E-News: January 2016
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In this issue:
President's Letter

As always, January is a time of both reflection and looking forward.  We did a bunch of big things together last year:  
  • Established the DBW Fellows Program
  • Put the Impact Team in place as part of our Grants Team as a way to measure the long-term effect of our work
  • Commenced the third generation of research on women and girls in Northeast Florida
  • Launched a state-of-the-art website
  • Took a public position in support of funding a network of post-trauma services for sex trafficking victims (see Advocacy below)
The Big Lift for this year is to absorb the results of our newest research — and then decide how best to act as strategic philanthropists.  A bit of background for those of you who, like me, haven’t been members since the start.  
  • Research has been the foundation of our work since WGA was founded in 2001.
  • In 2011, research showed the lack of public mental health resources was a huge issue for women and girls.  Because the need was so under-addressed in our region, the Grants Committee decided for the first time to focus all of WGA’s grants pool on a single issue.  
  • The first mental health grants were made in 2012.  By the time we are done, our investment in mental health will approximate $2 Million through 15+ agencies.
  • In addition to funding, we have had impact in other areas important to strategic philanthropists. First, due to our focus, a lot of other funders throughout the region have taken notice and entered the field.  Second, as we have funded full-time mental health professionals at many agencies, we have seen these positions worked into everyday operating budgets.  
Our third generation of research will be unveiled March 2 at our Member Forum Luncheon (see below to register).  In the weeks following, a few suggested future focus areas will be presented in small group settings intended to give members an opportunity to provide feedback.  I encourage you to be a part of that conversation.  In addition, your spring Neighborhood Connector meetings will have updates on this topic.

Meanwhile, the other two parts of the Grants Team remain hard at work and focused on mental health.  The Decision Team will soon begin reading proposals for our final cycle of two-year mental health grants.  And the Evaluation Team is working with agencies to learn more about how to improve outcomes from our current grants as well as share what we have learned on mental health with the community.

As with any transition, we will be learning and modifying as we go.  We have much to be proud of with our work in mental health.  At the same time, we look forward to the next area where we can significantly impact the lives of women and girls in Northeast Florida through strategic philanthropy.

Paula Liang

(914) 673-9007,
Advocacy Update
From time to time, and often informed by our grantee agencies, WGA adopts advocacy positions on issues impacting women and girls in Northeast Florida. Recently, we have been made aware that many girls who are in the criminal justice system, or at risk of such involvement, are in fact victims of sex trafficking. This can impact girls as young as 12.  Speaking out about the plight of these girls and their needs, both individually and collectively, aligns with our mission of improving the lives of women and girls in Northeast Florida.
           Travel to "Tally" (Tallahassee)

Advocate for Recovery Services for Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

The “Tally Trip” on TUESDAY, JANUARY 26 will enable WGA members and their friends to meet with key Duval, St. Johns and Nassau legislators to express their strong support for funding a pilot program of services for child victims of sex trafficking, 86% of whom are girls.  One of the pilot areas will be Northeast Florida.  For more details on the trip — and other ways to help — click here.  Victims need your voice and support.

Advocacy: "Power of One" — Focus on Sex Trafficking

Recent Event : January 7    The Jessie Ball duPont Center 

One of the most surprising results of WGA’s work in mental health is the extent of sex trafficking in our region.   The Education Committee’s 2016 opening program, co-hosted with WGA grantee the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center (DBWPC), was both timely and galvanizing.  WGA member Lawanda Ravoira, president, DBWPC, reminded members that:
  • Sex trafficking is an industry bigger than arms or drug smuggling
  • Florida is the third most active state based on calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline
  • Northeast Florida is the third-busiest region in Florida
  • Victims can be as young as 12 years old; 86% are girls
She then outlined efforts underway to support legislative appropriations for an "Open Doors" pilot to establish recovery services for child victims of sex trafficking (one of the pilot locations would be Northeast Florida).  Also part of the program was WGA member and community advocate Lisé Everly who presented WGA’s newly revised “Power of One” training and materials for personal advocacy.  To learn more the issue and how to get involved, check your inbox for a recent email from Advocacy Co-Chair Susan Fraser or click here
Speakers at WGA's recent Advocacy session included Dr. Lawanda Ravoria, president, Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center (top left) and Lisé Everly (top right) who co-created WGA's Advocacy education programs.  Bottom left, Advocacy Co-Chairs Kathleen Langford and Susan Fraser greet attendees at the session.  For more information on WGA's Advocacy activites regarding sex trafficking, click here.
Welcome New Members!
Welcome to the following new WGA Members who have joined since November 16, 2015.
  • Mary Bebout
  • Jan Hirabiyashi
  • Karen Hunt
  • Connie Morris
  • Nekita Nesmith
  • Irene Phelps
  • Jennie Shad
  • Walette Stanford
According to the last member survey, 92% of us join because of friends and acquaintances. Thanks to the following recruiters of these new members:
  • Sandy Cook
  • Barbara Harrell
  • Paula Liang
  • Karen Estella Smith
  • Nina Waters
  • Tania Yount
Meet the 2016 DBW Fellows ...part 1
Through the Delores Barr Weaver Fellows Program, Mrs. Weaver and other generous women subsidize emerging philanthropists to develop Northeast Florida's future women leaders today. As full voting Members of WGA, Fellows are paired with mentors to introduce and engage them in all aspects of strategic philanthropy. At the same time, these young women under the age of 40 help shape our organization for the future. To learn more, go to
WGA accepts up to 15 Fellows in each class.  Please welcome four of this year's Fellows (photographed as they visit a current grantee, Rethreaded / Survivor Advocate Program).  From left to right:
  • Madeline Warren, Director, Leadership Giving, United Way of Northeast Florida;  WGA Mentor Elizabeth Bernardo
  • Annie Bryan, Vice President for External Affairs and General Counsel, HeroMe; WGA Mentor Marty Jones
  • Spring Behrouz, PhD, neuroscientist, Founder/CEO, NeuroInitiative; WGA Mentor Sue Nussbaum
  • Marie O'Keefe, financial planner, Northwestern Mutual; WGA Mentor Susan Rodgers
The New Website Has Arrived!

It's Here!
same username and password
Calendar Reminders
We’re happy to have you as a member, whatever your level of involvement.  We hope you’ll join us at the upcoming events that interest you.  And remember, you are always welcome to bring guests.  All we ask is that you register so we can plan accordingly.

One Love — Ending Relationship Violence  

Tuesday, February 2 / 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
829 Riverside Avenue  32204
(Brown bag lunch)  Optional:  When you RSVP, indicate whether you would like lunch from the Cummer Caf
é @ $15.   Click here to register

Connector Event — North Beaches 

Wednesday, February 3 / 6:30-8:30 pm
Program: Dale Clifford will report on the Women's Collective Giving Network 2015 Conference in Charlotte.
RSVP to Host & North Beaches Co-Connector Allison Newberry Dennis ( 806-3031, Neptune Beach).

Member Forum  

Wednesday, March 2  / 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (program will begin promptly at 11:30 am)
Join your WGA friends for the unveiling of WGA's newest research.  One of WGA's two large luncheons each year.
UNF Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive  32224
$35 (includes lunch) for registrations thru Friday, February 19;  $45 beginning Monday, February 22.
  Click here to register

Women in Leadership  

Wednesday, March 16  / 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
A panel discussion moderated by WGA member and civic leader Audrey Moran
WJCT Studio A, 100 Festival Park Avenue  32202
(Brown bag lunch)  Optional:  When you RSVP, indicate whether you would like a box lunch from Chef's Garden
@ $15.   Click here to register
Special Thanks to Reporters & Photographers for this E-News

Teri Calinao, Melanie Cost, Jennifer Croy, Kathleen Langford, Stephanie Cost
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