With so much disparity in the way that COVID impacts different communities and demographics, it is good to see many stories in the news about diverse women coming together to bring resources to those in need. In recent weeks, new funding efforts led by women of color have launched in several states across the country including Pennsylvania, Washington State, and Georgia. In addition, new national efforts have launched to help Black women entrepreneurs, and to understand and address the intersectionality of environment, race, and gender.
New Funds Seek to Address Racism, Sexism
Among these new initiatives is a new fund hosted by She Can Win, an organization started in 2013 in Philadelphia to support black women entrepreneurs. She Can Win recently pooled membership dues to create a new foundation and made four initial grants to organizations on the frontlines of reproductive justice, supporting young mothers, and helping survivors heal from injustice.
Editor’s Note: The following announcement was provided by Lever for Change, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Affiliate.
Equality Can’t Wait Challenge
Launched on June 16, 2020, the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will award $30 million to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030. Hosted by Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates, the Challenge seeks to accelerate the pace of progress for more women of all backgrounds to be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities – because equality can’t wait. Applicants must register online by Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
Women’s funds partner with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote economic mobility for women and girls in wake of the COVID crisis
SAN FRANCISCO — Women’s Funding Network today announced the cohort selection for its Regional Women’s Economic Mobility Hub project, as part of an 18-month effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase support and resources necessary to advance economic mobility among women and girls.
The project is being launched at a pivotal time when economic mobility is essential to surviving the financial uncertainties resulting from the COVID crisis. The cohort includes Chicago Foundation for Women, Maine Women’s Fund, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Iowa Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Western New York Women’s Foundation and Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.
Editor’s Note: The following article is by Adam Moeser, Matilda R. Wilson Endowed Chair, Associate Professor of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University. We are republishing this article to call attention to the opportunity for funders to support research on sex differences in immunity, an area of research that has been impacted by a history of male bias.
When it comes to surviving critical cases of COVID-19, it appears that men draw the short straw.
Initial reports from China revealed the early evidence of increased male mortality associated with COVID. According to the Global Health 50/50 research initiative, nearly every country is now reporting significantly higher COVID-19-related mortality rates in males than in females as of June 4. Yet, current data suggest similar infection rates for men and women. In other words, while men and women are being infected with COVID-19 at similar rates, a significantly higher proportion of men succumb to the disease than women, across groups of similar age. Why is it then that more men are dying from COVID-19? Or rather, should we be asking why are more women surviving?
Sheridan Road, a “luxury and lifestyle” magazine out of Chicago that focuses on North Shore activities, did a recent feature of Elizabeth “Liza” Yntema, whose work in dance equity we have covered here at Philanthropy Women. Liza has also participated in our Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) series.
The wonderful thing about this interview, written by Allison Duncan, is how effortlessly it moves through different layers of experience as we come to understand the subject’s world view. The article starts with a foray into Liza’s family history of accused Salem witches, early women scientists, and Depression-era bankers with integrity. From the article:
COVID-19 puts pressure on all of us, but many women and girls are at higher risk of danger and oppression during these unprecedented times. A crisis like COVID-19 makes the widespread effects of issues like abuse, domestic violence, and rising barriers to educational, financial, and social survival much more intense–and often, much more deadly. The new Global Resilience Fund for Girls and Young Women seeks to answer this understated emergency with rapid, flexible funding to activist groups led by girls and young women.
The Global Resilience Fund supports informal collectives, registered organizations, and unregistered community groups led by girls, young women, and trans and intersex young people around the world. To reach populations that may otherwise have a difficult time obtaining funding, the Global Resilience Fund only offers grants to organizations with a budget of less than $50,000 per year. Successful applicants can receive “fully flexible rapid response grants” worth up to $5,000.
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, feminist activists, institutions, and individuals around the world need immediate access to funding and other forms of support. Many aid packages have already been deployed to the people who need them most, but some other lesser-known populations are in danger of falling by the wayside.
One of these groups of vulnerable people includes feminist activists: people who have lost their jobs or livelihoods yet are still fighting for protection and social change. In the midst of a pandemic, these rights battles can’t simply be put aside.
The Ms. Foundation for Women, through its recently formed Activist Collaboration Fund, is granting $275,000 to 15 organizations across the country that are led by and for women and girls of color, trans women and girls of color, and indigenous women and girls.
The Activist Collaboration Fund (ACF) launched in late January and focuses on social justice and movement-building, including fostering cooperation among organizations. The ACF received over 160 nominations from organizations by and for women and girls of color from 35 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
In the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty, it’s inspiring when companies gather their resources to support small business. Through its upcoming project Your Friends in New York, apparel brand Pyer Moss has announced $10,000 in PPE funding and $100,000 in funding for women- and minority-owned small businesses through the Your Friends in New York Business Relief Fund. Grants from the fund will be presented to creative-based businesses struggling to stay open in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
“For our friends with independent businesses,” wrote Pyer Moss in an Instagram announcement on March 18. “We are setting aside $50,000 for minority and women owned small creative businesses who are currently in distress. If you cannot make payroll or cannot cover pressing costs to keep your business afloat, please reach out, let us know what you do and how we can help.”
With so much bad news right now, it’s hard to bring up another tough topic, but bring it up we will. As a therapist, I know that having the hard conversations is part of the process of moving forward. This tough topic is the news that the NoVo Foundation will be scaling back some of its operations, particularly those that pertain to funding women and girls. As discussed in last week’s post, As NoVo Downsizes, What Next for Women and Girls?, the question of how we will fill the enormous void left by this shift is just beginning to take hold in people’s minds and produce some responses.
Women Leaders Step Up to Respond to NoVo’s Shift
Two important leaders in women’s funding, Yifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRES and Mona Sinha, Board Chair of Women Moving Millions, responded to the news of NoVo’s shift in focus with letters to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.