Pathways to Political Leadership for Women of Color

A Research Partnership between the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Women's Pipeline for Change


In April 2011, Women’s Pipeline for Change launched its research fellowship project in collaboration with the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Five diverse women of color leaders who were civically active in their communities and were either in elected or appointed office or in community board positions were selected to be the first cohort of accomplished women to be part of the research fellowship. These five women represented various ethnicities, races, backgrounds, and were from various regions of the Commonwealth. These five women of color leaders were selected to engage in a year-long research fellowship experience to help the Women’s Pipeline for Change determine the challenges and opportunities that women of color leaders face in attaining political positions in the Commonwealth.

Picture of Elizabeth Cardona

Latina Pathways to Leadership

The director of Governor Patrick’s Western Massachusetts office, Elizabeth Cardona has more than ten years of professional experience working in government and community outreach. Read More 

Picture of Martina Cruz

Political Motivations of Women of Color Leaders Project

A former bilingual pre-school teacher, Martina Cruz is a community organizer who supports labor struggles, progressive candidates, and Latino/immigrant empowerment. Read More 

Picture of Gladys Lebrón-Martínez

Western Massachusetts and Campaigns Project

Gladys Lebrón-Martínez is currently serving as Holyoke’s City Council representative for Ward 1, after eight years of service to her community as an elected School Committee member. Read More 

Picture of Sheneal Parker

Civically Engaged Mothers of Color Project

Sheneal Parker is a teacher, business owner, community organizer, and certified youth instructor with more than 10 years of experience in the Boston Public School system. Read More 

Picture of Lisa Wong

Support Strategies for Asian American Women Leaders Project

First elected to office in 2007 at the age of 28, Lisa Wong is the first minority mayor in Fitchburg and first Asian American female mayor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Read More