The NYSUT Women’s Committee rolled out the NYSUT Mosaics of Sisterhood Grant, which offers up to $500 for members to start local women’s committee chapters, to fund specific short-term projects, or for professional learning opportunities to move the women’s agenda forward.

Introduced at the committee’s annual meeting last weekend, the grant program is made possible by a generous donation from former NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino. Its goals include connecting women from diverse backgrounds and different generations, and creating mentorship opportunities. Although she couldn’t personally attend, Fortino purchased yellow rose corsages for all attendees, letting them know she was there in spirit.

“Catalina embodies what a sister is every single day,” said Jolene DiBrango, NYSUT executive vice president, who chairs the committee. “We are blessed to have a little part of her legacy.”

The meeting shined a light on the fieldwork members have done to grow NYSUT’s women’s movement. A year ago, only 12 NYSUT Women’s Committee chapters existed; now there are 23 and counting. Members shared tools to create regional empowerment events and learned how to accelerate the movement. They also received a new mentoring toolkit to help nurture the next generation of female union leaders.

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