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November 15th, 2019

Let's Talk Gender! with Change The Story VT

We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” - Anaïs Nin 


Brush off that gender lens! We are mixing things up a little at this month’s lunch with a focus on understanding our unconscious gender bias. Change The Story VT will offer a sneak preview of their updated report on women and the Vermont economy and then--using their Let’s Talk Gender Cards as our toolkit--we will launch into conversations about gender norms and implicit biases that undergird the stories we have been told and tell ourselves, stories that we believe and stories we act on. Then as a group, we will begin to create new ideas for raising awareness and elevating interactions, keeping in mind both our good intent and biased approach to this complex and fascinating topic.


You will leave with your own set of cards, trained to host your own conversations. Because starting the conversation is the first step to changing the story.

This is an interactive workshop! Come prepared to dive in to a shared conversation with your own thoughts and reflections.




Tiffany Bluemle: After a brief stint on the ill-fated Mondale presidential campaign, Tiffany worked as a middle and high school history teacher and at NYC Outward Bound, where she developed a deep passion for helping young people discover and develop their talent and voice. Upon moving to Vermont, she joined Vermont Works for Women where she served as its executive director for seventeen years. She left that post in 2015 to lead Change The Story VT, a multi-year, systemic approach to improving women’s economic opportunity. Over the past decade, Princeton University, the John Merck Fund, KeyBank, and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce have honored her work. Tiffany received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her B.A. from Princeton. She is a former member of Princeton’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the boards of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and Public Assets Institute. She lives in Burlington with her partner and two sons, whose feet have now grown far too large for their mudroom. 

Jessica Nordhaus directs Strategy & Partnerships for Change The Story VT, a partnership of the Vermont Commission on Women, the Vermont Women’s Fund and Vermont Works for Women designed to fast-track women’s economic security by doing research on the status of women in Vermont, raising awareness of gender inequities, working with employers and engaging men in the conversation. In that role, Jessica travels the state to present on gender equity and co-facilitates the Business Peer Exchange. She is also principal at Burlington-based Gear Shift Consulting, LLC and – way back in the last century – founded Toad & Co. (formerly Horny Toad Activewear). Jessica serves on the Fletcher Free Library Commission and co-founded the Greater Burlington Women’s Forum. She is also a managing partner at a mid-size, rapidly growing family firm in the south end of Burlington that specializes in big dinners, bad jokes and lots of laundry.

Alyssa Johnson-Kurts, Communications Director for Change The Story, is a facilitator, organizer, and communications specialist from Central Vermont. Aly holds a B.A. in Economics from Smith College and has worked as the State Divestment Organizer for 350Vermont, a Training Fellow with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Press Secretary for Zephyr Teachout’s 2014 New York gubernatorial run, Communications Manager for Rights & Democracy VT/NH, and Field Director for Zephyr Teachout’s 2018 campaign for Attorney General. In Aly’s home community, Aly managed Anne Watson’s winning campaign for Mayor of Montpelier. Aly currently volunteers as a member of Central Vermont Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and serves on the steering committee for the VT Freedom Bail Fund / El Fondo Para La Libertad VT. Aly plays the saxophone in the Burlington-based anti-imperialist street band Brass Balagan.

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What's a Women's Forum Lunch Like?

Bring a lunch, listen, learn, share, and network with women in our community.


The program starts at promptly at noon, in Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall.


Most lunches involve a 20-30 minute panel presentation on a topic of interest followed by time for discussion with the women seated at your table. The program closes at 1:15pm with time for participants' announcements (job openings, services available, upcoming events...). The space is available until 1:30pm for informal networking.


Please register on Eventbrite to save your seat (no need to print out a ticket, though!). 


BY DONATION. For our events to be accessible and affordable for all women, we rely on your contributions! We ask for a $5 - $15 sliding scale donation at the door-- credit card, cash or check (payable to Greater Burlington Women's Forum). To make your contribution online, please click DONATE.

Special thanks to the legal firm of PRIMMER PIPER EGGLESTON & CRAMER PC, our Founding Business Supporter; DUNKIEL SAUNDERS, Community Supporter; MERCY CONNECTIONS, our Fiscal Agent, providing fiscal oversight and tax-exempt status; and to MAYOR MIRO WEINBERGER, our Event Host Sponsor.

Have a topic that you would like discussed? Want to organize a luncheon?