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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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

When it comes to maximizing our financial impact, there is often an “either/or” approach to leveraging wealth. Do we use our dollars to fund a philanthropic effort, like a campaign or organization dedicated to women and girls, or do we turn our funds toward investment opportunities, like supporting companies with a strong commitment to diversity?

Ellen Remmer is a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Institute (TPI) and Champion of Invest for Better. (Image Credit: Invest for Better/Ellen Remmer)

As new forms of giving spring up to meet the challenges — and opportunities — of a digital society, we are able to move further away from that attitude of “either/or.” There are ways to stretch our donor dollars further — through two types of collectives that maximize impact.

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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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(Liveblog) How Justice and Giving Intersect with Philanthropy Together

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.

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AOC: The Powerful Voice of Feminist Giving In Real Life

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.

AOC
AOC became tearful as she disclosed that she is a survivor or sexual assault. In a 90 minute video on Instagram, AOC discussed the ways in which the January 6 riots constituted a form of trauma related to sexual trauma experienced by herself and many other Americans. (Image Credit: AOC on Instagram

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.

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Mars Aims to Empower Women With #HereToBeHeard Project

Mars, Inc. has launched #HereToBeHeard, a campaign to raise the voices of women and advance gender equality in businesses and the workplace.

Mars, Inc. has launched a global study to listen to and elevate the voices of women. (Image credit: Mars, Inc.)
Mars, Inc. has launched a global study to listen to and elevate the voices of women. (Image credit: Mars, Inc.)

As part of the company’s Full Potential platform for action on gender equity in its workplaces, sourcing communities, and the marketplace, #HereToBeHeard asks women everywhere: “What needs to change so more women can reach their full potential?” The responses will inform the concrete actions Mars will take – both within its value chain and in broader society – to close the gender opportunity gap.

Victoria Mars, Mars Board Member and ambassador of Mars’ Full Potential program: “Women have played a powerful role in our history and leadership at Mars. But we have more to do. We’re striving to empower more women within our workplace, and across our extended value chain. 

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(Liveblog) Building Multicultural Leadership with Ready to Lead

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.

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(Liveblog) Leveraging the Unique Power of Women’s Collective Giving

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.

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(Liveblog) Realigning Powerful Systems by Valuing Health and Equity

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.

The Jane Club hosted a live discussion on women’s access to healthcare, as well as what feminist funders can do to advance gender equity in funding and global health. (Image Credit: Jane Club)

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.

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Where Are The Women? Free Summit Highlights Women Icons

UNLADYLIKE2020 presents Where Are The Women?, a summit for educators and parents about teaching a more inclusive narrative of U.S. history.

Where Are The Women?, hosted by UNLADYLIKE2020, will invite parents and educators to teach children the stories of women often glazed over by history books. (Image credit: UNLADYLIKE2020)
Where Are The Women?, hosted by UNLADYLIKE2020, will invite parents and educators to teach children the stories of women often glazed over by history books. (Image credit: UNLADYLIKE2020)

Did you know that out of 737 historical figures taught in K-12 curriculum standards in every state, only 178, or 24%, are women, including several fictional characters such as Rosie the Riveter? 98 of the women appear in only 1 state standard; only 15 are taught in more than 10 states. (Analysis by the National Women’s History Museum)

Conducting our research for Unladylike2020, we discovered the stories of hundreds (really thousands) of women who defied the odds to break barriers in every field long before women had the right to vote. So many courageous women helped shape policy and make U.S. history we wondered why their accomplishments are not taught in schools. As a result, we are convening a 2-hour Where Are the Women? Summit to invite teachers, the general public and parents, who are increasingly active in their children’s education through virtual and hybrid learning, to be part of a conversation about women’s role in history, and to have access to resources to reverse the underrepresentation of women in the history and social studies taught K-12. 

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