BWF Grantmaking 2007
I grew up thinking that girls were just like boys. As I grew older I realized that women struggle every day to receive the rights they deserve. Being a Salvadorian girl, I face challenges everywhere I go. There are issues of racism and the problems of being a youth. It is difficult for adults to realize that youth also have a voice and need to be heard. Working at the Boston Women’s Fund gives me an opportunity to express my opinions as a youth as well as a girl. —Claudia Contreras
Bosnian Community Center for Resource Development
By educating and empowering women to take action on the issue of domestic violence, BCCRD helps refugee women from the former Yugoslavia and other immigrant women to reclaim and rebuild their lives here in the United States. The Domestic Violence Initiative offers education, outreach and peer support, and supports women in developing self-empowerment, leadership and community participation. BCCRD is expanding its outreach to include Albanian, Ethiopian and Sudanese women.
Boston Acorn’s Working Parent’s Association (AWPA) works to improve the affordability, accessibility and quality of childcare for working mothers while ensuring that their voices are heard in public policy discussions. AWPA addresses the structural exclusion of low-wage childcare workers, overwhelmingly women of color, who are disenfranchised from the process of securing economic equity, while also striving to win improvements in the childcare system for working families.
Find Your Voice, a project of Boston Mobilization, uses young women’s own art, stories and poems to highlight women’s strength, history of resistance and vision as well as to educate about the dominant culture’s messages about women’s worth and role in society. Ten young women will deepen their understanding about social justice; facilitate anti-sexism workshops in the schools and work together to implement a creative action project.
Center for New Words (CNW)
CNW uses the power and creativity of words and ideas to strengthen the voice of progressive and marginalized women. Through a three-year initiative called Taking Our Place in the Public Conversation, CNW is expanding outreach to low-income communities and women of color via print media, radio and local television, and offering creative and skill building workshops, and facilitated book groups for homeless women and women in transitional housing.
Chelsea Citywide Tenants Association (CCTA)
The CCTA organizes low-income tenants living in public and private subsidized in Chelsea. This women-led, grassroots organization helps members to develop and exert leadership, and have their rightful say in decisions affecting their lives. Together, public housing and other low-income tenants are working to oppose reductions in public and subsidized housing, improve the quality of housing for low-income tenants, and foster expansion of affordable housing in Chelsea.
The City School
The City School is a learning community where young people become leaders for a more equitable, safe and just Boston. Its newest program, Rose from Concrete (RFC), provides leadership development, healing, resource referral, education, and job skills to court and/or DYS involved young women. Through examination of the criminal justice system and the political context and systems that impact their lives, young women are guided to develop leadership skills and tools for social change.
Encuentro Diaspora Afro
Created in 2004, Encuentro Diaspora Afro gives voice to the experiences of Afro- Latinos, a huge but largely invisible and marginalized group of people in Boston and across the United States. Through its Young Women’s Leadership Project and its Women’s Initiative, Encuentro develops and strengthens Afro-Latino unity and identity, empowers Afro-Latina women, and nurtures leadership capacity among young Afro-Latinas.
Homes for Families
Homes for Families recruits, organizes and involves the people most affected by the injustice of family homelessness—women and their children. Together they advocate for access to education, training and jobs that pay a living wage; for homelessness prevention resources; and to expand access to and production of housing for extremely low-income households. The Leadership Development Institute empowers parents and engages them to become stronger leaders and activists in the collective fight to end homelessness and poverty.
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
Founded and staffed by families of victims of violence, the Peace Institute brings together families of homicide victims and families of prisoners to address the shame and trauma associated with their experiences so they can move beyond those experiences and advocate for themselves and others. The Massachusetts Mothers on the Move (M’MOMS) program is a unified group of mothers of homicide victims and mothers of incarcerated children who provide peer support and help families to understand the criminal justice system and advocate for changes.
Massachusetts Working Families Consortium
The Massachusetts Working Families Consortium is sponsoring the Massachusetts Paid Leave Sick Days Campaign to secure mandated paid sick days in Massachusetts. This campaign seeks legislation to provide up to seven paid sick days per year for any illness, injury or health condition that requires staying at home or professional medical care, attending routine medical appointments, and absences for domestic violence victims. Passage of this legislation will help low-wage working women stay employed, improve their lives and enhance the well-being of their families.
Matahari: Eye of the Day
Through Matahari’s South Asian Solidarity Network (SASN), Boston area immigrant women and women of color create community solutions to address and prevent issues of gender-based violence, labor exploitation and economic distress faced by migrants from the Diaspora to the US. Matahari will continue the work of its Global Women’s Cooperative, develop the Global Women’s Kitchen, a cooperative catering project, and, with support from the Gabriela Network/NYC, develop a Filipina Women’s Solidarity Network in Boston.
The Network/La Red
The Network/La Red works to combat and prevent battering in lesbian, bisexual women’s, and transgender communities. Through a combination of organizing, education, outreach, community collaborations, and media activism, The Network/La Red aims to create a climate of intolerance for domestic violence. The Network/La Red will continue its visibility campaign to raise awareness of and community responsibility for lesbian/bi/transgender domestic violence.
Reaching out about Depression (ROAD)
Reaching Out About Depression (ROAD) is an innovative grassroots mental health and organizing project for low-income women with depression. ROAD addresses not only the symptoms of women’s depression but also the social conditions and inequalities that influence and exacerbate mental health difficulties. Through its Supportive Action Workshop Series and its Resource Advocacy Team, ROAD creates a network of support in the community and offers strategies to promote self-empowerment towards and improved quality of life.
Reflect and Strengthen (R&S)
R&S brings together young working class women from Boston’s urban neighborhoods to create and nurture environments for positive social change through creative expression, political education and community building. R&S continues its established programs including Girls Rap, What’s the 411 and Street Theater. A new program, Our Sisters Behind the Wall, brings together incarcerated girls ages 14–16 who support each other, learn healthy decisionmaking skills, and explore the ways that racism, sexism and classism create the situations that lead to incarceration.
Sociedad Latina’s Young Women Community Organizers (YWCOs) are pursuing a multi-pronged campaign to reduce the negative effects that advertising has on young women. Using data collected from their own neighborhoods, they are advocating for changes to the zoning code and for the creation of an advisory board on youth health issues. The YWCOs also use workshops to educate other young women, including elementary and middle school girls, about media marketing strategies and ways to create change in their community.
Transition House, a domestic violence shelter started in 1975, supports and empowers families to choose lifelong freedom from domestic violence. The Dating Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) provides school-based outreach, education and counseling to prevent and intervene in relationship violence among teens. DVIP uses Peer Leadership Groups, outreach, training, and counseling to engage girls in reframing the way in which they and their communities view and address dating and domestic violence.
Union Of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN)
UMN’s statewide campaign, Massachusetts Alliance to Reform CORI (MARC), mobilizes people with criminal records and their allies to reform the CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) system. These laws relating to criminal records keep thousands from gaining employment, housing, training, education, and credit. United Sisters, a project of UMN’s CORI reform campaign, recruits, empowers and trains women with criminal records to organize for changes in laws and policies that impede a woman’s ability to support her children and rebuild her life.
WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network) promotes women’s literacy as a tool for personal growth and social change. In collaboration with Boston area adult literacy programs, WE LEARN offers Women Leading Through Reading Discussion Circles (WLTR). By offering opportunities for literacy learners to engage with women-centered materials, WLTR supports reading, writing and speaking gains as well as opportunities for participants to develop confidence, leadership, critical thinking skills, and education in the broadest sense.
Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)
WILD is a multi-racial, multicultural women’s organization that empowers women to become effective leaders in their workplaces and the Massachusetts labor movement. In 2007, WILD will develop the leadership of working women in the Boston area through two core programs: “20 Leaders in the 20th Year of WILD,” a yearlong program to move women into leadership in the Massachusetts labor movement, and the Summer Institute, the annual leadership development program.
Women’s Theological Center (WTC)
WTC facilitates social change by supporting and engaging the spiritual leadership needed to create organizations and communities that are inclusive, anti-oppressive and intercultural. WTC’s Restructuring Project will design governance and staff structures that more effectively support WTC’s mission and strategic goals; public relations strategies that more effectively communicate its purpose and work; and an evaluation plan for its programs and projects.