WFN Events

Economic Justice Speaker Series – April 7, 2021

Cultural and Narrative Change Strategies for Advancing Women’s Economic Security

Please join the Women’s Funding Network for a thought-provoking conversation about cultural and narrative change strategies. Our speakers will share their deep expertise and expansive vision for how stories, culture and transformative narratives can catalyze social change, build towards equitable policies and create narratives where all communities see themselves reflected. Together we will explore how cultural strategy can be applied to advancing women’s economic security and gender justice. 

A live virtual panel
April 7th, 2021
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EST.

Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, President & CEO, Women’s Funding Network


Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder and CEO, IllumiNative

Crystal Echo Hawk (neé Pawnee) is founder and CEO of IllumiNative, and a Culture Surge partner. Hawk has been a respected, passionate and successful advocate for the rights of Native Americans throughout her career. IllumiNative works with a respected team of Native artists and thought leaders in pop culture, media and social justice to advance new narratives for Indian Country in partnership with Native communities and allies that can transform hearts and minds and dismantle the invisibility, erasure and toxic narratives that impact Native peoples today. Crystal recently designed and co-led the 2-year, $3.2 million research and strategy-setting initiative Reclaiming Native Truth Project. The project was completed in June 2018 with the national release of the research findings that have been widely recognized as groundbreaking. 

Tracy Sturdivant, President and CEO, The League,

Tracy Sturdivant is the President and CEO of The League, which she founded in 2017, and a Culture Surge partner. Sturdivant is a long-time social justice organizer and innovator who works at the intersection of strategy and creativity. She was the co-founder and co-leader of Make It Work, a three-year campaign to move issues like affordable childcare and paid family leave out of our private lives and into America’s national conversation around the 2016 election. Make It Work wove together culture and political advocacy, using an inventive mix of tactics that received national media attention and a Pollie Award for Best Field Campaign. Her experience—from on-the-ground organizing, to training women to run for elected office, to serving as a funder—has all focused on one goal: making America a place where women, people of color, and young people can thrive. 

Rinku Sen, Executive Director, Narrative Initiative

Rinku Sen is the Executive Director of Narrative Initiative. A writer and social justice strategist, she is formerly the Executive Director of Race Forward and was Publisher of their award-winning news site Colorlines. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward generated some of the most impactful racial justice successes of recent years, including Drop the I-Word, a campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA TodayLos Angeles Times, and many more outlets changing their practice. Her books Stir it Up and The Accidental American theorize a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and other systems. As a consultant, Rinku has worked on narrative and political strategy with numerous organizations and foundations, including PolicyLink, the ACLU and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She serves on numerous boards, including the Women’s March, where she is Co-President and the Foundation for National Progress, publisher of Mother Jones magazine.

Principles and Practice