Naomi Osaka’s Play Academy Branches Out to LA and Haiti

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti to continue to change the lives of girls through play and sport.

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was launched in 2020 to create real change in the lives of girls. (Image credit: Nike)
Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was launched in 2020 to create real change in the lives of girls. (Image credit: Nike)

Announced in August of 2020, Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was created in partnership with Laureus Sport for Good with the goal to help change young girls’ lives through play and sport. Building on its work in Japan, Play Academy is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti, collaborating with local sport-based organizations that are helping encourage a new definition of movement for the next generation of girls.

Essential to Play Academy is Osaka’s personal experiences as an athlete, set by a rich transcontinental heritage that has shaped her views on sport, racial and gender equality and mentorship. With a mission so close to her heart, Osaka wanted to champion those causes in communities she knows and is deeply connected to – starting in Japan, where she was born, and continuing to Los Angeles and Haiti, where she currently lives and where her father is from, respectively.

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U.S. Bank Access Fund to Focus $25M on Women of Color in Business

The $25M U.S. Bank Access Fund will be deployed as long term investments to 3 partner organizations supporting women of color in business.

The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)
The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)

U.S. Bank introduced the details of the $25 million U.S. Bank Access Fund – a fund for women of color microbusiness owners, which was first announced in February. The fund, a collaboration between U.S. Bank Foundation and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), will include long-term investments of grants and capital funding to three partners: the African American Alliance of Black CDFI CEOs (the Alliance), Grameen America and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The fund is part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to help build wealth while redefining how the bank serves diverse communities and provides more opportunities for diverse employees.

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Announcing the Hosts of the 33rd Annual Gloria Awards

The 33rd Annual Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision will be hosted by change-makers Laura Jiménez and Marissa Nuncio.

The 33rd Annual Gloria Awards will take place on Thursday, May 20th 2021 at 8PM EDT/ 5PM PDT (Image credit: Ms. Foundation)
The 33rd Annual Gloria Awards will take place on Thursday, May 20th 2021 at 8PM EDT/ 5PM PDT (Image credit: Ms. Foundation)

We are so excited to introduce you to Laura Jiménez and Marissa Nuncio — two grantee partners that we are honoring at this year’s virtual gala: the 33rd Annual Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision on Thursday, May 20. These women embody leadership and what it means to advance equity to create real change in their communities.

For more than 25 years, Laura Jiménez has worked with women of color organizations across the country on issues of reproductive justice, including the National Latina Health Organization, the Dominican Women’s Development Center and was part of the birth of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Laura is passionate about issues of immigration, environmental justice, and birthing and parenting, as they intersect with reproductive justice. She is an innate healer, a daughter of the ocean, a holder of space, a holder of hands and hearts. Laura is a proud mamá to four awesome people and is the compañera of a gifted musician.

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More Than Magic: What Funders Can Learn From Black Women and Girls

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, Chief Visionary Officer of the Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) and author of “Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide.”

black womxn
Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan shares her perspective on how funders can best collaborate with Black womxn and girls. (Image credit: @tweiston)

2021 has already been a traumatic year for Black womxn and girls. On the very day that the Chauvin verdict was announced, news spread like wildfire about 15-year old Ma’Khiah Bryant’s ruthless killing by police in Columbus, Ohio. Ma’Khia’s death followed a series of brutal assaults against young Black girls in the past four months – such as in January when a 16-year old in Florida was victimized by police after a school resource officer body-slammed and knocked her unconscious. Or in Rochester, New York where a nine year old was pepper-sprayed by officers who afterward told her, “You did it to yourself.”

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How Marsha P. Johnson Institute Gives Direct Support to LGBTQ+ POC

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has committed over $250K in direct donations to black LGBTQ+ individuals to provide post-pandemic support.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has donated over $250K in 2020 to Black LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Image credit: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute has donated over $250K in 2020 to Black LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Image credit: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)

As the pandemic continues and with it, disproportionate impacts on Black transgender people, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute today announced the donation of over $250,000 to more than 500 individuals across the United States in 2020.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s COVID-19 Relief Fund provides a one-time direct relief payment of $500 to Black transgender or non-binary identified people. The Institute is committed to centering the needs of those most beyond the margins; priority for the awardees was given to Black trans women and those who have experience as sex workers, have been formerly incarcerated, and other vulnerable community members.

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Gwen Tillman of Tides on Investing in Women: It’s Simple

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Gwen Tillman, Chief People Officer for Tides, a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator.

Gwen Tillman
Gwen Tillman, courtesy of Gwen Tillman
  1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

By the time I took a sabbatical from working in the technology sector, I was burned out. I didn’t realize how burned out I was until I allowed myself some time to step back and figure out what I wanted my life to be about. As one of the very few Black women in my field, I constantly drove myself to perform at 1000%, and I think that’s true of many Black women who feel the systemic pressure to constantly prove themselves. What I wish I knew early on in my career is that none of us can function at 1000%, when our bodies and our souls are functioning at 50%. We have to be better advocates for our own well-being because nothing is worth risking your health. Find a career that is consistent with your values and an organization that grants you the grace to live a balanced life and feeds your soul, at the same time. I am happy to say, I have found that at Tides.  

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Asia Foundation to Honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need

The Asia Foundation’s 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need for their work for women in Asia and the Pacific.

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)
The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability, and Women In Need (WIN), a non-profit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. The celebration will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th and features appearances by ABC “Nightline’s” Juju Chang and “Law and Order: SVU” actor Mariska Hargitay.

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Activating Philanthropy – Part Two: How to Call Your Congresswoman

Editor’s Note: This article is Part Two in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Three: Talking to Family Members (Who Don’t Want to Talk to You), and Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle. 

Yup, sometimes it really is as simple as looking up a phone number! (Graphic Credit: ProgressOhio)

Welcome back to Activating Philanthropy with Philanthropy Women! This week, we’re exploring a common theme in the giving world that isn’t often clearly explained. During election seasons and high-stakes activism cycles, there are typically calls to “call your Congresswoman,” “write your representatives,” or otherwise engage with the American democratic system as a concerned citizen.

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Darren Walker: It’s Time to Support Black Women and Girls As They Lead

Editor’s Note: The following essay is by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

Black women worldwide have shown unbelievable resilience in the face of deep-seated racism and gender-bias, especially in the wake of the pandemic. (Image credit: The Root/Shutterstock)

Despite some (if uneven) progress with vaccinations, we still face a pandemic of pandemics: A deadly virus that exposes and aggravates deep-seated racism and gender-bias throughout our societies and institutions. Indeed, all of the data affirm, women—particularly women of color—bear the brunt of these interconnected crises.

The facts are devastating: Women of color have been left without jobs at higher rates during Covid-19. Around the world, rising unemployment coupled with lockdowns and school closures have forced millions into poverty and the threat of violence at home. In Tunisia, for instance, reported incidents of domestic violence increased five-fold during the early days of the pandemic.

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Mastercard Invests Millions in Venture Capital with Fearless Fund

Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built to support women of color, has received a huge investment from Mastercard.

Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)
Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)

Black women are building and growing businesses faster than any other segment and yet receive less than one percent of venture capital funding. In addition, only three percent of the people actually leading investments at VC firms are Black according to the National Venture Capital Association. To help further access to funding for Black women, Mastercard today announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built by women of color for women of color.

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