As The Women’s Foundation’s Stepping Stones Phase 2: Voice and Vision forums come to an end, many wonderful, enlightening thoughts on the future of Stepping Stones and women and girls in our region have been shared.
One thing I’ve observed about the forums as I’ve compiled the evaluation forms from many people–from different regions and communities–is that people from all over echo the same concerns and insights on issues related to what keeps women from succeeding economically and financially.
When you hear the concerns and worries at different points in time from different people, it helps to legitimize things and ensure you that they are, in fact, issues to address.
What are some of the discussion topics that continue to generate rich, interactive conversations?
Attendees always engage in a rich dialogue around the area of the targeted income range. The insights as to why we should consider lowering the floor from $15,000, or heighten the current bar from $35,000, are varied and you get to hear excellent different points of view of people from different walks of life.
Our current geographic target population (Washington, D.C., Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland, and Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax Counties in Virginia) is another hot topic.
Thirdly, the role of advocacy in the Initiative remains a question widely debated. Should we increase advocacy efforts? What strategies could we engage in to do so?
So, why should you consider attending the last forum on December 1? Because if you don’t already know what Stepping Stones is and why it came about, this is a great chance to learn more!
Stepping Stones is so great because it takes a comprehensive look in the long-term at the economic and financial well being of women. You also get an opportunity to share your voice on some of the hotly debated issues such as the ones listed above.
The grants given from the Stepping Stones fund nonprofits directly impacting the community. They are not grants to provide a handout; they are hand-ups. These funds and the technical assistance that come along are literal stepping stones that assist women in reaching their full potential.
These forums are a relaxed environment. It’s only two hours, and after you learn about Phase 1 of Stepping Stones you get a chance to share your input with staff and other community leaders on what Phase 2 might look like.
I’m glad that this series of regional forums was launched. It exemplifies how much The Women’s Foundation values input from our own community.
We want to hear from you, because we are all agents of change. We’ve had Grantee Partners, leaders of nonprofit organizations in our communities, governmental officials, and friends from the general public attend and learn and share a great deal.
It’s an inspiring process that we welcome you to be a part of.