It’s Official: Amplify Her Foundation Has Launched

The Amplify Her® Foundation, a new private grantmaking foundation created to support the economic and social advancement of women changemakers from under-invested communities in New York City, held an official launch celebration. The foundation will also release “If She Can Make it Here,” a comprehensive research report that identifies the most significant barriers faced by women and girls from underserved communities in the city and interventions to help them overcome those obstacles and meet their full leadership potential.

The Amplify Her Foundation has launched to provide more funding for women and girls. (Image credit: Amplify Her Foundation)

“After years of working to advance women in the public, nonprofit and political arenas, what consistently stood out to me was the dearth of funding and support specifically for nonprofit organizations serving women and girls. Women and girls face unique challenges and yet funding is rarely tailored to their needs…”  —Marti Speranza Wong, Amplify Her Foundation founder, executive director and board chair.

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To The Surprise of No One, UN Report Finds World Failing Women and Girls

The United Nations (UN) set a goal of achieving gender equity by 2030. A new report indicates meeting this goal will be impossible due to deeply rooted biases against women around the world in heath, education, employment and the halls of power, the United Nations said.

The report paints a grim picture of the gender gap, and the ‘lacklustre commitment’ globally to equality for women. It was noted that funding for programmes promoting gender equality and female empowerment globally is ‘inadequate, unpredictable and inconsistently distributed’

“The world is failing women and girls,” UN Women, the agency promoting gender equality, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said in “The Gender Snapshot 2023” report.

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Leaders Fight for Feminist Giving in Congress with First-Ever Hill Day

“The power imbalance in philanthropy—often maintained by those without intimate knowledge of a community’s historical context, the needs on the ground, and the most urgent issues—spurs activists in marginalized communities, especially Black women and girls, to call for more input in determining what should be prioritized, how it should be funded, and who gets the money.” This is the opening paragraph of Feminist philanthropy: Dismantling silos and raising long-term funding (link).

Advocates at WFN’s first Hill Day included Monica Ramirez, Genisus Holland, Jocelyn Frye, Latanya Mapp-Frett and Fatima Goss-Graves. (Image credit: WFN)

Feminist giving, especially that focusing on women and girls, and especially women and girls of color, faces a dilemma. On one side, traditional philanthropic organizations are often hampered by a “white savior” mindset and scrutiny from the patriarchy; on the other, Black women face access issues, and are often not granted adequate trust to control large gifts. 

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Once Again, A Highly Qualified Woman of Color is Pushed Aside

On September 5, Rhode Island held a special primary election to select the candidates to replace David Cicilline, who resigned as US Representative for USC District 1. The field for the Democratic candidate was crowded with 12 names on the ballot. Due to the deep Blue color of RI politics, the Democratic candidate, whoever was selected, was considered the odds-on favorite to win in the Special General Election in November.

Gabe Amo, Democratic Nominee for Congress (Image credit: Gabe for Congress)

As of June, Sabina Matos, the current Lt Governor, was leading comfortably with polling numbers surpassing 20% of the electorate. Matos is the first Dominican American elected to statewide office in the country and the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Rhode Island. She was supported by the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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Ellen Burstyn’s Lasting Legacy as a Philanthropist for the Art of Acting

Ellen Burstyn has attained the pinnacle of success in the entertainment world. She has received numerous accolades including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. She is one of only 24 people who have won all three awards, known as the “Triple Crown” of acting.

Ellen Burstyn (Image credit: Marco Grub)

And Ellen Burstyn is also a philanthropist. Her most lasting legacy may not be so much about what awards what she has gotten, but what she has given back. Burstyn has been a member of the Actors Studio in New York City for most of her life and has been a co-president of the Actors Studio for over twenty years. She was instrumental in founding the Actors Studio Master’s program, an MFA degree track (currently hosted at Pace University) that offers tracks in Acting, Directing, and Playwriting for promising young artists.

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The Significance of Philanthropic Collectives for Black Women

To commemorate Black Philanthropy Month, let’s consider this: Of the $4.8 billion in philanthropic investments made in the south, less than one percent of that amount goes to Black women and girls. This is traditionally one of the most underserved populations in the south.

Southern Black Girls is an important philanthropic collective. (Image credit: Southern Black Girls)

This statistic is VERY disappointing. Southern Black Girls is a collective of Black women in philanthropy and they have made it their highest priority to disrupt the way philanthropy is done in the south. Their goal is to help change the status quo.

Southern Black Girls has been on a mission to raise $100 million over the next decade to financially empower the goals and dreams of Black girls and women across the south. Their signature giving vehicles – the Black Girl Dream Fund and the #BlackGirlJoyChallenge are starting to make those goals and dreams a reality.

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Where You Live Matters, and More Gender Lens Giving News

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose where we live. For most people, the decision often depends on employment: people relocate to a place with a better economy to find a job, or as a necessary step to start working at a new job. After college, I relocated from my home state of Michigan to Boston because the economy was much more robust. It has been my good fortune because the decision has worked out very well. While working remotely is not a universally available option, whether due to the nature of the work, like a nurse or a mechanic, it is easier to do and more widely available than ever before.

Lisa Pino is the new COO of Food for the Hungry (Image credit: Food for the Hungry)

And where we live has repercussions beyond the availability of jobs. Quality of life issues matter. Diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of lifestyle matter. Access to quality health care really matters. Health care includes reproductive rights and reproductive rights is more than being able to make your own decisions about your body. For example, how does your state of residence rank in terms of being a good place to have a baby?

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Leadership Giving: Highlighting the Success of Women Leaders

The last couple of posts have had a focus on men and the difficulties they are supposedly facing. Let’s turn that around and focus on the success of women as leaders who stand up to their difficulties and manage to break out of the constraints they face and achieve some significant accomplishments. The first two below do just that.

Hypatia was the first great woman in science. (Image credit: Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution The Cosmic Companion)

One: Hypatia Capital 

On the face of it, Hypatia Capital is an investment firm. However, the first two sentences of the mission statement very clearly indicate it is much more than that. It is an idea supported by concrete proof. Hypatia has created an ETF called WCEO. As the mission statement says:

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The Negative Impacts of SCOTUS Ruling, and Of Boys and Men

During his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, now-Chief Justice John Roberts said the court’s role was to “call balls and strikes” and not engage in judicial activism. Oddly, SCOTUS has been judicially hyper-active of late. In the past weeks yet another precedent, bolstered by many decades of case law, was unceremoniously overturned. Affirmative Action (AA) in the college admission process has been the law of the land since the early 1970s, and passed its first Supreme Court challenge in 1977. Sadly, it is no more. 

Protesters for the movement to defend diversity hold a sign outside the Supreme Court. (Image credit: Defend Diversity)

Per the ruling, colleges may not consider the applicant’s race as relevant for admission. Colleges are, however, allowed to consider–and give preferential treatment to–relatives of alumni. What’s wrong with this picture? Coming from a background of privilege entitles you to be, well, entitled. Coming from a background of slavery entitles you to get to the back of the line. But, they say, the students of color who are negatively affected by the ruling are actually from the upper middle class, so they will have lots of other choices of colleges. That might be true, but, they will be excluded from entrance into the ruling class. And note that five of the six members of the SCOTUS majority went to law school at either Harvard or Yale. This includes Clarence Thomas, who admits he was the beneficiary of AA, and he’s apparently still bitter about it. 

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The Political Will to Change Patriarchy: Where Women Sit Matters

For inspiration today, I’d like to turn to a news story set in Rosh Ha’ayin, a municipality in the northeast of Tel Aviv. The municipality was recently promoting a children’s performance where the seats closest to the stage were reserved for men, while the seats in the back of the hall were reserved for women. They claimed that this arrangement was made to “meet the needs of the entire population, based on their preferences.

Getty Images and Dove announced a new program called #ShowUs to grant funding for women. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Israel Women’s Network demanded that Rosh Ha’ayin end the gender segregated seating. 

“Separation between men and women in the public space, particularly between boys and girls, as part of an event supported by public funding, is forbidden and violates the law,” Gili Zinger, the director of the legal department at the Israel Women’s Network, wrote to the Rosh Ha’ayin municipality. 

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