Greetings to All! As Kiersten mentioned, my name is Kevin Marek, and I will be collaborating with her at PW to keep you up to date on some of the latest developments in the world of feminist giving. Without further ado, let’s see what is out there at the moment.
Tina Turner: Her Music and Life Story Represented Survivors Everywhere
Tina Turner became an iconic figure in the entertainment world, and her music lives on, instantly recognizable to tens of millions of people worldwide. Her recent passing created an outpouring of sadness combined with celebrations of her legacy. She burst onto the scene in the late 1960s with the song Proud Mary, but did not become a full-fledged superstar until the 1980s. However, it was in the time between that she made perhaps her most significant contribution to our society.
Hello Feminist Giving friends! This week at Philanthropy Women brings some exciting news for us. As it turns out, a male ally to gender equality givers is retiring after 33 years as a business analyst, and he is going to be joining us as a writer at Philanthropy Women. This new writer and thinker will be adding fuel to our fire as the only funding news outlet in the world exclusively devoted to women. And who is this exciting addition to our team?
Why, it’s none other than my husband of over 25 years, Kevin Marek! As of May 26, he will be taking off the corporate shackles and rejoining the rest of the world to pursue all of his many interests and hobbies, and one of those interests is in being a male ally to the cause of gender equality.
Well, hello my lovely feminist giving friends! I hope you are all getting on fine. It’s time for another update on some of the gender lens philanthropic and investing activity in the world. Before we start, I want to alert readers that we have a limited number of copies of Feminist Giving available at a reduced rate for sale on Ebay. So if you don’t already have your copy of the book, now is your chance to pick one up at a great price, either for yourself, a friend, or even your local library if you so choose. Our book is particularly suited to libraries that are aiming to be a resource for marginalized groups.
What’s Going On in the World of Feminist Giving?
1. Our Partners at Alliance are Doing it Up for Women’s History Month
Now that I have had to step back a bit from my writing to pursue a top secret second career (it’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation, so I appreciate your cooperation!) our partners at Alliance Magazine have taken on a much stronger agenda to serve the feminist giving community with news and views on this more essential form of philanthropy. There’s lots of great content there, including a piece from the Women’s Funding Network on the importance of Black giving. They are also dedicating a whole webinar to the topic of women’s funding which will take place on March 14. Register here to participate.
Have you ever wondered why, if we care so much about gender equality in the US, we make no progress on basic indicators like wage equality, which has been at a virtual standstill since 1994?
One of the themes that my book, Feminist Giving, explores is the question of what makes certain ideas valuable, so valuable that they enter the mainstream of culture and become practiced in significant behavior changes.
The book demonstrates that what philanthropy does to change its behavior is very much a mirror of the rest of society. Sadly, the book concludes that it’s still a man’s world, and philanthropy remains a part of that problem.
Big news! My book, Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change, is finally coming out!
I had been circulating a book proposal for a while and was not getting any good bites, so have finally decided to go with a “hybrid publisher” — where you can get maximum circulation prospects and also maintain copyright ownership of your work. In large part, I will be assembling my own team for marketing and distribution.
Publishing a Book is Hard, and Doesn’t Leave Much Time for Other Work
As you can imagine, it has been challenging to balance working on the book, my 75+ open caseload as a therapist, and finding time for Philanthropy Women. Lots is still happening in feminist philanthropy and I will be writing a round-up of the latest big doings next week.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Jessica Ryckman, Director of Fellowships at Equal Justice Works.
Q: What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
A: Right now our nation is facing an unprecedented wave of setbacks that threaten basic human rights previously protected by law. Millions of Americans cannot afford legal assistance when facing life-changing situations, and a 2020 study found that there is only one legal aid attorney for every 10,000 people living at or below the poverty line. This is leaving a gap in our justice system at a time when access to legal aid is more needed than ever.
When I began my career, I was aware of so many attorneys who dreamed of working in public service but were hindered by finances, equity, and accessibility. The cost of a legal education precluded many from entering public interest law upon graduation – or even discouraged attending law school at all. There were also fewer resources at law schools for first generation graduates, like me, who were interested in public interest law but lacked familiarity and mentors to help navigate the legal landscape and make educated choices about how to achieve a career in public service.
Editor’s Note: The following opinion piece is from Jamie Allen Black, CEO of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, in response to a recent opinion piece from Jeannie Infante Sager.
As Jeannie Infante Sager, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, points out in her recent Philanthropy Women article, MacKenzie Scott, the world’s most famous female philanthropist, has embraced “trust-based” philanthropy.
Yet the conversation about Scott leaves one fascinating thing unsaid: She’s female and a philanthropist, but she doesn’t give like a female philanthropist.
I recently took the time to read Lighting the Way, a new report from Shake the Table and The Bridgespan Group. These two entities came together to enhance our understanding of the connections between feminist movements and global philanthropy, and to provide some strategic guidelines on how to expand this work.
In order to formulate these guidelines, the group conducted 43 conversations with high-net-worth individuals, institutional funders, and leaders of feminist movements. Here is a quick summary of the five guidelines they created:
Editor’s Note: The following opinion piece by Jeannie Infante Sager, Director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, explores the implications of recent philanthropic giving from MacKenzie Scott.
MacKenzie Scott’s recent round of donations brings her total giving to more than $12 billion, benefitting 1,257 nonprofit organizations since 2020. With 60% of her gifts supporting women-led organizations, this is a transformational moment for the visibility of women’s roles in philanthropy and is redefining what it means to give.
It’s hard to render me speechless. I am accustomed to speaking and responding frequently. As a healthcare provider, it is a big part of my job. And when COVID happened, as an editor and writer, I took extra time and energy to create a COVID 19 special edition to call attention to women’s leadership at that critical juncture.
But as a writer and as an American, I have been rendered speechless over the last week since the massacre of children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
It is impossible to imagine the horror of the parents and families of these innocent children and teachers. And to read that one fourth grade girl called multiple times begging for the police to come — it just brings me to a place of utter speechlessness for the degraded state of our country. We are truly a nation of savages. Or perhaps even worse than savages — people who will knowingly and willingly put children in harm’s way.