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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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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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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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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How Marsha P. Johnson Institute Gives Direct Support to LGBTQ+ POC

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has committed over $250K in direct donations to black LGBTQ+ individuals to provide post-pandemic support.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has donated over $250K in 2020 to Black LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Image credit: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has donated over $250K in 2020 to Black LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Image credit: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)

As the pandemic continues and with it, disproportionate impacts on Black transgender people, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute today announced the donation of over $250,000 to more than 500 individuals across the United States in 2020.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s COVID-19 Relief Fund provides a one-time direct relief payment of $500 to Black transgender or non-binary identified people. The Institute is committed to centering the needs of those most beyond the margins; priority for the awardees was given to Black trans women and those who have experience as sex workers, have been formerly incarcerated, and other vulnerable community members.

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Bill and Melinda Gates File for Divorce, Agree to Divide Assets

Editor’s Note: The following article is by Eric Johnson and Alexandra Ulmer from Reuters News Service.

Billionaire benefactors Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, filed for divorce on Monday after 27 years of marriage but pledged to continue their philanthropic work together.

Microsoft technology advisor Bill Gates and his wife Melinda leave on the second day of the Allen and Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo
Bill Gates and his wife Melinda announced their divorce and decision to divide their communal property as set forth in their separation agreement. (Image credit: Reuters)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has become one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health, spending more than $50 billion over the past two decades to bring a business approach to combating poverty and disease.

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Norton Ends Publishing Philip Roth Bio, Pledges Six Figures for Survivors

The literary world has been rocked by a recent scandal that impacts funding for women and girls.

Blake Bailey, the authorized biographer for prominent American writer Philip Roth, has been accused of multiple sexual assaults against women. As a result, on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, W. W. Norton announced that it would permanently stop publishing Philip Roth: The Biography and would donate the same amount as Mr. Bailey’s advance on the book (described as a mid six figures amount) to “to organizations that support sexual assault survivors and victims of sexual harassment.”

Blake Bailey’s biography of Philip Roth will no longer be published by Norton, and Norton will donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to support sexual assault survivors. (Image credit: Amazon Books)

From the New York Times:

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Asia Foundation to Honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need

The Asia Foundation’s 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need for their work for women in Asia and the Pacific.

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)
The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability, and Women In Need (WIN), a non-profit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. The celebration will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th and features appearances by ABC “Nightline’s” Juju Chang and “Law and Order: SVU” actor Mariska Hargitay.

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Darren Walker: It’s Time to Support Black Women and Girls As They Lead

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

Black women worldwide have shown unbelievable resilience in the face of deep-seated racism and gender-bias, especially in the wake of the pandemic. (Image credit: The Root/Shutterstock)

Despite some (if uneven) progress with vaccinations, we still face a pandemic of pandemics: A deadly virus that exposes and aggravates deep-seated racism and gender-bias throughout our societies and institutions. Indeed, all of the data affirm, women—particularly women of color—bear the brunt of these interconnected crises.

The facts are devastating: Women of color have been left without jobs at higher rates during Covid-19. Around the world, rising unemployment coupled with lockdowns and school closures have forced millions into poverty and the threat of violence at home. In Tunisia, for instance, reported incidents of domestic violence increased five-fold during the early days of the pandemic.

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Mastercard Invests Millions in Venture Capital with Fearless Fund

Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built to support women of color, has received a huge investment from Mastercard.

Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)
Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)

Black women are building and growing businesses faster than any other segment and yet receive less than one percent of venture capital funding. In addition, only three percent of the people actually leading investments at VC firms are Black according to the National Venture Capital Association. To help further access to funding for Black women, Mastercard today announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built by women of color for women of color.

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