Radha Ruparell: What No One Tells You About Having COVID

I am a 39 year old woman living in New York and I have been battling COVID-19. Today is Day 16. This disease is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. What no one tells you about having the Coronavirus is that it is a rollercoaster ride, not just physically but also emotionally.

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Radha Ruparell discussed the difficulties of having COVID and strategies for self-care. (Image credit: Radha Ruparell)

Over the past few days, I have felt haunted, scared for my life, in pain, confused, anxious, angry, alone, worried that I am losing my mind, and terrified of others getting this. I have also had: the most profoundly moving experiences of connection with loved ones and strangers; gratitude for the life I have lived; presence in moments I had once taken for granted; awe for those on the front lines; and an experience of slowing down and letting go.

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Vote for the G.O.A.T! Join in the Fun and Build Women’s Leadership

Plan International USA is working to build women’s leadership by inviting young people ages 13-22 to “Vote for the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).” While this acronym usually applies to football stars and other sports legends, Plan is using the acronym in a much for fun, purposeful, and world-changing way. Specifically, Plan’s GOAT competition refers to the greatest female, femme or nonbinary person advancing gender equality across the categories of visibility or representation, women’s health, equal opportunity, and gender-based violence.

build women's leadership
Plan International is helping to stimulate more awareness about gender equality with its Vote for the GOAT competition. (Image credit: Plan International)

Plan International USA—an independent development and humanitarian organization advancing children’s rights and equality for girls—established the “Vote for the G.O.A.T” competition to heighten awareness about those working on behalf of gender equity, and to benefit needy women and families in the developing world.

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#EmbraceAmbition Convenes to Challenge Gender Norms

The Tory Burch Foundation, a  nonprofit organization empowering women,  is bringing together leaders, activists, and performers for an event billed as The Summit: Challenging Stereotypes and Creating New Norms.

The Embrace Ambition Summit (#EmbraceAmbition) will be held on March 5 in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.

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The #EmbraceAmbition Summit features an array of leaders and speakers discussing how to challenge gender norms and open up new options for women and girls. (Image Credit: Embrace Ambition Summit)

Speakers will include:

  • Tory Burch – Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Tory Burch LLC, an American lifestyle brand, and Founder of the Tory Burch Foundation;
  • Gloria Steinem;
  • Yola – Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and musician from Bristol, England;
  • Ashley Judd – Author, actor, leader of the #MeToo movement and founding member of Time’s Up;
  • Tina Tchen – President & CEO of Time’s Up, and formerly executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls;
  • Sylvia Earle – Founder of the marine environmental organization Mission Blue;
  • Claudette Colvin – One of two survivors of the Browder v. Gayle U.S. Supreme Court Case that ended bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama;
  • Diane von Furstenberg – Fashion designer, philanthropist and Founder and Chair of her eponymous company;
  • Mellody Hobson – Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments;
  • Deja Foxx – Founder of @GenZGirlGang, an online community of womxn; and
  • Anne Finucane – Vice-Chair at Bank of America, and Board Chair of B of A’s European Bank.

The Tory Burch Foundation-convened Summit will include stories and conversations featuring female leaders from Hollywood, business, science, entrepreneurship and youth movements who will tackle “challenging stereotypes and creating new norms.” The all-day summit will include performances, including short stories, spoken word, and music.

Attendees will be able to connect with women-owned businesses at the entrepreneur marketplace, visit the Tory Burch Foundation pop-up shop, and network with other attendees. Applications to attend have closed, but anyone can sign up for the free live stream of the event.

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Get Inspired as a Donor and Activist by Unladylike2020

A question I ask myself and others: how do you get inspired to keep doing this work? How do you get charged up to talk about the value of feminist strategies for giving when oftentimes, philanthropy gives feminism the radio silence treatment? One way is through art.

unladylike2020
Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the first African American female aviator. (Artwork by Amelie Chabannes)

A powerful new infusion of art is coming out this year. It’s called Unladylike2020, and it’s a film series celebrating women trailblazers. I was fortunate enough to see a preview of the first film in the series here in Providence last year, and got a glimpse of how the series combines original artwork, animation, rare archival footage, and interviews with family members, historians, and experts who discuss how these women shaped our world. PBS’s American Masters series will be participating in the initiative with three projects: 

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How Safe Conversations Contributes to Global Feminism

Editor’s Note: As a practicing therapist, a feminist, and a writer on philanthropy, I am intrigued and inspired by Safe Conversations. I frequently refer families to the method as a part of therapy and find it has significant impact. In this article, Helen LaKelly Hunt, founding donor to many of the country’s women’s funds, discusses how this method has the potential for global impact as a part of feminist thought and practice.

SAFE CONVERSATIONS®: CONTRIBUTING TO GLOBAL FEMINISM

By Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. with the assistance of Mary Leah Friedline

I: Safe Conversations and Its Potential Relationship to Global Feminism 

Safe Conversations is a dialogue process that helps people learn a new way to talk. The relational sciences are teachable for first time in history due to the breakthroughs in the neurosciences in 1990’s. Safe Conversations helps people maintain connection while accepting difference. With this new development comes the promise of helping people build healthier connections and lasting relationships with spouses, partners, friends, and colleagues, among others. Safe Conversations is well poised to contribute to global feminism.  

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US Plays Hostile, Obstructive Role at UN, More of Same Likely in 2020

Editor’s Note: This opinion piece was written by Barbara Crossette of PassBlue and was originally published on November 26, 2019.

It did not take long after the 74th General Assembly session opened this fall for the Trump team to signal that its strategy in key United Nations meetings would be to act as uncooperative and obstructive as possible, especially on human-rights agendas.

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Valerie Huber, a senior adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services, is one of the UN delegates appointed by Trump who is playing a hostile role and working to restrict reproductive health care for women. (Image credit: Youtube Point of View talk show)

The 2019-2020 UN year — September to September — is likely to be remembered as eventful. It includes the 25th anniversaries of two landmark international conferences that greatly advanced the rights of women, making those gains targets of Republican politicians in Washington, D.C. Plans are being made to celebrate the UN’s 75 birthday next autumn, with much uncertainty surrounding American financial and political commitments to the organization.

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BIG NEWS: Allison Fine Announces 2020 Congressional Run

2020 is gearing up to be a landmark election year. The American Presidential election is well underway, and new faces and standing politicians alike are finding ways to come together on issues surrounding women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate change, and the economy.

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Allison Fine has officially announced her 2020 run for Congress, where she hopes to represent New York’s 17th District. (Photo Credit: Allison Fine For Congress)

Adding to the potential for some great progressive victories in 2020, activist Allison Fine has announced her official run for Congress, where she intends to represent New York’s 17th District, and her hometown of Sleepy Hollow, New York.

A pioneer of online activism and a self-described “unapologetic feminist,” Fine is an author, a social change thought leader, and the founder of the Network of Elected Women (NEW), which connects women who hold local office around the country. She has also served as chair of the national board of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, as well as the president of her synagogue, Temple Beth Abraham.

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The Legacy of Jennifer Schlecht and the Tragedy of her Murder

The global reproductive rights community is reeling with the tragic and untimely murder of Jennifer Schlecht on November 6, 2019. A devoted and dedicated friend to women and girls everywhere, Schlecht had spent her entire career fostering family planning efforts for women across the globe. In recent years, she directed special attention to the need to provide family planning services for women drawn into humanitarian crises.

Jennifer Schlecht murdered domestic violence
Jennifer Schlecht with her daughter Abaynesh. The child’s name means “you are the Nile” in Amharic. (Photo credit: Women’s Refugee Commission)

In April of 2018, Jennifer Schlecht took a new position as Senior Advisor on Emergency Preparedness and Response at Family Planning 2020. For Family Planning 2020, housed under the umbrella of United Nations Foundation’s activities, Schlecht collaborated with CARE on these issues as well as the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis.

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RI Democratic Party Seeks to Muzzle Women: Sign the Petition!

Editor’s Note: The following call to action comes from the Chair of the Rhode Island Women’s Caucus, an activist network that spearheaded Rhode Island’s landmark 2019 legislation protecting reproductive rights.

Early last week, the Rhode Democratic State Party released changes to their bylaws that would severely inhibit the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus. Our official statement on the proposed changes can be found here, but in summary the Caucus would not be allowed to speak, raise funds, organize or participate in democracy in any meaningful way.

Elizabeth Gledhill, Rhode Island Women’s Democratic Caucus Chair, urges women activists to support the Caucus as they fight against new legislation that would restrict their ability to fundraise and advocate independently. (Photo credit: Elizabeth Gledhill)

We are the branch of our state’s Democratic Party specifically working to engage, recruit, train, and support women candidates. Our members fill the halls of the State House in support of legislation critical to the vitality of Rhode Island women and hundreds of our volunteers canvass neighborhoods in support of women candidates each election cycle. We have demonstrated our ability to mobilize and elect democratic women and their allies. Yet, the party leadership distances itself from us at every opportunity.

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Finance Expert: Minimize Charity. Maximize Gender Lens Investing


Tracy Gray has something important to tell women about their philanthropy: do less of it. It’s not the usual message that donors get from the world, and it’s not the usual message here at Philanthropy Women, either. But the context of this message comes from Gray’s conviction that the quicker we grow women’s wealth, the quicker we will move toward a better society.

Tracy Gray is the Founder of the 22 Fund, a growth equity investment firm that seeks to create more quality employment opportunities for women and people of color. (Photo credit: anitab.org)

“Take some of your money out of charity and put it into women-owned or women-led businesses,” Gray advised women donors, in a recent phone chat with Philanthropy Women.

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