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.
This week has been a celebration for many around the country–we’ve won a massive victory against fascism and racism in the United States. However, it’s important not to lose sight of our end goal. In order to truly work toward racial, gender, and social justice in the US and around the world, we cannot let up on the pressure on our administration. Joe Biden has a lot of work to do.
On Veterans Day 2020, Code Pink, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, MADRE, and Women Cross DMZ co-hosted a conversation on the role of feminists in the 2020 Presidential election, as well as what we still need to do to ensure the Biden administration takes us in the right direction.
On October 12, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s new book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow. Moderated by Bob Grimm, Philanthropy Historian at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, the event featured conversations with Freeman, as well as Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who also wrote the foreword for the book.
The event opened with a welcome from Bob Grimm, the night’s moderator. He began by introducing Dr. Freeman, a professor at the Lilly School, and a prolific author whose work has been featured in a wide range of outlets. Grimm also introduced A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and author of many books about Madam Walker and her legacy.
On October 20th, the New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) hosted Women Lead: A Conversation on Social Justice. This live fundraising event was centered around the importance of putting conversations about social justice at the forefront of our efforts in philanthropy.
The event, which took the place of NYWF’s annual fundraiser (cancelled due to COVID-19), featured conversations with the Foundation’s President and CEO, Ana Oliviera, as well as activists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Cristina Jiménez, with appearances from actresses Beanie Feldstein and Yara Shahidi, both of whom were honored for their work for women and girls during the event.
The webinar opened with a recap of the 2019 NYWF fundraising event, which was focused on the concept of “radical generosity.”
On Wednesday, October 7th, the team at A Call To Men convened a conversation on giving strategy is the COVID economy, featuring with Michael Stars’ Suzanne Lerner and the New York Women’s Foundation’s Ana Oliveira.
Ted Bunch, Chief Development Officer at A Call To Men, opened the call with a group check-in. He encouraged participants to share the ways they are thriving and struggling during the pandemic. This interactive portion of the call featured stories from men and women around the country, including foundation representatives and individuals struggling with work prospects, productivity, and social justice in the midst of the pandemic.
Ultimately, the people on the call celebrated a feeling of community that is created in every virtual session for A Call To Men: the team misses the engagement possibilities of in-person events, and has celebrated all the ways they can continue to drive participation during virtual events.
On March 13th, the Louisville Metro Police executed a “no knock” warrant at the Kentucky home of Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The exact events of the night have been hotly contested in and out of court, but the end result was that a young woman with a bright future lost her life, and the police who perpetrated the killing did not seem to be held accountable in any way.
In the months that followed, protests surrounding Breonna’s death and the deaths of women of color at the hands of police officers have rocked the country, even amidst the most serious pandemic of our time. Bolstered by the Black Lives Matter movement, and further aided by Kimberlé Crenshaw’s creation of the #SayHerName hashtag, Breonna’s story broke through to mainstream culture and gave America a new awareness about what racism looks like for women of color.
On Wednesday, September 30th, the ERA Coalition held a special “Meet the Chairs” event to raise awareness and funds in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Founded in 2014, the ERA Coalition works to further along the process involved in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, newly focusing its efforts on Black and Indigenous women and women of color, as well as gender-nonconforming people and transgender women and girls.
Kimberly Peeler-Allen, the new Chair of the ERA Coalition, and S. Mona Sinha, the new Chair of the Coalition’s sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, spoke with Alyssa Milano on their motivations, passions, and hopes for their work with the ERA Coalition and beyond.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Being a perfectionist is a strength masked as a weakness. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist myself, I’ve learned over the course of my career that perfectionist tendencies—when controlled—are something to lean into. It’s a matter of striving to do one’s best, while also accepting that failures along the way are learning opportunities, not signs of weakness or inadequacy.
With an organization model built on women who pledge or donate at least $1 million of their wealth, it’s no surprise that Women Moving Millions is associated with large-scale campaigns and fundraising projects. The latest campaign from WMM, “Give Bold. Get Equal.” encourages donors and foundations to commit funds to gender equality in ways unheard of before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The end goal? Mobilize $100 million for women and girls by the year 2022.
“Women and girls need our support more than ever in this moment,” says Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director of WMM. “The past decade is bookended by the Great Recession and the COVID-19 crisis. During this time, women gained 11 million jobs, and by April 2020, all these jobs were erased. The pandemic is exacerbating the systemic oppression faced by women and girls.”
On Tuesday, September 29th, MIT SOLVE finalists and supporters alike gathered to celebrate the finalists in this year’s SOLVE grant competition. A wide range of speakers and presenters contributed to a fantastic two-hour event, with participants joining from across the globe.
What is MIT Solve?
MIT Solve is an initiative from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that aims to solve the world’s challenges through the lens of healthy competition. Teams of innovators apply to become “Solver teams,” who work together to tackle world problems across the current year’s categories. A panel of judges with expertise in the technology industry select finalists from the teams who submit their pitches online. Then, during the annual MIT Solve Challenge Finals, the finalists present their pitches for a community vote, and the winning teams are revealed at the end of the night.
There are many things I could write about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I could tell you stories about my college friends chanting “Notorious RBG strikes again!” and wearing black tee shirts embroidered with lace collars. I could talk about her support for the LGBT community, people with disabilities, women and girls, and women’s right to choose. I could recite her many groundbreaking victories, not just as a Supreme Court justice but as a woman paving the way for future generations of female leaders.
As we face a world without Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the implications of her empty seat on the Supreme Court, it’s far too easy to fall into a habit of despair and disaster omens. Instead, what’s important to remember is the legacy of RBG: a legacy of doing what is right, rather than what is easy, and standing up for what we believe in so that we give courage to others to follow our lead.