Washington Area Women’s Foundation Receives 2017 Leadership In Equity and Diversity Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                               MEDIA CONTACT: Mercy Chikowore

September 7, 2017                                                                                                            202-469-3643, mchikowore@wawf.org

Washington Area Women’s Foundation Receives 2017 Leadership In Equity and Diversity Award

September 7, 2017 – Washington Area Women’s Foundation, the only donor-supported, public foundation solely dedicated to building economic security for women and girls in the Washington D.C. metro area, is a 2017 recipient of The Women’s Funding Network’s Leadership and Diversity (LEAD) Award, for launching the Young Women’s Initiative in the Washington area. The LEAD award celebrates outstanding risk-takers and innovators in the philanthropic community who, through their determination and leadership, have increased funding for programs that promote gender equity and diversity.

The awardees are women’s foundations and their CEO’s that launched Young Women’s Initiatives in their communities.  In May, The 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.

Naming the eight organizations acknowledges women’s foundations roles as donors and catalysts for change. “This year, we are presenting the award to each of the eight women’s foundations that have pioneered Young Women’s Initiatives (YWI), said Cynthia Nimmo, Women’s Funding Network CEO, “because the presidents of these foundations have shown ingenuity and fortitude in their vision of young women and focus on young women of color as advocates, and spokespeople with direct access to legislators and other decision-makers.”

“We are honored to receive this year’s LEAD Award as we are in incredible company with our sister funds,” said Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President & CEO, Washington Area Women’s Foundation. “We are taking on critically important work and remain committed to removing the unique barriers young women and girls of color face in our community.”

Each of the foundations have demonstrated a commitment to social change while actively addressing gender, race, class, (dis)ability, age, and sexual orientation when making grants. They are also mobilizing philanthropic resources to support programs that benefit women and girls. The YWIs were spotlighted at the 2016 United State of Women summit, hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls.

2017 LEAD Awardees:

  • Jeanne Jackson, Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham
  • Surina Khan, Women’s Foundation of California
  • Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Dallas Women’s Foundation
  • Ruby Bright, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
  • Lee Roper Batker, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
  • Ana Oliveira, New York Women’s Foundation
  • Irma Gonzales(CEO) and Elizabeth Barajas Roman (former CEO), Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts
  • Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, Washington Area Women’s Foundation

The LEAD Awards were presented Wednesday September 6th in San Francisco during Women’s Funding Network’s #WomenFunded2017 global conference.


About Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a DC-based public foundation dedicated to mobilizing our community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington region have the resources they need to thrive. Learn more about The Women’s Foundation’s mission to transform the lives of women and girls, the Washington region, and the world by visiting us online, on Facebook or on Twitter.

About Women’s Funding Network

Women’s Funding Network is the largest philanthropic network devoted to women and girls, engaging over 100 institutions and foundations. We imagine, incubate and lead initiatives, programs, and collective action on critical issues.