Strategic Initiatives

WDN also engages in network-wide strategic initiatives that cut across the many issues we care about. Through these efforts we make larger-scale collective investments and take on critical issues of intersectionality.


America is a nation founded on an ideal that all people are equal and have a stake in how our nation is governed. While we may not always succeed, ours is a history of pursuing this vision. It’s not enough that women and citizens of all races can vote – every American must also have equal access to lead. WDN’s Reflective Democracy Campaign and Who Leads Us project seeks to provide the American people with a way to measure our progress toward a democracy where our leaders reflect the people they serve, and to ultimately dismantle the structural barriers that are preventing more women and people of color form serving in all levels of political leadership. We’re strongest when our leadership reflects the full range of talent and lived experience that America has to offer. That’s why we’re working for change. Together with other advocates and funders, we are working to level the playing field for all who wish to represent their communities in elected office. Let’s build a democracy that reflects all of us.



Named for the late Jean Hardisty, beloved WDN member, political scientist, and feminist activist, the Jean Hardisty Catalytic Impact Fund supports critically needed community organizing and social justice movement infrastructure through timely, catalytic investments. The fund supports the work to achieve a more robust democracy, opportunity for everyone, and long-term environmental sustainability for all. In 2016, the Hardisty Fund’s focus is funding the Movement for Black Lives. Over $200,000 of general operating support has been mobilized through WDN to fund Black-led organizing, with the goal of disrupting the systems that result in police violence, mass incarceration, and all economic and social injustice.



WDN works to promote a more balanced and fair economy that ensures that all families can prosper and thrive. At our annual WDN on the Hill event, WDN members have advocated for women’s economic security for the last four years. WDN was a founding partner of the Make It Work campaign, focused on developing new narratives about women and work, and fighting to win state-level policy campaigns on critical issues like minimum wage, paid sick leave, and paycheck fairness in partnership with grassroots groups. WDN is also a member of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility, a broad-based national coalition of civil rights and women’s organizations, funder networks, and asset-building and tax reform experts. The coalition is working to advance inclusive, progressive, and equitable tax policies.


Through peer-to-peer learning, collective brainstorming, and creative problem solving, WDN creates spaces for members to deepen their understanding and respond to persistent racial inequity through personal, institutional, and systemic change. We believe that together we can find ways to reflect our deepest-held values in the outcomes of our work and our actions. WDN works to support a culture and practice that aligns our values with our actions such that we actively use our collective knowledge and resources to challenge systems of oppression.