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.

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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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Sharon Shapiro on Growing New Dimensions with Your Giving Quest

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sharon Shapiro, Trustee and Community Liaison at the Ruderman Family Foundation.

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

I wish I had known that philanthropy is a process and that there’s a strategy to giving. Growing up in a family that was highly philanthropic, we really didn’t talk about my parents’ giving and what it meant to them. We saw examples, but it wasn’t really spoken about in the house. Today, I try to teach my kids about philanthropy in a strategic way.

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Sharon Shapiro is the Trustee and Community Liaison at the Ruderman Family Foundation. (Image Credit: Ruderman Family Foundation)

2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?

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Activating Philanthropy – Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle

Editor’s Note: This article is Part Four in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Two: How to Call Your Congresswoman, and Part Three: Talking to Family Members About Giving. 

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The Women’s Giving Circle of Harford Count presented TasteWise Kids a $5,000 grant for its Days of Taste Program. The check presentation included Kim Malat, Sherifa Clarke, Riva Kahn, Ennise Bloom and Alice Welsh Leeds. In 2019, the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County awarded 13 grants to nonprofits serving women and children, totaling nearly $45,000. (Image Credit: Jessica Moser / Baltimore Sun)

We’re almost finished with our Activating Philanthropy series! Thanks for joining us for this four-week series on activating philanthropy in your everyday life. Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re tying everything together with one of the simplest and most effective forms of collaborative philanthropy: the giving circle

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Texas Women’s Fdn Event Spotlights Outstanding Gender Lens Leaders

The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) held its Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration on April 29th, honoring the trailblazing women making a difference for both Texas and the world. From 10 AM to 12 PM, thousands joined in on the virtual celebration, discussions, and moments of gratitude. The event served to highlight how, particularly since COVID, women’s leadership offers particular value and potential.

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Leaders honored by the Texas Women’s Foundation at their Leadership and Awards Celebration. (Photo credit: Texas Women’s Foundation and Plano Magazine)

The celebration honored five Maura Women Helping Women Award recipients and two Young Leader Award recipients. The Maura award enters its 42nd year with over 200 past honorees who have and are implementing drastic advancement opportunities for women and girls. The Young Leader Award highlights women leaders under 40 who, through their own accomplishments, are shaping the roads of progress for women everywhere.

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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.”

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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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Faith & Philanthropy with Feminist Leaders: Liveblog

On Thursday, April 29th, the Philanthropy Women team gathered with honored guests for the next webinar in our online conversation series: Faith and Philanthropy: How To Live Out Your Beliefs Through Your Giving.

From the changing role of religious institutions in relation to nonprofits and how ways of giving have evolved over time, the latest iteration in our webinar series examined how we as women in philanthropy can live out our faith through our giving practices.

Moderated by Kiersten Marek, the day’s panel included: Yolanda F. Johnson, Founder of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy and President of Women In Development, New York; Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, author of Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance and lifelong donor activist for women; Emily Nielsen Jones, President of the Imago Dei Fund; Dr. Jane Karlin, Adjunct Professor, NYU, and Board Member, Women of Reform Judaism; and Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Executive Director of Christians for Social Action.

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TODAY! Faith and Philanthropy: Living Your Beliefs Through Your Giving

At 2:00 PM ET on Thursday, April 29th, join Philanthropy Women for an enlightening conversation on how your faith can inform your philanthropy. Faith and Philanthropy: How To Live Out Your Beliefs Through Your Giving will be a vibrant conversation on the role of mission-based giving.

From the changing role of religious institutions in relation to nonprofits and how ways of giving have evolved over time, the latest iteration in our webinar series will examine how we as women in philanthropy can live out our faith through our giving practices.

Moderated by Kiersten Marek, this panel will include: Yolanda F. Johnson, Founder of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy and President of Women In Development, New York; Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, author of Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance and lifelong donor activist for women; Emily Nielsen Jones, President of the Imago Dei Fund; Dr. Jane Karlin, Adjunct Professor, NYU, and Board Member, Women of Reform Judaism; and Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Executive Director of Christians for Social Action.

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Getting to Work for Ecofeminism with WILD ELEMENTS

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to go to work — the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation has arrived! Just in time for Earth Day, this planet-focused grantmaking organization is leading the conversation with a three-pronged “kindness” approach. And what’s more, WILD ELEMENTS is helmed by two incredible women: Nikki Eslami and Heidi Nel.

WILD ELEMENTS is Eslami’s brainchild: as the CEO and Founder of the organization, Eslami is also a Board Member of the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation, alongside the Foundation’s President and fellow board member Heidi Nel.

The WILD ELEMENTS Foundation launched its first initiatives in April 2021. (Image Credit: WE Foundation)

WILD ELEMENTS is a purpose-first platform, which consists of three unique organizations – a nonprofit corporation (the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation), a storytelling studio, and mindfully made brands. Beginning with a $3 million investment, the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation will support the stories and innovations of leaders around the world through grantmaking, advocacy, network building, and other charitable activities.

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How Susan Blaustein Found Her Path to Empowering Women Globally

In the U.S and abroad, Dr. Susan M. Blaustein has helped women partner for gender equality through the nonprofit WomenStrong International.

Vital work being done domestically and internationally in the name of gender equality has come from a prolific nonprofit called WomenStrong International. Founded and directed by Susan Blaustein, the organization was an outgrowth of the Millennium Cities Initiative, a program Dr. Blaustein led for more than a decade at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. 

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Susan Blaustein, Founder of WomenStrong (Image credit: WomenStrong)

Since its 2015 inception, WomenStrong International has grown steadily in size and scope and now has 18 partner organizations across 15 different countries.  These partners include organizations as various and farflung as the Women’s Justice Initiative in Guatemala, Black Women’s Blueprint in the US, and Roots of Health in the Philippines.

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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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