Raising Human Security in the Southeast U.S.
The Women’s Funding Network, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Ms. Foundation, is bringing women’s funds from the southeastern USA and grantee organizations together, and providing training, consultation and resources that have been indispensable to the steady improvement of services and conditions in the Gulf region.
While volunteer groups from all over the U.S. initially responded with emergency funding and assistance after the hurricane, outside support has decreased over time. Sustainable social change takes long-term commitment, the kind of commitment at which women’s funds excel. Network member The Women’s Fund of Mississippi believes that local leadership is far more powerful in the long term than that of national groups, who may be considered outsiders and meet local resistance.
With support from the Women’s Funding Network, the fund invested in Women in Construction of Biloxi, Mississippi. Their work tackles the gender and racial stereotypes about women in the construction trade, women of color and low-income women. By actively promoting the participation of women of color in policy decisions, they are developing local leadership, while the women are making their voices heard on immediate issues affecting their families and communities.
The work of women’s funds in the Gulf illustrates the difference between traditional philanthropy and women’s funds: we fortify local solutions with strategic funding that allows them to flourish and make changes that will last for generations.