Marisa Franco on Leadership: Marginalized People Must Seize the Stage

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Marisa Franco, Director and Co-founder of Mijente, a hub for Latinx/Chicanx organizing and movement building.

marisa franco
Marisa Franco, courtesy of Marisa Franco

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

I would reemphasize the importance of relationships, staying curious, and seeking joy and pride in one’s work.

2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?

The leadership development of folks who are looking to get more involved and learn new skills while responding to the many changing conditions we deal with. We have finite time and resources, and it can be a challenge to balance between moving externally to respond to opportunities and crises and doing the development work.

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Marguerite Casey CEO on Resourcing Abolitionist Feminism

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features President and Chief Executive Officer of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Dr. Carmen Rojas.

carmen rojas
Carmen Rojas, courtesy of Carmen Rojas

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

I spent a lot of time in this sector trying to make sense of power relationships — specifically, those with undue influence, limited imaginations and proximity to the people who have long been excluded from our democracy and economy. I wish I had known that this is a feature in the design of philanthropy, and that it doesn’t need to be this way. I spent so much time trying to convince people in positions of power and people closest to the most resources that the communities I care about lack power in our democracy or representation in our economy, not as a result of individual choices but as a result of systemic design.

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What is Being Done to Fight Anti-Trans Legislatures?

Col. Jennifer Pritzker has pledged $101K and future six-figure donations to fight growing anti-trans legislative activity in Tennessee.

Col. Jennifer Pritzker has announced that she will donate $101K, along with continued financial support, to fight anti-transgender laws in Tennessee. (Image credit: Tawani Foundation)
Col. Jennifer Pritzker has announced that she will donate $101K, along with continued financial support, to fight anti-transgender laws in Tennessee. (Image credit: Tawani Foundation)

Col. Jennifer Pritzker, the Chicago philanthropist, and business owner, announced on July 20th, 2021 that she will donate $101,000 and additional six-figure future support to the ACLU from her TAWANI Foundation to fight Tennessee’s anti-transgender laws in court. The ACLU and its Tennessee chapter announced on June 25 that they filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two businesses. The lawsuit argues that a state law requiring businesses to post signs outside transgender-friendly bathrooms is unconstitutional and violates businesses’ First Amendment rights against forced speech.

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Pop Culture Collaborative Leaders Discuss Funding Narrative Change

Editor’s Note: This dual interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke, who are, respectively, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the Pop Culture Collaborative, a philanthropic resource and funder learning community.

Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke, courtesy of Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke

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

Bridgit Antoinette Evans: I wish that I’d been introduced to Octavia E. Butler much earlier in life. Octavia wrote about this concept of “positive obsession,” which she described as “not being able to stop just because you’re afraid and full of doubts.” My mother and her siblings were leaders in the Civil Rights movement in Savannah, and while she fiercely believed that her daughters could be anything we wanted to be in the world, she was very clear that we needed to be improving the world while doing it. I wanted to be an artist, and so, as a teen, I became obsessed with one question: “What is the relationship between a great story and widespread cultural change?”

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Electing Women is Key to Happiness: New Report

When men and women are paid more equally and more women are in elected office, a country tends to be more economically successful and happy. Now the Biden Administration is offering more of this kind of happiness in the U.S.

electing women
Electing women was a big theme of the Women’s March, 2018. (Photo by Mirah Curzer on Unsplash)

Riane Eisler and Robyn Baker make some excellent points in a recent article in Ms. Magazine entitled Want to Make Your Country Happier? Elect Women.

The article discusses how the 2021 World Happiness Report has some startling news for the globe: research indicates that generous government spending on society’s infrastructure – the services and systems that improve people’s quality of life – is key to happiness.

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

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 20, 2020. We are resharing in celebration of Black Philanthropy Month.

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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Kamala Harris: “We’re Gonna Get It Done.”

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on August 18, 2020, before Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States.

“We’re gonna get it done.” These were some of the first words spoken by Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris in her phenomenal half-hour interview with Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large for the 19th, during the 19th Represents Summit on Friday. Harris’s plans to “get it done” refer to the upcoming Presidential election, and her goal to join Joe Biden in leading the U.S. out of one of its worst crisis periods in history.

Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris spoke with Errin Haines of The 19th on Friday, August 14th, giving details of her experience becoming the first woman of color nominated to the U.S. Presidential ticket. (Image Credit: The 19th video, Youtube)

Haines began the interview by asking what it was like for Kamala Harris to be in competition with women she respected and worked with, other candidates who were running for President and were in the lead to be asked to fill Biden’s ticket for the Vice President spot.

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What if Only Women Voted in the 2020 Election?

Editor’s Note: This post about how women voted in the 2020 election originally appeared on November 11, 2020, and has been updated to reflect our country’s new investments from the Biden-Harris Administration.

The question came up in my mind about 2020 women voters, and I see many other people have been tossing this question around in conversations online: What if only women voted in the 2020 election? Would it have been a much easier win for the Biden-Harris presidency?

2020 Election Results for Women Voters

only women voted
This image from the Washington Post helps illustrate the point: if only women voted in the 2020 election, it would have been a much easier win for Biden. The key states of Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania would have all been sure wins, as well as many other states. (Image credit: Washington Post)

If Only Women Voted, Biden-Harris Landslide Win

The answer is a resounding yes. The above graphic says it all. In the 14 states listed above and in many others, Biden would have won handily.

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Finance Expert: Minimize Charity. Maximize Gender Lens Investing


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 10, 2019.

Tracy Gray has something important to tell women about their philanthropy: do less of it. It’s not the usual message that donors get from the world, and it’s not the usual message here at Philanthropy Women, either. But the context of this message comes from Gray’s conviction that the quicker we grow women’s wealth through gender lens investing, the quicker we will move toward a better society.

Tracy Gray is the Founder of the 22 Fund, a growth equity investment firm that seeks to create more quality employment opportunities for women and people of color. (Photo credit: anitab.org)

“Take some of your money out of charity and put it into women-owned or women-led businesses,” Gray advised women donors, in a recent phone chat with Philanthropy Women.

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AOC: The Powerful Voice of Feminist Giving In Real Life

Editor’s Note: the following post was originally published on February 3, 2021.

Here at Philanthropy Women, we started a series called Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) to provide a platform for women leaders at all levels who are giving in a feminist way. This giving can happen through donations and funding strategy, through professional excellence, and/or through leadership efforts in the community. Feminist giving is a form of leadership that has special impact because it often combines deeply personal experience and significantly political thinking and acting.

AOC
AOC became tearful as she disclosed that she is a survivor or sexual assault. In a 90 minute video on Instagram, AOC discussed the ways in which the January 6 riots constituted a form of trauma related to sexual trauma experienced by herself and many other Americans. (Image Credit: AOC on Instagram

Yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez performed what I would call a supreme act of feminist giving. When AOC spoke out against the January 6th riots and connected these riots to her experience of being sexually traumatized, she simultaneously stood up for every human who has experience sexual assault, and challenged the largest political body of our country to acknowledge how the January 6th riots are part of a continuum of pervasive violence against women, people of color, and other marginalized groups.

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