Our nation feels more divided every day.
People are shouting instead of listening, and a whole lot of fighting means very little progress.
We need kinder, more respectful ways to talk about what matters.
GALvanize brings women together to learn, share ideas, and support each other to stand up for what matters to us. Our community honors respect and civility as we talk about solutions that work for all families – white, black, and brown.
“I am always a little more bold and brave when someone has my back. I imagine we all are. We can choose to be that person for each other.”
Jackie Payne, our Executive Director, was raised in Illinois and has fond memories of piling in the car for long road trips to Wisconsin with her sister and brothers before ipads and seatbelts were a thing. She went to college at U of I and law school at U of M (Go Blue!) Growing up in the Midwest taught her that you always bring a plate of brownies over when new folks move in and you never leave a dinner party until the last dish is dried. Jackie is heavily influenced by the gals in her family, who are teachers, nurses, nuns, and stay-at-home moms. She has spent her career working to create the conditions that allow girls and women to reach their full potential. She lives with her husband, Jonah, and their two kids, Desmond and Fiona. She cannot wait until they are old enough to play euchre.
“You may not be able to control what happens around you but you can control how you react to it and what you do in response. Your actions are what determines the future.”
Katy Butler, our Digital Campaign Manager, has a background in education, advocacy, social media, and digital campaign work. Growing up in Michigan, her mom was her biggest role model as a hands-on parent and a career woman. As a teenager, Katy had the opportunity to explore diversity in her community and since then has loved helping other people start conversations and create change in their own communities. When’s she’s not facilitating dialogues or learning the latest social media tools Katy is either playing rugby, listening to Disney songs or going on mini adventures with her wife, 1-year-old daughter Maeve and dog Millie.
“Sometimes when you feel like you have something to lose, you actually have everything to gain.”
Emily Cavanaugh heads up operations work at GALvanize USA. She was born in Chicago, IL on a winning day for the Cubs – an auspicious start. Her early years were full of playing violin, dance, very good dogs, excellent math teachers, and an insatiable appetite for books in the northern suburbs of Chicago. With her career, she has focused on women’s issues and dreams of a world in balance, where everyone has what they need to thrive. Currently located in California after a long stint in Washington, DC, she’s looking forward to moving back to the midwest soon. When she’s not behind a spreadsheet, you can find her on a bike, at a dance class, reading in a cozy chair, or exploring the natural world with her husband and toddler.
“I find it is amazing what you can do when you unlock your passion, identify your goals and ask for help along the way.”
Kate Cockrill, our Director of Programming, has a background in health care, organizational development, group facilitation, advocacy and karaoke. Kate grew up in a family of teachers, soldiers and pastors and moved 14 times before she was 18 years old! Her upbringing instilled in her a deep curiosity and openness to people of all stripes. In her career, Kate’s been a waitress, secretary, community organizer, social science researcher and nonprofit executive director. She lives with her two daughters, husband, mother and dog “Peaches” in Portland, Oregon.
“We all believe in something better for ourselves and our communities. What’s important is finding your hope and then helping others to realize theirs.”
Hannah Curtis, our Program and Research Manager, has a background in public health, community-engaged programming, policy analysis, wedding planning, and theater. She grew up in Michigan where her favorite memories are of family camping trips, Disney sing-alongs in the car with her sister, and tubing on Lake Michigan with her girlfriends. Hannah loves working collaboratively with other women to give back to her community, a value instilled in her by her mother and grandmother. When she is not hiking, baking, or re-reading Harry Potter, Hannah is organizing volunteer events for her friends. She lives with her husband and two cats, “Oscar” and “Gracie Anne.”
“In order to reach solutions for our communities, we need to take a step back and remind ourselves to listen to each other. By listening and finding common ground, then we will be able to move forward together.”
Lydia Lippold-Gelb, our Associate, has a background in community organizing, youth engagement, and advocacy. She also loves working with kids, thanks to many years going to camp and as a camp counselor. Lydia is from Washington but considers Minnesota her second home, having lived in St. Paul for college (Go Mac!) and making trips annually for her family reunion. She has a dream of opening a deep-fried cookie dough stand at the Minnesota State Fair one day! Lydia believes in speaking up and being engaged in the community, a lesson she learned from one of her role models, her mother. Outside of work, Lydia enjoys spending time with friends, discovering new recipes, and keeping up with the latest book for her book club.
“If we can combine a bold, long-term vision while giving attention to personal transformation, we can achieve social change that is far more powerful than the sum of its parts.”
Kristin Wheeler, our Campaign Director, has a background in grassroots organizing, wilderness guiding, campaigning, and strategic communications. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Kristin has spent her life fighting for causes she cares about. As the late Senator Paul Wellstone said, Kristin believes “we all do better when we all do better.” When she isn’t mapping out campaign strategies, Kristin can be found paddling on the nearest body of water or searching for new cheeses to try. Kristin lives in Western Washington with her partner and their cats Gus and Pepper.
Do you find yourself avoiding politics because of all the division and negativity?
GALvanize brings women together online and in person to learn, share ideas, and support each other to stand up for what matters to us.
Nobody knows it all. But together we can figure it out. Join us.