Kicking Up Our Heels

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The 15th Annual Kicking Up Our Heels event

The Center for Women & Democracy celebrates International Women’s Day every March 8 by heading to the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia where we toast the women of the Administration, on the Supreme Court, and in the state Senate and House. We also honor and recognize women who are making great strides to advance other women in the state by giving them our Kicking Up Our Heels Award.

And we dedicating this year’s event to women who’ve stood up, spoken up, and stepped up to protect the rights of women.

Support and sponsor the event: click here to reach our secure online system for receiving donations or email [email protected] for other options.

Here is a sample schedule of the event:
3 p.m. VIP Buses depart from Seattle to Olympia.
4:30 p.m. High Tea with the Supreme Court Justices at the Temple of Justice
5:30 p.m. Governor’s Mansion Reception and Women Leaders’ Awards
Along the way, connect with other influential women while enjoying complementary wine and snacks.

2017 Kicking Up Our Heels Awards

It’s been an unprecedented year for women. Many states around the country are bracing for women’s equality gains to be diminished – or even repealed. The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 45th in Gender Equality. At the same time, over 4.2 million people participated in the landmark Woman’s March in the U.S. alone. The Center for Women & Democracy knows that by recognizing the accomplishments of the past we can better prepare for the present, and look forward to an encouraging future.

The First Lady, Trudi Inslee

Born and raised in Washington state, Trudi has enjoyed volunteering in her boys’ schools and with local non-profits that focus on the needs of women and children including NARAL (National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) Pro-Choice Washington, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Planned Parenthood, and Mothers Against Violence in America. As First Lady, Trudi has continued to focus on social service programs and organizations that provide services for women and children who are victims of sexual assault, homelessness, and hunger while also supporting early learning programs and healthcare for all.

Bao-Tram Do

Bao-Tram Do is a civic leader, community organizer, and grantmaker in the greater Seattle area. She is the former president of APACEvotes, a statewide intergenerational and progressive organization that promotes civic engagement in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Through APACEvotes, Bao-Tram led the organization to engage, register, educate, and mobilize over 50,000 community members in Washington State. She works at Seattle Foundation as a Community Programs Associate Officer and is a 2016 graduate of the Center for Women & Democracy Leadership Institute. Bao-Tram also serves as a steering committee member on Seattle City Club’s 2016-2017 Civic Health Index.


And the Washington State Women’s March Organizing Committee 

Over 4.2 million people participated in the landmark Woman’s March in the U.S., 200,000 in Seattle alone. Forty courageous Washington women got together to become the organizing committee for Washington state. With a powerful core mission, they organized 20 official marches across the state.

The committee, which organized marches in 20 locations statewide, was led by:

Blanche Bybee, Bellingham, logistics and media coordinator
Lori Feagan, Spokane Valley, advanced registered nurse practitioner
Caitlin Group, Olympia, co-director statewide
Coleen Haggerty, Bellingham, community fair coordinator
Elizabeth Hunter-Keller, Seattle, public relations and communications
Colleen Jolie, Northwest tribal outreach
Erica Littlewood Work, Bellingham, social media statewide
Amanda Mead, Spokane, fundraising coordinator
Michelle Rupp, Seattle fundraising chair
McKenzie Wilson, Seattle, fundraising writer

The Entire Organizing Committee

Ali Lee, Amanda Mead, Angie Beem, Betsy Hauenstein, Blanche Bybee, Bonnie Boxwell, Brenda Day, Caitlin Gallup, MA, Colleen Jollie, MA, Colleen Haggerty, Dannetta Garcia, Denise Cruice, Donna Melville, Ebony Miranda, Elise Kocher Murphy, Elizabeth Hunter, Erica Littlewood Work, Erin Fox, Heather Rhodes, Jackie Brown, Jeanne Jackson McMinds, M.Ed., MA, Jenne Bennett-Lydon, Joy Gerhard, Kate Burnley, Kathryn McKinley, Keala Aronowitz, Leslie Libby, Lisa Spink, Linda Malanchuk-Finnan, Lisa Price, Liz Isaly, Lori Feagan, Lynn Jennings Dilley, Madeleine Murphy, Maria Garcia Bachman, Marianne Kartcher, McKenzie Wilson, Meighan Doherty, Meridith Molter, Michelle Rupp, Nita Armstrong, Palmira Figueroa, Patti Dailey-Shives, JD, Petra Hoy, Rita Nicholson, Robyn Lynn, Sandra Brown, Sarah Kavage, Theresa Guerrero, Towhee Wean, and Yanah Cook

High Tea Awardees

Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst

Elected in 2002, Mary Fairhurst began serving as a justice on the Washington Supreme Court in 2003. She felt she had come home because she started her legal career in the Supreme Court as a judicial clerk, working first with Chief Justice William H. Williams in 1984 and then with Justice William C. Goodloe until 1986. In 2016, her colleagues elected her Chief Justice.



Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu

Mary Yu was appointed to the Washington Supreme Court on May 16, 2014, and subsequently elected. Justice Yu joined the Supreme Court after more than 14 years as an accomplished trial court judge in King County Superior Court where she presided over a wide variety of criminal, civil, and juvenile cases, and presided over hundreds of adoptions and other family law matters.


Kellye Y. Testy, Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law, University of Washington

Kellye Y. Testy was named Dean of the University of Washington School of Law in 2009, the first woman to serve in the position. She received her B.A. from Indiana University at Bloomington and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Indiana School of Law where she was editor-in-chief of the Indiana Law Journal. Dean Testy has published extensively on topics including business law, gender and the law, social justice and legal education.

Read all about the 2016 honorees here, as well as the Washington Supreme Court women we honored here.

2017 Kicking Up Our Heels Sponsors

The Center raises money though Kicking Up Our Heels in two ways: by selling tickets to this fun-filled celebration of Washington women, and through the generous support of our sponsors.

The Center for Women & Democracy is a 17-year old organization which supports programs to help women of all ages “lead where they land.” We’re known country-wide for our trainings which focuses on building self-confidence, strong networking connections, and leadership skills. By sponsoring this event you are directly supporting the advancement of women. Sponsors receive a number of exciting benefits which include: being listed on our website, printed program materials, and large poster displays in the Governor’s Mansion; transportation on the VIP Executive buses down to Olympia; entrance to the Temple of Justice High Tea and Mansion reception, and more. All donations are tax deductible. Contact us or use our online form to make your donation today.

Below we honor our sponsors.











Center for Women and Democracy’s 2017 Girlfriends 

Randi Abrams-Caras, Cathy Allen, Kim Allen, Virginia Anderson, Irene Arden, Kara Briggs, Bernie Dochnahl, Pamela Eakes, Hilke Faber, Mollie Jensen, Kris Kutchera, Anne Kreoeker, Zola Maddison, Marcia Mason, Amy Beth Nolte, Vicki Orrico, Jane Repensek, Jane Rushford, Andrea Sanford, Janet Sawaya, Dr. Sharene Shalhub, Nancy Truitt Pierce, Michelle Quackenbush, Matthew Yoo


Learn more about our signature event

Check out our video to learn more about Kicking Up Our Heels 2014