Womensphere Summer Festival: Women-Focused Non-Profit Organizations and Social Enterprises
In celebration of women leading and creating impact through their organizations and social enterprises in different sectors of society who made trailblazing success on their mission and vision during the Womensphere Spring Festival and the month of March! We invite you to explore these great women-helmed NGOs and Social Enterprise which changed the world one step at a time!
Chair: Diana Taylor
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries.
Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK)
CEO: Ayesha Vera-Yu
ARK IS BORN + BRED IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. Over 80% of the ARK volunteer core is made up of parents, teachers and farmers who live in rural areas. Our mantra (and why our program works): We don’t do hand outs. We want our partner communities to succeed. Our partner communities are so innovative, have amazing talents, brilliant ideas and hustle like no other (who else can live under $3 a day). They just need people to believe and invest in them. We live and breathe rural poverty.
Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Co-Executive Director: Hakima Abbas and Cindy Clark
For over 30 years we have been a part of the incredible ecosystem of women’s rights movements working to achieve gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights worldwide. Our vision is a world where human rights and freedoms, environmental sustainability and gender justice are a lived reality for all people and the planet. Our mission is that we aim to be a driving force within the global community of feminist and women’s rights activists, organizations and movements, strengthening our collective voice, influencing and transforming structures of power and decision-making and advancing human rights, gender justice and environmental sustainability worldwide.
Working together is key for women’s rights and gender justice to be a lived reality and we support feminist and women’s rights organizations and movements to collaborate effectively across issues, regions and constituencies.
Black Girls Code
Founder: Kimberly Bryant
Black Girls CODE is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs, Black Girls CODE introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. Black Girls CODE has set out to prove to the world that girls of every color have the skills to become the programmers of tomorrow. By promoting classes and programs we hope to grow the number of women of color working in technology and give underprivileged girls a chance to become the masters of their technological worlds. Black Girls CODE's ultimate goal is to provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040.
Our Vision is to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. To provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040.
Girl Scouts of the USA
CEO: Sylvia Acevedo
Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership—from taking a night-time hike under the stars to accepting a mission on the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with her troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running her own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow.
Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that help girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world.
President/ CEO: Judy Vredenburgh
Girls Inc. was founded in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War. Across the decades, we adapted to meet the specific environmental challenges facing girls and young women, always working in partnership with schools and communities, and guided by our founders’ fundamental belief in the inherent potential of each girl. Woven into those early girls’ clubs are the same core values of Girls Inc. today: the importance of creating a safe gathering place for girls to learn and to share in a sisterhood and a strong premise that each girl can develop her own capacities, self- confidence, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.
Girls Not Brides
Co-Founder: Mrs Graca Machel
Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1000 civil society organisations from over 95 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential.
Members are based throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. We share the conviction that every girl has the right to lead the life that she chooses and that, by ending child marriage, we can achieve a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all.
Stronger together, Girls Not Brides members bring child marriage to global attention, build an understanding of what it will take to end child marriage and call for the laws, policies and programmes that will make a difference in the lives of millions of girls.
Girls Who Code
Chef: Reshma Saujani
Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission: to close the gender gap in technology.
When I started Girls Who Code, I never would have imagined that we would grow to become a movement reaching almost 90,000 girls of all backgrounds in all 50 states. And now, just six years into our work, we’ve reached a tipping point.
We are on track to achieve gender parity in computer science by 2027. And we know why: because our work is as much about quantity, as it is about quality. We scale our programs to reach more girls in more places, and give them the chance to forge lifelong bonds so they may persist in computer science. It’s incredible. But for us, parity is really just the beginning. - Reshma
Global Fund for Women
Founding President: Anne Firth Murray
Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.
As the now-famous saying goes, “women’s rights are human rights.” That is to say, women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet almost everywhere aroMnd the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender.
Winning rights for women is about more than giving opportunities to any individual woman or girl; it is also about changing how countries and communities work. It involves changing laws and policies, winning hearts and minds, and investing in strong women’s organizations and movements.
Global Fund for Widows
Founder: Heather Ibrahim-Leathers
The Global Fund for Widows is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering widows and female heads of households to overcome poverty through skills-based training, job creation, and micro-finance. Ultimately, our goal is to help widows achieve financial stability, self-sufficiency, accountability, and importantly, become a role model to her own children and to others.
The Global Fund for Widows applies its programs throughout the developing world by forming strategic partnerships with local NGOs, which are dedicated to the empowerment of widows. These local NGOs work in close collaboration with the Global Fund for Widows to develop unique solutions for empowering widows that are culturally and socially appropriate, as most importantly – Sustainable.
Global Health Corps
Co-Founder: Barbara Bush
Our Mission is to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. We are building a network of young changemakers who share a common belief: Health is a human right.
Our Vision is we believe that every person has the right to live a healthy, dignified life. We also believe that everyone has a role to play in advancing social justice through the health equity movement.
We embrace a philosophy of active problem solving and partnership that is designed to bring about real and sustainable progress. We are committed to creating a new breed of health sector leaders who develop innovative solutions to the most challenging health problems all over the world.
Joyful Heart Foundation
Founder/ President: Mariska Hargitay
When Mariska Hargitay started playing Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims’ Unit, the content of the scripts, as well as the work she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the staggering statistics about sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse in the United States. She received hundreds, then thousands of letters and emails from survivors disclosing their stories of abuse, many for the first time. She wanted to answer those letters, to address the suffering and isolation they described, and honor the acts of courage they represented.
Her response was Joyful Heart. Inspired by her deep connection and love for ‘Hawai‘i, Mariska founded Joyful Heart in Kona in 2004 to help sexual assault survivors heal and reclaim a sense of joy in their lives. Today, Joyful Heart is a leading national organization with a mission to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever.
Joyful Heart carries out its mission through an integrated program portfolio of healing, education, and advocacy. Our work is paving the way for innovative approaches to treating trauma, igniting shifts in the way the public views and responds to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, and reforming legislation to ensure justice for survivors.
Harvard Women and Public Policy Program
Co-Directors: Dr. Iris Bohnet and Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles
Founder/ Executive Director: Victoria A. Budson
The Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School closes gender gaps in economic opportunity, political participation, health and education by creating knowledge, training leaders and informing public policy and organizational practices.
Our research provides evidence-based insights on the role of gender in shaping economic, political and social opportunities available to individuals. We identify successful interventions and measure their impact on women, men, and society, then share recommendations on what policies, organizational practices and leadership techniques help close involuntary gaps.
Co-Founder: Malala Yousafzai
Malala Fund’s key initiative — the Gulmakai Network — supports the work of education champions in developing countries and speeds up progress towards girls’ secondary education around the world.
Education activists like Malala and Ziauddin present the strongest challenge to barriers that keep girls
out of school. Threats to girls’ education — like poverty, war and gender discrimination — differ between
countries and communities. Local educators and activists understand challenges in their communities
and are best placed to identify, innovate and advocate for policy and programmatic solutions.
Over the next several years, we expect the work of these remarkable women
and men will result in substantial gains for girls’ education.
Music Beyond, Inc.
Owner: Kaori Fujii
Music Beyond is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that empowers individuals through music and outreach in developing countries, currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
By cultivating the roles of local musicians as performers, mentors and nurturers, Music Beyond fosters an enduring and positive impact within communities.
National Organization for Women
President: Toni VanPelt
The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since our founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.
NOW activists use both traditional and nontraditional means to push for social change. NOW activists do extensive electoral and lobbying work and bring lawsuits. We also organize mass marches, rallies, pickets, non-violent civil disobedience and immediate, responsive “zap” actions. NOW re-instituted mass marches for women’s rights in the face of conventional wisdom that marches went out with the 1960s. A NOW-organized march in support of the Equal Rights Amendment drew more than 100,000 people to Washington, D.C. in 1978. NOW’s Marches for Women’s Lives drew 500,000 reproductive rights supporters to Washington, D.C. in 1989 and 750,000 in 1992, for the largest women’s rights demonstration ever. In 1995, NOW organized the first mass demonstration to focus on the issue of violence against women-and drew a quarter million people to the Mall. The 1996 March to Fight the Right in San Francisco drew more than 50,000 activists to kick off an electoral season focused on efforts to defend affirmative action. In 2004, the March for Women’s Lives became the largest mass action of any kind in U.S. history, bringing a record 1.15 million people to Washington, DC to advocate for women’s reproductive health options.
New York Women's Foundation
Co-chair: Ana L. Oliveira
The New York Women’s Foundation creates an equitable and just future for women and families by uniting a cross-cultural alliance that ignites action and invests in bold, community-led solutions across the city.
We celebrate the humanity in each person and we believe people and relationships are the foundation of our success. We see the vibrancy, resiliency, and creativity in communities. Our experience has shown us that those facing the greatest obstacles also have the greatest insight and that community leadership is invaluable to developing solutions. We believe that all voices count and that effective solutions are created when tables are inclusive across social, cultural and economic backgrounds.
The way we carry out philanthropy–with transparency, respect, and partnership–is as important as what we fund.
She Should Run
Chair: Maggie Kavalaris
Our Ask a Woman to Run tool provides a way for individuals to tell us about great women leaders they know who should consider a run for office. Our first-of-its-kind She Should Run Incubator offers resources and a community that meets women where they are in their paths to elected leadership. We listen to our members and work with them to overcome roadblocks that prevent them from running for office. The Incubator’s unique approach focuses our members on why they want to run and the impact they’ll make in elected office. And we demystify resources available once women in our community have made the decision to run. Over 21,000 women have been inspired to run for office through She Should Run since the 2016 election.
The historic Carnegie Hill location is a European-like enclave neighboring “Museum Mile”, sophisticated shops and prestigious schools. The landmark building is also home to the Wales Hotel.
Shining Hope for Communities
Co-Founder: Jessica Posner Odede
Growing up in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa, he experienced extreme poverty, violence, lack of opportunity, and deep gender inequality. However, Kennedy also witnessed the palpable hope that persists in slums and recognized that people sought something different for themselves, their families and their communities. Visionaries like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela showed Kennedy that great, systemic change can come from within. Women like Kennedy’s mother inspired him to build the solutions to urban poverty through addressing one if its core obstacles—the prohibitive level of gender inequality.
In 2007, Kennedy met Jessica Posner, a bright and driven American student studying abroad. Together they devised the model that SHOFCO utilizes today. Kennedy and Jessica’s partnership is a unique, pioneering collaboration in the field of international development. Bolstered by grassroots knowledge, they have dedicated their lives to bringing hope to urban communities. In 2015, they released their New York Times best-selling book: Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum.
CEO/Founder: Amanda Nguyen
WE ARE A SOCIAL MOVEMENT
Rise is a national civil rights nonprofit. We help people pen their own civil rights into existence. In 2016, we drafted and passed the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights unanimously through Congress, a feat only 21 bills in modern U.S. history have done. Rise has been recognized by New York Magazine as one of the best things that happened in 2016 and by the Washington Post as one of the top charities in America to donate to. Watch this Vice on HBO piece and read our Founder Amanda's letter.
Women's Media Center
Founder & President: Rebecca Adamson
In 2005, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem founded the Women’s Media Center (WMC), a progressive, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media and, thereby, ensuring that their stories get told and their voices are heard. To reach those necessary goals, we strategically use an array of interconnected channels and platforms to transform not only the media landscape but also a culture in which women’s and girls’ voices, stories, experiences and images are neither sufficiently amplified nor placed on par with the voices, stories, experiences and images of men and boys.
Women's Refugee Commission
Executive Director: Sarah Costa
The Women's Refugee Commission improves the lives and protects the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. We research their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice. Since our founding in 1989, we have been a leading expert on the needs of refugee women and children, and the policies that can protect and empower them. Our vision is a world in which refugee and internally displaced women, children and youth:
are safe, healthy and self-reliant;
have their human rights respected and protected; and
inform and drive their own solutions and development.