Favianna Rodriguez on the Power of Art to Heal Polarization

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Favianna Rodriguez, President of The Center for Cultural Power, a national organization investing in artists and storytellers as agents of positive social change.

Favianna Rodriguez, courtesy of Favianna Rodriguez
  1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I wish I’d known more about the racial and gender barriers that exist for women of color leaders in the non-profit sector, particularly the arts and culture space. I knew how to pitch my ideas and raise money, but I lacked information on how to navigate situations in which I was experiencing unequal treatment due to my gender and racial identity. I was in many spaces where the safety of women was not prioritized. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years of being an institutional leader, I’ve experienced numerous uncomfortable situations including sexual harassment, the theft of my ideas by male leaders, being bullied by men when I challenged sexist assumptions, and being trained to lead in a boy’s club type of approach. Before, I didn’t have the language or tools to navigate these situations. But that has since changed, and I’m incredibly thankful for that because it gives me the opportunity to create safe spaces for other female and gender non-confirming leaders to thrive.2

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Announcing SHEcovery, A COVID Response Call to Action from CFW

In the wake of the pandemic, the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) has launched SHEcovery to support women of color in the workforce.

The Chicago Foundation for Women has launched SHEcovery as a call to action to invest in women and girls. (Image credit: Chicago Foundation of Women)
The Chicago Foundation for Women has launched SHEcovery as a call to action to invest in women and girls. (Image credit: Chicago Foundation of Women)

Decades of hard-fought gender equity progress have vanished over the past 18 months as women have been pushed out of the workforce in record numbers due to COVID-19 while taking on increased childcare and caregiving responsibilities. To address these challenges head-on, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced SHEcovery™ – a commitment from the Foundation to fund, support, and build a more equitable system that supports Women of Color.

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Texas Women’s Foundation Gives $12.9 Million with 400 New Grants

Texas Women’s Foundation invests with over 400 grants and more than $12 million dollars to community programs in the state.

Empowering women and girls to build stronger and more equitable communities is the chief goal of the Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF). This dedication has continued recently as they have invested $12.9 million dollars in the community over the past year.

Girls Embracing Mothers was one of the grantees of The Resilience Fund, one of the grant-making vehicles of the Texas Women’s Foundation (Image Credit: Girls Embracing Mothers)

This sum was donated over the course of the organization’s fiscal year: July 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021. Of this total, $10.8 million was invested in the form of 416 grants. $2.1 million was given to specific programs with goals that align with the Texas Women’s Foundation’s work.

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New Nonprofit Seeks To Find The Lost Women Of Science

The Lost Women of Science Initiative, started by Katie Hafner and Amy Scharf, is on a mission to fund and raise awareness about women in STEM.

The Lost Women of Science Initiative was launched to support women in STEM and advocate for their work throughout history and in the future. (Image credit: Lost Women of Science)
The Lost Women of Science Initiative was launched to support women in STEM and advocate for their work throughout history and in the future. (Image credit: Lost Women of Science)

Journalist and author Katie Hafner, and bioethicist Amy Scharf, announced the launch of the Lost Women of Science Initiative, a new educational nonprofit organization created to research and promote the stories of the forgotten women of science. The initiative’s mission is to raise awareness of the pivotal role women have played in scientific discoveries and innovations, and to promote interest in STEM education and careers – especially among girls and young women. Harvey Mudd College, long a leader in STEM education, has signed on as fiscal sponsor, and early funding has come from The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures. The initiative will also partner with Barnard College, one-third of whose graduates are STEM majors.

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Love-Bombed, Then Abandoned: Plight of the Feminist Grantee

Philanthropy Women May be Winding Down Due to Lack of Support for Feminist Media about Donor Leadership, Strategies and Practices.

With nearly 1,100 posts published, an unusually high and rising domain authority, and hundreds of feminist leaders and strategies highlighted, Philanthropy Women is simultaneously a feminist media powerhouse and running out of resources. And it’s not for lack of trying to find those resources, or generate them on our own.

Photo by Valentina Conde on Unsplash

What happened to us? It’s a case of what I can only describe as donor love-bombing and subsequent abandonment.

I’m sure this happens to most nonprofit organizations, but I think it might be particularly acute in the social justice realm. Because we go for so long in life having the experience that no one cares about social justice or, in my case, feminist social justice, and then suddenly all of these people DO care. And not only do they care, but they are willing to write you $5,000 checks to do this work.

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Michelob ULTRA $100M Pledge Shifts Marketing to be Gender-Inclusive

Michelob ULTRA has committed $100 million to make its marketing gender-inclusive, with the goal of increasing the visibility of women in sports.

Women beer drinkers may have more good news to celebrate as beer brands like Michelob begin to pay more attention to their marketshare. (Photo by Elevate on Unsplash)

As one of the top selling beer brands in the country, Michelob ULTRA believes that every athlete deserves to experience an equal level of joy in sports. But women’s sports don’t always receive the same level of coverage in the media, which is a critical factor in ensuring that female athletes are paid equally. That’s why Michelob ULTRA is committing $100 million over the next five years to increase visibility for women’s sports through:

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How Could Biden Enhance Effectiveness of New Gender Policy Council?

A call to action has been issued by the Center for American Progress to the White House Gender Policy Council.

The Center for American Progress put out a report that includes several strong and worthwhile suggestions for the Biden administration. The goal of the report is focused on how the current administration can advance gender equality on both U.S soil and abroad. 

Image Credit: Lindsay Lamont on Unsplash

The crux of the report is focused on the White House Gender Policy council and how it can expand the pre-existing Women, Peace and Security Act (WPS) of 2017. 

WPS has actually existed since 2000, starting after being recognized by the U.N Security Council. Since the implementation of WPS in the United States, a requirement is in place that every four years specific governmental departments and agencies must incorporate WPS  into their work. Further, they are required to host WPS-specific training for personnel, to track the progress of implementation, and to report to Congress on this progress. 

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Old Navy’s Size-Inclusive Shopping Model Sets a New Standard

Old Navy is setting a new standard for size inclusivity with BODEQUALITY, offering a wider range of sizes than any other value retailer.

Old Navy is expanding their available sizes, redesigning their clothes to take down unrealistic standards, and raising awareness of body inclusivity with its BODEQUALITY campaign. (Image credit: Business Wire)
Old Navy is expanding their available sizes, redesigning their clothes to take down unrealistic standards, and raising awareness of body inclusivity with its BODEQUALITY campaign. (Image credit: Old Navy)

Old Navy is revolutionizing the shopping experience with the launch of BODEQUALITY. Beginning on August 20, Old Navy will redefine size inclusion, offering every one of its women’s styles, in every size, with no price difference. As a brand committed to the democracy of style, Old Navy will be the first value retailer to offer sizes 0-30 and XS-4X for all women’s styles at price parity. With this launch, the brand is reimagining the shopping environment in all stores and online to be more size inclusive, giving women everywhere the fashion and experience that they deserve.

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Women’s Funding Network Announces New Additions to Board

The Women’s Funding Network has announced the addition of Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson to its Board.

Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson will have taken their seats on the WFN Board of Directors on September 7th, 2021.
Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson will have taken their seats on the Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors on September 7th, 2021.

Women’s Funding Network announced the appointments of three new additions to its board of directors: Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Gina Jackson, and Kelly Nevins. The newly appointed members lead community-based women’s funds with national impact for gender equity and justice advocacy. They will have taken their seats on September 7th, 2021. 

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Women in Crowdfunding: What the New WPI Data Says

Women’s Philanthropy Institute has come out with a new report about trends involving women in crowdfunding campaigns.

Acting as a supplement to previous research, the report reveals a number of key findings that fundraisers should keep in mind when faced with women donors. Charitable giving is in high demand, thanks to the impact of Covid-19, and therefore these trends are valuable for all involved in the crowdfunding world.

Gender and Crowdfunding Cover (Image Credit: Women’s Philanthropy Institute)

Although it was found that women and men have given roughly the same amount to crowdfunding fundraisers, women were more likely to donate in a typical year. 34% of women were found to donate in a year, while only around 31% of men donated. Overall, roughly 40% of men and women have donated to a crowdfunding movement at one point in their life. 

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