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.