Politics & Policy

Women Who Lead: Redefining American Politics

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One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, women are a growing political force, both as voters and officeholders. How is this movement reshaping our politics at a grassroots level, in statehouses and the nation’s capital? And will it continue to gain momentum until women are at parity with men in elected office? This conversation on women leaders in politics features former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), former U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters (R) and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Political Science Professor Christian Phillips. Moderated by USC Dornsife Dean’s Professor of Gender Studies and Professor of Political Science and Gender and Sexuality Studies Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro.

Who Will Benefit

– Those hoping to hear how women candidates have approached and overcome a distinct set of challenges
– Women policy leaders seeking insight on the double standards that past and present candidates have faced
– Those looking to learn about the correlation between women candidates and women voters

About Our Featured Faculty

Christian Dyogi Phillips is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at USC. Her research is focused on the intersection of race, gender and immigration in American politics. Phillips’s book manuscript, Nowhere to Run: Race, Gender and Immigration in American Elections, examines how growing immigrant communities are reconfiguring the roles that race and gender play in American electoral politics and descriptive representation. Her current research also includes an analysis of substantive representation by elected officials from immigrant communities, and a study of the ways in which immigration policies and processes inform women and men’s policy preferences, within and across racial groups. Phillips earned her PhD and MA in Political Science from UC Berkeley, MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and her BA from Hampshire College. Before becoming an academic, Phillips was a lead organizer and political director for the Service Employees International Union, and served as the executive vice president of the Houston Organization of Public Employees.

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro is a professor and Chair of Gender Studies at USC and a globally recognized scholar of intersectionality theory, the world’s leading analytical framework for analyzing and resolving inequality. She has written numerous articles and three books on the intersections of categories of difference like race, gender, class, sexuality and citizenship and their impact on policy: the award-winning The Politics of Disgust and the Public Identity of the “Welfare Queen” (2004), Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics (2011) and Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (2016). The applied forms of her research focus on diverse donors in philanthropy, partnerships between funders and nonprofits for social change, and cross-sector training of leaders to implement intersectionality. In 1993, under the mentorship of NBA Hall of Famer Tom “Satch” Sanders, Hancock Alfaro conducted the original survey research and designed the business model for the Women’s National Basketball Association. The only women’s professional basketball league to succeed in the United States, the WNBA began its 21st season in May 2017. She sits on four boards: the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), Community Partners, LAAWPPI, and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Political Empowerment (SCOPE-LA). Her current work includes new research projects on asylum requests for survivors of domestic violence, empirical applications of intersectionality and the free speech-hate speech debate.