What do you remember about turning 15? What I remember most about that incredible year was learning to drive. Getting a learner’s permit and being able to hit the road (with a licensed adult) was my first really big step toward independence and, if my mother’s terrified face over in the passenger’s seat was any indication, I was starting out enthusiastically but needed a little guidance. Her hand on the wheel helped steer me away from the mailboxes and signs that lined Roswell Road. Her slightly strained voice reminded me that I needed to switch lanes after checking my blind spot (and turning just my head, not the whole minivan). She taught me how to read a map to make sure that I was going in the right direction. Eventually, she kept her hands off the wheel and trusted me to change lanes without saying “car! Car! CAR!” to me with increasing urgency.
Archive for the 'Giving Back' Category
I was born and raised in Ghana in a society where, traditionally, a woman’s role in the community was limited to motherhood. Only a few had the audacity to transcend social expectations and affect the lives of other women around them. My grandmother was one of them.
February was always one of my favorite months growing up. Being the shortest month of the school year definitely helped, but serving as the host of some of the best holidays of the year mainly sealed the deal for me. I recall the joy of exchanging candy and cards for Valentine’s Day and the pride I felt learning about my history while celebrating Black History Month. The month of February provided me with an opportunity to showcase my knowledge of African-American trailblazers and learn more about ones I was unfamiliar with. My love for Black History Month grew because it gave me a chance to learn about people that actually looked like me. It wasn’t until about the fourth grade that I realized that almost all of the black people I learned about during my black history lessons were men.
An election, volunteering, a new logo, historic events, and opportunities to learn more about the needs and lives of women in our community. 2012 was a very busy year at Washington Area Women’s Foundation and much of it was captured on our blog. Here are our favorite blog posts of the year:
Across the globe, there’s growing recognition of the value of nonprofits and volunteers joining with corporations and governments to solve social issues. Last month, I was honored to participate in a conversation about the most effective ways those sectors can come together at the inaugural Service Innovations Summit in Madrid. The international summit was co-hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont, the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid, and the Meridian Center in Washington. The summit brought together the corporate sector, foundations, and NGO’s from Spain, a handful of other European countries, as well as the US to share information and best practices related to volunteering, corporate social responsibility, and public-private partnerships. Being in Madrid added a sense of urgency to the summit: in Spain, one-in-four people is unemployed (one-in-two people under the age of 25 is unemployed) and in the middle of the conference there was a one-day negotiated general strike across the country to protest recent labor law changes that made it less costly to hire and fire workers.
In today’s rundown: Faith community leaders want the District to put more money towards green jobs. | Local student are less than proficient in reading at a critical point and it could affect their futures. | Donations to charities are on the rise in the first part of 2010.
Days after the District made the shocking announcement that $20 million had been cut from the homeless services budget for the 2010 fiscal year, advocates and organizations that provide shelter for the homeless are still reeling. One of The Women’s Foundation grantee partners is reaching out for help – as winter approaches and the organizations that assist the homeless face a crisis.
WPI releases personal reflections from giving circle founders, including African American Women’s Giving Circle!Monday, September 14th, 2009
Personal reflections from women founders of the early giving circles are included in a new booklet just released by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Among the 18 interviews in Women’s Giving Circles: Reflections from the Founders is Lynn McNair’s story of her involvement with the African American Women’s Giving Circle at Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
Well, the Interwebs are certainly all abuzz this week with talk of women’s philanthropy. And the talk is good.
Okay, we knew that.
When I saw Becky’s inspiring post earlier this week about the first Rainmaker’s Giving Circle meeting, I couldn’t help but throw in my two cents as well.
Like Becky, I was also struck by that meeting because it was such an indication of hope to see so many women gathered around the table that we had to scramble for chairs and space to squeeze everyone in.