House Speaker and RI Convention Embroiled in #MeToo Controversy

Editor’s Note: The following statement comes from the Rhode Island Women’s Democratic Caucus, which split off from the Democratic party in Fall 2019.

The Women’s Caucus voices our strongest support for the women who come forward with their own stories of workplace harassment and abuse. It is a vulnerable place, to be brave and tell one’s story in these circumstances. The Women’s Caucus extends its gratitude to all those who do so. We stand in support of all women, and we will fight for a government in which all women will be safe, empowered, and equal.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello (Photo Credit: Upriseri.com)

The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus believes that no woman should experience harassment in the workplace, and that no one should fear retaliation for speaking truth to power. In a Democratic state such as ours, one would expect the principles of equality, fairness, and integrity to be exemplified by the leaders of our party, especially those with the most political clout. Yet – as revealed this week in stories from WPRI and GoLocalProv – misogyny and moral ambiguity appear to guide the current Democratic state party leadership as it fails to rise to the level of ethics that our party platform demands.

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ESA Fdn Levels Up for Gender and Racial Diversity in Esports

The gaming world Renaissance continues this week with an exciting new announcement from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation. In its 2020-2021 scholarship season, the ESA Foundation is introducing the first-ever college eSports program for women and minorities.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation announced a new scholarship as part of its 2020-2021 offerings: a scholarship for female and minority gamers who plan to play on their college’s eSports team while pursuing a four-year degree.

Yes, it’s true—kids can now pay for college with their video game skills!

We’ve written before about the growing commitment to diversity and inclusion in games. The ESA Foundation is a longstanding leader in this commitment, recognizing the growing demand for tech-savvy employees in the games industry, as well as the necessity to draw these creators from a variety of backgrounds.

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Get Inspired as a Donor and Activist by Unladylike2020

A question I ask myself and others: how do you get inspired to keep doing this work? How do you get charged up to talk about the value of feminist strategies for giving when oftentimes, philanthropy gives feminism the radio silence treatment? One way is through art.

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the first African American female aviator. (Artwork by Amelie Chabannes)

A powerful new infusion of art is coming out this year. It’s called Unladylike2020, and it’s a film series celebrating women trailblazers. I was fortunate enough to see a preview of the first film in the series here in Providence last year, and got a glimpse of how the series combines original artwork, animation, rare archival footage, and interviews with family members, historians, and experts who discuss how these women shaped our world. PBS’s American Masters series will be participating in the initiative with three projects: 

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Mexico and France Show Up for Feminism with UN Leadership

(January 15, 2020 UN WOMEN) Today, UN Women, together with feminists across the world, and the Governments of Mexico and France, announced the Action Coalition themes for the Generation Equality Forum to be held in Mexico City and Paris this year.

The Action Coalitions are global, innovative partnerships with governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector, to catalyze collective action, drive increased public and private investment, and deliver game-changing results for women and girls everywhere.

UN Women staff during Generation Equality Private Sector discussions in Kenya.© UN Women/Kennedy Okoth

The Generation Equality Forum, a civil society-led global gathering convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the Governments of Mexico and France, taking place in Mexico City from 7 to 8 May, and in Paris from 7 to 10 July 2020, will launch the following six catalytic Action Coalitions:

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Gates Fdn and India Ministry Sign MOC on Women, Maternal Health

New Delhi [India], Jan 8 (Asian News International): In a bid to improve the healthcare system of the country, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post-facto approval on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between Union Health Ministry and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Women and children receiving medical care in India (Credit: UN WOMEN on Flickr)

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) covers the following areas: to reduce maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality, improve key nutrition outcomes by improving the reach, coverage and quality of essential primary health, immunization and nutrition services.

The memorandum will also focus on the quality of family planning methods and reaching out to younger women.

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Ascend Fund Launches with Millions for Women in U.S. Politics

Panorama Global Launches The Ascend Fund to Achieve Equal Representation for Women in U.S. Politics 

SEATTLE – Today, Panorama Global announced the formal launch of The Ascend Fund, a collaborative fund dedicated to accelerating the pace of change towards gender parity in U.S. politics. The Ascend Fund, pools philanthropic capital to support nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that are working to ensure women have access to the resources and support they need to run for office, and that are breaking down the barriers that prevent women from running and winning. 

The Ascend Fund received seed funding from Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda Gates, which seeks to advance social progress in the U.S. for women and families. As part of the strategy to accelerate women’s power and influence, Pivotal Ventures provides catalytic support for partners to create resilient and inclusive pathways for women pursuing public office.

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Better Relationships for a Healthier Future: Safe Conversations in Action

As members of the feminist philanthropy community, we are always searching for ways to improve our communications skills, foster real connections, and create healthy partnerships. The good news is that our minds and emotions continue to evolve with time — better relationship skills can be taught and learned at any age. And with the advent of technology, from anywhere!

Register today for the webinar Safe Conversations in Action, held at 11:00 AM PT (2:00 PM ET) on January 16, 2020.

On January 16, 2020, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Harville Hendrix, and Riane Eisler join forces again to present Safe Conversations in Action, the second part of their webinar series on cultivating healthy relationships.

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Game Developers Celebrate Access, Diversity at PAX Unplugged

From December 6 to December 8, 2019, developers, funders, and fans alike flocked to the convention center in Philadelphia, PA for three days of dice rolls, panel discussions, and high-octane fun.

Philadelphia, PA – Attendees walk into the Expo Hall on the first day of PAX Unplugged. (December 6, 2019 – Photo Credit: Maggie May)

PAX Unplugged is the analog gaming edition of the Penny Arcade Expo series. “PAX” refers to a collection of games conventions founded by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, authors of the popular web comic Penny Arcade. Held each year in Seattle, Boston, Melbourne, Philadelphia, and San Antonio, these conventions are an opportunity for celebration, new releases, demonstrations, and discussion surrounding the rapidly evolving world of gaming.

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Announcing the 2020 Philanthropy Women Leadership Awards

We have come full circle on one of the most astonishing years for women’s philanthropy in human history. And yet, as we all know, there is still so far to go. As part of that process of moving forward for gender equality, it gives me great pleasure to announce this year’s Philanthropy Women Leadership Awards.

This year we decided to do something different and opened up 6 of the 10 awards to community voting. We had 689 respondents to our voting survey, and the results confirmed the growing interest in and competitive landscape of women’s giving and social movement-building for gender equality.

With the final four awards this year, we decided to open up some new categories, not necessarily based on Philanthropy Women’s coverage, in order to recognize groundbreaking women journalists and filmmakers contributing to gender equality movements. Oftentimes, this kind of media work is very philanthropic in nature, as women journalists and filmmakers often give of their own time and resources for years and years (sometimes decades!) in order to educate the public on critical issues.

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Vermont Women’s Fund Helps Girls’ Soccer Team Open #EqualPay DAF

Burlington High School Soccer Players Score First Youth-Led Fund at Vermont Community Foundation

Members of the Burlington High School girls’ varsity soccer team have collaborated with the Vermont Women’s Fund to open the first youth-led donor advised fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. The young players’ new #EqualPay Fund will increase access for girls to soccer programs and accelerate progress to close the wage gap in Vermont—where, on average, women earn 84 cents to every dollar earned by men.

Burlington High School girls’ varsity soccer players have collaborated with the Vermont Women’s Fund to open the first youth-led donor advised fund at the Vermont Community Foundation (Photo Credit: Vermont Women’s Fund)

Initially, the project started as a local fundraiser selling #EqualPay jerseys to support the Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League (GBGSL). The soccer players wanted to emulate their heroes on the U.S. Women’s National Team and amplify their #EqualPay message. The young players sought out logistical and strategic support from Change The Story VT, an initiative fueled by the Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women that is committed to fast-tracking women’s economic security to benefit women, their families, and the Vermont economy. Change The Story helped source and produce the special-label jerseys similar to the USWNT uniforms and advised the team on fundraising strategy.

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