Talking about a radical women Desiree Farley!

About a year after I’d completed the New Leaders Council (NLC) fellowship, through our local branch of the national progressive training and development program, I met Desiree Farley at an NLC event at Cityline Grill. Of all the incredibly talented and giving people in the room she really stood out to me because frankly, she positively oozed a kind of poise and polish that isn’t always common in a younger women. Who knew we’d work in the same building almost two years later? Or that she’d ask me to lunch after I’d had to reluctantly back out of volunteering for a judicial campaign she was managing? Right after which she said “You’re not getting rid of me by the way, we’re going to be good friends.” As usual, Desiree was right.

For me, Desiree is a true friend, one of my best cheerleaders, and a fellow #sheboss who I’m most grateful for. To the world she’s a self-defined feminist, advocate, political organizer, and fundraiser for social justice causes. A kindred spirit, at a young age Desiree stepped up to challenge oppressive forces wherever and whenever she could.  She stood up to school officials who suppressed her peers’ rights to self- express in violation of the dictates of social constructs of gender identities.  She began advocating for women’s reproductive health and LGBTQ rights as a student at the University at Albany and even traveled the country to lobby for progressive legislation. Talk about inspiring, while completing her Master’s degree in Women’s studies focused on public policy, she worked full time at a non-profit to privatize funding for programs and services for LGBT people of color communities all while helping develop an economic stimulus for Albany’s distressed communities.

While Desiree participated in grassroots efforts and lobbying to push forward progressive policies in New York, she also supported progressive political campaigns, which began her on her path to managing political campaigns as she does today.  As a 2015 Women in Government & Civil Society Fellow, Desiree conducted research on reproductive health issues with the purpose of advancing state policy initiatives. Desiree recently finished her graduate education UAlbany School of Public Health and works as a Medicaid Program Advisor with the Office of Quality and Patient Safety at the New York State Department of Health.

When we talk about bringing together a group of truly rad women leaders for our upcoming “Radical Women’s Leadership Retreat”, this is exactly the type of woman who you’ll find among us. Not only is she a role model of progressive female leadership in America, but she’s the kind of fun and vibrant person you want to spend a week with in Jamaica ;)


Madeline KennedyComment