What We Do

Forward Wyoming’s Story

Our organization started out as a team of young people from around the state of Wyoming that got sick of the status quo. We realized that there was no one getting the average citizen involved in the political process which meant our voices were being ignored.

So we did something about it.

Seeing that the average citizen had very limited paths for getting involved in the political process at the grassroots level, Forward Wyoming was launched with the goal of reinvigorating the political culture and fostering a more representative, responsive government. Without talented people who know how to effect real change, Forward Wyoming started the Grassroots Institute to give young people the skills necessary for transforming the system.

Now we advocate for a better, stronger, and fairer state through grassroots organizing centered around getting people directly involved in the political process.   Our office is located in Southeastern Wyoming, the seat of higher education and state government, Forward Wyoming is continuously broadening its reach to communities throughout all of Wyoming.

Our Mission

Forward Wyoming is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to engaging, educating, and training a new generation of active citizens and young leaders to help make Wyoming a better place to live. Participants at FW’s Grassroots Institute learn skills that last a lifetime: issue-based advocacy, the nuts and bolts of campaign management, framing and communicating about the issues, and organizing local efforts to improve Wyoming communities. Giving inspiring leaders hands-on experiential education in the field of organizing is absolutely critical if we are going to see Wyoming move forward. 

At Forward Wyoming, we champion evidence-based policy ideas aimed at improving the quality of life in Wyoming. We stand up for the interests of Wyoming people and the generations that follow.

  • Equitable and fair workplaces and  wages for all workers, free of gender bias and discrimination
  • Communities in which all people including women and minorities feel safe, empowered, and represented at every level of government
    • Developing a political culture of cooperation rather than divisiveness by ensuring that the health, education, and economic security of Wyoming people is the            highest priority.
    • Increasing voter registration and turnout so that more Wyomingites participate in the political process.
      • Preserving Wyoming’s natural outdoor heritage by keeping public lands in public hands is vital to maintaining Wyoming’s unique character.  We aim to protect            the Wyoming way of life enjoyed by outdoor recreation enthusiasts in the state, and the millions of tourists who annually visit Wyoming to enjoy the pristine                beauty of the natural world.  
      • Wyoming children regardless of socio-economic background should start life on a level playing field with access to high quality early childhood education, K-12          education, STEM and outdoor education opportunities, and affordable health care.  
      • A juvenile justice system that focuses on lower-cost, evidence-based restorative justice programs proven to reduce recidivism and rehabilitate youth, programs          that prepare youth to rejoin society as productive citizens.

Our Staff

LeeAnn Grapes

Executive Director

Taking charge of putting activism into action, LeeAnn leads Forward Wyoming’s team of organizers and activists. Hailing from the clear mountain air of Casper, WY, LeeAnn is an avid stargazer, insistent world traveler, certified yogi, and proud hamster mom. After earning two B.A. degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Wyoming, she ventured out to Washington, D.C. to intern in the Senate. Her experience taught her that in order for our state to move forward, more Wyomingites need to be active and engaged in the political process. In the years that followed, LeeAnn set out to walk the walk–knocking doors for important local issues, organizing a community Commit to Vote program, training the state’s best new organizers, and ushering in a new generation of over 80 (and counting!) Grassroots Institute fellows in the Laramie area. Creating a more civically engaged community is no small task, but she gets stoked about working alongside inspiring people and helping aspiring activists get to know the tools they need to make change.
Contact Us: info@forwardwyoming.org