Equal Rights Amendment Can’t Wait in Time of COVID

Editor’s Note: This post urging passage of the Equal Rights Amendment was originally published on September 3, 2020.

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. 

equal rights amendment
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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And The Winners Are: Announcing the Feminist Giving IRL Top Tier

Editor’s Note: The following post was first published on March 1, 2021, at the conclusion of our Feminist Giving IRL contest.

Feminist Giving IRL Contest Winners Announced! Final Vote Shows Strength in Numbers and Rising Interest in Gender Equality in the Arts, Global Development, and Women in Tech

Gender Equality in Dance, Global Girls Equality, and Women in Tech are the 3 Big Winners

A total of 563 people voted in our Feminist Giving IRL Top Tier Contest. A graphic below shows the distribution of final results.

Final vote for 2021 Feminist Giving IRL: Light blue is representing Elizabeth Yntema’s 33.4% of the vote. Dr. Tessie San Martin in the blue/green on the right came in at #2 with 19% of the vote. Sara Monteabaro is third in the bright pink with 16.5% of the vote. (Image Credit: Google Spreadsheets)

Congratulations to Our Winners!

First, a heartfelt congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all the women leaders profiled in Feminist Giving IRL for being willing to participate in this event. Each of our winners will receive a $100 honorarium and will be invited to participate in our Zoom-based Top Tier Crowning Webinar where we celebrate their accomplishments and discuss their plans for the future of gender equality in their work. Stay tuned for further details on that event.

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GLSEN Board Adds New Experts Imara Jones and Malachi Garza

On July 14th, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) welcomed Imara Jones and Malachi Garza to their Board of Directors. Jones, recently announced as a Nathan Cummings Fellow, and Garza, organizing director of Solidaire Network, join a robust team of educators, funders, and educator advocates devoted to creating affirming educational environments for LGBTQ+ youth.

Image Credit: GLSEN, Twitter

About GLSEN

Founded in 1990 by a group of teachers who identified educators’ role in creating a safe and learning-conducive environment for LGBTQ+ students, GLSEN leverages educational activism, extensive research, and student-led movements to uplift evidence-based solutions for LGBTQ+ youth.

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Janeen Comenote on How Native Feminist Values Can Guide Giving

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Janeen Comenote, Executive Director of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition and Marguerite Casey Foundation board member.

Janeen Comenote, courtesy of Janeen Comenote

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

When I first started working in the nonprofit sector over 20 years ago, the concept of philanthropy was completely foreign to me and, frankly, intimidating. I wish I would have known then that my lived professional, personal, and cultural experience is an important story for philanthropy to hear. I think there is real power in sharing our stories with one another and philanthropy needs to hear our collective stories. When I first started my career, it was in a sort of silo, I was unaware of how invisible the Native community was in the larger philanthropic, and American, diaspora. I think, had I known then how profoundly that realization would shape my career, I may have utilized additional messaging about it earlier.

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Teresa Bonner on Ageism, Othering, and Ending Broken Systems

 Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies.

Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies. (Image Credit: Teresa Bonner)

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

The short answer is “everything!” By the time I began working for foundations, I had spent about ten years on the public charity side of the table, and prior to that, I worked as an attorney for a number of years. When I reached the philanthropic stage of my career, I had quite a bit of experience in the workplace and in the nonprofit sector. Despite that, I had no idea that private foundations were subject to many more rules and requirements than public charities are, or that institutional philanthropy had its own established culture and norms.

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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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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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New Paradigm: Shifting Power as We Rebuild America with a Gender Lens

Editor’s Note: With the crisis of COVID comes the opportunity to see the world in a different light: one that values people of all genders and progresses toward greater economic and social justice. Here, Joy Anderson, President and Founder of Criterion Institute and Teresa Younger, CEO and President of the Ms. Foundation for Women, urge us to respond to the crisis by taking guidance from gender justice movement-builders.

(Image credit: Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash)

Imagine a world where financial actors actively sought out and paid gender experts to advise them on lending criteria and the terms attached to stimulus loans. Imagine gender justice organizations weighing in on reports produced by banks and consulting firms, shaping the narrative of where asset holders should be investing. Imagine if a key indicator of economic recovery was not how large-cap US stocks are trading, but how many women, nonbinary individuals, and people of color have returned to work in safe jobs that pay a fair wage and offered benefits.

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A Titan Stepping Down: On Roslyn Dawson Thompson’s Leadership

The Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF), a leader in women’s philanthropy in Texas and around the world, announced their President and CEO, Roslyn Dawson Thompson, is retiring from TXWF at the end of 2021. In conjunction with Dawson Thompson’s retirement announcement and TXWF’s succession plan, the nationwide search to fill her seemingly unfillable shoes is underway.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson
Roslyn Dawson Thompson has guided the Texas Women’s Foundation to unprecedented expansion for a decade and is now stepping down. (Photo credit: Texas Women’s Foundation)

Throughout her 10 years with TXWF, Dawson Thompson oversaw and led the organization from the Dallas Women’s Foundation to what it is today — a global force for women’s social and economic progress and philanthropy. Climbing the ranks from volunteer to CEO, Dawson Thompson’s unique perspective on how to develop efforts for women’s empowerment is a prime example of what TXWF promotes as a whole: community, integrity, inclusivity, and grassroots action.

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Chera Reid: “My Being and Doing are One and the Same”

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Chera Reid, Co-Executive Director, Center for Evaluation Innovation.

chera reid
Chera Reid, Co-Executive Director of Evaluation Roundtable at the Center for Evaluation Innovation, shares her insights on how we can become a more diverse community. (Image credit: Chera Reid)

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

I wish I had known that it was me, in my whole human self, that was what every organization needed from me. It was and is me that organizations are asking for. When I was starting out professionally, I was ready with my resume and eager to please. I worked hard to do more of what I believed senior leaders wanted me to do, and I kept parts of who I am to myself. Showing up wholly—head, heart, and hands—is what social change leadership requires. Today my being and doing are one and the same.

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