Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on April 14, 2021.
Women’s History Month was definitely one for the books, especially with Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative dispersing $3 million in grants at the end of the month. This newest funding was allocated to four grassroots organizations focused on breaking down educational barriers for women in sub-Saharan Africa.
On June 1st, Plan International USA was granted $2 million in funds to aid child trafficking survivors in Burkina Faso. The project, aptly named Strengthening Assistance for Child Trafficking Survivors, is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Plan International USA is joining forces with a local NGO in Burkina Faso, The Keoogo Association, to implement this much needed undertaking.
The project to end child trafficking
Strengthening Assistance for Child Trafficking Survivors aims to not only assist those victims of child labor and sex trafficking but also to stop it from happening in the first place. Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA, states, “due to underfunded education systems, poverty and a lack of employment opportunities, children in Burkina Faso are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, forced labor and recruitment by armed groups.”
The Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) announced the women leaders who will grace the stage at their 36th Annual Luncheon being held on September 30. Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade, best-selling authors, will discuss the overarching message of, “My Voice. My Story. Every Woman’s Power to Build Compassion and Community.”
The speakers are sponsored by Target and the Suzanne Ahn, M.D. Speaker Endowment Fund at the TXWF. Co-chairs Lindsay Billingsley and Debra Hunter Johnson, both of whom are philanthropists and women leaders in both their personal and professional lives, are hosting this renowned TXWF fundraiser.
The Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF), a leader in women’s philanthropy in Texas and around the world, announced their President and CEO, Roslyn Dawson Thompson, is retiring from TXWF at the end of 2021. In conjunction with Dawson Thompson’s retirement announcement and TXWF’s succession plan, the nationwide search to fill her seemingly unfillable shoes is underway.
Throughout her 10 years with TXWF, Dawson Thompson oversaw and led the organization from the Dallas Women’s Foundation to what it is today — a global force for women’s social and economic progress and philanthropy. Climbing the ranks from volunteer to CEO, Dawson Thompson’s unique perspective on how to develop efforts for women’s empowerment is a prime example of what TXWF promotes as a whole: community, integrity, inclusivity, and grassroots action.
Grameen America, a non-profit organization providing microloans and financial opportunities to low-income women entrepreneurs, recently announced its new Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs initiative. By 2030, Grameen America plans to lend $1.3 billion to 80,000 Black women entrepreneurs with this new initiative.
Based on their track record of over $1.9 billion provided to over 136,000 low-income women already, they’ll reach this new goal and continue leading the way in shifting the racially charged financial situation in the US today. Basically, Grameen America’s Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs initiative saw the estimated 1.4 million Black women entrepreneurs experiencing “systemic lack of access to affordable credit and capital” and are doing something about it.
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.
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.
New England International Donors (NEID) held their annual Gala on April 8th, virtually of course. This gathering of international philanthropists was to celebrate the incredible work accomplished by the cohort throughout 2020. NEID is a rapidly growing community of engaged individuals and organizations whose aim is to “address the world’s big problems” by “living and giving boldly.”
Their mission is to learn from one another, join forces, and through this strategic network of collaboration, tackle inequity, climate change, and many of the world’s challenges that would’ve been insurmountable otherwise. This community is effective, to say the least, as around 45% of their members collaborate on projects together and 30% of their network support projects discovered directly through NEID.
The Texas Women’s Foundation’s long-held tradition of honoring leaders in women’s philanthropy continues. Their virtual Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration will be held on April 29th. Amongst the recognitions, the Maura Women Helping Women Award and the Young Leader Award are highlighted.
As the Maura Award enters its 42nd year, the five recipients are those who have adapted their own leadership roles to further the progression of women and girls in various innovative ways. With over 200 past Maura Award recipients, these women are now part of a bold and fearless group who have taken it upon themselves to make life better for women and girls in Texas, and around the world. The Young Leader Award spotlights two women who have broken glass ceilings in their own fields and industries, demonstrating the way forward towards a more gender-balanced society.
Texas Women’s Foundation, a philanthropic leader advocating for women’s progress and stability in the southern state, has dispersed nearly $2 million in grants from their Resilience Fund since the onset of COVID-19. The disastrous aftermath of the winter storms in February left the most vulnerable of the Texan population, low-income women and their families, in dire need of assistance. The Resilience Fund didn’t hesitate.
The Resilience Fund is one of many established by the Texas Women’s Foundation, which uses evidence-based approaches to tackle the inequities that women, and specifically women of color, face in their state. The fund’s grants are a consistent and needs-based answer to the devastation these winter storms brought with them, including dozens of unnecessary deaths and nearly $20 billion in damages.
A new research paper exploring how COVID-19 gender policy changes have helped female scientists and improved research quality was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research shines a pandemic-inspired light on how self-identified females are specifically impacted by COVID. Their job roles as scientists are being redefined and their increased caregiving roles are taking priority.
The results of the study, although unsurprising in terms of perpetual gender inequities, are unique to today’s world. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) initiated their “COVID-19 funding competition” in February of 2020, and found fewer females applied. Those that did apply, were also less likely to be approved.