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Lunching with Legislators: Breaking Down Barriers to Advocacy
When: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Where: Zoom (You will be given the Zoom credentials upon registering)

Please join us for a panel discussion with two of our local legislators about how we can all be advocates in our own right. They will speak to us about what gets legislators attention, how you can make the most of your time and theirs during session, and what they think are current pressing issues facing women and girls in Florida.

Speakers (learn more about our speakers below):
• Senator Audrey Gibson
• Representative Cyndi Stevenson
• Sabeen Perwaiz
Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Attendees: 1 No Charge

Event Speakers

Senator Audrey GibsonSenator Audrey Gibson

Audrey Gibson is a native of Jacksonville, Florida’s Northside. She attended local schools and graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor's in Criminology. Senator Gibson is a proud mom and "Mimi." Her leisure interests include sporting events, NASCAR and Formula 1 racing, flower gardening, music and period movies.

Senator Gibson was elected to the Florida House of Representatives from 2002-2010, elected to the Senate in 2011 through a special election and currently serving. Senator Gibson career includes among other positions working as a Congressional District Administrator and as a Business Community Liaison for Job Corps and Paralegal at a Jacksonville law firm. Senator Gibson is affiliated with many cause-worthy organizations, such as Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee; NCSL Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Infrastructure; Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Board of Directors; Scenic Jacksonville Advisory Board; Jacksonville Public Library Advisory Board; Jacksonville Women's Network (JWN); Women’s Legislators' Lobby (WiLL); Citizens for Tree Protection; Democratic Executive Committee; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-Jacksonville Alumnae Chapter; and charter member of Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation, among others.

Senator Gibson served as the 2018-2020 Senate Minority Leader and currently serves on the following committees:

  • Judiciary, Vice Chair
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Education
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development
  • Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security
  • Rules
  • Joint Legislative Budget Commission

Senator Gibson has testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Boot Camps and related issues, and is the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including: 2020 Florida Dental Association Dr. Lewis Earle Legislative Service Award, National Association of Social Workers Florida Chapters' Elected Official of the Year Award; 2019 National Congress of Black Women, Inc. (Orlando Chapter) Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm "Unbossed and Unbought" Award, Delores Barr Weaver Elder Advocate Award and Florida Education Association Champion for Public Education Award; 2018 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Theta Phi Chapter, Citizen Of The Year, and Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida President's 'A' Honor Roll; 2017 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc. Legislative Appreciation Award, Florida League of Cities Legislative Appreciation Award, Florida Association of Counties Legislative Leadership Award and Florida Epilepsy Foundation, Champion of the Heart Award; Florida Chamber of Commerce, Honor Roll; Florida Smart Justice Alliance, Legislative Advocate Award and PACE Center for Girls, Senator of the Year Award; Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, Legislator of the Year Award; and others by the Florida Insurance Council, Inc. Jacksonville Urban League, Florida State Conference of NAACP Branches, Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Women of Distinction Award, Children's Home Society, Public Official of the Year Award, Northeast Florida Association of Realtors- Legislator of the Year Award.

Representative Cyndi StevensonRepresentative Cyndi Stevenson

Cyndi Stevenson is a CPA and lifelong Floridian who has called Northeast Florida home for over 30 years. She lives in St. Johns County where she and her husband, Henry, raised their two sons. She served as a County Commissioner there from 2004 to 2015. As a State Representative, she has worked tirelessly to serve St. Johns County. Cyndi brings a passion for public service in her role as our voice in Tallahassee, where she has voted to increase school funding, cut taxes and blocked the expansion of runaway, entitlement spending.

Cyndi understands we need world-class schools and a well-trained workforce. She knows we must be wise stewards of our natural resources and protect the elderly and our most vulnerable citizens. She has worked to get government out of the way so Florida’s economy and small businesses can flourish and she has always maintained a strong commitment to public safety.

She is dedicated to making sure Florida continues to be a place where people can live the American dream of getting a good education, the opportunity to build a career or start a business and raise a family. She is committed to protecting Florida’s precious water resources and natural beauty for the health and enjoyment of future generations. She works to fight fraud, wasteful spending and to ensure that there are opportunities for all people.

Cyndi and Henry enjoy reading, biking and kayaking.

Sabeen PerwaizSabeen Perwaiz

Sabeen Perwaiz is President & CEO of Florida Nonprofit Alliance where she strengthens, promotes and advocates on behalf of Florida's nonprofit sector. During her tenure, FNA released Florida's first nonprofit economic impact report and nonprofit compensation survey. Prior to joining the organization, Perwaiz was a researcher for Vital Voices Global Partnership, served as Special Projects Manager for Pace Center for Girls, implemented an Early Childhood Education program with Aide et Action in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and led the Earn Up initiative for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2012, Perwaiz has led the all volunteer team for TEDxJacksonville. Perwaiz serves on the steering committee for Women's Giving Alliance and is a member of the Jacksonville Women's Network. She is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida Connect. Perwaiz has been named an Aspen Ideas Scholar, Woman of Influence, 40 under 40 and a National Business Journal Influencer. She has also received a One Jax Humanitarian award. In 2018, Perwaiz was appointed to Florida's Commission on Community Service.

Perwaiz earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and pre-medicine from City College of New York and her master's in International Development from the University of Birmingham in the UK. An avid traveler, Perwaiz has visited over 42 countries and hopes to visit at least 100 in her lifetime. She and her husband, Asghar, are proud parents of their toddler, Raza.

Contact Information

245 Riverside Avenue, Suite 310
Jacksonville, FL 32202 Directions

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