Maggie May is a small business owner, author, and story-centric content strategist headquartered in Annapolis, MD and Philadelphia, PA. She has a passion for finding stories and telling them the way they're meant to be told.
For the past 30 years, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has honored exceptional women in journalism, highlighting the courage of female journalists around the world as well as the groundbreaking journalists who have dedicated their careers to paving the way for female journalists of the future.
This week, IWMF announced the 2020 recipients of the 30th annual Courage in Journalism Awards, granted to female journalists who go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to reporting the truth. These women face down harassment, violence, government oppression, and more in their pursuit of journalistic integrity.
At first, Megha Desai thought there was no way girls and women would take to social media to tell stories about their first periods. But as education, dignity, and confidence grew in a small town in India, the local women and girls surprised her.
Four years ago, the Desai Foundation held an awareness campaign about menstrual health and hygiene in the small town of Untdi, Gujarat–the village Desai’s father grew up in.
“We had all these signs laid out on tables, saying things like ‘Happy to Bleed,’ ‘Proud to be a Woman,’ and ‘Proud of my Womanhood,” remembers Desai, President of the Desai Foundation. “I looked at those signs and I thought, ‘Nobody is going to hold these signs up. We’re in a tiny little village where no woman would talk about her period. But by the end of the campaign, the women and girls were so confident and proud that they posed for pictures with these signs. It blew me away. I thought to myself, if these girls in this little village can hold these signs and pledge their periods, then we ought to be able to do that, too.”
On May 21st, attendees gathered for IUPUI’s first webinar in the Perspectives on Philanthropy Discussion Series. The series asks, “As we search for context in our transforming world, what role does philanthropy play? Broadly understood to encompass the human voluntary spirit, philanthropy is responding in a variety of ways to the current global crisis today. How is it doing and what role will it have in the world that is emerging?”
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Frances Sykes, President of the Pascale Sykes Foundation. The Foundation partners with nonprofits that serve working, low income families to increase their stability — financially, in relationships and in well-being.
“Hope is setting a goal and moving toward that goal, taking steps toward the future. That’s what gets families and individuals through challenges of daily life and makes a difference in the community.” – Frances Sykes, President and CEO, Pascale Sykes Foundation
Put yourself in the orthopedic shoes of a frontline worker in the midst of this crisis.
Imagine you’re a young hospital staffer, supporting a team of other frontline workers through something no one has experienced before. On top of the physical and mental demands of a regular day in the ER, now you have to handle the mental and emotional load of an ongoing pandemic, figure out how to keep your team safe with dwindling PPE, and support the emotional needs of a group of people pushed past their mental endurance.
When it’s your job to support the rest of the team, where can you turn for support of your own?
At 2:00 on May 14, more than 100 attendees gathered for “Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models,” Philanthropy Women’s first-ever webinar.
Joined by Marianne Schnall, Surina Khan, and Emily Nielsen Jones, our Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek sought to explore the questions surrounding giving and COVID: how can a gender lens improve funding and make funding more accessible?
Marianne Schnall on Feminist Approaches to Addressing COVID
To begin, Marianne Schnall, Founder of Feminist.com and What Will It Take?, took the lead to discuss what she sees happening in terms of the feminist approaches to addressing COVID. Schnall draws on her perspective from the media and activism space.
“Rather than seeking stark divisions between approaches or themes within feminism, perhaps we should instead look for the many possibilities for productive coalitions.” – Sally J. Scholz
It’s no secret that art comments on, fights against, and breaks the molds of society. Sometimes, it even forms the basis from which activists and earth-shakers build platforms to enact real social change.
The Feminist Art Coalition (FAC) seeks to create a platform where art projects can build creative collaborations between artists and their societies, in exhibitions that give established institutions a way to give voice to their commitments to social justice and structural change. Supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, FAC connects art museums and nonprofit institutions to present a series of events beginning in Fall 2020, and continuing over the course of one year–a critical year, as we’ve mentioned, leading up to the next American presidential election.
On May 20th, get ready for a one-of-a-kind online event honoring female movers and shakers with some moving and shaking of your own. The first-ever Feminist Block Party is an online dance party and fundraiser for critical nonprofits and community organizations run by women of color, supporting those organizations in the nation’s communities most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, Roar for Women: A Feminist Dance Partywill include notes from guest speakers, leaders from the Ms. Foundation, influencers, and organization spokespeople from across the country, including the 2020 Women of Vision Honorees.
Editor’s Note: This interview in the Feminist Giving IRL series features Laura García, President and CEO of Global Greengrants Fund. Greengrants connects grassroots activists in under-served and under-funded communities with the resources and mentorship they need to fight for environmental justice, water rights, healthy ecosystems, and economic empowerment for women and families.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
When we are young, many of us begin our careers feeling insecure and that we are not valuable professionals in our workplaces. This insecurity has a lot to do with an organizational culture that exploits people who are young and inexperienced, without recognizing their value.
If you’re a fan of hummus and veggie dip, you’re probably a fan of Stacy’s Pita Chips, too. However, like most businesses, the snack brand wasn’t always a familiar fixture in grocery stores. A combination of smart advertising tactics, mentoring, and financial support brought the female-founded brand from its origins in sandwich carts to its place in grocery stores (and our pantries!).
In honor of the brand’s rise to fame, Stacy and Frito-Lay partnered to create the Stacy’s Rise Project, a grant program designed to elevate female-founded brands. The 2020 application cycle is now open, the fourth in the Stacy’s Rise program, and it offers $10,000 grants to 15 women-owned businesses.