Black Women’s Leadership Boosted by $1 Million Gift to Howard

WASHINGTON (November 12, 2020) – Today, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick announced a $1 million gift from Heather and Jim Murren to launch the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership at Howard University. The gift kicks off a multi-million fundraising effort for what will be an interdisciplinary, student-centered, faculty-led institute that works with professional programs in health, business, communications and law, as well as majors in the arts and sciences.

Jim and Heather Murren made a $1 million gift to Howard to create the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership (Image credit: Howard University)

“We are extremely grateful to Trustee Jim Murren and Mrs. Heather Hay Murren for this generous $1 million gift to create the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership at Howard University. Our students’ college experiences will be significantly enriched through this program, which will empower Black women to continue to take their rightful place as leaders in every facet of our society and the global community,” says President Frederick.

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Laura Deaton: Transparent and Curious Leadership for a Better World

Editor’s Note: This edition of our Feminist Giving IRL series features Laura Deaton, Executive Director of Multiplier, a nonprofit working to accelerate impact for initiatives focused on health, sustainability, resilience, and equality.

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

I landed my first leadership role in the nonprofit sector in my early 30s and still had much to learn. I wish I had known from the start about the immense role that transparency and curiosity would play in helping me lead effectively. The power of those traits helped me design and better chart a course for impact.

Laura Deaton, Executive Director, Multiplier

First and foremost, transparent communication—executed well and with compassion—is a fundamental leadership skill that is integral to earning respect and trust. Curiosity and inquiry open doors and dialogues about truly discovering the best path forward by learning more about people, perspectives and processes before advocating for change. 

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Becoming Champions for Women and Girls, Zonta Changes Its Name

Zonta International Foundation, a global charitable organization working to empower women and girls, has announced a change of name to the Zonta Foundation for Women. The purpose of this repositioning is to elevate visibility and better align the foundation’s name with its globally recognized mission and commitment to women and girls worldwide.

Zonta Foundation for Women
Zonta Foundation for Women

Over the last century, Zonta has contributed more than US$45.9 million to empower women and girls and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities, and safe living conditions. The 2020-2022 grant cycle will provide US$5,280,000 for programs that address the root causes of gender discrimination and have the potential to bring about positive and sustainable societal changes.

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A Bloody Problem: Dominika Kulczyk on Ending Period Poverty

A bloody problem: period poverty, why we need to end it and how to do it

Dominika Kulczyk launches new report on period poverty and joins a group of world-class philanthropists as part of a partnership with Founders Pledge

(Image Credit: Kulczyk Foundation)
  • Kulczyk Foundation and Founders Pledge launch first-ever report on effective funding recommendations to address period poverty
  • Dominika Kulczyk, a Polish philanthropist and businesswoman, provided seed funding for the pioneering report and calls upon the international community to unite efforts and commit to ending period poverty
  • Report finds lack of developed and existing evidence base in the field on the most effective interventions to address period poverty
  • Eight organisations including Days for Girls and Irise International highlighted as best practice 

[15 October 2020, London / Warsaw] – Kulczyk Foundation, a Polish private family foundation, and Founders Pledge, a community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to global challenges, have launched a new report on period poverty. A bloody problem: period poverty, why we need to end it and how to do it – which reviews the current state of funding and solutions to ending period poverty – finds that there is no unified approach to data collection, fundraising or implementation of period poverty programmes.

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Equal Rights Amendment Can’t Wait in Time of COVID

Three weeks ago, I was elected as Board Chair of the Equal Rights Amendment Fund for Women’s Equality. As a funder and champion of women’s rights and economic justice, this call to step up could not have come at a more urgent time. 

The ERA Coalition is the sister organization to the Equal Rights Amendment Fund for Women’s Equality. (Image Credit: ERA Coalition)

Each one of us has had many moments of reckoning during COVID-19. But as women of color, we have seen that COVID has treated us differently from the rest. Race has been identified as a co-morbidity and a risk factor, just like diabetes or heart disease. Our healthcare systems, our educational systems, and our systems for protecting essential workers are all struggling mightily against a dangerous and mysterious disease. Basic rights and systems have been demolished for women, and women of color are being particularly hard-hit, facing higher rates of job loss while also being expected to bear more responsibility for caregiving and educating children.

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Examining Patriarchy with “The Girl Child”: A Six-Month Journey

To those on the outside looking in, the story of women and girls’ social advancement may look like a road paved with victories. To those within the sphere of feminist philanthropy, however, that road has more twists and turns than many realize. We cannot deny the progress we’ve made in recent years, but we also cannot ignore the inequality, violence, and oppression women and girls still face around the world today.

But where does this oppression come from? When did we as a society learn to value boys over girls, to treat women like property or lesser beings? Why do we have to fight against it in the first place?

Imago Dei Fund, through a free program presented by Emily Nielsen Jones and Rev. Domnic Misolo, seeks to answer these questions with a six-month reading journey through the history of patriarchy. Examining the liberation of women through historic and faith-based lenses, “The Girl Child & Her Long Walk to Freedom: Putting Faith to Work Through Love to Break Ancient Chains” offers participants six months a guided tour with readings, group discussions, and reflections centered around the emancipation of girls and women.

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Kinga Wisniewska on Collaboration over Competition

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Kinga Wisniewska, the Resource Mobilization Manager at FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, a youth-led feminist fund working to support grassroots organizers in over 120 countries in the Global South.

Kinga Wisniewska is a feminist and a sexual and reproductive health and rights activist from Warsaw, Poland, now serving as the Resource Mobilization Manager at FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund. (Image Credit: FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund)

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

The fundraising field is quite secretive, as organizations fear that sharing their donor experiences would have repercussions on their relationships, or that they would have to compete for funds if they disclosed what opportunities they are working on. It’s so weighty to work in silos, feel isolated and overwhelmed with the “I have to do it all on my own” mentality. That makes fundraising burnout very real, with lasting effects on our well-being and health, and affects so many of us in philanthropy, especially those working in resource mobilization.

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How is COVID-19 Impacting Justice for Women?

In a new report from the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), UN Women, and a collection of sponsors and contributors, the combined crises of women’s justice and COVID-19 come to light.

Image Credit: IDLO

In Justice for Women Amidst COVID-19, Jeni Klugman of the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security investigates the difficulties women face in seeking justice–difficulties that have been exacerbated, sometimes with disastrous consequences, due to COVID-19.

Drawing on a women’s justice landscape outlined in a 2019 report from the same team (Justice for Women), this new report examines the multiple dimensions of the COVID-19 catastrophe. Common themes in fighting the pandemic–country-wide stay-at-home orders, mass layoffs, closure of businesses that employ low-wage workers–align with troubling themes in women’s justice, such as a rise in intimate partner violence (IPV), lack of access to information via mobile phones and the Internet, and discrimination (both inherent and supposed) against women around the world.

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What Melinda Gates Says, and Doesn’t Say, About Women in COVID

“Architects of a better world” is how Melinda Gates frames the role of women in the age of COVID. In a recent article in Foreign Affairs, the co-founder of the world’s largest philanthropic organization makes the case that women’s leadership is the beacon of light the world needs most right now.

Gates starts off the essay by recognizing the silent pandemic of violence against women happening during COVID. She goes on to detail in full the many ways that women are losing access to health care and jobs, all while being piled with more housework and childcare duties.

(Image Credit: Oladimeji Odunsi at Unsplash)

Maternity Care Needs to Develop Workarounds for COVID

Gates is particularly worried about expectant moms in COVID, and with good reason. She relates some of the staggering losses suffered in the Ebola outbreak of 2014 in Sierra Leone. One suggestion that Gates makes for COVID: separate facilities for COVID and non-COVID pregnant women in some countries so that women can still get maternal care, even if they are COVID positive.

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Beyoncé: “Vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”

“We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does,” said Beyoncé in her pre-recorded acceptance speech for the 2020 BET Awards. The performer and philanthropist is 2020’s recipient of the Humanitarian Award, bestowed for her work through the BeyGOOD Initiative and other campaigns.

International superstar Beyoncé is the recipient of the 2020 BET Humanitarian Award. (Image Credit: BET/Twitter)

“Thank you so much for this beautiful honor,” she said. “I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change. Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”

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