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.
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 Giving to Address 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.
In the midst of crisis, some foundations are working harder than ever to protect and empower women and girls, particularly in terms of providing funding for women in STEM.
Vodafone Americas Foundation recently announced a $75,000 commitment to MIT Solve’s Learning for Women & Girls challenge, as well as $50,000 in funding for OpenIdeo’s COVID-19 Business Pivot Challenge. This funding reflects the Foundation’s new commitment to empowerment and education for women and girls, as well as the organization’s flexibility in times of crisis.
What can feminist giving do to help alleviate the COVID-19 crisis?
We’re seeking to answer this question in “Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models,” the first ever webinar event from Philanthropy Women. Join Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek and special guests Marianne Schnall, Surina Khan, and Emily Nielsen Jones to discuss key strategies to support women and girls through COVID.
COVID 19 is presenting humanity with extreme challenges and hardships, and particularly for women and girls, the impacts are, and will be, profound. This 45 minute session will feature expert insights on how to apply a gender lens not only to your funding, but also to your everyday life in COVID, in order to improve our collective response to this unprecedented health crisis.
The far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 crisis appear as more than just devastating illness. Crop failures, locust swarms, and market shutdowns all combine to put African villages in further peril, and when it comes to fighting these widespread effects, the Pastoralist Child Foundation finds itself on the front lines.
The Pastoralist Child Foundation (PCF) is a nonprofit dedicated to ending female genital mutilation and forced marriages while empowering African women and girls to pursue education and leadership roles in their communities.
Cindy Southworth knows how it feels to be at the center of the fire. As the Executive Vice President for the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Southworth has found herself, like many nonprofit and crisis aid workers, pivoting almost daily to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence around the country.
Speaking to Women Moving Millions during a webinar session in early April, Southworth laid out the organization’s mission, as well as the deep plea for help from domestic violence organizations around the country.
“We want to get the message out that domestic violence shelters are still open,” she says. “What we’re all working to do is create a world where the idea of domestic violence no longer exists, where it doesn’t even seem fathomable that somebody would use violence and control to harm their partner. And in the meantime, we want to make sure that, until we create that new world with different gender norms and different social and cultural expectations, that we are serving every single survivor who needs and wants to reach out for help.”