Sex Doesn’t Stop for a Pandemic: Maverick Collective Pivots in COVID

When the world stops, life keeps going — especially for communities where social isolation and living off of savings are not viable options.

Maverick Collective connects women and girls around the world with essential sexual and reproductive healthcare. (Image Credit: Maverick Collective/PSI)

It’s a well-known fact that COVID-19 has made life at the bottom of the social pyramid even harder. Women and girls around the world, particularly in communities of color, are among the hardest hit by the ripple effects of the pandemic. The news reports address loss of income, life, and community, but the lesser-known impacts should not be forgotten.

Access to healthcare, particularly for women, was already a commodity difficult to come by in certain parts of the world. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, women and girls’ access to contraceptives, feminine hygiene products, and maternity care hangs more precariously than ever before.

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Lead With Love: Elena Marszalek on the Feminist Climate Movement

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Elena Marszalek, Managing Director of Del Mar Global Trust, a private foundation dedicated to the environment. 

Elena Marszalek
Elena Marszalek, courtesy of Elena Marszalek

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

I started my career in philanthropy as the only employee of Del Mar Global Trust, a newly established family foundation focused on the natural environment. Although I had previous experience working in climate change, I had little experience in philanthropy. I felt both hopeful and overwhelmed. 

Joining Rachel’s Network, a community of women environmental philanthropists, broadened my knowledge of complex environmental issues, and significantly improved my ability to select and monitor grant recipients. Networking with other women with similar goals and interests helped my career in numerous other ways, for example sharing information about projects that as individuals we would not be aware of. Perhaps most importantly, I have access to other members with many years of experience who offer advice and mentorship. As in all professions, you learn through experience. 

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Generation USA Wins 125K to Create Women and POC Opportunities

On February 10th, Generation USA was awarded 125K as the winner of MIT Solve’s 2021 Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge.

Generation USA breaks down barriers for marginalized communities to improve and increase opportunities in education and employment. (Image credit: PR Newswire)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation, announced Generation USA, a global workforce development nonprofit, as a winner of its 2021 Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge and recipient of $125,000 in funding to launch pilot programs across the country in collaboration with US Workforce Boards. The initiative combats racial and gender injustices in the US that continue to hinder the education, employment, and earning potential of historically marginalized communities. 

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Gender Policy Council Needs its Own Budget to Focus on All Sectors

The newly established Gender Policy Council is anticipated to work across the board on governmental policy related to gender.

It has been roughly a month since the announcement from the Biden-Harris administration of its White House Gender Policy Council. As announced, the council is spearheaded by co-chairs, Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. During the Obama administration, a similar council called the White House Council on Women and Girls was created. Shortly after taking the presidency in 2016, Donald Trump disbanded that council. Now, Biden has reinstated a new council explicitly dedicated to working toward gender equality.

Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso will head Biden’s Gender Policy Council. (Image Credit: MANA National)

Many in the Democratic leadership heralded the new Council and its leaders as an important breakthrough. “Congratulations to Jen Klein, who’s long been by my side on domestic and global women’s issues, and Julissa Reynoso, a dynamo who served with me in the State Department,” said Hillary Clinton, in a post on Twitter regarding the Gender Policy Council leadership. “Great to have this team on the front lines fighting for women and girls everywhere.”

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Where Are Young Women in Philanthropy?

In the same ways that traditional philanthropy has been historically dominated by white, older, high net worth men, feminist philanthropy has a noticeable population gap in younger age groups. Young women, in particular, in an era of crushing student loans, underemployment, and uncertainty in the face of COVID-19, are noticeably absent from a movement dedicated to their wellbeing.

Young women’s activism is at an all-time high — but why are we missing from feminist philanthropy? (Image Credit: Gayatri Malhotra)

This is not to say that the younger generations aren’t pulling their weight. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Young activists like Greta Thunberg and Sarah Goody are leading the way to revolutions in social justice and culture change. LGBT+ and POC youth are standing vanguard against discrimination, homophobia, and rollbacks of minorities’ legal rights.

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Sarah Hillware: “Feminism Is Not Feminism Unless It’s Intersectional”

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sarah Hillware, the Deputy Director of Women in Global Health (WGH), a 35,000+ strong women-led organization working to challenge power and privilege for gender equity in health.

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

Personally, I wish I’d known that it was OK and, in fact, healthy, to take detours on my career journey. My path was not a straight and narrow one, but one which took me in directions that, at the time, I did not fully understand. For instance, I took a certification course in advertising sales and subsequently worked at a marketing and advertising firm for a year. That industry was not ultimately where I saw myself long- term, but the skills and knowledge I gained were invaluable, and ultimately helped me land my position at the World Bank.

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LaTosha Brown: The Time is Now to Fund Black Women and Girls

This past summer, before the announcement of Kamala Harris as the nominee for Vice President, Latosha Brown received a phone call from the soon-to-be Vice President. The phone call was in response to an article Brown had published in Essence called Reimagining An America That Uplifts Black Girls. Vice President Kamala Harris wanted Latosha Brown to know that she shared her hope that America could reimagine the country so that all girls will be lifted up.

LaTosha Brown shares her expertise as a movement organizer and leader, calling for more just and equitable funding for Black women and girls. ( Image Credit: LaTosha Brown)

“Vice President Kamala Harris called me to say she had read the article, and that she too was committed to women and girls all across the country,” said Brown, in a recent phone interview with Philanthropy Women.

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Philanthropy, You Should Be Ashamed of Your Greed

Every single one of you on this list who is not giving in the double digits as a percentage of your wealth: you should be ashamed.

If everyone on this list gave at 10% or more of their net worth, what a different world we would be living in. If they gave at 20% of their net worth, we might begin to approach a more just society racially and gender-wise. (Image credit: Chronicle of Philanthropy)

I don’t like to use the shame card. I don’t use it much as a parent, and I don’t use it much as a therapist. But when I look at these numbers, all I can think of is how little regard these human beings appear to have for their fellow human beings. And yet they appear to have no shame about it. In fact, they receive a near constant stream of praise and adulation for the teeny tiny bit that they give of their vast wealth.

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My Survival Is Worth Funding: NCRP’s Brandi Collins-Calhoun

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Brandi Collins-Calhoun, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Senior Movement Engagement Associate.

Brandi Collins-Calhoun, courtesy of Brandi Collins-Calhoun

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

I’m not sure that there was anything I could do to prepare to enter work that would be grounded in philanthropic feminism, especially knowing that the radicalization of mainstream feminism hasn’t happened across all movements and sectors yet. However, I wish I knew the weight of the shift from my life as an organizer fighting for my survival and safety to be centered, to my current role petitioning that my survival and safety is worth funding. I wish I knew how to find the balance and show up for myself through that process. There is often guilt and weight that comes with centering my needs in this work because this fight is so much bigger than just me, but I am reminded that Audre Lorde named that, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That balance between holding the sector accountable and caring for myself is a radical act that is necessary for me to continue the work.

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Female Entrepreneurs Get a Jumpstart from Visa’s New Grant Program

Visa has partnered with IFundWomen to create a new global grant program which will support three women-owned businesses in India this year.

Visa and IFundWomen's new India Grant Program will support small businesses owned and led by women in India. (Image credit: IFundWomen)
Visa and IFundWomen’s new India Grant Program will support small businesses owned and led by women in India. (Image credit: IFundWomen)

Visa (NYSE: V) today announced the recipients of its grant program in India to boost women entrepreneurship globally and empower budding businesswomen. As part of Visa’s first global grant program in partnership with IFundWomen, Bunko JunkoMy Chapter One and MoWo Social Initiatives each received a INR 7,00,000 (approximately 9,575.85 USD) grant from Visa and resources from Instamojo to grow their businesses digitally, in a continued effort to offer better services to their communities.

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