Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresKris 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.
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.
Here’s another way inequality has negatively impacted women’s health: incorrect drug dosages. Since most drug trials exclude women, based on false and outdated beliefs, drug dosages are set to work for men, not women. As a result, women take higher than needed doses of many medications, and suffer more adverse side effects.
Donors who are working at the intersection of gender equality and women’s health should take heed of new research published in Biology of Sex Differences that found that “The common practice of prescribing equal drug doses to women and men neglects sex differences in pharmacokinetics and dimorphisms in body weight, risks overmedication of women, and contributes to female-biased adverse drug reactions.”
At 2:00 on May 14, more than 100 attendees gathered for “Feminist Giving for COVID: Strategies and Models,” Philanthropy Women’s first-ever webinar.
Joined by Marianne Schnall, Surina Khan, and Emily Nielsen Jones, our Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek sought to explore the questions surrounding giving and COVID: how can a gender lens improve funding and make funding more accessible?
Marianne Schnall on Feminist Giving to Address COVID
To begin, Marianne Schnall, Founder of Feminist.com and What Will It Take?, took the lead to discuss what she sees happening in terms of the feminist approaches to addressing COVID. Schnall draws on her perspective from the media and activism space.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sonal Sachdev Patel, writer, activist and CEO of GMSP Foundation.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
So much. I wish I had known to go straight to the grassroots. The civil society leaders on the frontlines know what their communities need and know how to deliver it. But they’re constrained by a funding environment that is too often inflexible, impatient and imperialistic in terms of who drives the agenda. When we started in 2006, we were giving project-based funds. After listening to our local partners, we shifted to unrestricted funding.
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.”
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.”
I: An Opportunity for Connection and Transformation
Second wave feminism, building on the accomplishments of the first wave suffrage movement, proclaimed that gender equality and justice should be the ethic of every culture in the world. In the tragedy of Covid-19, many of us are quarantined at home with our spouses, partners, and families. What my husband, Harville, and I are doing at this time is distributing a process called Safe Conversations which fosters mutual respect and equality. We hope to bring as many people as possible into the community of Safe Conversation and offer it as an opportunity to transform our domestic relationships and help actualize this feminist vision.
For the first time in history of the world, the relational sciences are teachable due to advances in neurosciences in the 1990s. Safe Conversations allows anyone in a relationship to shift from judgement to curiosity, from conflict to connection, and from criticism to wonder.
I am a 39 year old woman living in New York and I have been battling COVID-19. Today is Day 16. This disease is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. What no one tells you about having the Coronavirus is that it is a rollercoaster ride, not just physically but also emotionally.
Over the past few days, I have felt haunted, scared for my life, in pain, confused, anxious, angry, alone, worried that I am losing my mind, and terrified of others getting this. I have also had: the most profoundly moving experiences of connection with loved ones and strangers; gratitude for the life I have lived; presence in moments I had once taken for granted; awe for those on the front lines; and an experience of slowing down and letting go.
The COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign is a Boris L. Henson Foundation (BLHF) effort to raise money for mental health services for communities of color.
According to the BLHF, “the campaign was developed to cover the cost for virtual or tele-therapy services by licensed, culturally competent clinicians in our network.” Up to five sessions are covered, and those seeking COVID-related virtual therapy can register with BLHF. The Foundation is seeking donations to support the program (Text NOSTIGMA to 707070), as well culturally competent providers to provide services.
The BLHF was founded in 2018 by actor and mental health advocate Taraji P. Henson and is led by Executive Director Tracie Jade Jenkins. It has seen strong interest in the tele-therapy program since it debuted on April 15. In a Today Show interview, Henson, who most recently has appeared on the television series Empire, said, “We had to shut the server down … that’s how big the need is.” She argues that for many, the hardships imposed by COVID-19 are “added trauma,” and that mental health services are helping “thousands stay alive.”
Editor’s Note: The following interview is with Melissa Jenkins Ph.D., clinical neuropsychologist and clinical assistant professor at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
How would you describe Rhode Island’s response to the crisis?
Rhode Island is an amazingly interconnected place. Even when we can’t be physically close to one another, I see all of my neighbors and friends reaching out to donate whatever assets and unique talents they have to help neighbors get through this crisis. We have incredible leadership in this fight. Right now, in living rooms across Rhode Island, little girls are setting up pretend podiums to play ‘Giving the Daily Briefing’, and they’re all saying the same thing. “Knock It Off.”
National Network of Abortion Funds and Forward Together Unveil Art Campaign Illustrating Multigenerational Support for Abortion as an Act of Love
On Roe anniversary, new artwork envisions the power of compassionate abortion support because everyone loves someone who had an abortion
As this week marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the National Network of Abortion Funds and Forward Together are launching an art campaign that envisions multigeneration love and support during abortion. Forty-seven years after Roe, and in light of attacks attempting to block abortion access at the state and federal level, it’s apparent that Roe was never a promise to abortion access. The recent wave of attacks on abortion have left community members confused about where and if they can access abortion services. Many people are left facing increased attacks, intimidation at clinics, and stigma from their communities for accessing the care that they need—all pushing abortion access even further out of reach.