​PCSW Education Fund, Inc.

 The New PCSW

The vision for the work and the funding of the PCSW Education Fund, Inc. and PCSW, Inc. are as follows: these entities will replicate the broad legislative initiatives and portfolio of research, education, coalition-building, programming, outreach and related work that the PCSW had directed for many years. Initially, we envision conducting this work on a volunteer basis. In the near-term, we intend to raise funds to hire a critical mass of staff that will maintain these organizations into the future. Please let us know if you would like to join us in our important work. You can reach us by email at info@ctpcsw.org. Our sincere thanks in advance! 

These advantages
are distinctly
different from
any other entity
or initiative
concerned with
​women's issues
​in Connecticut.

Join Us!

​Our initiative
includes a 501(c)(3), PCSW Education Fund, Inc., and a
​501(c)(4), PCSW
​Inc., which will
​allow for unlimited advocacy on​ 

The board
members of these
new entities are
well-known for
building effective 
Ultimately, these
issues spur
economic growth
and improve the
lives of everyone
in the state.

Fran Pastore,
President of the
​Women’s Business Development

PCSW, Inc.

​The Advantages of the New PCSWs

​​​​​We are former State Commissioners and former key employees of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut (PCSW) and we have launched a new non-profit initiative to advance the work of this former state agency. As part of the state budget passed last spring in Hartford, the 43 year-old PCSW was eliminated. PCSW had been the largest women’s commission left in the United States, with a legacy of developing landmark legislation and research in the areas of sexual harassment, domestic violence, family medical leave protections, pay equity, and human trafficking. A new, smaller commission called the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors (CWCS) was established to address policy issues for women, as well as policy issues for all children and seniors across the state of Connecticut.

        In response, we have formed two non-profit organiza-tions: the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut, Inc. (PCSW Education Fund, Inc.) and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut, Inc. (PCSW, Inc.). We will partner with leaders in Hartford, CWCS, and organizations around the state to ensure that the public policy agenda for women and girls addressed by the former PCSW continues to move forward. We will provide expertise, research, resources and advocacy in order to improve the lives of women and girls in Connecticut. ​

          The organizational structure we have developed to carry forward this work is modeled on other successful advocacy organizations. These organizations have a non-profit entity​designated as a 501(c)(4) under IRS regulations in order to conduct significant lobbying efforts and another non-profit entity designated as a 501(c)(3) under IRS regulations in order to conduct research, education, coalition building and very limited lobbying, with the added ability to accept tax deductible contributions.​

        Pro bono legal services are being provided for PCSW Education Fund, Inc. and PCSW, Inc. by Wiggin & Dana, LLP. Audit services are being provided by PFK O'Connor Davies, LLP.​

We bring expertise, resources, research

and advocacy to

the table. We will

partner with leaders

​in Hartford, CWCS
​ organizations
the state 
in order to improve
the lives of women
​and girls

Improving the Lives of Women and Girls in Connecticut

​​​​We have launched 

a new non-profit
initiative to advance ​the work of the former 

state government 
agency, Permanent
Commission on the
Status of Women
​in Connecticut.

 PCSW, Inc. will advocate in the same key policy areas addressed by the former PCSW, including economic security; health and safety for women of all ages; discrimination in all forms; education; and women’s leadership. PCSW, Inc. is applying for 501(c)(4) tax status with the IRS and intends to advocate for an annual legislative agenda in these key policy areas. 501(c)(4) tax status allows for unlimited advocacy on legislation. Carolyn Treiss, the former PCSW Executive Director, will serve as President of this organization. Valarie Shultz-Wilson joins Carolyn Treiss as Vice President, along with Susan Tolliver as Secretary and Mary Lee Kiernan as Treasurer.​ Maritza Bond, Catherine Ernsky, Jillian Gilchrest, Hilda Nieves, Helene Shay and Patricia Whitcombe will serve as Directors. 

PCSW Education Fund, Inc. and PCSW, Inc. will have the distinct advantage of establishing a portfolio of research, education, outreach, collaborations and a legislative agenda that are:​

  • Independent of state government;
  • Bipartisan in representation and oversight;
  • Expert in issues impacting women and girls through
    the skill sets and experiences that officers and
    directors bring to these two entities;
  • Representative of the state of Connecticut through the geographic reach and variety of perspectives
    ​provided by the directors of these two entities;

  • Capable of carrying on the prior PCSW’s work through the two IRS designations of these two entities and the human capital assembled on the two fiduciary boards and the advisory board.​

      The members of the two new fiduciary boards and the advisory board bring a wealth of skills and issue expertise to this initiative, including all aspects of advocacy for women and girls with an intersectional approach to these issues. In addition, these members bring expertise in law, finance, philanthropy, medicine, health equity, criminal justice, government, legislation, education, environmental justice, organized labor and non-profit. We expect to continue to grow both boards to their full complement of 15 members each as allowed under the organizational by-laws.

PCSW Education Fund, Inc. is applying for 501(c)(3) tax status with the IRS. This organization will conduct research, education, coalition-building, outreach and very limited legislative advocacy, as allowed by law. Mary Lee Kiernan, the former PCSW Chair, will serve as President of this organization. Catherine Ernsky joins Ms. Kiernan as Vice President of the PCSW Education Fund, Inc., along with Maritza Bond as Secretary and Carolyn Treiss as Treasurer. Directors include Lucia Aschettino, JoAnn Calnen, Susan Eastwood, Jillian Gilchrest, and Valarie Shultz-Wilson. 

      An advisory board to the PCSW Education Fund, Inc. has been established that includes Senator Richard Blumenthal; Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro; former PCSW Executive Director and current President of the Ms. Foundation, Teresa Younger; former PCSW Honorary Commissioner and Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, Patricia Russo; former PCSW Honorary Commissioner Patricia Hendel; and former PCSW Honorary Commissioner Barbara DeBaptiste.

The agenda for
women and girls is critically important
to our state and our nation. This new initiative is uniquely poised
to innovate and
​get results on these issues. 


Rosa DeLauro 

Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut​

​​These new
non-profits have

leadership and
mandates. They

will build broad coalitions  that

can help move legislation forward.
Senator Richard