CWEALF is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women, girls and their families to achieve equal opportunities in their personal and professional lives. To achieve this mission the organization provides legal education and advocacy services, leads statewide policy and advocacy campaigns, implements research and evaluation projects, and offers programming to promote girls pursuit of STEM careers.
CWEALF provides an information, referral and advocacy service while also training and empowering women in Connecticut to advocate for themselves. Each year, CWEALF helps thousands of women and low-income people navigate legal and social service systems. By incorporating these experiences into our public policy and advocacy work, CWEALF is able to offer innovative approaches to issues affecting women and gender equity throughout the state. At CWEALF we are committed to:
To achieve these objectives, CWEALF's work is divided into three core programs, Legal Education, Public Policy and Advocacy, and Research and Evaluation. Through these programs, CWEALF initiates services to educate and empower women and girls to ensure they have the tools, knowledge and avenues to reach their goals.
With the expansion of our Legal Education program and ourGirls & STEM activities, CWEALF is looking for volunteers to both staff the Information & Referral line and assist in Expos. Additionally, the increased attention to our communications efforts has put us in a position to seek assistance from experts in the area of marketing and communications. Finally, a very important aspect to our Legal Education Program is our ability to appropriately refer clients to attorneys in their areas. We continue to seek attorneys who are willing to join our Cooperating Attorney network in order to be able to offer our clients a full range of services.
longest running program is its Information & Referral Service
(I&R). Historically, the I&R services were provided strictly via the
phone. However, as the community needs changed, the service evolved to include a more comprehensive in-person advocacy
component. CWEALF’s Legal Education Program provides essential information to everyone who contacts the agency. This includes I & R, Bilingual Community Advocacy, and Community Education. CWEALF provides clients with free legal information and referrals to partner agencies and cooperating attorneys, and community education on family law, employment, educational equity and civil rights law.
CWEALF’s Bilingual Community Advocate meets with clients in-person and offers highly individualized advocacy services to over 300 people per year. She helps clients understand court forms, provides translation services and accompanies clients to court for moral support. These services are especially critical for clients who represent themselves or primarily speak Spanish. Unlike traditional legal aid agencies, CWEALF has no income restrictions. In fact, one third of our clients are referred from legal aid and could not be served due to income requirements or overwhelming demand. Without CWEALF, many residents, especially low-income mothers, would be left to navigate the legal system on their own. The ability to understand and pursue rights related to sex discrimination at work, child support or protection from family violence are critical to maintain a family’s economic stability.
In CWEALF’s policy and advocacy role we are a vital resource to women and policymakers in Connecticut. In the last legislative session, CWEALF advocated for and provided testimony on a wide range of issues including: paid family and medical leave, spousal support, equal pay for equal work, education and training opportunities, restraining orders for victims of violence, fairness in family laws, affirmative consent, comprehensive sexual health education and reproductive rights. CWEALF offers innovative approaches to effectively addressing these issues by drawing on the wealth of knowledge generated through our Legal Education and Research & Evaluation programs. CWEALF also leads coalitions on critical issues of equity in Connecticut. Currently, CWEALF leads the following coalitions: the Connecticut Campaign for Paid Family Leave, the Campaign for a Working Connecticut and the Family Law Working Group.
Monitor legislation at the Capital and work in coalition with other organizations to ensure women may address their needs.
Using the information from the Legal Education Program and Research & Evaluation we promote changes in legal, educational and social service systems to remove barriers to accessing resources.
CWEALF’s research and evaluation efforts provide a
gender-lens to our CT community. Most recently, CWEALF provided needs
assessments to the Fairfield County Community Foundation's Fund for Women and
Girls and the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation. We are also the lead evaluator for the City of
Hartford Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. Our strong research and
evaluation program not only provides us with information about the needs of
women in CT, but also positions us to effectively evaluate our own
In our G2O Initiative, CWEALF’s Girls in STEM Expos one-day, free events inspire middle school and high school girls to pursue STEM careers. CWEALF focuses on recruiting and serving female, urban students at the middle and high school level to aid them in their understanding that their early academic choices will have long-term effects on their future education and career paths.
The G2O program has had particularly strong outcomes from Expo participants, with over 75% of girls consistently indicating an increase in their overall interest in STEM fields as a result of their participation in the Expos. Teachers also provide positive feedback, overwhelmingly indicating that the information that they learned in the workshops will be directly applicable in their work.
Kate C. Farrar brings over 15 years of nonprofit management and women's issue expertise to her role as Executive Director of the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF). She served as the interim Executive Director and was the founder and principal consultant of K.C. Farrar Consulting, LLC serving non-profit organizations in strategic planning, program development and facilitation, and fundraising and event management.
Prior to her consulting work, Kate was the Vice President of the American Association of University Women (AAUW)'s Campus Leadership Programs in Washington, D.C. where she guided the strategy and management of the organization's nationwide college women's leadership programs, college/university relationships, and science, technology, engineering, and math programs for girls. In D.C. Kate also served as the associate director of National Programs and Policy at Wider Opportunities for Women where she led the Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Project (FESS), a nationwide project focused on policies and programs to move low-income families toward economic independence.
To begin her career, Kate lobbied the Connecticut state legislature on behalf of nonprofit organizations with Judith Blei Government Relations and served as a field organizer in Wisconsin for the 2004 presidential campaign.
A lifelong supporter and advocate of women's representation in politics, Farrar is President of the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, the only nonpartisan PAC in the country that supports young women running for office. Kate earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and a master's in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Catherine Bailey joined CWEALF in June 2013. Her work includes overseeing the Legal Education Program, which seeks to fill the civil legal justice gap by providing women and low-income individuals with access to legal information, advocacy, and resources. She also spearheads CWEALF's policy agenda, which includes leading the Connecticut Campaign for Paid Family Leave, the Family Law Working Group, and participating in the Campaign for a Working Connecticut and the Coalition for Choice.
After earning a B.A. from Boston College and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, Ms. Bailey held several positions in state government in Massachusetts, including Assistant General Counsel to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Deputy Chief Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts State Police, and most recently as Deputy Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Ms. Bailey is a founding Board member of Autism Families CONNECTicut, a nonprofit organization that provides recreational programs to individuals with autism and their families. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Hartford Legal Aid and as a member of the Connecticut Bar Association's Pro Bono Committee and the Women in the Law Section.
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This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is input by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
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