Naomi Osaka’s Play Academy Branches Out to LA and Haiti

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti to continue to change the lives of girls through play and sport.

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was launched in 2020 to create real change in the lives of girls. (Image credit: Nike)
Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was launched in 2020 to create real change in the lives of girls. (Image credit: Nike)

Announced in August of 2020, Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was created in partnership with Laureus Sport for Good with the goal to help change young girls’ lives through play and sport. Building on its work in Japan, Play Academy is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti, collaborating with local sport-based organizations that are helping encourage a new definition of movement for the next generation of girls.

Essential to Play Academy is Osaka’s personal experiences as an athlete, set by a rich transcontinental heritage that has shaped her views on sport, racial and gender equality and mentorship. With a mission so close to her heart, Osaka wanted to champion those causes in communities she knows and is deeply connected to – starting in Japan, where she was born, and continuing to Los Angeles and Haiti, where she currently lives and where her father is from, respectively.

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U.S. Bank Access Fund to Focus $25M on Women of Color in Business

The $25M U.S. Bank Access Fund will be deployed as long term investments to 3 partner organizations supporting women of color in business.

The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)
The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)

U.S. Bank introduced the details of the $25 million U.S. Bank Access Fund – a fund for women of color microbusiness owners, which was first announced in February. The fund, a collaboration between U.S. Bank Foundation and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), will include long-term investments of grants and capital funding to three partners: the African American Alliance of Black CDFI CEOs (the Alliance), Grameen America and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The fund is part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to help build wealth while redefining how the bank serves diverse communities and provides more opportunities for diverse employees.

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Jamie Sears of UBS: The Value of More Victories for Women in Biz

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs and Corporate Responsibility for the Americas with the global financial firm UBS, who also leads the UBS Foundation USA.

jamie sears
Jamie Sears of UBS discusses ways we can do more to support women entrepreneurs. (image courtesy of Jamie Sears)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

Get practice using your voice, and don’t be afraid to use it. That was important when I started out and is still important now. I grew up as an adopted Asian American in a small town that was predominantly white and, from my earliest days, I did not feel comfortable speaking up.  Even as I moved through life and a career at some incredible organizations, I largely put my head down, did the work and thought it would speak for me. That is not how the world works if you want to have a big impact. I wish I had known the power of believing that my voice was worth something, and that the most powerful thing I could do is use it to advocate for myself and for others. Ultimately, it’s about having the confidence to know that you are contributing to the world. 

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Activating Philanthropy – Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle

Editor’s Note: This article is Part Four in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Two: How to Call Your Congresswoman, and Part Three: Talking to Family Members About Giving. 

giving circle
The Women’s Giving Circle of Harford Count presented TasteWise Kids a $5,000 grant for its Days of Taste Program. The check presentation included Kim Malat, Sherifa Clarke, Riva Kahn, Ennise Bloom and Alice Welsh Leeds. In 2019, the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County awarded 13 grants to nonprofits serving women and children, totaling nearly $45,000. (Image Credit: Jessica Moser / Baltimore Sun)

We’re almost finished with our Activating Philanthropy series! Thanks for joining us for this four-week series on activating philanthropy in your everyday life. Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re tying everything together with one of the simplest and most effective forms of collaborative philanthropy: the giving circle

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New Scholarship Project to Honor RBG with Support for Women in Law

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project has been created to support and mentor women law students, in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project will help get women into law school and with the financial difficulties of entering the field. (Image credit: When There Are Nine Scholarship Project)
The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project will help get women into law school and with the financial difficulties of entering the field. (Image credit: When There Are Nine Scholarship Project)

A group of women lawyers who served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are launching a scholarship project to provide financial assistance and mentoring support to women law students.

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project was created in partnership with the Federal Bar Foundation, a New York-based tax-exempt organization, and was founded by a group of alumnae from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, following the passing of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Project’s mission is to honor the lifelong work of Justice Ginsburg by creating a scholarship, related programming, and mentorship that will advance equity and diversity within the legal profession and continue the late Justice’s many efforts to expand career opportunities for women attorneys.

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Texas Women’s Fdn Event Spotlights Outstanding Gender Lens Leaders

The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) held its Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration on April 29th, honoring the trailblazing women making a difference for both Texas and the world. From 10 AM to 12 PM, thousands joined in on the virtual celebration, discussions, and moments of gratitude. The event served to highlight how, particularly since COVID, women’s leadership offers particular value and potential.

texas women's foundation
Leaders honored by the Texas Women’s Foundation at their Leadership and Awards Celebration. (Photo credit: Texas Women’s Foundation and Plano Magazine)

The celebration honored five Maura Women Helping Women Award recipients and two Young Leader Award recipients. The Maura award enters its 42nd year with over 200 past honorees who have and are implementing drastic advancement opportunities for women and girls. The Young Leader Award highlights women leaders under 40 who, through their own accomplishments, are shaping the roads of progress for women everywhere.

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Announcing the Hosts of the 33rd Annual Gloria Awards

The 33rd Annual Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision will be hosted by change-makers Laura Jiménez and Marissa Nuncio.

The 33rd Annual Gloria Awards will take place on Thursday, May 20th 2021 at 8PM EDT/ 5PM PDT (Image credit: Ms. Foundation)
The 33rd Annual Gloria Awards will take place on Thursday, May 20th 2021 at 8PM EDT/ 5PM PDT (Image credit: Ms. Foundation)

We are so excited to introduce you to Laura Jiménez and Marissa Nuncio — two grantee partners that we are honoring at this year’s virtual gala: the 33rd Annual Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision on Thursday, May 20. These women embody leadership and what it means to advance equity to create real change in their communities.

For more than 25 years, Laura Jiménez has worked with women of color organizations across the country on issues of reproductive justice, including the National Latina Health Organization, the Dominican Women’s Development Center and was part of the birth of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Laura is passionate about issues of immigration, environmental justice, and birthing and parenting, as they intersect with reproductive justice. She is an innate healer, a daughter of the ocean, a holder of space, a holder of hands and hearts. Laura is a proud mamá to four awesome people and is the compañera of a gifted musician.

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On Mother’s Day, Support Migrant Mothers Reuniting with Children

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Gema Fernández, managing attorney at Women’s Link Worldwide, urging readers to consider the plight of migrant mothers this Mother’s Day.

As the U.S. begins to emerge from its pandemic nightmare, many Americans are looking forward to seeing — and maybe hugging — their mothers for the first time in over a year as they prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day. But around the world and in the U.S., far too many mothers and families have little to celebrate, as they face the hardships of migration, violence and forced separations. 

Gema Fernández discusses the need to help migrant mothers reunite with their children. (Image credit: Gema Fernández)

In the United States, children and infants have been ripped from the arms of migrant families crossing the Southern U.S. border, with hundreds of these children still disconnected from their parents and relatives years later. State-sanctioned violations of migrant women’s and families’ rights are not unique to the U.S., or even this hemisphere. 

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More Than Magic: What Funders Can Learn From Black Women and Girls

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, Chief Visionary Officer of the Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) and author of “Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide.”

black womxn
Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan shares her perspective on how funders can best collaborate with Black womxn and girls. (Image credit: @tweiston)

2021 has already been a traumatic year for Black womxn and girls. On the very day that the Chauvin verdict was announced, news spread like wildfire about 15-year old Ma’Khiah Bryant’s ruthless killing by police in Columbus, Ohio. Ma’Khia’s death followed a series of brutal assaults against young Black girls in the past four months – such as in January when a 16-year old in Florida was victimized by police after a school resource officer body-slammed and knocked her unconscious. Or in Rochester, New York where a nine year old was pepper-sprayed by officers who afterward told her, “You did it to yourself.”

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The Feminist Green New Deal: How Care Jobs Impact Climate Change

According to a new report, care work is integral to efforts toward decarbonization.

March for climate justice (Image credit:

Coming on the heels of debate about the Green New Deal proposed primarily by Senator Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, a similar coalition brief was released this month. The Feminist Green New Deal highlights the relation between climate change and the care industry. 

Care and Climate: Understanding the Policy Intersections is co-authored by Lenore Paladino and Rhiana Gunn-Wright. The former is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The latter is the Director Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. 

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