STATEMENT: WAND announces Congresswoman Sara Jacobs as the 2021 Torchbearer

Washington, DC - On October 5th, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) awarded Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) as the 2021 Torchbearer, an award given during each of WAND’s biennial conferences.


Congresswoman Jacobs follows in the footsteps of members like Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky, Donna Edwards and many others who have received the award over the last 30 years of the Women Legislators’ Lobby for their inspirational leadership in the fields of peace, justice, and the advancement of women.


WAND’s Executive Director, Nancy Parrish, said, “It is our tradition to present our Torchbearer Award to one woman who embodies the spirit and tradition of women who serve this nation and the world with their talent, passion, and dedication to peace and justice. Our awardees have typically been women who had accomplished amazing things over decades of their careers and were at the absolute apex of their professional lives. This year though, we have our eye on the future. She has already accomplished much in her young career and we are here to honor that.”


Upon receiving the award, Congresswoman Jacobs said, “Ultimately, what we are all working for is so much bigger than one vote or one bill, we need a new direction in U.S. foreign policy. We need renewed emphasis on peacebuilding and human rights. And we need a military budget that recognizes that more war isn’t the solution to every problem.”


“Last week the FY2022 NDAA, a 760 billion dollar bill that included a $23.9 billion dollar increase above what President Biden and the Pentagon requested. This increase attempted to sugar-coat the fact that we’ve disinvested in diplomacy and failed to properly support peacekeeping efforts, while pouring money into unproven and unneeded weapons systems and sprawling global counterterrorism programs that are neither accountable, nor effective.”


In addition to the Torchbearer award, WAND celebrated 7 “Pacesetters,” women state legislators who are leading the way in redirecting much-needed federal funds back to their constituents:

  • Georgia Rep. Park Cannon

  • Vermont Rep. Sara Coffey

  • Ohio Rep. Catherine Ingram

  • Vermont Rep. Kimberly Jessup

  • Rhode Island Senator Meghan Kallman

  • Hawaii Rep. Amy Perruso

  • New Mexico Rep. Angelica Rubio

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Throughout October, as the Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL) celebrates its 30-year anniversary, it will hold the biennial conference as a month-long action summit to take on a new definition of national security. The conference, “Fund Communities, Build Security,” will explore a more human-centered approach to national security; one that considers social and economic issues as key components of security.