Halle Berry Gets Behind New $275M Bill for Menopause Research 

 A campaign led by prominent female lawmakers and boosted by the star power of actor Halle Berry has succeeded in gaining Congressional support for a major initiative for womens’ health. On April 30, 2024, legislative leaders unveiled a $275 million bill to boost federal research, physician training and public awareness about menopause.

Halle Barre and a bevy of legislators gathered to unveile the Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women’s Health Act. (Image credit: Screenshot from Youtube video)

In a rare bipartisan effort, the Senate bill, the Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women’s Health Act, is led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and has support from Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and other lawmakers. 

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Janiece Evans-Page: Daring to Double Down on Racial Equity

With racial justice programs and DEI initiatives under threat, philanthropic organizations face an important decision – double down in the fight for justice or back down. Janiece Evans-Page, the CEO of Tides, is taking the harder road. She won’t back down, and she won’t let others shut her down. As the leader of an organization managing as much as $1.25 billion in assets at any given time, Evans-Page is carrying out a critical mission that other funders might want to emulate: upholding the American values of racial and gender equality.

Janiece Evans-Page, the CEO of Tides. (Image credit: Tides)

We were fortunate enough that Janiece Evans-Page was willing to share her time and her thoughts on the attacks on organizations like the Fearless Fund. Janiece shares her insights here on how philanthropy can prioritize racial and gender justice, and use core values as the building blocks to a healthier democracy.

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Blaustein: Create New Global Systems by Funding Local Women

Dear Readers: This essay is written by Susan M. Blaustein, Founder/Executive Director, WomenStrong International.

As we witness the world aflame with conflict- and climate-fueled disasters, it is urgent this International Women’s Day that we support and strengthen the peacemakers, the healers, the teachers, advocates, the community-builders: of course, I mean the women.

WomenStrong International supports Projet Jeune Leaders in Madagascar. (Image credit:  Projet Jeune Leader)

In climate-related emergencies, we see over and over that local women leaders and the organizations they lead are best-positioned to know who is most vulnerable, where those individuals and families are living, which forms of relief are most urgent, and where those relief services can be safely and reliably located. 

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Attack on Fearless Fund Goes National in Time and Newsweek

As we reported both in October and December of 2023, the good work of the  Fearless Fund has come under attack from right-wing extremists. The American ​​Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) which is led by anti-affirmative activist Edward Blum, is the same conservative organization that convinced the Supreme Court to reject affirmative action criteria for college admissions in June 2023.

(Image credit: Fearless Fund)

Since the Supreme Court decision, AAER has expanded its scope to target seemingly all efforts to promote social justice and equity. The Fearless Fund is a venture capital fund that provides pre-seed, seed-level, or Series A financing to businesses led by women of color. As their website states, “Our mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies.” 

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Climate Gender Equity Fund Debuts with First Grants in Africa

The Climate Gender Equity Fund (CGEF) is a public-private partnership focused on catalyzing gender equity in climate finance. A year after launching, CGEF has announced the first cohort of women-led organizations selected to receive grants, each of which is focused on advancing gender-equitable climate action in Africa.

Women participate in Clean Tech Hub’s incubation program. (Image credit: Amazon news)

The three organizations selected include:

  • The Clean Technology Hub, a women-led acceleration hub in Nigeria that is scaling new climate technologies; 
  • WomanHub, an accelerator in South Africa that supports female science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) business founders; and 
  • M-Kayla Ventures, an incubator in Kenya that focuses on women entrepreneurs working on climate-smart agriculture solutions.

The founding members of CGEF include USAID, Amazon, Reckitt, Visa Foundation, and The UPS Foundation. Combined, they have committed $20 million to the fund; in addition, USAID announced an additional $5 million during the COP28 climate change conference. 

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Bankers, Investors File Amicus Briefs as Fearless Fund Lives Up to Name

Over the past few months we have been reporting on the Fearless Fund. This is a venture capital fund that seeks out businesses led by women of color and provides pre-seed, seed-level, or Series A financing. As their website states, “Our mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies.”

Image credit: Fearless Fund on Instagram

Our last story on the Fearless Fund ran on 10/30/23, and reported that the Fearless Fund was  ordered by the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta to suspend its Strivers Grant contest which awards $20,000 to small businesses that have at least one woman of color in a leadership role. The court ruled that considering applications only from women of color constitutes racial discrimination.

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Leah Hendrix-Hunt and Family Featured in New Yorker

At Philanthropy Women, we pride ourselves on being able to stay ahead of the curve in recognizing ideas, discovering significant trends, and identifying the people who make these things happen. We are pleased to note that the The New Yorker is now following our lead. Several years ago, PW ran an interview with Leah Hunt-Hendrix. As a reminder, Hunt-Hendrix is a scion of Hunt Oil, founded by her maternal grandfather. 

Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s book, “#SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of State Violence and Public Silence” was recently released. More details below. (Image credit: #SayHerName)

The August issue of The New Yorker ran a story that touches on many of the issues discussed on these pages. Attached below is a link to the interview with Leah that PW published previously. Our interview focused more on the hard news angle, discussing her foundation, Solidaire, and the work it does while the New Yorker article is a bit more chatty, with anecdotes of her family, social status, and the problems presented by being a progressive who happens to be the heir to an oil fortune.  

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Women and Girls Continue to be Underfunded by Philanthropy

Women and girls represent more than half of the population of the United States. Despite this, charitable giving to organizations serving them represents less than 2% of all philanthropic activity in the U.S. This is according to a new report published Wednesday, October 11 – the International Day of the Girl.  

As a percentage of all giving, giving for women and girls decreased in 2020, despite much public discussion about the need to fund women and girls in COVID. (Image credit: WGI)

The Women & Girls Index (WGI), released by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, finds that while charitable giving to women’s and girls’ organizations in the U.S. increased by 9.2% in 2020, growth of support for women and girls was lower than the rate of growth in overall charitable giving in 2020 (11.3%), even though the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted women and girls in myriad ways. 

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It’s Official: Amplify Her Foundation Has Launched

The Amplify Her® Foundation, a new private grantmaking foundation created to support the economic and social advancement of women changemakers from under-invested communities in New York City, held an official launch celebration. The foundation will also release “If She Can Make it Here,” a comprehensive research report that identifies the most significant barriers faced by women and girls from underserved communities in the city and interventions to help them overcome those obstacles and meet their full leadership potential.

The Amplify Her Foundation has launched to provide more funding for women and girls. (Image credit: Amplify Her Foundation)

“After years of working to advance women in the public, nonprofit and political arenas, what consistently stood out to me was the dearth of funding and support specifically for nonprofit organizations serving women and girls. Women and girls face unique challenges and yet funding is rarely tailored to their needs…”  —Marti Speranza Wong, Amplify Her Foundation founder, executive director and board chair.

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Once Again, A Highly Qualified Woman of Color is Pushed Aside

On September 5, Rhode Island held a special primary election to select the candidates to replace David Cicilline, who resigned as US Representative for USC District 1. The field for the Democratic candidate was crowded with 12 names on the ballot. Due to the deep Blue color of RI politics, the Democratic candidate, whoever was selected, was considered the odds-on favorite to win in the Special General Election in November.

Gabe Amo, Democratic Nominee for Congress (Image credit: Gabe for Congress)

As of June, Sabina Matos, the current Lt Governor, was leading comfortably with polling numbers surpassing 20% of the electorate. Matos is the first Dominican American elected to statewide office in the country and the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Rhode Island. She was supported by the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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