Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sarah Hillware, the Deputy Director of Women in Global Health (WGH), a 35,000+ strong women-led organization working to challenge power and privilege for gender equity in health.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Personally, I wish I’d known that it was OK and, in fact, healthy, to take detours on my career journey. My path was not a straight and narrow one, but one which took me in directions that, at the time, I did not fully understand. For instance, I took a certification course in advertising sales and subsequently worked at a marketing and advertising firm for a year. That industry was not ultimately where I saw myself long- term, but the skills and knowledge I gained were invaluable, and ultimately helped me land my position at the World Bank.
This past summer, before the announcement of Kamala Harris as the nominee for Vice President, Latosha Brown received a phone call from the soon-to-be Vice President. The phone call was in response to an article Brown had published in Essence called Reimagining An America That Uplifts Black Girls. Vice President Kamala Harris wanted Latosha Brown to know that she shared her hope that America could reimagine the country so that all girls will be lifted up.
“Vice President Kamala Harris called me to say she had read the article, and that she too was committed to women and girls all across the country,” said Brown, in a recent phone interview with Philanthropy Women.
We are always looking for new ways to spotlight the talented folks who do the hard work of building a more gender equal world. This year, we’ve decided to launch a new contest to do some of that spotlighting. It’s called the Top Tier Feminist Giver Award, and YOU get to vote for the winners!
Twenty-four women were featured in Philanthropy Women’s Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) series this past year. We’ve decided to nominate all 24 remarkable women leaders for this contest and have voters choose their top three favorites from now until February 28, 2021. The top three vote-getters will be crowned a Top Tier Feminist Giver by Philanthropy Women and will receive $100 each. Winners will be announced on March 1, 2021 — the first day of Women’s History Month.
Every single one of you on this list who is not giving in the double digits as a percentage of your wealth: you should be ashamed.
I don’t like to use the shame card. I don’t use it much as a parent, and I don’t use it much as a therapist. But when I look at these numbers, all I can think of is how little regard these human beings appear to have for their fellow human beings. And yet they appear to have no shame about it. In fact, they receive a near constant stream of praise and adulation for the teeny tiny bit that they give of their vast wealth.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Brandi Collins-Calhoun, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Senior Movement Engagement Associate.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I’m not sure that there was anything I could do to prepare to enter work that would be grounded in philanthropic feminism, especially knowing that the radicalization of mainstream feminism hasn’t happened across all movements and sectors yet. However, I wish I knew the weight of the shift from my life as an organizer fighting for my survival and safety to be centered, to my current role petitioning that my survival and safety is worth funding. I wish I knew how to find the balance and show up for myself through that process. There is often guilt and weight that comes with centering my needs in this work because this fight is so much bigger than just me, but I am reminded that Audre Lorde named that, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That balance between holding the sector accountable and caring for myself is a radical act that is necessary for me to continue the work.
Visa has partnered with IFundWomen to create a new global grant program which will support three women-owned businesses in India this year.
Visa (NYSE: V) today announced the recipients of its grant program in India to boost women entrepreneurship globally and empower budding businesswomen. As part of Visa’s first global grant program in partnership with IFundWomen, Bunko Junko, My Chapter One and MoWo Social Initiatives each received a INR 7,00,000 (approximately 9,575.85 USD) grant from Visa and resources from Instamojo to grow their businesses digitally, in a continued effort to offer better services to their communities.
On Wednesday, February 3rd, Philanthropy Together hosted the second part of their webinar series surrounding giving circles and social justice. Moderated by LiJia Gong of Radfund, the panel featured Sarah David Heydemann (Radfund), Mario Lugay (Justice Funders Giving Side), Marsha Morgan (Community Investment Network), and Sian Miranda Singh ÓFaoláin.
Sara Lomelin, Executive Director of Philanthropy Together, introduced the day’s moderator and panelists, and encouraged attendees to share their locations and organizations.
The Social Justice Giving Circle Project
Gong began by introducing The Social Justice Giving Circle Project, which explores the relationship between giving circles and today’s social justice movements, both how it currently exists and what’s possible in the future.
2021 is shaping up to be a year of momentous change for gender equality movements. Here at Philanthropy Women, we’re taking a moment to look back at 2020 — a tumultuous year, to say the least, but one in which we realized the true impact of our organization and our work around the world.
The 2020 Philanthropy Women Media Impact Report offers a look into a year of incredible growth, progress, and partnership. Based on 12 months of publishing, this report breaks down our successes as a news outlet from a variety of perspectives, and offers an excellent look not just at our impact, but our role as a connector and facilitator for networks, campaigns, and conversations within the feminist philanthropy sphere.
WOC (Women of Color) have been at the forefront of grassroots movements for decades now, carrying out some of the most valuable work done within these movements. We have seen this from early on with women like Ella Baker and her work within the Black Freedom Movement, Pauli Murray who co-founded the National Organization for Women, and even today with leaders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.
Despite all of this evidence to prove that WOC are influential and important workers for grassroots movements and non profits, they tend to receive the least amount of funding from both governmental grants and philanthropic donations. The Ms. Foundation released research that reveals that the actual numbers of monetary giving to WOC is shockingly low; it makes up only 0.5% of the $66.9 billion that is annually given to foundations.In 2017, $356 million was available to Women and girls of color (WGOC). Of that, the median grant received by recipients of color was around $15,000, compared to around $35,000 which was reported by all other organizations. The numbers become even more shocking when breaking it down by ethnicity. Of that $356 million:
Here at Philanthropy Women, we started a series called Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) to provide a platform for women leaders at all levels who are giving in a feminist way. This giving can happen through donations and funding strategy, through professional excellence, and/or through leadership efforts in the community. Feminist giving is a form of leadership that has special impact because it often combines deeply personal experience and significantly political thinking and acting.
Yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez performed what I would call a supreme act of feminist giving. When AOC spoke out against the January 6th riots and connected these riots to her experience of being sexually traumatized, she simultaneously stood up for every human who has experience sexual assault, and challenged the largest political body of our country to acknowledge how the January 6th riots are part of a continuum of pervasive violence against women, people of color, and other marginalized groups.