Phylicia Woods WeLead Class of 2019-2020

WeLead alumna Phylicia Woods headshot

Phylicia Woods
Executive Director, Cancer Policy Institute at the Cancer Support Community

What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
The most valuable thing I learned from WeLead was building stronger relationships with women from diverse backgrounds. Women can learn from each other even if their political beliefs differ. It was refreshing to converse with women with common interests, and who valued the importance of having women represented at the decision-making table.

What was your favorite part of the program?
I particularly enjoyed the fundraising activity. At first, I was apprehensive about asking friends and family for money. This activity pushed me out of my comfort zone. To my surprise, I was able to exceed my individual fundraising goal. It was rewarding to see how much my friends and family were willing to support to me.

What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
Be open minded. WeLead gives you an opportunity to learn from other women working in a variety of spaces, and to develop authentic relationships. Also, use WeLead as a way to build on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Lastly, take advantage of the connections made during the sessions, especially with the presenters. Make sure to ask the presenters questions, and then follow up for advice/guidance. They are willing to help you because they want to see other women succeed.

Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
WeLead gives you the energy and extra push to step out on faith to pursue your dreams. There’s nothing like having a strong group of women to inspire, support, and motivate you to be your extraordinary self!

Woods is American Cancer Society’s lead lobbyist on Capitol Hill for issues including Medicare Part B/Part D, prescription drug prices, health disparities and inequities, cancer prevention and screening, and diversifying clinical trials. She has worked in both the House and Senate, as well as on campaigns and voter registration. She also taught ESL in the Peace Corps for 14 months. Woods earned a JD from the University of South Carolina, and both a Master of Arts degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Saint Louis University.