Cortney Tunis is the Executive Director of Pantsuit Nation. Before joining the Pantsuit Nation team, Cortney worked in nonprofit executive search, student affairs and library systems in higher ed, and in museum education at history and contemporary art museums. She has a BA from Williams College, an MA from the University of Chicago, and an MBA from Boston University.
Cortney loves to travel and lets her stomach be her guide when she visits a new place. She plays the banjolele and is an aspiring apartment gardener.
To build a foundation for a more equitable and engaged democracy
We believe that stories are an essential part of activism. The empathetic potential of first person narrative to create social change is widely recognized and yet often dismissed as less effective than data driven approaches. The power of emotion, authentic connection, and socially reinforced empathy to shift our understanding of how abstract policy affects individual lives and to create a sense of urgency to engage with our democracy is at our fingertips. Let’s use it.
We believe that power is built from ground up, not dictated from the top down. Power starts with each person’s story and grows within our communities with every experience shared, door knocked, and call made. When we create and support systems of power at the local level, we mobilize a groundswell of action that will carry through to the highest levels of our democracy.
We believe that there is no equality without equity. We believe in amplifying the voices of historically underrepresented communities, and using positions of privilege to dismantle systems of oppression. We believe intersectionality is fundamental to advancing an equitable democracy.
We believe in “going high,” within our community and beyond. We believe in creating spaces for difficult conversations where we challenge each other, firmly but kindly, to see beyond our own lives and listen to the experiences of others.
We believe that an equitable democracy of engaged participants is possible, but that there are no short term fixes. We take a long path approach to building power and a broad view of civic engagement. We meet people where they are and provide resources to get them where they want to go.