LEAD Awards Go to Funders of Young Women and Girls of Color

Women’s Funding Network LEAD awards went to eight women’s fund leaders participating in the Young Women’s Initiative.

Leaders from eight women’s funds across the country that spearheaded the Young Women’s Initiative received the 2018 Leadership and Diversity Award (LEAD), given by the The Women’s Funding Network at their annual summit, taking place this week in San Francisco.

The New York Women’s Foundation is a 2017 recipient of The Women’s Funding Network’s Leadership and Diversity (LEAD) Award, for launching the first Young Women’s Initiative in partnership with the New York City Council and inspiring similar efforts by women’s foundations across the country.

“The presidents of these foundations have shown ingenuity and fortitude in their vision of young women and focus on young women of color as advocates, and spokespeople with direct access to legislators and other decision-makers,” said Cynthia Nimmo, Women’s Funding Network CEO.

The LEAD award celebrates leaders who have increased funding for programs that promote gender equity and diversity through their innovation and risk-taking in the philanthropic sector.

“We are proud that New York led the way in creating the nation’s first-ever Young Women’s Initiative and I am honored to receive this recognition with seven colleagues who have launched similar programs,” said Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation. “We look forward to welcoming additional locales to the effort in the coming year.”

The 2016 White House Council on Women and Girls spotlighted the Young Women’s Initiatives at their 2016 United State of Women Summit, where they announced a new partnership called Prosperity Together, which would invest $100 million over five years in advancing rights and opportunities for young women and girls of color.

2017 LEAD Awardees:

Jeanne Jackson, Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham
Surina Khan, Women’s Foundation of California
Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Dallas Women’s Foundation
Ruby Bright, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
Lee Roper Batker, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Ana Oliveira, New York Women’s Foundation
Irma Gonzales (CEO) and Elizabeth Barajas Roman (former CEO), Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts
Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, Washington Area Women’s Foundation


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Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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