About Us

The Coalition is an all-volunteer member-driven organization dedicated to supporting the adults who empower girls and to ensuring the voices, issues and needs of girls are heard. The Coalition is led by a ten-member volunteer Board of Directors; individuals and organizations that are passionate about the mission and vision that set the foundation for gender equity and gender-responsive services for girls in Oregon.  The Coalition acts as a state level advocate for girls, an education and information resource on the issues that girls face and on effective work with girls, and a network for members committed to helping girls succeed. The Coalition advocates for and educates others about all girls and young women, especially those who are at risk for endangerment and disconnection and involved in State and County Systems.

The Coalition started in 1992 when a group of concerned citizens formed a statewide advocacy organization for the purpose of ensuring that girls have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. In 1993, the Coalition sponsored and helped pass the bill in the Oregon Legislature that became the Equal Access law (ORS 417.270). As a result, Oregon is the only state in the nation [with a law] that requires all state agencies providing services to children to ensure that girls have equal access to appropriate gender-specific services, treatment and facilities.


How do we do it?


We maintain a strong voice at the state and national levels for the needs and issues of girls and young women.  

We work to ensure that Oregon is providing access to gender-responsive services and programming that meet girls’ needs so girls have the opportunity to develop to their full potential.


We inform our network and state agencies of current issues directly impacting girls, of effective gender-responsive, promising or evidence-based practices/models and offer them an assessment tool for programs and services to meet the standards for providing gender-responsive programming for girls.

We collaborate with The National Crittenton Foundation and the National Girls @ the Margin Alliance to educate other states about the benefits of having the foundation that Oregon has with our Equal Access law and how it enables advocacy for ensuring that services for girls utilize gender-responsive practices.


We provide opportunities at the local, state and national levels for girl advocates to connect, share, and build relationships advancing girls' issues.

We enhance resources for programs and agencies serving girls to further explore and support gender-responsive practices and programs.


Board of Directors


State and National Liaison - Pam Patton

Chair - Bob Russon

Secretary - Debbie Aiona, Portland League of Women Voters

At Large Officer - Diane Brandsma, Boys and Girls Aid Society


Kristen Mackiewicz Seghete, OHSU

Elizabeth Nye, Girls Inc. of Pacific North West

Mike Riggan, Oregon Youth Authority, Oak Creek