Help Us Celebrate Our 20th Anniversary!

The time is now, to start doing. To stop sitting and start standing. To join us on the frontlines.  It is time to tap into your inner activist, standing up for what is right and just. We invite you to stand with us – to stand together – and to invite your friends to join us, too. This year, at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary. To commemorate the women and girls who have benefited from our work, we want you to join the celebration by participating in our 20for20 Campaign starting on August 20th.

When we think of activists, we often think of someone who has organized sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement or protests like the iconic Women’s March. We think of someone who dedicates their entire life in service of others. But even the smallest acts of kindness or activism have a ripple effect on our communities.

Ask your friends to be an activist too through our 20for20 campaign. In the name of women and girls, we challenge you to get 20 of your friends to give $20 to the women and girls in our region who are living at or below the poverty line.

Tell them that their gift will help ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington metropolitan area have the resources they need to thrive. Washington Area Women’s Foundation will ensure that their gift supports the most effective strategies and programs that help women and girls save for their futures, obtain jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits, and access high-quality and affordable childcare. With the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, your donation never works alone, and it never stops working. Support women and girls as they reach for more.

And, we believe that being an activist should also be fun.  We think you deserve a weekend downtown at the Marriott Marquis, or possibly a night at the theater.  Thanks to our partners, you will be entered in a drawing for fantastic prizes simply by creating your fundraising page.  Then, you get even more chances as you reach your goal.

Click here to create your personal fundraising page, and when you do, you will get a chance to win a fabulous prize.

Then, starting on Monday, August 20th, do some fundraising —  when 20 of your friends give $20 you will meet your goal of $400.  When you reach $400 raised (even if one friend gives the full amount) we will add four more chances for you to win.  And, we will send you a STAND TOGETHER t-shirt, to thank you for standing with us.

Help us continue to set a strong foundation for the resilience and hope for the future of women and girls in the Washington Region!

We have exciting giveaways for all 20for20 Activists:

  • Setting up your personal fundraising page = 1 entry
  • Raising $400+ = 4 entries + 1 “Stand Together” T-shirt
  • All prize recipients will be selected at random.

Be a changemaker! Be an activist today!

Let Your Voice Be Heard Today!

Let your voice be heard today by helping us with two surveys!

Are you a young woman of color between the ages of 12 and 24 years old in DC? Please help us understand what issues you care about in your neighborhood and what solutions you would like to see by answering this short survey:

Are you a practitioner, researcher or advocate in DC? Please help us understand what you think are the most pressing issues affecting young women and girls age 12-24 and what solutions you would like to see by answering this short survey:

Having your input is critical to effecting positive and lasting change!

After completing the survey(s) by June 15th, participants can enter a name for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Amazon!

The survey results, will help to inform the work of the Young Women’s Initiative going forward and help inform our 2018 Recommendation Report.

We would greatly appreciate if you could share the survey with your networks of young women!

Recap: 2018 GirlsLEAD Summit

On March 9, 2018 over 600 young women and girls joined Washington Area Women’s Foundation for the inaugural GirlsLEAD Summit. The all-day event welcomed 300 young women and girls between the ages of 12-24, and was held at the University of the District of Columbia. Over 150 women leaders joined the Summit for Speed Mentoring, and more than 100 women conducted workshops and sessions throughout the day.

Award-winning journalist, media personality and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth, was interviewed by WPGC 95.5.’s Sunni during an intimate Q&A. The girls then participated in a speed mentoring event hosted by WUSA9’s Lesli Foster. Each of the young women had a chance to get one-on-one advice on creating pathways to success from several of the more than 150 dynamic, female business, nonprofit, and government leaders gathered in the room.

DJ Beauty and the Beatz kept the party going during lunch, where are all the girls danced and sang along to the latest hits. The young women and girls experienced workshops and sessions conducted by companies like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Volkswagen, Audi, National Women’s Law Center, Girls Who Code, Beltway Poetry Slam Team, our Young Women’s Advisory Council and more!

For a photo recap visit Facebook now and read about the GirlsLEAD Summit on The Washington Informer!

The GirlsLEAD Summit was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, the NoVo Foundation, and the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Thank you to our partners University of the District of Columbia, Samsung, KIND Snacks and Bobbi Brown!

GirlsLEAD Summit Welcomes Over 300 Young Women & Girls

Washington Area Women’s Foundation hosts its inaugural GirlsLEAD Summit on March 9, 2018. The all-day event for young women and girls between the ages of 12-24, will be held at the University of the District of Columbia. Award-winning journalist, media personality and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Hosted by the Young Women’s Advisory Council of the Young Women’s Initiative at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, the GirlsLEAD Summit will be an opportunity for young women and girls residing in the District of Columbia to learn, connect, gain valuable skills and lift their voices on the issues that are important to them through general sessions, workshops and speed mentoring opportunities.

Find out more about the GirsLEAD Summit on the official website.

Read the full program here!

2018 Washington Region ECE Summit

The Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative and Montgomery College School of Education invite you to join us on January 20, 2018 for a Regional Early Care and Education Summit. The Summit will focus on the impact of diversity and racial stratification on early education systems, including creating a skilled workforce to meet the needs of all children and families and reducing achievement gaps.


Beyond the Classroom: 

Confirmed speakers and workshop presenters include:

  • Cemere James, National Black Child Development Institute
  • Bweikia Steen, Trinity Washington University
  • Zeporia Smith, Montgomery College

Additional speakers to be announced!

This event is free for early childhood educators and others in the early education field in the DC region, including Washington, DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Alexandria, Arlington County, and Fairfax County. Participation letters will be provided for educators.

A general admission ticket includes lunch.

Space is limited, so reserve your seat today!

Questions? Email Martine Gordon at

Panel: Economic Security of Immigrant Women and Families

Close to three-quarters of all immigrants in the U.S. are women and children. Policy rollbacks, cuts to funding, and threats to states that provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants is proving to be a burden to families and communities. Current polices are out of step with the day-to-day realities of families. This panel will address the impact of current immigration policies on women’s economic security and provide recommendations and strategies at the local and national levels to support immigrant families.


A Thriving Economic Future for All: The Role of Local and National Policies to Improve the Economic Security of Immigrant Women and Families


Laura Vazquez, Senior Program Manager, UnidosUS

Maria Gomez, President and CEO, Mary’s Center

Ana Gonzalez, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center

Olanrewaju Falusi, Associate Medical Director for Municipal and Regional Affairs, Child Health Advocacy Institute


Rebecca Tancredi, Vice President of Programs, Upwardly Global

Questions? email Claudia Williams at


Webinar: Using Racial Equity To Evaluate Programs

Strong evaluation is essential to building strong programs, measuring success and achieving desired outcomes. For organizations working in diverse communities, having an evaluation tool that is able to account for the impact of implicit bias, racial inequities and other systemic and institutional prejudices is key to high impact outcomes and program development. In this webinar, speakers Adar Ayira and Sally Leiderman will discuss how to apply a racial equity framework to program and project evaluation.


Excited to welcome the following speakers!

  • A. Adar Ayira, Racial Equity Strategist and Trainer, Associated Black Charities

A. Adar Ayira is part of the senior leadership team at Associated Black Charities, the region’s only African American philanthropic organization providing coordinated leadership on issues impacting Maryland’s communities of color. Adar is also a founding member and Advisory Board Member of Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA), a nonprofit organization committed to social and economic transformation and equity. Adar is a poet, artist, social observer, consultant and anti-racism / anti-oppression facilitator and trainer with more than 20 years of experience and a commitment to continued internal growth and external learning on these issues.

  • Sally Leiderman, President Center for Assessment and Policy Development

Sally Leiderman is President and one of the founders of the 25 year old non-profit Center for Assessment and Policy Development ( She is an experienced evaluator of multi-year, multi-site foundation/community initiatives, leadership efforts and projects aimed at promoting social justice, reducing structural racism and/or reducing racial disparities in health, education, safety and other important areas of well-being. With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, Ms. Leiderman is also currently working with Potapchuk Associates and World Trust Educational Services, Inc. to create training modules on white privilege that leadership development efforts can build into their ongoing training. Ms. Leiderman co-created and and co-authored Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building, including its chapter on evaluation.

  • Claudia Williams, Research and Evaluation Program Officer, Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Claudia coordinates a foundation-wide program evaluation and research plan that supports and advances The Women’s Foundation’s strategic goals, and enhances the effectiveness of program strategy and grantmaking. Before joining The Women’s Foundation, Claudia served as a Research Analyst at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), where she conducted research related to the status of women in the United States, women’s economic security and work/family balance. With her research and testimony, Claudia helped numerous Paid Sick Days advocacy campaigns around the country make the case to pass legislation to ensure paid time off to recover from illness or to take care of a sick child or family member.

Report: A Fair Chance: Improving Outcomes and Reducing Barriers to Success and Opportunity for Girls, Young Women, Transgender Young Women and Gender Non-Conforming Youth of Color in DC

This brief, A Fair Chance: Improving Outcomes and Reducing Barriers to Success and Opportunity for Girls, Young Women, Transgender Young Women, and Gender Non-conforming Youth of Color in DC, aims to spark dialogue and spur action in communities and at the local government level to improve health, educational and economic outcomes for girls, young women, transgender young women, gender non-conforming youth of color, and their families.

Using the most recent data available, the brief attempts to shed light on the social and economic conditions of girls, young women, transgender young women, and gender nonconforming youth of color in DC; to paint an accurate picture of the challenges and barriers to long-term success and opportunity for youth; and to identify opportunities for strategic collaboration and support across various communities of practice.

The brief is a part of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s commitment to racial equity and building the leadership of girls and young women. Our vision is to build a region where all residents thrive and the economic security and well-being of low-income girls, women and families is assured.

Click the image to read the report or visit our Resources page for more!

Young Women’s Initiative Launch

On May 24, Washington Area Women’s Foundation officially launched the Young Women’s Initiative, a city-wide effort to improve life outcomes and increase opportunities for young women, girls, transgender women, and gender non-conforming youth of color between the ages of 12-24. With over 200 community leaders, activists, government officials, philanthropists and young girls in the audience, The Women’s Foundation shared the purpose of the Initiative, including key statistics about the state of women and girls in the District of Columbia, and ended the program with a poignant and powerful panel of youth who shared their unique experiences in the District.

We cannot talk about the needs of, and the opportunities for, young women and girls in DC, without being explicit about the fact that girls and young women, transgender women, and gender non-conforming youth of color face barriers and challenges that many of us, including me, a straight, white cisgender woman, have never faced and will never face,” said Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President & CEO, Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Dr. C. Nicole Mason, Vice President, Programs, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, presented statistics from The Foundation’s new report “A Fair Chance: Improving Outcomes and Reducing Barriers to Success and Opportunity for Girls, Young Women, Transgender Young Women and Gender Non-Conforming Youth of Color in DC.” Girls and women of color in the District experience higher rates of poverty, homelessness, teen pregnancy, and more involvement in the juvenile justice system and are at a greater risk for in-school disciplinary actions and suspension.

“Being a woman of color is the most beautiful experience but growing up, we’re told to handle as much as we can,” said one young panelist. “When you see me, I was always smiling. I’m the person you want to be around but at the same time I got bullied,” mentioned a transgendered teen.

Young Women’s Initiative Launch

“The fact that you invited me and want to partner with government agency speaks volumes because again, we cannot do this alone,” said HyeSook Chung, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “The Women’s Foundation is committed to racial equity, as we are, and to building the leadership of girls and young women who will be the future.”

“Last night was a powerful and inspiring moment for the organization. It was a reminder of the wisdom and courage that our young women possess, and a reaffirmation that we have chosen the right time to launch our Young Women’s Initiative,” said Storme Gray, Program Officer, Washington Area Women’s Foundation. “I’m so appreciative of the young women on the stage and in the audience who spoke their truths with great authenticity and power. It was an amazing sight to see.”

The next event for the Young Women’s Initiative, a community town hall where parents and families of young women and girls of color come together to share their concerns and build solutions to create a city where young women and girls of color can thrive, will take place on June 21st, and will be available on The Foundation’s website in June. Additionally, The Foundation launches it’s “A Day In The Life” storytelling series on May 25th, featuring some of the youth from the panel.

Community leaders and partners can get involved in the Young Women’s Initiative, to build solutions to embolden and support the young women and girls in DC, in several ways. They can nominate a young woman to join the Young Women’s Advisory Council. Nominations are still open, and will be through June 1st. The Women’s Foundation is creating opportunities for girls to lead, and asks that you to nominate a dynamic young woman to participate in this great opportunity. Another way to get involved would be to make a donation to the Washington Area Women’s Foundation to support the Young Women’s Initiative.

You can view a full video of the Young Women’s Initiative here: 
A short link to the new report: