Tina Turner: Her Music and Life Represented Survivors Everywhere

Greetings to All! As Kiersten mentioned, my name is Kevin Marek, and I will be collaborating with her at PW to keep you up to date on some of the latest developments in the world of feminist giving. Without further ado, let’s see what is out there at the moment.

Tina Turner made visible the domestic abuse that many women suffered silently. Her feminist giving spans both her life story and her amazing music career. (Image credit: Wikipedia, Creative Commons)

Tina Turner: Her Music and Life Story Represented Survivors Everywhere 

Tina Turner became an iconic figure in the entertainment world, and her music lives on, instantly recognizable to tens of  millions of people worldwide. Her recent passing created an outpouring of sadness combined with celebrations of her legacy. She burst onto the scene in the late 1960s with the song Proud Mary, but did not become a full-fledged superstar until the 1980s. However, it was in the time between that she made perhaps her most significant contribution to our society.

Being of an age, I remember the shock that accompanied her announcement that she was a survivor of domestic abuse. Her husband and musical partner on Proud Mary had been abusing her for years. The news was met by both outrage and bewilderment. Thoughts of “how dare he?” were mixed with bewilderment. Tina projected such an image of strength and confidence on stage that many found it difficult to grasp that she was living in the domestic violence abuse cycle. It took tremendous bravery and strength to leave her abuser and her marriage and embarked on her own solo career.

For a celebrity to go public with news like this adds one more heavy layer of difficulty to the process. Tina still did it. It was a huge leap forward for her personally, but it was maybe even a bigger step for us culturally. Again, being of an age, the topic of domestic violence and spousal abuse was not discussed before Tina came forward. Her news was exactly what the public needed to hear to take the issue seriously. Almost single-handedly, she made all of us aware that it can happen to anyone, at any time. Tina Turner put the issue into mainstream consciousness, making it something that needed to be addressed at both the personal and policy levels.

Tina Turner’s subsequent career played out amazingly following her early personal history. She became a leader and an example for millions of people. Her career shouted “I’m a survivor. You can be too.”   

(1) Latino Victory Fund Endorses Sabina Matos in Historic Bid for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District

While Philanthropy Women has already published a piece on this, as a Rhode Islander I wanted to revisit this. It is worth mentioning that Aaron Regunberg, a former representative of the RI State Assembly, is the favorite in this race. As a male who graduated from Brown and Harvard, he has all the appropriate sense of entitlement one might expect.  

Sabina Matos is a candidate for the 1st Congressional District in Rhode Island. This will be a special election to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of the current incumbent. Formerly a member of the Providence City Council, Sabina Matos is currently the Lt Governor of Rhode Island. She is the first Dominican-American to hold statewide office in the United States.

The Latino Victory Fund (LVF) has announced its endorsement of Sabina Matos in this election. The goal of the LVF is to build Latino political power by supporting the election of Latino candidates. If she is elected, Sabina Matos would be the first Democratic woman, first Latina and Afro-Latina elected to Congress in Rhode Island, if elected.

“Sabina Matos is a visionary leader with a proven track record of advocating and delivering results for communities in Rhode Island. She is one of the state’s fiercest champions for affordable housing…and… a reproductive health advocate…and a fighter for gun safety supporting the ban on assault weapons and raising the minimum age for legal gun owners…Latino Victory Fund is proud to stand with Sabina in this historic bid, and can’t wait to see her working as a member of the Democratic Latino bench in the U.S. House of Representatives.”  –Statement from Luis A. Miranda, Jr. Board Chairperson of Latino Victory Fund

(2) GET Cities Announce A Second Seed Funder Cohort

The group Gender Equality in Tech (GET) has announced the establishment of a second seed founder cohort. Based in Chicago, the mission of GETCities is to raise money and create connections to increase the leverage of startups that were founded by women, trans, and nonbinary companies. They seek to close the gap in seed funding for groups that are often marginalized by mainstream seed funders. 

Included in the second cohort are ten innovative startups: AEGIS, blip energy, SMART Charts, StoryBolt, Kadeya, MOMlogics, Bridge to College, Globowl, Science on Call, Here Here Market. The first seed founder cohort succeeded in raising $8,881,000 for nine startups that included Cyber Popup, Mycocycle, Neopenda, and Wave Therapeutics.  

GET Cities focuses on seed founders due to their unique stage in the funding process. Currency, women only receive 2.2% of VC funding. The goal is to assist founders who are struggling to advance from seed to Series A stage.  

“It was extremely helpful to learn from a group of women at all stages and to be exposed to more and more of the ecosystem. The connections were very valuable for me to understand the tech community better and how to navigate more efficiently. I have many connections tee’d up as a result and I am excited to see how they unfold.” – Shelley Gupta, Founder and CEO of BāKIT Box

 View the full press release here.

New Development

There is more good news. In conjunction with the notices posted above, an additional $1 M in grants have been announced in grant funding from GET Cities. The money will be distributed to 5 Chicago-based pilot programs.

The five recipients of the funds are:

– Chicago:Blend
– P33/TechRise
– Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago
– World Business Chicago
– Illinois Science and Technology Coalition

The organizations listed were chosen largely due to their success in easing the challenges faced by groups that are currently under-represented in Chicago’s tech industry.

These projects have already enjoyed success in their pilot phase. The goal of the grants is to facilitate the development of these initiatives into scalable, highly-functioning solutions that will be fully fused with the operations of their partner organization. The success of these programs will help create greater equity within the tech sector.

View the full press release here

(3) Women’s Foundation of Boston Announces 2023 Grant Recipients

The Women’s Foundation of Boston (WFBoston) will award $1,707,428 to ten different non-profit organizations through its 2023 grant cycle. These are organizations that are local to the Greater Boston area. 

WFBoston’s grantmaking continues to focus on Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programming because studies show it boosts girls’ confidence, driving them to pursue future leadership positions, innovate, and feel less afraid of failure. In this grant cycle, WFBoston is awarding six grants to support STEM and mentoring programs that equip women and girls to be financially independent and successful leaders.

In six years of awarding grants, WFBoston has built up an impressive record. In that time it has  directed a total of $6,060,749 to organizations focused on improving the financial, professional, and emotional wellbeing of women and girls. View the full press release at this link:


Additional information about the individual organizations can be found in the links below.

Girls on the Run Greater Boston (GOTRGB)  and  

Girls on the Run Worcester (GOTRW)   inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a research-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

Dress for Success Boston (DFSB) empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.

Esperanza Academy is a tuition-free, independent middle school for girls from low-income communities in Lawrence. 

Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA (GSCWM)  and

Girl Scouts of Eastern MA (GSEMA)   build girls of courage, confidence, and character, providing positive outcomes through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that focuses on four pillars of STEM, Outdoors, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. 

Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center (MCA) is the only tuition-free independent school for girls in grades three through eight in the City of Boston serving traditionally under-resourced neighborhoods. 

Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA) provides low-income Latina and other immigrant women who are English Language Learners the tools to empower themselves through mentoring, education, and job training. 

WE CAN is a Cape Cod-based nonprofit focused on supporting and empowering women going through life transitions and challenges. 

Women’s Money Matters (WMM) is a nonprofit whose mission is to empower women living on low-incomes to improve their financial health to create a more secure future for their families and communities.

(4) National Dance Institute Celebrate Life of Maya Angelou

The life of Dr. Maya Angelou will be celebrated at “RISE”, the annual Event of the Year held by the National Dance Institute (NDI) in New York, NY. 

Featured in the Event will be an exuberance of dance, and the music of over 100 very talented schoolchildren from the NYC public schools. NDI works with 46 schools each week, providing dance and music programs that are intellectually stimulating, foster active participation in a lively and engaging way. Music and dance are among the first programs cut to save money, so NDI provides a much-needed resource to fill this critical gap.

“RISE” will feature special performances by NDI staff, as well as new and original works created by NDI’s team of choreographers and musicians. A graduate of NDI, Bianca Johnson will direct the program.

“Maya Angelou inspired and uplifted generations through her art and we want to honor her legacy this Juneteenth with performances celebrating equality and limitless potential within everyone.”  –Jermaine Jones, Executive Director of NDI 

“Through the pathways of dance and music, our programming encourages children to move through the world thoughtfully, with open minds and open hearts.” –Kay Gayner, Artistic Director of NDI

The dates are June 17 – June 19. The final performance date will take place on Juneteenth. 

The link to purchase tickets can be found here. If you are interested in attending the Benefit Dress Rehearsal on June 16th at 6 pm for a reception with a performance at 7 pm, please click here: Buy Benefit Tickets

Visit NDI online at nationaldance.org, on Twitter @NationalDance, Facebook and Instagram @NationalDanceInstitute; and YouTube and LinkedIn @NationalDanceInstitute.

(5)KEEN Utility Empowers Next Generation of Tradeswomen With $1M Pledge

KEEN Utility, a leader in safety footwear and the work boot division of KEEN Inc. (KEEN) created the She Builds Grant Program in 2021 in order to facilitate the entry of more women into the skilled trades. Six recipients were selected for the grant in 2o23.  

The recipients for 2023 are:

Black Women Build-Baltimore 

British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Trades Discovery for Women 

Girl’s Garage

Grid Alternative’s Women in Solar Program

Oregon Tradeswomen

Vermont Works for Women

Between 2021 and 2023, KEEN Utility has helped advance women’s empowerment and participation in the skilled trades by pledging more than $1 million in financial and product support. The recipients of the grants are non-profit groups in both the US and Canada.

“Women are a vital part of the skilled trades. Through the She Builds Grant Program we are able to better support a number of forward thinking organizations dedicated to the empowerment of women in the trades.” –Kevin Oberle, Senior Director of Global Insights & Engagement at KEEN Utility. 

The She Builds Grant Program is funded through the KEEN Effect program, an initiative with the goal of making the trades accessible to all. KEEN Utility is strongly committed to welcoming more women into the trades.

Full Press Release:



Ford Foundation Backs New Black Feminist Fund with Seed Money

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IIE WeTech Seed Fund Network

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