Dance Equity: Extra Tough Times for Women Dancers in COVID

Northfield, IL | November 19, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the social media campaign, Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory, designed to draw attention to the catastrophic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in dance and the performing arts in general. The campaign will begin on Monday, Nov. 23 and run for three weeks, ending on Friday, Dec. 11.

Dancers Terez Dean Orr and Ben Warner perform Poetry of Being by Nicole Haskins. (Photo by Keith Sutter, courtesy of Smuin Contemporary Ballet)


“While NPR, and business publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes have documented the asymmetric impact of the pandemic on women economically, we haven’t seen similar work by arts reporters, looking at the industry as a whole,” said DDP President and Founder Liza Yntema. “Our campaign is designed to ‘connect the dots’ between layoffs and furloughs at the lower tier of performing arts not for profits where women typically work, the already existing gender pay gap, and the crushing pressure women feel due to child and elder care duties resulting in what is being termed the ‘Shecession’.” 

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Hive Fund Gets Huge Gift from Bezos Climate Pledge

The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice is among a group of equity-focused climate re-granting organizations that received grants from the Jeff Bezos Earth Fund, a $10 billion effort to fight climate change. We are thankful for this investment in our grantmaking program. These grants signal the beginnings of a shift as many philanthropists start to recognize the critical role that frontline groups and leaders of color play in addressing the climate crisis.

The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice is one of the first recipients of funding from the Bezos Earth Fund. (Image Credit: Bezos Earth Fund)

The grant from the Bezos Earth Fund, totaling $43 million over three years, will help The Hive Fund expand grantmaking to organizations led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous women and other frontline leaders. The work these groups do is essential to addressing the intersecting climate, gender, and racial justice crises in the U.S. Hive Fund grantee partners are engaging a record number of people in democracy; elevating climate, racial, and gender justice issues to the top of policymakers’ agendas; and bringing creativity, culture, joy, and power to growing social movements.

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Women’s Fund of Rhode Island Wins Diversity, Inclusion Honors

PROVIDENCE, RI — November 9, 2020— Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) is honored to be awarded PBN’s 2020 Diversity & Inclusion honoree in the category of Nonprofit. This award recognizes companies and leaders who have made significant strides implementing diversity and inclusion within their organization or which influence others in the community to do the same.

women's fund of rhode island
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island will be honored by the Providence Business News at its upcoming Summit and Awards event. (Image Credit: PBN)

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, a leader in the movement to improve policies that impact women and girls in Rhode Island, is committed to women’s equity. WFRI believes it is a must to push for broader change through legislation and policy that tackle the systems of oppression that cause/contribute to racial, economic, leadership and health inequities. The organization produces original research on the status of women and girls and uses that information as the basis for their advocacy efforts.

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How Madam CJ Walker Empowered Black Giving in the Time of Jim Crow

On October 12, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s new book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow. Moderated by Bob Grimm, Philanthropy Historian at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, the event featured conversations with Freeman, as well as Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who also wrote the foreword for the book.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy celebrated the launch of Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman’s book about the life and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker in an event featuring the author, the chair of the Do Good Institute, and Walker’s great-great granddaughter. (Image Credit: University of Illinois Press)

The event opened with a welcome from Bob Grimm, the night’s moderator. He began by introducing Dr. Freeman, a professor at the Lilly School, and a prolific author whose work has been featured in a wide range of outlets. Grimm also introduced A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and author of many books about Madam Walker and her legacy.

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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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New World Possibilities with Gender Lens Giving Strategies

On Thursday in New Zealand and Wednesday in the US, a virtual conversation took place between some of the boldest strategic experts in the feminist giving space. The conversation included Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director of Women Moving Millions, Tuti B. Scott, feminist expert on gender lens grantmaking and gender lens investing, Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lucy Lee, Senior Associate for Volition Capital and Lotus Circle Bay Area convener.

feminist giving strategies
Melanie Brown, Senior Program Officer for US Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke about the need to recognize the “weathering” that women of color experience in our racist and sexist cultures.

 As more virtual strategizing takes place to amplify feminist giving strategies, these leaders offer a valuable perspective. Sue McCabe, Chief Executive of Philanthropy New Zealand opened the call with some shocking stats about how COVID is impacting New Zealand’s economy, even though they have had some of the best health outcomes from the virus. McCabe said that 90% of newly unemployed people, due to the COVID restrictions in New Zealand, are women. She stressed the importance of giving more, and giving more strategically, in the time of COVID.

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Revealing Women’s Economic Value: A Chat with Berit Ashla

One thing COVID has shown us is new ways to appreciate women’s economic value and professional contributions to the world. A case in point that directly impacts me: many insurance companies during COVID have waived copays for psychotherapy (I’m a psychotherapist in my other day job), essentially granting many people an open door to emotional care, unrestricting access to an area of health care that had been previously blocked by confusing and expensive deductibles and co-pays. In doing so, this action also added economic value to mental health counseling, which is primarily done by women, in a new way.

Berit Ashla, Vice President of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, recently spoke with Philanthropy Women about how COVID is revealing women’s economic value, particularly in the care economy. (Image Credit: Berit Ashla)

Another case in point: the need for nurses, a profession comprised mostly of women. Suddenly this profession, which has always been sort of taken for granted, is front and center and absolutely vital to our survival. The result: the need for nurses has driven up wages and bonuses for the work.

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Kris Kepler: On Radical Hospitality and Unexpected Leaders

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Kris Kepler, CEO of mobile hygiene pioneer LavaMaeX, which brings hygiene and other critical services to the unhoused.

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

I left my corporate job over three years ago to work in the non-profit sector. I craved a role in social impact, I wanted to give more, and I’ve never looked back.  

Kris Kepler
Kris Kepler, CEO of mobile hygiene pioneer LavaMaeX. (Image credit: LavaMaeX)

When I started, I wish I would have known the power of embracing failure, saying “I tried my best,” being okay with it and not defeated by it. I have learned to look at those moments with curiosity and optimism and know that failure brings great opportunity for change both personally and professionally.

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(Liveblog) Strategies for Giving in COVID Economy with A Call To Men

On Wednesday, October 7th, the team at A Call To Men convened a conversation on giving strategy is the COVID economy, featuring with Michael Stars’ Suzanne Lerner and the New York Women’s Foundation’s Ana Oliveira.

Ted Bunch, Chief Development Officer at A Call To Men, opened the call with a group check-in. He encouraged participants to share the ways they are thriving and struggling during the pandemic. This interactive portion of the call featured stories from men and women around the country, including foundation representatives and individuals struggling with work prospects, productivity, and social justice in the midst of the pandemic.

Ultimately, the people on the call celebrated a feeling of community that is created in every virtual session for A Call To Men: the team misses the engagement possibilities of in-person events, and has celebrated all the ways they can continue to drive participation during virtual events.

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Sara Monteabaro’s Mission for Women & Girls with MIT Solve

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sara Monteabaro, newly appointed Director of Strategic & Partner Programs at MIT Solve.

Sara Monteabaro is the newly appointed Director of Strategic & Partner programs at MIT Solve. (Image Credit: MIT Solve)

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

Being a perfectionist is a strength masked as a weakness. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist myself, I’ve learned over the course of my career that perfectionist tendencies—when controlled—are something to lean into. It’s a matter of striving to do one’s best, while also accepting that failures along the way are learning opportunities, not signs of weakness or inadequacy. 

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