Halle Berry Gets Behind New $275M Bill for Menopause Research 

 A campaign led by prominent female lawmakers and boosted by the star power of actor Halle Berry has succeeded in gaining Congressional support for a major initiative for womens’ health. On April 30, 2024, legislative leaders unveiled a $275 million bill to boost federal research, physician training and public awareness about menopause.

Halle Barre and a bevy of legislators gathered to unveile the Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women’s Health Act. (Image credit: Screenshot from Youtube video)

In a rare bipartisan effort, the Senate bill, the Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women’s Health Act, is led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and has support from Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and other lawmakers. 

Berry has used her personal experience with menopause, which included multiple misdiagnoses, largely because most doctors receive very little training in how to treat a condition that affects half of the population of the world.  This includes Only 31 percent of surveyed OB/GYNs; in 2022 only 31% of them said they had a menopause curriculum in their residency training programs, and patients and providers have said they are confused about potential treatments.

“There’s not enough information” about menopause, Murray said in an interview. “It is overlooked, it’s underinvested in, and it’s been left behind. And it is about time that our country and everyone really started taking this seriously.”

According to the Washington Post, The bill would authorize $125 million in menopause-related research grants through the National Institutes of Health, create a $50 million public awareness campaign about the condition, fund $50 million in additional training for health workers and provide $50 million to improve diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions affecting women at midlife.

Berry has been a visible advocate for the bill. She has made numerous trips to Washington to share her personal story of struggling to be diagnosed. The Academy Award-winning actor said she spent about six months shuttling among doctors, who offered an array of diagnoses for her pain, exhaustion and other symptoms. Such visibility is, unfortunately, often needed to produce legislative results. 

“I call it my foggy days,” Berry said, adding that some diagnoses were “scarier than others.” One physician concluded she had an autoimmune disease and sought to prescribe steroids.

When told her symptoms were caused by the onset of menopause, she Berry began to speak publicly about her experience. This included a January conversation with Jill Biden and in discussions with lawmakers that were detailed last year by Politico. In our story of March 20, 2024, we noted how Jill Biden has become an active champion for womens’ health.

To read the complete article, please see the following link:


One: Can [Fearless Fund] Invest Only in Black women? This case will decide.

The Washington Post follows up on a story we’ve been tracking since July 2023.  

The assault on the Fearless Fund and other programs of its kind continues unabated. Edward Blum and his American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) seem determined to sue every group they possibly can in their quest for a business climate in which wealthy White men get all the advantages and call all the shots. 

So far AAER has caused a number of private firms to cancel initiatives, whether fellowships or grants or other, that were intended to benefit and promote diversity. These firms have removed all racial qualifications for applicants.

The goal of the AAER is to create an environment in which race does not matter. The point of contention is how to achieve that goal. Blum and his supporters believe this is only possible if any and all programs designed to help underserved communities are eliminated because they are inherently discriminatory. Blum scored a major victory last summer when race-based admissions into Harvard and the University of North Carolina were struck down by the US Supreme Court. 

One result of this ruling was that applicants can state that they would be the fifth generation of their family to attend UNC. This is a code for “White”, since Blacks were not admitted as undergraduates to UNC until 1955. On the other side, Black applicants cannot mention that, five generations prior, their ancestors were enslaved persons. 

Arian Simone, CEO and co-founder of Fearless Fund may share the goal of a society in which race does not matter, but she does not believe this will come about on its own. However, she, like most people, does not believe this racial nirvana will appear on its own, and history is on her side. It’s been 150 years since the Civil War, and 60 since the Civil Rights Act, and we’re still waiting.

Oral arguments were heard on January 31, 2024. A panel from the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Florida is expected to announce its decision. Fearless Fund’s case rests on the argument that the grants it gives are a form of charitable giving, which is protected under the First Amendment.  The problem is that two of the three judges who will issue the ruling were appointed by Trump, and they seemed skeptical of Fearless Fund’s position.

Given that the stakes could not be higher, this case will doubtless end up before the US Supreme Court.


Two: Tides moving millions to protect democracy in 2024

The 2024 election represents a crisis for democracy. Voters in 22 states face new voter suppression laws, proposed state-level laws restricting basic rights, and ongoing disinformation campaigns targeting communities of color, young people, and under-resourced communities. 

Tides is meeting this crisis head-on. To date, Tides has moved $71M in pro-democracy and civic engagement funding. This includes a portion of a $10M gift from MacKenzie Scott, the first such grant she has made. 

This is part of a commitment made by Tides to move at least $200M to grantee partners by the end of 2024. The money is intended to mobilize voters, safeguard democracy, and to protect and reestablish long-held rights. 

The money will support a broader grantmaking strategy for the election, which includes the Healthy Democracy Fund. The strategy will  support community groups this election cycle and invest in long-term pro-democracy infrastructure for years to come. 

In a recent article, Tides leaders discuss how this funding will provide community organizers with the resources urgently needed to mobilize voters and counter disinformation campaigns, particularly those geared toward disenfranchising voters of color. Through this initiative, Tides will also support ballot measure campaigns in various states to protect reproductive freedom, raise the minimum wage, and prevent unconstitutional gerrymandering. 

Through this initiative, Tides will also support ballot measure campaigns in various states to protect reproductive freedom, raise the minimum wage, and prevent unconstitutional gerrymandering.  

“The 2024 election is a watershed moment for our democracy,” said Janiece Evans-Page, CEO of Tides. “We’re facing a political reality that could result in communities of color, young people, and vulnerable communities being stripped of their constitutional right to be active participants in our democracy. At the same time, many in these communities are also in danger of losing access to critical reproductive and community health care. As an organization committed to building a healthy and inclusive democracy in which all people can participate, we are leveraging the full weight of our community to move critical resources early on in this election cycle to ensure community organizers have ample time to educate, mobilize, and build relationships with voters ahead of this pivotal election and beyond.” 

“At Tides, we recognize community organizers urgently need funding to mobilize voters early in the election cycle and to get ahead of disinformation,” said Beth Huang, Program Officer of Civic Engagement & Democracy at Tides. “We believe everyone should be able to cast their ballot and have a say in our nation’s future. We are thankful to MacKenzie Scott and all of our donors whose giving allows us to urgently move money to community organizers engaging and mobilizing people of color, young people, immigrants, and low-income people to participate in the electoral process.” 

Three:  Ms. Foundation’s Women of Vision Awards | May 14, 2024

On April 24,2024,  the Ms. Foundation for Women announced the honorees for the 2024 Women of Vision Awards: Seeding Solidarity & Sisterhood. This year’s annual gala will take place at the Weylin in Brooklyn, New York on May 14th, 2024. 

The ceremony will honor leading feminist advocates, activists and thought leaders who work for gender and racial equity while raising funds for the organization’s mission to build women’s collective power and center women and girls of color in philanthropy. 

The evening will also celebrate the Ms. Foundation’s new home in Brooklyn, New York, and recognize a powerful decade of growth for the organization under the leadership of President and CEO Teresa C. Younger. 

This year’s Woman of Vision Award honorees include:

  • Culture House: Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg and Nicole Galovsky for their impactful work and commitment to diversity and inclusion across all of their projects. 
  • Grantee partner Jamarah Amani, Executive Director of Southern Birth Justice Network, for her vital role in building the birth justice movement.
  • Grantee partner Rhiannon Carnes, Executive Director of Ohio Women’s Alliance, for her fearless dedication to reproductive justice. 

This year’s Marie C. Wilson Award honoree is:

  • Lateefah Simon, President of MeadowFund, former grantee partner and nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and social justice,  

The event will also honor an emerging leader:

  • Sophia Madrigal with the Free to Be You and Me Award, which honors young activists enacting change.  

“We are so excited to announce this year’s honorees for the Women of Vision Awards and bring our community together to remind ourselves of the power of our relationships to strengthen our potential for movement building,” said Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation. “Culture House, Jamarah, Rhiannon, Lateefah, and Sophia are groundbreaking feminist leaders and we are honored to be able to celebrate their work and come together to advance our collective mission of advancing racial and gender equity.”

The Women of Vision Awards is the Ms. Foundation for Women’s largest annual fundraising event, honoring feminist advocates, activists, and thought-leaders who ignite policy and cultural change. For the past 51 years, the Ms. Foundation has invested more than $90 million to build grassroots movements fighting for gender equity for women, particularly women of color around the country. Since its inception, the foundation has supported over 1,600 grassroots organizations working for change on a grassroots level in order to build power and advance democracy. 

For more information about the event and those being honored, please click on the link below: 


Four: Experts Host Summit to Address the Increasing Impacts of Wealth-Hoarding on Philanthropic Giving

To confront huge inequalities of wealth in America, dozens of leaders from Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute (EWDi), Crisis Charitable Commitment and the Donor Revolt for Charity Reform, together with the nation’s leading peer-to-peer philanthropic networks, professionals, and advocates, convened in San Francisco for a one-day summit to find a solution. 

The summit aimed to identify the multiple ways in which charitable giving has been transformed as our country’s wealth gap has increased, donors have become more consolidated, and philanthropy has become a taxpayer-subsidized form of private power and influence. 

EWDi, a California-based progressive think-tank focused on inequality, tax reform and holding the excessively rich accountable, hosted the event. The summit featured thought-provoking discussions and inspiring speakers, who all shared the goal of understanding the complexities and potential conflicts of various groups and how to collaborate to address the growing challenges posed by the accumulation of excessive wealth.

“Charitable giving reform is a critical antidote to wealth inequality,” said Gabriela Sandoval, Executive Director of Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute. “Our goal with this summit is to grow connective tissue between existing campaigns, sectors, initiatives, and efforts—and through our individual and collective efforts–catalyze an effective, broad-based movement that dismantles the social, economic, and environmental dangers posed by excessive wealth and creates an economy that works for the benefit of all.”

“It is an inescapable truth, our investments, our endowments are pillars of the economic system and are expressions of our values. We are invested in the companies and the financial institutions that are perpetuating the wealth system, driving the harm, social, economic and environmental impacts that have placed our climate and our society on the brink of collapse,” said Ellen Dorsey, former Senior Advisor of Wallace Global Fund. “So, let’s get real about what we’re doing with our investments and not pretend that the investments sit here and the charitable giving sits over there. We cannot usher in change unless philanthropy changes because we are currently a vital pillar of the failing systems. I’d like to ask you to join us to build a community of partners and a community of practice that works feverishly to disrupt the cycle of excessive wealth and usher in a world that we can imagine but we must fight for with ferocity and urgency.” 

Simply put, Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) have become a favorite tool of many excessively wealthy individuals because they can be–and often are–used as a tax-incentivized vehicle for hoarding wealth. Since DAFs are charitable giving accounts, they provide donors with immediate tax benefits while allowing them full control over the allocation of philanthropic funds over time. 

The major critique of DAFs is that they allow the so-called donor to sit on charitable money instead of granting it out to the causes that need it. 

According to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, since 2018, 21 for-profit firms and nonprofit organizations have spent a combined $11 million to lobby against DAF reform. These include DAF sponsors affiliated with investment firms Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard, and an association of community foundations. Of this amount, $3 million was spent on defeating the ACE Act, a modest charity reform proposal introduced in 2021.

About Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute  

The Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute (EWDi) was created in 2022 by Chair of the Board and Founder, Alan S. Davis, to address our growing culture of excessive wealth and reduce the impact of compulsive greed. We want to live in communities that are safe, healthy, have green spaces, clean air, with homes priced within reach. EWDi’s mission is to research, educate, and organize to build a broad-based movement that dismantles the social, economic, and environmental dangers posed by excessive wealth. Our vision is to create a just and inclusive economic system rooted in shared prosperity, government accountability, and societal well-being.

About Crisis Charitable Commitment 

The Crisis Charitable Commitment (CCC) is a campaign to greatly increase the flow of charitable dollars to nonprofits in response to the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath. The Charitable Commitment is a voluntary minimum level of charitable contributions for America’s wealthiest individuals and foundations.

About Donor Revolt

Launched by the Patriotic Millionaires, the Institute for Policy Studies, Inequality.org, Solidaire Action, the Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute, Resource Generation, the #HalfMyDAF Campaign, and the Decolonizing Wealth Project, the “Donor Revolt for Charity Reform” campaign calls for “common sense charity reforms,” including requirements to boost foundation payouts, increase transparency, and close down abuses of donor-advised funds (DAFs).

Five:  First-Ever Feminist Giving Day Led by Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, GiveMN, and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation

National organizations and figures have the scale and prestige to be able to work for everyone at once. However, state- and local-organizations also play a key role, getting things done at the level where people live. It’s crucial that we recognize and celebrate their efforts as well.

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFM) and GiveMN are proud to host the first-ever Feminist Giving Day on Thursday, May 9. 

The purpose of Feminist Giving Day is to provide the opportunity for people to support WFM’s work researching, advocating, convening, and investing in women, girls, and gender-expansive people across the state.

WFM and GiveMN decided to create Feminist Giving Day in order to do something about the appallingly low level of charitable dollars directed to women and girls. The Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has determined that only 1.8 percent of charitable giving in the U.S. goes toward organizations that center women and girls, 

The campaign was organized to change that statistic. The initiative will be launched this spring with a 24-hour celebration of giving to women and girls, just in time for Mother’s Day, allowing people to make a gift in honor of their mother or a mother-like figure in their lives.

“Studies show that investing in women, girls, and gender-expansive people helps everyone in the community,” said WFM President & CEO, Gloria Perez, “In fact, according to the United Nations, closing gender gaps could boost GDP per capita by 20 percent.”

“GiveMN believes in growing giving to build more equitable communities,” said Jake Blumberg, executive director of GiveMN. “We share the Women’s Foundation’s commitment to generosity, courage, inclusion, and equity and we’re proud to be launching a new Minnesota giving movement together.”

To jumpstart the donations, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation has generously agreed to match dollar for dollar the first $30,000 in contributions to Feminist Giving Day.

“For the past 40 years, the Women’s Foundation has done great work supporting women, girls, and gender-expansive to lead safe, healthy, and prosperous lives,” said Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation President & CEO, Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., “We’re excited to be a part of the first-ever Feminist Giving Day and hope that our contribution will inspire others to give generously so that WFM can continue its work advancing equity for all in the next 40 years and beyond.”

For more information about Womens’ Foundation Minnesota, visit the website:



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