On Wednesday, February 3rd, Philanthropy Together hosted the second part of their webinar series surrounding giving circles and social justice. Moderated by LiJia Gong of Radfund, the panel featured Sarah David Heydemann (Radfund), Mario Lugay (Justice Funders Giving Side), Marsha Morgan (Community Investment Network), and Sian Miranda Singh ÓFaoláin.
Sara Lomelin, Executive Director of Philanthropy Together, introduced the day’s moderator and panelists, and encouraged attendees to share their locations and organizations.
The Social Justice Giving Circle Project
Gong began by introducing The Social Justice Giving Circle Project, which explores the relationship between giving circles and today’s social justice movements, both how it currently exists and what’s possible in the future.
WOC (Women of Color) have been at the forefront of grassroots movements for decades now, carrying out some of the most valuable work done within these movements. We have seen this from early on with women like Ella Baker and her work within the Black Freedom Movement, Pauli Murray who co-founded the National Organization for Women, and even today with leaders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.
Despite all of this evidence to prove that WOC are influential and important workers for grassroots movements and non profits, they tend to receive the least amount of funding from both governmental grants and philanthropic donations. The Ms. Foundation released research that reveals that the actual numbers of monetary giving to WOC is shockingly low; it makes up only 0.5% of the $66.9 billion that is annually given to foundations.In 2017, $356 million was available to Women and girls of color (WGOC). Of that, the median grant received by recipients of color was around $15,000, compared to around $35,000 which was reported by all other organizations. The numbers become even more shocking when breaking it down by ethnicity. Of that $356 million:
Here at Philanthropy Women, we started a series called Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) to provide a platform for women leaders at all levels who are giving in a feminist way. This giving can happen through donations and funding strategy, through professional excellence, and/or through leadership efforts in the community. Feminist giving is a form of leadership that has special impact because it often combines deeply personal experience and significantly political thinking and acting.
Yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez performed what I would call a supreme act of feminist giving. When AOC spoke out against the January 6th riots and connected these riots to her experience of being sexually traumatized, she simultaneously stood up for every human who has experience sexual assault, and challenged the largest political body of our country to acknowledge how the January 6th riots are part of a continuum of pervasive violence against women, people of color, and other marginalized groups.
On Thursday, January 28th, the Girls Leadership team and representatives from Open Access, TPG, Morgan Stanley, the National Hockey League, and TIME’S UP gathered to discuss the changing face of the American workforce. Based off of the organization’s pivotal Ready to Lead report, the second of Girls Leadership’s three roundtable discussions focused on the implications of the report’s findings on the workforce of the future.
The report details leadership supports and barriers for Black and Latinx girls and exposes the factors that make it difficult for these girls to rise into leadership positions. External challenges like the tendency for school systems and workforce upper management to be dominated by white employers, leaders, and authority figures, represent a major barrier to Black and Latinx girls carrying their own torches of leadership into the future.
Bright and early on Wednesday, January 27th, women from all over the country joined Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Carmen Stevens of Women’s Giving Circles International (WGCI) for a collaborative workshop on collective giving.
Sondra opened the event by welcoming the attendees and speakers, and introducing the day’s topics.
“The power of women’s philanthropy has changed not only the countries we live in, but changed us as well,” she said.
Carmen Stevens on Global Giving Circles
Carmen Stevens introduced the history of WGCI, which works to provide educational resources for women all over the world looking to start and grow their own giving circles. Primarily focused on circles outside of the United States, WGCI facilitates circle creation, networking, and mentorship all over the globe, but particularly in Latin America, Europe, and the organization’s most recent programs in Asia.
On Tuesday, January 26th, the Philanthropy Women team gathered with representatives from The Jane Club, Women in Global Health (WGH), PSI, and Maverick Collective for a discussion on the ways radical philanthropy, operating alongside women-led movements, can lead to systemic change, particularly in health care services and employment, for women and girls around the world.
Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek moderated a discussion between Rena Greifinger of PSI/Maverick Collective and Sarah Hillware of WGH. Hosted by The Jane Club, a network of female-identifying persons and nonbinary and male allies, the event focused on ways to create more equitable healthcare systems by transforming the philanthropic system toward justice.
On day two of taking over the White House, the communications team for the Biden-Harris team sat down with Errin Haines, editor-at-large of The 19th. Haines spoke with the four key women leaders who are now shaping the Biden/Harris message for public consumption. And what is the overarching goal of this new group of self-described “qualified, capable, barrier-breaking” women? To tell Americans the truth, with the underlying belief that if more American know the truth, “they can handle anything.”
Haines held an hour long rap session with White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Chief Spokesperson for the Vice President, Symone Sanders.
It’s a herstoric moment. It’s a historic day. It’s the end of the reign of terror that lasted four years under President Donald Trump. It’s the day that a woman of color ascends to one of the highest roles of leadership for our country.
Many women leaders have been inspired to speak today, to tell of how they are experiencing this massive shift in representation for our leadership, which we believe will lead us to becoming a better country. Here are some great responses and reflections from the Founding Mothers of the Ms. Foundation, all incredibly strong and enduring women leaders who capture the monumental nature of this event with their words. They are introduced by Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresRena Greifinger, Managing Director of Maverick Collective, a network of strategic philanthropists cofounded by Melinda Gates that is dedicated to elevating the status of women and girls everywhere through access to healthcare.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I’ve been working with and for nonprofits my entire career (15 years), yet only started working directly with philanthropists, and on the subject of philanthropy, in 2017. It has been one of the steepest and most joyful learning curves.
Nike, Inc. has announced that it will begin a partnership with Black Girl Ventures to support the economic empowerment of women of color.
Expanding the NIKE, Inc. Black Community Commitment to support organizations focused on social justice, education and economic opportunity for Black Americans, Nike announces a new partner focused on economic empowerment, Black Girl Ventures. The $500,000 investment from NIKE, Inc. will support Black Girl Ventures in its efforts to provide Black and Brown women-identifying founders with access to community, capital and capacity-building to support entrepreneurship. This contribution builds on the commitments to Black Girls CODE, NAACP Empowerment Programs and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) announced in July 2020.