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MARCH 21, 2017
President’s Letter
Ellen Wiss

Spring Greetings!

As this season always promises lovely growth and renewal, the same is true for WGA! While you enjoy the warmth and colors of spring, please take time to glance through our e-news for:
  • a report on the tremendous success of the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network conference hosted by WGA (dozens of WGA volunteers made us shine:)
  • a call to action for the under 40 initiative ‘Delores Barr Weaver 4Sight’ with your necessary vote of approval (very important - need your vote)
  • the recent advocacy and education events along with those coming up soon.

Have you been thinking of introducing a friend to WGA? Now is the time! Please bring them to attend our Member Forum luncheon on April 19 at UNF (register here) where we’ll have the opportunity to learn more about how to move the needle on poverty through effective collaboration across all sectors. We will be featuring:

  • Mike Beard, Director of United Nations Advocacy and Global Health, here from D.C.
  • Dr. Sherry Magill, WGA member and CEO of the Jesse Ball duPont Fund, representing the philanthropy sector
  • Dawn Lockhart, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Jacksonville Mayor’s office, representing the public (city and government) sector, and
  • Darnell Smith, President of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and Market President of Florida Blue, representing the corporate sector.

We are on track to play a valuable role in breaking the cycle of female poverty. With quality grant proposals in the door already, the decision on how many of them may be funded is up to us! Let’s pull out our garden tools this spring and leave no leaf unturned...

Read The Full Letter
Ellen Wiss, President
(720) 256-6143
Membership Vote Coming Soon

The Steering Committee has approved a proposal to provide for the future of the De-lores Barr Weaver Fellows Program’s successful effort to attract young women 40 and under to WGA. The heart of the DBW 4Sight plan is to offer an introductory one-year half-price membership to new members age 40 and under (limited to one such discount per person).

Because the DBW 4Sight program involves a change in the membership contribution, it requires a vote of the entire membership. Two-thirds of the membership must approve the proposal for passage, so please participate! You will receive an announcement of the electronic vote in the near future.

Read more about DBW 4Sight
WGA Hosts National Leadership Forum
More than 95 members of WGA (25% of our membership!) joined like-minded women from around the country for the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN) Leadership Forum at Atlantic Beach earlier this month. Guests praised WGA for its planning and hosting of the event. Co-chairs Martha Baker and Paula Liang listed some of the highlights of our involvement:
  • 39 WGA volunteers at the conference
  • Plus 15-20 more volunteers who assisted with pre-conference work
  • 15 of the 53 (28%) plenary speakers were from WGA
  • Sandy Cook was one of the three architects of the breakout sessions
  • Paula and Dale Clifford will continue to sit on the board of the network
  • Paula was voted into the Vice Chair role
  • Both dinner speakers waived fees
  • All swag bag items were donated
  • Media sponsorships yielded numerous stories and local interviews
  • Huffington Post article co-authored by Virginia Mills, WCGN Chair
  • SunTrust sponsorship allowed for swag bag, volunteer scarves, and presenter gifts to be purchased at retail at Rethreaded, benefitting our grantee
  • Rethreaded had a successful Pop Up shop at the conference
  • We also had a videographer co-sponsored by a WGA donor to capture video pieces from WGA attendees and presenters for use on our website.

Read more:
Paula Liang on First Coast Connect
Huffington Post article on WCGN conference
Paula Liang on River City Live

Jill Arnold, left, and Sheila Collier, right, were in charge of logistics. Kristi Brandon, center, headed up the volunteer crew. Here are more photos from the conference.
Members Advocate for ‘Open Doors’

Nine WGA members recently took a bus trip to Tallahassee to speak up for funding for ‘Open Doors,’ the initiative providing services to sexually exploited and trafficked victims. They visited members of the local legislative delegation plus others who sit on committees important to Open Doors. Participants had meetings every half hour and described it as “a busy and important day.”

Open Doors funding is possible through the Juvenile Justice appropriations, where many requests are submitted to compete for the funding. The process involves first getting requests through for a hearing. Of the total of seven requests that made it through to the next step for a hearing, two of them related to Open Doors were voted unanimously for moving ahead. Everyone who attended this trip, made calls, and wrote letters advocating for support should be very pleased that they achieved success! Advocacy matters!

From left: Kristi Brandon, Poppy Decunto, Pam Field, Mary Ellen Mendes, Laine Silverfield and Michelle Klimt
Perceptions of Poverty Challenged by Simulation Event

Last month 43 women participated in a ‘poverty simulation,’ an educational event offered by WGA and facilitated by the United Way. Participants called the experience “thought-provoking and eye-opening” and said the simulation helped them understand how it feels to be “hopeless, frustrated, chaotic, depressed, helpless, ignored, forgotten and powerless.”

The experience was timely as WGA embarks on our new focus area of ‘Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty’. Joanne Cohen, Vice President Philanthropic Services for The Community Foundation, said the experience will better equip us to be ‘myth-busters’ when talking with others about poverty in our community.

Upcoming Events: (a great way to introduce friends to WGA)
  • “Expect to Win: Empowering Women for Leadership” with nationally-known speaker and Jacksonville native Carla Harris. April 6, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Riverside House, 2165 Park Street. (register here)
  • Member Forum Luncheon April 19, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. UNF Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive. Early registration ends April 9. (register here)
  • Strictly Social May 4, 6-8 p.m. at the Home of Tracey Westbrook. Spouses and guests welcome. Early registration ends April 19. (register here)
  • 2017 Membership Deadline – April 30 (join / renew here)
View Events Calendar
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