Table of Contents
Message from the Board President
Spotlight on Impact: Get Involved
A Message from the Board President



Activism is in the air and the Maine Women's Fund is responding with the creation of the Swift Social Justice Grants Program. The goal of this program is to help organizations addressing the immediate needs of women and girls in communities of color, religious minorities, LGBTQIA communities, and other populations disproportionately impacted by the current social justice landscape. We expect to begin accepting applications on March 1st. In preparation, we are seeking grant reviewers who are connected to the issues and communities the program serves, and have the flexibility to be part of an ongoing monthly review process. All interested, please contact Kim Crichton, Grants Director, at  kimberly@mainewomensfund.org .

We received 65 Letters of Interest for our  core grants program! This program continues to support organizations across the state tackling economic security issues for Maine women and girls through leadership, education, healthcare, personal safety, public policy, and financial literacy. Organizations from every county in Maine sent letters, with 21 serving women and girls statewide. The Grants Committee is busy reviewing these inspiring initiatives and selecting a smaller cohort to move forward to the full proposal stage. A difficult and invigorating task indeed.

The Fund is also currently engaged in the process of hiring a new Executive Director. We are eager to share our decision with you soon! 

In March, as we continue to engage with and support our grantees and partner organizations, we look forward to celebrating their work and that of women across the world. On Saturday March 4, Women United Around the World will hold their 8th Annual International Fashion Show and Gala in Portland at the Italian Heritage Center. The last week in March also will be busy with meaningful events in southern Maine. The   2017 Justice for Women Lecture on March 23rd will feature Zainah Anwar of Sisters in Islam and Musawah, the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. On the 24th, current grantee   Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) is holding its annual  CeleSoiree . Don't miss these key events to learn about and celebrate vital Maine communities.

Thank you for your support of and commitment to the work of the Maine Women's Fund. Together, we are making change happen.
 
With enthusiasm and appreciation,

Natalie Solotoff  
Maine Women's Fund Board President



Spotlight on Impact: Get Involved

Speak Out

In Maine history we have a great role model for grit, determination, and persistence in Margaret Chase Smith. The first woman to serve in both the House and the Senate, Chase Smith was among the first to speak against McCarthyism in 1950.

Maine ranks among the highest in the nation in the number of women in elected office, many of whom share these same qualities. Across Maine women and girls are determined to both raise our voices and take action around issues that impact ourselves and our communities. We need look no further than the 2 nd and 3 rd grade class on Islesboro to show us how to set expectations in today's world.
 
The Fund had the chance to visit the Islesboro Community Center this fall to hear all about the work they are doing to heal and transform their community through resilience-building activities following a sexual exploitation case at the local high school. The isolation of Maine's islands and rural communities can make it hard to change culture in a sustainable way. For that reason, the Fund is very proud to be standing with this rural community; to be investing in the resiliency of island women and girls.


Name It

On the first Monday after Inauguration, an executive order re-instated the global gag rule which prohibits US aid to non-governmental organizations who even mention abortion as a healthcare option for women in need.  

The re-instatement of the global gag rule has us thinking about Maine's only independent, private, feminist health center, and one of only a handful nationally, the
  Mable Wadsworth Center in Bangor. Rather than submit to similar gag rules for providers who accepted federal family planning funds, the Mabel Wadsworth Center made a decision at its founding to be independent, stating,  "We neither accept nor seek federal or state government funding and never have, allowing us to provide unrestricted clinical services, advocacy, and education to all."

This year the Fund is very pleased to be supporting Mabel Wadsworth Center family planning and cancer screening services for patients without insurance through their innovative   Gaining Access Program (GAP) , which helps subsidize their care.

The critical family planning and reproductive health services provided by   Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and   Maine Family Planning , both former grantees of the Fund, are at heightened risk with the new Administration. They are also always at risk of losing funding the state level, too. For example, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's funding from the State of New Hampshire was cut in 2015 but was reinstated in 2016. At the national level, the US Congress has already renewed efforts to specifically target support for this critical health care provider. Visit their websites and see how you can contribute to safeguarding reproductive health services in our state and nationwide.



On behalf of the staff and board of the Maine Women's Fund, thank you for reading and for all you do to support Maine women and girls.

Office location:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 

 
    
  Find us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn 
 


MaineShare

The Maine Women's Fund thanks MaineShare for its ongoing support. MaineShare makes it easy to donate to more than 30 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live. For more information, please visit the website.