Hello Feminist Giving friends! This week at Philanthropy Women brings some exciting news for us. As it turns out, a male ally to gender equality givers is retiring after 33 years as a business analyst, and he is going to be joining us as a writer at Philanthropy Women. This new writer and thinker will be adding fuel to our fire as the only funding news outlet in the world exclusively devoted to women. And who is this exciting addition to our team?
Why, it’s none other than my husband of over 25 years, Kevin Marek! As of May 26, he will be taking off the corporate shackles and rejoining the rest of the world to pursue all of his many interests and hobbies, and one of those interests is in being a male ally to the cause of gender equality.
Well, hello my lovely feminist giving friends! I hope you are all getting on fine. It’s time for another update on some of the gender lens philanthropic and investing activity in the world. Before we start, I want to alert readers that we have a limited number of copies of Feminist Giving available at a reduced rate for sale on Ebay. So if you don’t already have your copy of the book, now is your chance to pick one up at a great price, either for yourself, a friend, or even your local library if you so choose. Our book is particularly suited to libraries that are aiming to be a resource for marginalized groups.
What’s Going On in the World of Feminist Giving?
1. Our Partners at Alliance are Doing it Up for Women’s History Month
Now that I have had to step back a bit from my writing to pursue a top secret second career (it’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation, so I appreciate your cooperation!) our partners at Alliance Magazine have taken on a much stronger agenda to serve the feminist giving community with news and views on this more essential form of philanthropy. There’s lots of great content there, including a piece from the Women’s Funding Network on the importance of Black giving. They are also dedicating a whole webinar to the topic of women’s funding which will take place on March 14. Register here to participate.
Greetings, everyone in the Philanthropy Women community, and welcome to a New Year! 2023 promises to offer some very special events, including more readings and discussions of Feminist Giving. The book is doing well on sales and Lauren Brathwaite of Candid wrote a very comprehensive review of the book, which is a wonderful read if you are thinking of picking up the book. You can read the review here.
One of my favorite things about Lauren’s review is that she referred to Feminist Giving as a “tome” and got into the big arguments that I make in the book. As she suspects in her review, I am very interested indeed in how MacKenzie Scott is beginning to go more public about her giving. However, I notice on her website she says that they currently “don’t participate” in media stories about their work. That gave me pause to think. It seems to me that it’s a sign of a certain level of privilege to be able to decide not to participate in media stories about oneself. As a social worker who has been public facing and accountable for her behavior and practice as a professional, I cannot fathom taking such a position. But obviously, she has her reasons.
Editor’s Note: The following Opinion piece is by Chiara de Luca and Bethan Cansfield, two women’s rights researchers based in London, UK.
As authoritarianism and inequality spread worldwide, and surveillance technology advances, feminist movements face increasing hurdles in their quest for social justice. Cyberattacks, repression of dissent and harassment against women and LGBTI human rights defenders worsened during the past two years in almost all regions of the world.
Women’s funds have been at the forefront of standing in solidarity with feminist activists during the pandemic. The importance of funding feminist movements’ efforts to defend land rights, promote reproductive and sexual health, enhance political participation, and prevent violence against women is now widely recognized. In Argentina, Benin and Mexico, feminist activism brought changes in abortion laws. In North Macedonia, Moldova, Tunisia, and Turkey, feminist groups successfully campaigned for laws to end violence against women and girls. A recent ODI briefing found feminist movements contribute significantly to gender norm changes.
Along with all of the other forms of oppression that a world without access to abortion brings, a particularly stark example of the violence that women face in the patriarchy occurred here in Rhode Island recently. Jennifer Rourke, who is part of the Rhode Island Cooperative, an alliance of progressive democratic candidates running for state office, was punched repeatedly by her opponent in the Senate race, Jeann Lugo.
Jennifer Rourke was speaking at a rally to protest the end of Roe V. Wade in Providence. After speaking, she was standing in the audience with friends. According to Matt Brown, candidate for Governor in Rhode Island and co-founder of the Rhode Island Co-op, three right-wing counter-protesters showed up. Jennifer, as one of the leaders there, approached the situation to try to de-escalate and defuse any possible conflict or disruption to the event. But moments later, Lugo, who is a Providence police officer and was off-duty, punched her in the face. The incident was caught on video by Bill Bartholomew.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresVeronica Colón, executive director of Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I knew how small accomplishments and experiences were leading to big changes. I’ve had quite diverse professional experiences, from a research assistant to prominent investigators at NIH, to executive assistant to a Chairman of an international telecommunications company. There was a point in my career life, where I thought the multidisciplinarity of my background would hurt me in finding the space where I wanted to be, when in reality, it has given me the tools I need for this new endeavor. Our Foundation is relatively new and though it started in a good position, there is still a lot to do to build its presence and continue its growth. Now I have the necessary skills to get us there. Trust the process.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresTyeshia Wilson, director of engagement for Philanthropy Together.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Working in philanthropy is one of the most rewarding and self-fulfilling careers, ever. I’m altruistic, I’m a humanitarian, and I’m passionate about service. Looking back, I only wish I had been exposed to the idea of a career in philanthropy earlier. If I was aware of this alignment between my heart and the work of this field, I would have started in this profession much sooner and likely pursued philanthropic studies in school.
In the wake of the pandemic, the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) has launched SHEcovery to support women of color in the workforce.
Decades of hard-fought gender equity progress have vanished over the past 18 months as women have been pushed out of the workforce in record numbers due to COVID-19 while taking on increased childcare and caregiving responsibilities. To address these challenges head-on, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced SHEcovery™ – a commitment from the Foundation to fund, support, and build a more equitable system that supports Women of Color.
The Women’s Funding Network has announced the addition of Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Kelly Nevins, and Gina Jackson to its Board.
Women’s Funding Network announced the appointments of three new additions to its board of directors: Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD, Gina Jackson, and Kelly Nevins. The newly appointed members lead community-based women’s funds with national impact for gender equity and justice advocacy. They will have taken their seats on September 7th, 2021.
Amid growing online violence toward women in journalism, the IWMF launched the Online Violence Response Hub to aid victims.
The Coalition Against Online Violence today launched an Online Violence Response Hub to aid women journalists with the rising threat of violence online. The Coalition is led by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) with funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Emerson Collective, Jigsaw, Knight Foundation, and the Luminate Group. This first-of-its-kind suite of support will provide women journalists with ways to fight back against online violence while protecting their privacy, accessing trauma support, pursuing accountability, and continuing to work without self-censorship.