The WGC was honored to co-Sponsor "Reading Human Rights" with the Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity at the Howard County Library System Central Branch on March 22.
It was a wonderful evening where WGC Advisory Board Members Lynne Schaefer and Jade McDuffie McClary joined others for the event and provided remarks about Women's History Month and the work of the Women's Giving Circle.
Here's what they said:
Good evening. We are Lynne Schaefer and Jade McDuffie McClary, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County Advisory Board members.
We are proud to co-sponsor tonight’s event with the Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity and the Howard County Library System.
We would like to give you some background on the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. The Giving Circle was created to build a community of philanthropists and to establish a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.
The Circle has been doing this since 2002 and we are excited to be celebrating 20 years of impact in Howard County this year! Here’s a few numbers to illustrate what the Circle has done in those 20 years:
These numbers are a powerful illustration of how 20 years later, we have lived up to the mission created by our founders.
In recent years, we have enhanced our core values to better meet our mission by implementing a diversity, equity and inclusion lens to all of our work through a measurable action agenda, with a goal to ensure all WGC activities reflect the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in practice, policy and governance. We encourage you to check out the many ways these actions are showing up in our work.
This year we will give $200,000 in grants in honor of our 20th Anniversary year. This is more than we have ever given in one year and we are able to do this by providing an inclusive engagement platform that has 4 distinct ways for women to give to the WGC.
We invite anyone interested to get involved with the Women’s Giving Circle - and you can find information about what we are doing on our website at www.womensgivingcircle.org and on social media.
To provide some context a Giving Circle is a form of philanthropy where individuals with common interests come together as a group to pool their philanthropic dollars to have a greater impact together. Donors give funds collectively to issues and organizations that align with their interests. There are well over 1,000 giving circles in the United States and women make up the majority of members in about 70% of them. Collectively, an estimated 150,000 donors have given over $1.20 billion through giving circles to date.
And as we celebrate Women’s History Month, you can see that one of the ways women are doing so is through their philanthropy. In fact, many believe that women’s philanthropy is one of the next phases of the women’s movement.
We know that history helps us learn who we are ... but when we don’t know our own history, our power and dreams are immediately diminished.
As we recognize women tonight, and continue to celebrate Women’s History Month in many forms here in Howard County, we are reminded that it is a time to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women to United States history. From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States.
It's hard to picture that as recently as the 1970s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness, but it’s true.
In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month” and since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
Recognizing the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine – has a huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women.
And, that’s what we are here to do tonight! We are honored to join you, thank you for inviting us. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us tonight, and to learn more about the Women’s Giving Circle at www.womensgivingcircle.org and on social media.
Reading Human Rights is a monthly book discussion hosted by the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity and Howard County Library System, where books that promote cultural awareness, diversity, equity are read and discussed.
It all began in the fall of 2000. Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz organized a meeting on behalf of the Maryland Philanthropy Network (formerly Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers) and asked Barbara Lawson, at that time the head of the organization that is now the Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo) to invite local women to attend.
Yolanda Bruno, Jean Moon, and Linda Odum accepted that offer, and became fascinated by what they learned about the incredible power of collective giving inherent in the giving circle model.
Read the full story here
March 15 is Equal Pay Day
Equal Pay Day symbolizes how much into the year women must work to earn what men earned the year before.
The pay gap is larger when comparing the wages of women of color to men.
This is unacceptable.
It’s time to close the wage gap and demand equal pay for equal work.
WGC's March 8, 2022 Virtual Annual Celebration: Celebrating 20 Years of Impact
Wow - What a Night!
Thank you to all those who joined us tonight for the WGC's March 8, 2022 Virtual Annual Celebration on International Women's Day!
We celebrated our 20th Anniversary year with Keynote Speaker Jeannie Infante Sager, Director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute, who discussed "Gaps and Growth in Philanthropic Support for Women and Girls".
And then we followed with a conversation on our new State of Women and Girls in Howard County with Jennifer Bodensiek, Candace Dodson-Reed and Sabina Taj.
Finally, we provided highlights of our last 20 years, and discussed what we have planned ahead.
After announcing that we are giving $200,000 in grants this year, we were proud to make a surprise announcement that we are giving our 10 Emergency Response Network partners $20,000 in grants - $2,000 each in honor of our 20th Anniversary!
If you were unable to join us you can view our 20th Anniversary Tribute video here, view remarks from County Executive Calvin Ball here, and for fun, watch the video we made on our 10th Anniversary here.
If you are as inspired as we are to continue making a difference collectively, we hope you will get involved with all we have going on this 20th Anniversary year, including:
Thank you once again to our 60+ 20th Anniversary Year Sponsors - we appreciate your investment in the WGC, and thus women and girls in Howard County! We invite additional sponsors to join us now, and throughout the year - learn more here.
We truly believe that women’s philanthropy is shaping the future for women and girls through the power of collective giving.
Thank you all for being a part of it.
Barb Van Winkle, WGC Advisory Board Chair
Jennifer Bodensiek and Candace Dodson-Reed, WGC 20th Anniversary Co-Chairs
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, WGC Executive Director
WGC 2022 Advisory Board
March 8 - The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County has released The State of Women and Girls in Howard County on Tuesday, March 8 - International Women's Day - as part of the organization's 20th Anniversary Year in 2022.
The WGC has embarked on a journey to further understand the challenges and needs of women and girls in Howard County to better inform the organization’s grantmaking for the future.
Under the direction of Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County Advisory Board Chair Barb Van Winkle, Vice Chair Jennifer Bodensiek, Grants Committee co-Chair Candace Dodson-Reed, and Executive Director Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Sabina Taj and Shaista Keating were selected as the principal researchers for this project.
The State of Women and Girls in Howard County is a baseline compilation of data and a resource about women from statistics published by a range of federal, state, and county agencies as well as public, private, and nonprofit organizations. In particular, we are pleased to leverage and utilize information from the recently released Maryland Women: A Status Report by the Maryland Commission for Women.
The compilation of data highlights that, while women have been shattering glass ceilings, many disparities remain, including:
This baseline data is designed as a central resource that positions our community to effectively advocate on behalf of women and girls and positively impact legislation, policy, and countywide programming.
“Our hope is that The State of Women and Girls in Howard County is a catalyst for a more focused effort to identify and close gaps in gender data in Howard County,” said Barb Van Winkle, WGC Advisory Board Chair. “And, that other giving circles and counties in Maryland may see an opportunity to utilize the important statewide data from the 2021 Maryland Women: A Status Report and compile baseline information on the status of women and girls per county throughout the state.”
Further research is needed, especially with regard to how these disparities may have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County plans to update this baseline data with new information as it becomes available.
The State of Women and Girls in Howard County can be found at: www.wgcstateofwomenandgirlsinhoco.org
The WGC extends its gratitude to our funders, collaborators, and partners.
The Women’s Giving Circle is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County. We bring women together to learn about issues impacting women and girls in our community, and pool our dollars to fund programs that address those issues so we can have a greater impact together than we might otherwise have alone www.womensgivingcircle.org