Grantee Spotlight: Alice Paul Institute

Impact100 South Jersey’s 2020 general operating grantee, Alice Paul Institute (API), celebrated its 40th anniversary in January with an open house at the newly renovated Paulsdale. Paulsdale is a National Historic Landmark and the home of local suffragist, feminist and political strategist, Alice Paul.   

API honors Alice Paul’s legacy through its commitment to education and leadership development through school programs, Scout programs and the Girls Leadership Council (GLC). 

API’s School Group Programming offers assemblies and in class programs to classes K-12, as well as field trips to Paulsdale.  Younger girls and boys are introduced to the concept of civic engagement and creating positive social change through games and art.  Programs for older students focus on the history of suffrage, voting, citizenship, integrity, leadership and social action.

The Girls Leadership Council provides meaningful opportunities for female-identifying teens to explore topics surrounding gender equality. A thoughtfully developed GLC curriculum fosters powerful conversations on topics like race, privilege and access, mental health, eco-feminism, gender and sexuality. 

Most recently, the GLC traveled to New York City to celebrate ERA Night at the Broadway show “Suffs”.  API’s Executive Director, Rachael Glashan Rupisan had this to say about their trip to NYC and their ongoing work.

“2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the Alice Paul Institute. The occasion has provided a moment for the organization to refine our programming to make a lasting impact on people throughout the region. Just last month, API took members of our Girls Leadership Council to the Broadway musical ‘Suffs’, which depicts feminist leaders, like Alice, and their contributions to American history. Following the performance was an Equal Rights Amendment focused talk back featuring esteemed panelists Carol Jenkins, Huma Abedin, Heidi Schrek, and Gloria Steinem. The girls also had the opportunity to meet with Gloria before the show hearing her reflections on social movements and what effects progress. 

This moment highlights our efforts to advance the intergenerational movement for gender justice. We are actively using the stories of the past to inspire the next stubborn girl, to pick up the torch and march forward towards a more equitable world.“

This year the Girls Leadership Council will also head to events at the United Nations, Philadelphia and Washington DC, allowing them to practice their critical thinking and professional speaking skills and engage with girls’ leadership groups from around the world.

Impact100 South Jersey member Lois Gabin Legato, who serves as a Board member at API, shared her thoughts on their important work. “My involvement at API began as a volunteer mentor for the Girl’s Leadership Council. Seeing the incredibly positive impact we as leaders can have by sharing our professional experiences with young women, I began to understand the great impact API was having not only on the girls, but also on me.” She went on to say, “We have a responsibility to continue this for the next generation, and API gives us all the opportunity to participate in that future and the fight for gender equality. Watching the girls flourish and grow into society’s future leaders has been the main driver of my interest in taking a deeper dive as a board member. I want to see API continue to grow, stand out, and provide the high-quality education, programming and advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality that I so strongly believe in.”

A shining example of this impact, recent GLC Alum Anjali Darji has been named as one of South Jersey Magazine’s 2024 Women of Excellence.  Anjali, a rising sophomore at Rutgers University and a former Girls Leadership Council member, has continued her work as an advocate, serving as a Board member and treasurer for the nonprofit Flow Forward, and by participating in Harvard Graduate School of Education Critical Participatory Action research on redlining and economic investment. Read about Anjali.  

Upcoming API Events

The Alice Paul Institute continues to celebrate their history with two special events: the Women’s Equality Day Festival at Paulsdale on August 20th and the 40th Anniversary Gala at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on September 26th.  

May 8th Yoga on the Porch returns every Wednesday at 6 pm.  The class is open to all.

May 11th The Pawsdale Adoption Event will be held at Paulsdale.

May 18th Installation of the new Rain Garden.  Created in partnership with Impact100SJ grantee The Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resource Program, visitors can explore the grounds of Paulsdale, take a tour and help with planting. 

June 5th at 12 pm Lunch and Learn continues with Champions of Equality: Ingredients for Revolution, Feminist Restaurants 

Ongoing The Girls Leadership Council’s Period Pantry is going strong collecting feminine hygiene products available to young women at the Cherry Hill Library. Donations may be dropped off at the CH Library.

Learn more about upcoming events.

Ways to Get Involved

Volunteer Docents: Responsibilities include welcoming visitors, leading guided tours and helping with the gift shop for 4 hours per week.

Volunteer Site Committee: Helping maintain the beautiful grounds of Paulsdale.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Plan a visit to Alice Paul Institute