New Nonprofit Seeks To Find The Lost Women Of Science

The Lost Women of Science Initiative, started by Katie Hafner and Amy Scharf, is on a mission to fund and raise awareness about women in STEM.

The Lost Women of Science Initiative was launched to support women in STEM and advocate for their work throughout history and in the future. (Image credit: Lost Women of Science)
The Lost Women of Science Initiative was launched to support women in STEM and advocate for their work throughout history and in the future. (Image credit: Lost Women of Science)

Journalist and author Katie Hafner, and bioethicist Amy Scharf, announced the launch of the Lost Women of Science Initiative, a new educational nonprofit organization created to research and promote the stories of the forgotten women of science. The initiative’s mission is to raise awareness of the pivotal role women have played in scientific discoveries and innovations, and to promote interest in STEM education and careers – especially among girls and young women. Harvey Mudd College, long a leader in STEM education, has signed on as fiscal sponsor, and early funding has come from The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures. The initiative will also partner with Barnard College, one-third of whose graduates are STEM majors.

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A Leader in Women’s Health Urges Donors to Lean Into Discomfort

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Dr. Anu Kumar, President and CEO of Ipas, an international reproductive health and rights organization.

Anu Kumar
Dr. Anu Kumar, courtesy of Dr. Anu Kumar

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

That the issues that I have chosen to work on, reproductive health and rights including access to abortion, are ones that will take generations to resolve. I naively thought that since Roe v. Wade was decided well before I came of reproductive age and the public health data were so clear about the health benefits of contraception and abortion for women, families, communities, and countries that logic would prevail and I would simply be running programs to scale up these programs. Little did I know that I would become a warrior for abortion rights!

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Blake Bailey and the Rise of Survivor Activists in Academia

Over 200 faculty and alumni at Old Dominion University have signed a statement denouncing the school’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct by Blake Bailey. UPDATE: Since this post was written, Old Dominion has announced they will do an independent investigation of Blake Bailey’s alleged sexual misconduct while holding the Mina Hohenberg Darden Chair for Creative Writing at Old Dominion University from 2010 to 2016.

Blake Bailey, who wrote a biographer of Philip Roth which was removed from print by Norton, stands accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct. (Image credit: Norton)

From 2010 to 2016, Old Dominion University in Virginia hosted a visiting professor by the name of Blake Bailey. In addition to being a teacher, he was an author and the biographer for several esteemed male literary figures including John Cheever and, more recently, Philip Roth. But upon publication of his biography of Philip Roth, much has come to light about Blake Bailey’s history of alleged sexual misconduct, both during his time as a professor and in his professional life outside the school. As a result of some of these accusations, Blake Bailey’s biography of Philip Roth was removed from print, his literary agent dropped him, and the biography’s original publisher, Norton, has pledged six-figures for sexual assault survivor advocacy.

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Sex Workers in India Need Our Help. Here’s What Donors Can Do

Editor’s Note: The following post from Katarzyna Rybarczyk, a Political Correspondent for Immigration News, details the increased danger for sex workers in India, and provides ways for donors to step in with support.

Despite India being home to some of the most significant populations of sex workers globally, sex workers in India have very few protections and are alienated from the government’s responses. Even before the pandemic, sex workers in India would face unfair treatment, discrimination, and poverty. Now, these problems have intensified to the point where for the majority of sex workers every day is a struggle to survive. 

sex workers in India
Photo by Sara Bakhshi on Unsplash

The Pandemic Exacerbated Sex Workers’ Vulnerabilities

Because of the nature of their profession, sex workers rely on physical contact and in-person meetings with clients to earn a living. As red-light districts have been recognised as one of the primary sources of new COVID-19 infections, they have experienced repeated closures and a significant decrease in the number of people using sex workers’ services. Their former clients not only fear contracting the virus, but many have also lost their jobs because of the pandemic and thus can no longer pay for regular meetings. 

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Gender Lens Analysis of MacKenzie Scott’s $2.7 Billion in New Giving

She’s done it again — outstripped all of philanthropy with her massive capacities to spread capital in the nonprofit realm. Today, MacKenzie Scott announced $2.7 Billion in new giving — funds that will go to those generally underfunded and overlooked. MacKenzie describes her process as “Seeding by Ceding” — seeding social change by ceding her priveleged role to those who need the power more.

mackenzie scott
MacKenzie Scott blew the doors off philanthropy again by giving $2.7 billion in new funding for overlooked and underfunded organizations. (Image credit: MacKenzie Scott)

The gender lens analysis of this new batch of giving turns up several organizations that we discuss frequently here at Philanthropy Women, including our fiscal sponsor, Women’s Funding Network (woot! woot!), as well as a long list of other organizations taking a range of approaches, including intersectional approaches, to addressing the gender issues in our culture. The list of lucky grantees in this batch include:

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Announcing the Black Girl Freedom Fund’s First Six Grantees

The Black Girl Freedom Fund has announced the six organizations that will be receiving grants ranging from $50K to $100K.

The Black Girl Freedom Fund is the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. (Image credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund)
The Black Girl Freedom Fund is the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. (Image credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund)

The Black Girl Freedom Fund, an initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, announced its first grant recipients. The grantmaking was guided by an advisory committee of seven Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth between the ages of 13-17 years old. 

The Black Girl Freedom Fund is focusing its first round of grants for Black-girls serving organizations that address safety and wellbeing of Black girls. Along with the fund, the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign aims to mobilize $1 billion for Black girls and young women over the next 10 years. The campaign has mobilized  $17 million since it was first launched in September.

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G.L.O.W.: Initiatives that Work For Better Period Education

In honor of Menstrual Hygiene Day on 5/28, Global G.L.O.W. has been working to fight against period stigma and poverty. 

Global G.L.O.W. is an international non-profit organization that works with its partners in 23 countries on achieving gender equity. Mentoring young girls plays a large role in their activism. They feature three key initiatives in these mentorship programs. 

G.L.O.W.
Students with handmade sanitary pads. (Image Credit: Global G.L.O.W.)

GirlSolve focuses on the disparities that girls face in formal economic opportunities. GLOW Club helps girls to progress their ability to advocate for themselves, their emotional wellbeing, educational and community engagement and impact.  The final initiative is Healthy GLOW, which works to educate girls on maintaining healthy bodies and relationships.

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New P.E.A.R.L. Pledge Program to Empower Black Women

Pearl Milling Company has launched a multi-year program, P.E.A.R.L. Pledge, to empower black women and girls across the U.S.

P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will award $1M in grants to nonprofit organizations this year to kick-off the launch of the program. (Image credit: Pearl Milling Company)
P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will award $1M in grants to nonprofit organizations this year to kick-off the launch of the program. (Image credit: Pearl Milling Company)

Pearl Milling Company, maker of the 132-year-old pancake mix and syrup products previously found under the Aunt Jemima name, announced its community funding initiative as part of the brand’s commitment to support the Black community. P.E.A.R.L. Pledge is a multi-year program focused on championing the empowerment and success of Black women and girls across the country. In its inaugural year, the brand will award $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations helping to fulfill this mission.

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More Than Magic: What Funders Can Learn From Black Women and Girls

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, Chief Visionary Officer of the Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) and author of “Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide.”

black womxn
Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan shares her perspective on how funders can best collaborate with Black womxn and girls. (Image credit: @tweiston)

2021 has already been a traumatic year for Black womxn and girls. On the very day that the Chauvin verdict was announced, news spread like wildfire about 15-year old Ma’Khiah Bryant’s ruthless killing by police in Columbus, Ohio. Ma’Khia’s death followed a series of brutal assaults against young Black girls in the past four months – such as in January when a 16-year old in Florida was victimized by police after a school resource officer body-slammed and knocked her unconscious. Or in Rochester, New York where a nine year old was pepper-sprayed by officers who afterward told her, “You did it to yourself.”

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Why Do Major Ballet Companies Exclude Women Choreographers?

Editor’s Note: The following editorial by Elizabeth (Liza) Yntema was originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

It is the spring of 2021, except in the ballet world, which is apparently stuck somewhere in a 1950s deep freeze, where classical dance celebrates women by muting them.

Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash. Dancer: Sydney Smrzel

Our team at Dance Data Project was stunned to learn that Pennsylvania Ballet, the 10th largest company by budget in the U.S., has chosen to “honor” its female Founder, Barbara Weisberger, with a spring digital season whose theme is “Strength. Resilience. Beauty” and features 3 programs with 11 works by male choreographers and zero—yes, that is zero—pieces by women.

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