Refugee and Immigrant Women for Change (Advisor)

The mission of Refugee and Immigrant Women for Change is to build the capacity and leadership of the RIWC organizations to plan, design, and implement programs to achieve gender equality for refugee and immigrant women. RIWC is a coalition of seven organizations that came together across multiple ethnic identities to leverage their strengths and build a movement for social change that addresses systemic issues facing all refugee and immigrant women and girls: Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE), CAPI, African Health Action Corps, SEWA AIFW, Centro, Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, and Liberian Women’s Initiative.

“The success of our event Equality for Minnesota’s Immigrant and Refugee Women was mostly because of the support we got from Debra. The immigrant community complains often on how distant is the UofM towards them. Debra represented very well the CWPP and the University and has demonstrated the kind of collaboration the community should have with the university.” —Beaudelaine Pierre, former RIWC coordinator

Melanie Peterson-Hickey, Debra, Lee Roper-Batker, Jennifer Godinez and Duchess Harris

Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota research working group

Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota research working groups (Facilitator)

Over 100 nonprofit, community, and government leaders and policymakers at all levels of government have served on Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota working groups in the areas of economics, health and reproductive justice, safety and leadership.  More information on the Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota collaborative research project.

Minnesota Coalition for Women’s Economic Security (Founder and Executive Committee member)

Minnesota Coalition for Women’s Economic Security group

Minnesota Coalition for Women’s Economic Security group

The Minnesota Coalition for Women for Women’s Economic Security was formed in 2014 to pass the Women’s Economic Security Act and includes over 50 organizations and individuals representing women, children, low income communities, communities of color, seniors, LGBT communities, labor unions and faith. Since then, the Coalition has been hosting annual summits and working to pass additional policies that advance economic security for women and their families. More information on the Minnesota Coalition for Women’s Economic Security.

Other collaborations:

Minnesota Coalition for Paid Family Leave (Lead researcher) #MN4PFL

Minnesota Benefits Campaign (for Earned Sick & Safe Time) (Core Member)

Kids Can’t Wait Coalition (for childcare support) (Core Member)

Gender Justice
(Founding Board Member)

VoteRunLead
(Advisor & Evaluator)

Minnesota Women’s Consortium Policy Committee (Member)

womenwinning State PAC Screening Committee (Member)

Mindful Engagement Group (Member)

Humphrey School Diversity Committee (Co-chair and Member)

University of Minnesota Women’s Leadership Institute (Graduate Member)

Girl Scout Troop 924 (Troop Leader)