, DC.

For more information for a specific region or state, please go to the contact page.

 Supporters

Thanks to Kari Carney, Executive Director at 1000 Friends of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa; Cynthia Renfro, Principal, and CEO at Civis Consulting, Seattle, WA; and Alejandra Tres, Executive Director at Municipal League of King County. Without your wisdom, passion, discussions and your invaluable support through the years SWAN would not be a reality today.

We want to acknowledge and thank the foundations and partners who have supported SWAN’s research, retreats, and communications.

  • Alliance for Citizenship
  • Center for Community Change
  • Communications Shop
  • IndiTech Solutions
  • Margaret Casey Foundation
  • Masterflight Foundation
  • Moriah Fund
  • The Tides Foundation
  • People’s Action
  • Women Donors Network

Questions? Please click here for more information.