Julene Allen, Founder of Lean In Ohio

BIO: Julene Allen is a Chicago native who founded the multimedia women’s empowerment organization, Women For Action and newspaper Women For Action Times. Through these initiatives, she interviews women changemakers throughout the United States and abroad to spur the development of women and girls. Now based in Ohio, she founded the Lean In Ohio Chapter, and volunteers to promote Lean In resources and tools throughout the region and pledged to interview one hundred women influencers in the area to empower women for leadership.

As a writer and advocate, Julene has volunteered to promote various human and civil rights initiatives while collaborating with international organizations such as the U.S. National Committee for UN Women, Chicago Human Rights Watch and the  Muslim American Leadership Alliance to fight against various injustices and inequalities, specifically involving women and girls.

Lean In Dayton: Tell us a little about you- your background and your most recent role or occupation.

Julene Allen: I am the Executive Director of the 501c3 nonprofit organization, Women For Action and Founder of the Lean In Dayton Chapter. Women For Action is a multimedia entity, with an international focus that champions the work of women throughout the globe. Through my organization, I interview key women subjects, women who are making a significant impact in our world.  We also focus on human rights issues and share stories that shed light on some of the obstacles women face in different societies. I run a small newspaper, Women For Action Times which focuses on women’s issues and features many of these interviews. To further my advocacy for women’s empowerment, I founded Lean In Dayton. It is a growing entity which interviews local women leaders and promotes Lean In campaigns and resources.

Lean In Dayton:  What career and/or academic achievement are you most proud of?

Julene Allen: In 2008, I started the petition to vet four women from different backgrounds for the U.S. Supreme Court position. Though I only collected approximately 100 signatures, Sonia Sotomayor was on the top of the list at the time. My petition was launched well before President Obama uttered her name to the public.

Spearheaded by Women For Action, in 2014, I started the petition to Elevate August 26th, Women’s Equality Day to a federal holiday. Though I’ve garnered close to 1000 signatures, I still need many more signatures to further this initiative. I have often found myself being the lone woman standing for a cause in the face of adversity. However, my work towards an equal future for all women persists.

Lastly, I am finishing up my first movie- the Women History Makers Project. The project features five significant women, one being Former Colonel, now Dr. Cassie Barlow, Executive Director of the Center for Workforce Development at Wright State University.
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