Programs & Events

Woman of the Year

The Brookline Commission for Women’s longest-standing tradition, Brookline Woman of the Year honors a woman from the community who has made a significant impact on the town and on the people who live here.  Past winners include:

  • (2020) Kim Kushner, Founder of Brookline Thrives
  • (2019) Lihua Shorter, World Languages Department teacher and adviser for the Asian Pacific American Club
  • (2018) Chloe Lara-Russack, Executive Co-Director of Artbarn Community Theater
  • (2017) Misti Jaynes, Community Activist and Collaborator
  • (2016) Rene Feuerman, Food Pantry Executive Director
  • (2015) Doreen Gallagher, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocate and Violence Prevention Coordinator at BPD
  • (2014) Mary Dunne, BEEP educator
  • (2013) Rita McNally, Engaged Community Leader
  • (2012) Sonya Elder, Former Director of Food Services for Brookline Public Schools 
  • (2011) Janet Selcer, Former Director of Steps to Success
  • (2010) Molly Paul, Former Brookline Community Foundation Executive Director 
  • (2009) Hsiu-Lan Chang, Community Advocate
  • (2008) Vicki Milstein, BEEP Principal
  • (2007) Pat Norling, Domestic Violence Advocate
  • (2006) Sue Howard, Attorney 

Women Who Inspire Us Student Essay Contest 

A collaboration with the Public Schools of Brookline, the essay contest invites students in grades 3-12 to write 500 words about “A Woman Who Inspires Me.” Because of the public health emergency, the BCW will not hold the contest in school year 2020-2021. To see the winners of the 2019-2020 contest, please watch the video (which also celebrates our Woman of the Year) here:

Winter Coat Drive (Dress for Success)

In collaboration with Dress for Success, the Brookline Commission for Women hosts a Winter Coat Drive to provide new or lightly-used warm coats to this not-for-profit organization that "empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.”  Due to the pandemic restrictions in fall/winter 2020-21, Dress for Success suspended this clothing drive. Please visit their website for other ways to help during this time.

Past Forums & Events

  • Women Who Inspire Us 2020 Tribute Video:
  • Childcare Forum - In April 2013 and September 2014, the BCW hosted forums on childcare options.
  • Toxic Bust – Breast Cancer Awareness - In October 2008, the BCW partnered with the Brookline Health Department to show the documentary film, Toxic Bust, which explores the connection between toxic chemicals and breast cancer.
  • Status of Women in Brookline - In 2006, the BCW held a “Forum on the Status of Women” to discuss how Brookline women fare in terms of health, politics, and business.
  • Making Cent$ of Money Management Seminar for Women - Series of financial management seminars sponsored by the Bank of Canton, Jennifer A. Lynch Committee Against Domestic Violence, and the Brookline Commission for Women