The telling of more women’s stories is necessary to advancing women’s lives. Regrettably, though, a mere 4.6% of Hollywood features today are directed by women. As a result, women have fewer speaking parts – 34% according to Dr. Martha Lauzen’s 2015 annual report “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World.” And only 22% of the protagonist were women. This leaves a huge gap in one of America’s most popular exports. Is this really the picture people in the United States want to offer around the globe?
Tracy Gary says she starts every day as a “grateful activist.” That’s a good way to approach the morning, and an attitude that infuses the 66-year old Gary’s now 40-year career as philanthropy advisor, non-profit leader, donor and consultant.
A founder of nearly two dozen non-profits, Gary heads Unleashing Generosity and Inspired Legacies, and is on the road 40 days per year working with non-profits, foundations, and donors. That’s down from the 200 days away from home she used to log, but in the last few years she has reduced her workload (which used to run to 60-80 hours per week) and dropped 100 pounds. It’s a matter of staying healthy, and staying on the planet, so that she can continue mentoring the next generation of inheritors and philanthropy professionals.
As every day brings new questions regarding the rights and protections of marginalized populations in the U.S., word of an additional fund that will support progressive rights for women of color and transgender folks is heartening news.
Today, Groundswell Fund announced the funding of a new grassroots organizing effort that will be led by women of color and transgender people of color.
The new funding stream, dubbed the Liberation Fund, will “aim to ensure reproductive and gender justice by supporting women of color,” according to a press release announcing its launch.
“The more that philanthropy can do to encourage and support women in running for office, the better,” says Kate Coyne-McCoy, CEO of The Campaign Fixer, who has spent much of her career trying to bring more women into American politics. Coyne-McCoy has trained over 9,000 women to run for office, and she has a message for philanthropy.
“Do more politically, period,” she said in a recent interview with Philanthropy Women, when asked what her message would be to progressive women donors and their allies. “Until you make an investment in the electoral and political process, you’re never going to see the change you want.”
While the Trump Administration’s attacks against women, immigrants, LGBT, and people of color continue, foundations and nonprofits are coming together to fund the resistance. The latest batch of grantmaking in this department: the Emergent Fund recently granted $330,000 to community-based organizations at the front lines of the resistance.
A project of Women Donors Network (WDN), Solidaire Network, and Threshold Foundation, the Emergent Fund is a way for donors to increase their ability to strategically collaborate, coordinate, and act quickly to support the movement. The fund seeks to supply communities and their allies with the resources they need to create the change our country needs to fight back against the dangerous policy goals of the Trump Administration.
From the press release:
New York - The Emergent Fund -- a project of the Women Donors Network and Solidaire -- has announced $330,000 in rapid-response grants to community-based organizations empowering and organizing communities under attack by new Trump Administration Policies to fight back. The recently-created Emergent Fund also welcomed its newest partner this week, the Threshold Foundation, whose members have collectively pledged $180,000 to the fund. "With Muslim Americans under attack, black families being demonized and threatened, and millions of families facing deportation, we decided to focus this round of funding primarily on efforts to support communities being demonized, attacked, and torn apart by new policies under the Trump Administration," said Donna Hall, President of the Women Donors Network, one of the member networks of the Emergent Fund. “We created the Emergent Fund to boost organizations and people at the front lines of resistance. With families being torn apart by deportation and mass surveillance of activists becoming the new normal -- we want to get money to where it's needed fast,” said Leah Hunt-Hendrix of Solidaire. The Emergent Fund is a partnership between Solidaire Network, Women Donors Network, and Threshold Foundation to provide a way for individuals at all levels to contribute their money strategically in this critical moment -- providing fast funding in emergency moments to build real and lasting power. The Fund is governed by an Advisory Council made up of leaders who represent communities who will be most affected by the new administration including communities of color, immigrants, Muslim Americans, etc. A list of new grantees can be found below. For more information about the Emergent Fund, visit: https://www.emergentfund.net # # #
“Unconditional love for people is what’s needed,” says Justine Bevilacqua. She speaks with a calmness that somehow also conveys how strongly she feels about this. “Of course, you have to draw the line sometimes,” she adds, “and there are bad people in the world, but just seeing people as humans, I definitely think the world needs more of that.”
Bevilacqua was 3 years old when her maternal grandmother Dorothy Jungels and several of Dorothy’s children acquired the carriage house that would become a place dedicated to the arts and social justice in Providence, Rhode Island. Doing most of the renovation themselves, they turned the neglected building into a studio and theater and named it Everett, after Everett Weeden, a fellow artist and family friend.
I’m excited to announce that Kathy LeMay, author and fundraising expert, has joined our team of writers here at Philanthropy Women. Her first article, a profile of Ana Morales, an up-and-coming leader in the Latina philanthropy sphere, is on deck for tomorrow.
For now, allow me to direct you to an insightful column LeMay recently posted on LinkedIn. In it, she provides some good guidance for how philanthropists can step up in these difficult times, offering both sage advice (do the important work of listening within) and practical tips (make your multi-year pledge in one payment), in order to make the most of their role in civil society.