During an afternoon session of Women Funded 2021, Cazembe Murphy Jackson (We Testify) joined Brandi Collins-Calhoun (National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy) and Megan Murphy Wolf (WFN) for a discussion on trans equity and feminism through abortion access. Jackson, who has been an advocate for Black and trans rights across his career, shared his experiences as a Black, Southern, queer, trans organizer.
Storytelling as the Path Toward Trans Rights
“I don’t hear a lot of trans men talking about abortions,” said Jackson. “I want to tell my story so that other people like me will know that they can get an abortion and that there is somebody who went through a similar situation to what they’re going through.”
The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) is back this year with another exciting convening on the many forms of feminist changemaking happening in today’s world. This year’s Women Funded 2021 virtual conference, The Feminist Factor, focused on a wide range of philanthropic and social justice topics as we continue to fight the tide of inequality in a post-COVID world.
The conference’s mainstage plenary introduced some of the superstars of the feminist philanthropy world.
Monica Ramirez and Carmen Perez on Latinx in Feminist Giving
The mainstage event began with a conversation between Mónica Ramírez (Justice for Migrant Women) and Carmen Perez-Jordan (The Gathering for Justice) on the importance of Latinx feminism. Perez described her journey as a Chicana feminist, starting with her realization that her own mother was a feminist and had passed those ideals on to her.
Readers of Philanthropy Women know that we closely follow the feminist giving strategies on getting more women into politics. Now, an exciting announcement comes from our home state of Rhode Island, as State Senator Cynthia Mendes and Former Secretary of State Matt Brown have announced their joint campaign for Lt. Governor and Governor of Rhode Island.
Not only are these two uniquely qualified candidates running together, they have cultivated 50 more progressive candidates running for a large swath of positions in Rhode Island. Together, this could make for a new paradigm of leadership in the state.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Favianna Rodriguez, President of The Center for Cultural Power, a national organization investing in artists and storytellers as agents of positive social change.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I’d known more about the racial and gender barriers that exist for women of color leaders in the non-profit sector, particularly the arts and culture space. I knew how to pitch my ideas and raise money, but I lacked information on how to navigate situations in which I was experiencing unequal treatment due to my gender and racial identity. I was in many spaces where the safety of women was not prioritized. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years of being an institutional leader, I’ve experienced numerous uncomfortable situations including sexual harassment, the theft of my ideas by male leaders, being bullied by men when I challenged sexist assumptions, and being trained to lead in a boy’s club type of approach. Before, I didn’t have the language or tools to navigate these situations. But that has since changed, and I’m incredibly thankful for that because it gives me the opportunity to create safe spaces for other female and gender non-confirming leaders to thrive.
Texas Women’s Foundation invests with over 400 grants and more than $12 million dollars to community programs in the state.
Empowering women and girls to build stronger and more equitable communities is the chief goal of the Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF). This dedication has continued recently as they have invested $12.9 million dollars in the community over the past year.
This sum was donated over the course of the organization’s fiscal year: July 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021. Of this total, $10.8 million was invested in the form of 416 grants. $2.1 million was given to specific programs with goals that align with the Texas Women’s Foundation’s work.
A call to action has been issued by the Center for American Progress to the White House Gender Policy Council.
The Center for American Progress put out a report that includes several strong and worthwhile suggestions for the Biden administration. The goal of the report is focused on how the current administration can advance gender equality on both U.S soil and abroad.
The crux of the report is focused on the White House Gender Policy council and how it can expand the pre-existing Women, Peace and Security Act (WPS) of 2017.
WPS has actually existed since 2000, starting after being recognized by the U.N Security Council. Since the implementation of WPS in the United States, a requirement is in place that every four years specific governmental departments and agencies must incorporate WPS into their work. Further, they are required to host WPS-specific training for personnel, to track the progress of implementation, and to report to Congress on this progress.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has launched a new initiative to honor black women and their contributions to philanthropy.
On August 31st, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, announced the honorees of the Black Women Give Back List, a new initiative to spotlight the important work and contributions of Black women philanthropists. Created in partnership with The Women Invested to Save the Earth (WISE) Fund, the backbone organization for Black Philanthropy Month, the list spotlights 10 outstanding Black women philanthropists from diverse backgrounds who use their time, talent, treasure, testimony and ties to make the world a better place.
As the Founding President and CEO of Women’s Foundation of the South (WFS), Carmen James Randolph will create huge change in philanthropy.
Carmen James Randolph, noted philanthropy leader and former Vice President for Programs of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, has been announced as the Founding President and CEO of Women’s Foundation of the South (WFS), a revolutionary first-of-its-kind foundation founded by and created for women and girls of color in the South to advance gender and racial justice. As President and CEO, she will stand up this exciting new entity, build its team, broker partnerships with women of color leaders across the South to inform WFS’ work and investments, and oversee the strategic direction and day-to-day operations.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresDeb Markowitz, director of the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I come to the position of director of the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts after a long career in public service. I was in my mid-30s, with three very young children when I was first elected Vermont’s Secretary of State. After serving for 12 years, I ran for Governor of Vermont, and although I lost the primary election by less than 500 votes, the person who won appointed me to serve as his environmental secretary. From this experience I learned a couple of things. First, if you stay grounded in mission and purpose, you can withstand the ups and downs of ones’ career. Second, nothing great is ever accomplished alone. Ask for help, cultivate trusted partners, and use your power and privilege to lift others.
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.
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.