New Report Shows How Comfortable Harvard Made Jeffrey Epstein

Time for a break from COVID and a return to a discussion that was a big deal in the land before pandemics: Jeffrey Epstein, and the way he simply glided through high society as if there was nothing wrong with being a convicted sex offender. A new report from Harvard discussed in today’s Boston Globe tells of how Epstein “had his own office in a Harvard University department and visited there more than 40 times after he was released from jail in 2010 up until 2018.”

sex offender enabling, gender based violence, Jeffrey Epstein
Harvard University’s General Counsel, in consultation with an outside law firm, has produced a 27 page report on Epstein’s involvement with the university. (Image Credit: Boston Globe) Read the full report here.

Epstein had key cards to enter the buildings at Harvard, helpfully provide by math professor Martin Nowak, and this allowed Epstein to host dinners and other meetings there with area political figures and academics. Epstein also used the office to meet with young women, described as being in their 20’s, who “acted as his assistants.”

Read More

How Donors Can Support Survivors of DV During COVID

 The COVID-19 pandemic and current isolation at home of the majority of people across the globe has led domestic violence incidents to skyrocket. In Australia, Google reports a 75% increase in online searches for help with domestic violence. In China, the number of calls to helplines has tripled, according to the U.N., and here in the US, police departments and hotlines are reporting a 20%-35% increase in cases. Couple this data with the fact that many shelters nationwide are currently closed or not accepting new clients in order to protect the health and safety of staff and current residents, and the picture of this crisis quickly becomes much bleaker. 

support survivors
Sonya Passi, founder and CEO of FreeFrom (www.freefrom.org), a national organization in the US working with and for survivors, shares her advice for how feminist givers can support survivors during COVID. (Image credit: Glen Carrie at Unsplash)

However, COVID-19 itself is not the problem. The number one reason survivors in the US stay in or go back to abusive situations is financial insecurity. The Center for Disease Control estimates that domestic violence will cost a female survivor almost $104,000 in medical bills, legal fees, property damages, and other related costs. This six-figure debt is exacerbated by the fact that economic abuse (which can take many forms such as not being allowed to work, having little or no access to cash, and being forced to take on debt through physical threats) occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases. Survivors are trapped in violence because it is overwhelmingly expensive to overcome both the cost of being harmed and the devastatingly intricate impact of being financially abused. 

Read More

100&Change: Plan and 99 Other Orgs Vie for $100 Mil

On February 20, Plan International USA announced the next step in its campaign toward a $100 million grant: selection as one of the top 100 organizations considered for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation‘s 100&Change competition.

Plan International USA announced its selection as one of the “Top 100” in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. (Photo Credit: Plan International USA Video on Ensuring All People Count)

Plan celebrates with 99 other organizations, selected from a pool of almost 4,000 worthy applicants and 800 proposals, all setting out to solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges.

Plan’s challenge? Create a high-quality civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system–called OpenCRVS–capable of closing the gap between the world’s unregistered population and the governments, systems, and organizations that seek to serve them.

Read More

Prioritizing Gender Equality: A Response to the Gates Annual Letter

When one of the richest women in the world decides that gender equality should be more of a priority, what impact does that have? Should we cheer, or fear, this development?

For two decades, Bill and Melinda have spent $53.8 billion on philanthropy, all for the purpose of making the world a better place. Now, for the first time in that twenty years, Melinda Gates has planted a stake in the ground and declared gender to be a topic of high priority for the foundation’s work, and for her own work happening separately through Pivotal Ventures. From the letter:

more gender equality
Melinda Gates devotes much of her part of the Gates Annual letter to discussing her agenda for bringing gender equality to the fore as a social issue. (Image Credit: Gates Foundation website)

In addition to the foundation’s 20th anniversary, this year marks another milestone I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women. (If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know it as the event where Hillary Clinton famously declared that “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”)

Read More

Chang Takes the Reins as CEO of BS of California Fdn

Chang brings dynamic leadership experience in federal, state, and community health

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 12, 2020) ­ Blue Shield of California Foundation announced today the appointment of Debbie I. Chang as president and chief executive officer, overseeing its programs of more than $30 million in annual grantmaking to meet the diverse health needs of all Californians and to address the root causes of poor health and violence. 

Chang takes the reins.
Blue Shield of California Foundation Names Debbie I. Chang as President and CEO. (photo credit: Blue Shield of California Foundation)

Chang, currently senior vice president and chief policy and prevention officer at Nemours Children’s Health System, which is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, with operations in five states and Washington, DC, has an extensive history of developing innovative national programs, leading ambitious health partnerships, and advocating policies to promote the health of children and families.

Read More

NoVo Foundation Announces $10 Million in Life Story Grants

(Jan 28, 2020) The NoVo Foundation is honored to announce the recipients of The Life Story Grants: a $10 million, three-year investment in fifteen projects that open exit ramps and close on-ramps to commercial sexual exploitation across the U.S. 

The Life Story Grants follows the launch of The Life Story: Moments of Change, a survivor-centered examination of 13 moments that can shape — or change — the trajectory of how girls and women enter the sex trade — also referred to as “the Life”.

life story

NoVo remains committed to deepening our understanding of systemic barriers faced by survivors and lifting up the work that will be a catalyst for change. The Life Story Grants aims to support and expand the efforts of underserved leaders across the country and foster collaboration among national and community organizations that seek to address the short-term needs while supporting long-term solutions. Funding for these projects will address how systems such as foster care, healthcare, immigration, housing and law enforcement can shift and respond to survivors and their communities. 

Read More

Take Our Survey to Make Us Stronger and More Effective

UPDATE: Thank you to all who have responded to our survey. We are getting a lot of good ideas for how to expand and sharpen our strategy. Those who haven’t joined in, get busy! Think of it as free therapy — your chance to vent about all your hopes and fears for gender equality movements.

Below is a survey we are are asking readers to respond to. With so many advanced thinkers and leaders in our audience, Philanthropy Women wants to make sure we have your needs covered when it comes to gender equality funding news. We also want to be able to share insights and honest observations from the community about gender equality movements and strategies, particularly ideas that might not otherwise surface in public discourse. Please let us know your thoughts!

Read More

Gates Fdn and India Ministry Sign MOC on Women, Maternal Health

New Delhi [India], Jan 8 (Asian News International): In a bid to improve the healthcare system of the country, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post-facto approval on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between Union Health Ministry and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Women and children receiving medical care in India (Credit: UN WOMEN on Flickr)

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) covers the following areas: to reduce maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality, improve key nutrition outcomes by improving the reach, coverage and quality of essential primary health, immunization and nutrition services.

The memorandum will also focus on the quality of family planning methods and reaching out to younger women.

Read More

Ascend Fund Launches with Millions for Women in U.S. Politics

Panorama Global Launches The Ascend Fund to Achieve Equal Representation for Women in U.S. Politics 

SEATTLE – Today, Panorama Global announced the formal launch of The Ascend Fund, a collaborative fund dedicated to accelerating the pace of change towards gender parity in U.S. politics. The Ascend Fund, pools philanthropic capital to support nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that are working to ensure women have access to the resources and support they need to run for office, and that are breaking down the barriers that prevent women from running and winning. 

The Ascend Fund received seed funding from Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda Gates, which seeks to advance social progress in the U.S. for women and families. As part of the strategy to accelerate women’s power and influence, Pivotal Ventures provides catalytic support for partners to create resilient and inclusive pathways for women pursuing public office.

Read More

WFN to Lead Gates-Funded Anti-Poverty Work Via Women’s Funds

A giant breakthrough has happened for women’s funds and feminist approaches to social change. The Women’s Funding Network, the world’s largest network of foundations investing in women and girls, has announced receiving $1.69 million in grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This funding will be used to establish “a cohort of ten women’s foundations whose collaborative efforts will be harnessed to increase women’s economic mobility in their communities,” according to a press release announcing the new funding.

women's funds
Cynthia Nimmo, CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, thanked the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their generous gift of $1.69 million, which will fund multi-state efforts led by women’s funds to create economic mobility for women and girls. (Photo Credit: WFN)

This funding could not have come at a more auspicious time. Women’s funds and gender lens grantmaking are a tiny but fast-expanding segment of philanthropy, and this historically large grant will put the peddle to the metal for accelerating feminist approaches to social change.

Read More