February 17, 2022


This month at Boston Women’s Fund, we’ve been thinking about the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement and how impactful work often falls out of mainstream recollection. The public debate over teaching critical race theory comes to mind. Revising history to avoid discomforting others with the truth erases the contributions so many have made to our journey toward liberation. 

BWF has spent this month highlighting incredible Black women+ and non-binary folks in the civil rights movement whose stories have largely gone untold. You can read about these remarkable activists across BWF’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. We ask that you join us in learning about them, not just this month, but every month.

For the dominant culture, Black History Month is 28 days long, but for us it spans 365. We celebrate ourselves every month of the year! Many of us are discovering, through research, documentaries, book clubs and conversations with our elders, the many, many, remarkable Black figures we’ve never heard of because they were left out of the mainstream narrative we’re taught. Many of these figures didn’t fit the mold of what society thought Black leadership should be. Nevertheless, they showed up as themselves and made an impact. 

As an organization, we strive to create an environment that makes space for authenticity and belonging for people of all identities, and we want to offer opportunities for you to learn alongside us. Read on for details about our upcoming learning event with acclaimed speaker Ericka Hart and a deeper look inside this month at BWF.

“The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.”

– Toni Morrison
The 2022 Women of Color Leadership
Circle is Underway!
From time to time, we think of Toni Morrison’s famous words and are reminded of countless experiences we’ve endured as women of color in the workplace. We know all too well the exhaustion of having to prove your leadership and competence time and time again. We know the trauma of operating within systems of white supremacy culture, too.
Screenshot from the first virtual meeting of this year's Women of Color Leadership Circle depicting all 15 women smiling.
Screenshot of the first virtual meeting of this year's Women of Color Leadership Circle.
The Anna Faith Jones and Freida Garcia Women of Color Leadership Circle was founded as a salve for such struggles, and the 2022 program is underway! Keep an eye out on Wednesdays for our new social media series spotlighting each member. The energy, vulnerability, and connection within the first meeting alone were a powerful start to their journey together. Read more about the session that prompted one sister to say, “This is so different from anything I’ve experienced.”
Ericka Hart Workshop — Thursday, March 10
We are excited to host a virtual workshop with highly-acclaimed speaker and award-winning sexuality educator Ericka Hart— LGBTQIA+ and Cultural Literacy: Creating Safer Spaces. Participants will learn how our society can be harmful toward those in the queer community along with practical ways to make spaces safer.

Free. March 10th. 5:30-7:00pm ET
As we deepen our learning and continue to evolve our workplace culture, BWF is dedicated to creating an environment that pushes beyond the inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community and instead fosters true belonging. We are thrilled that Ericka Hart will be offering space to help us identify what we can do differently as an organization. We invite you to be a part of the conversation and join us in this journey. 
Cambridge HEART Fundraiser
Cambridge HEART is a visionary community-led alternative public safety program. Support their work by attending their upcoming virtual fundraiser!

Did we mention that Boston Women's Fund's own Executive Director, Natanja Craig-Oquendo will be the MC?! The night includes a lineup of all-star speakers and music from Abass Ndiaye of KKTAR, as well. Register today to receive the Zoom link and join in!
March 1st, 7:00-8:30pm ET
Inside BWF
As a team, we are learning about how we can show up for the Indigenous community. We found this video about land acknowledgment insightful. We also revisited two speeches given on the 2021 National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, MA, which you can view here and here.
What We're Reading: "Righteous Troublemakers," a new book by Al Sharpton showcasing the untold stories of the civil rights movement; a resource called "The Source Codes of Foundation Culture;" a novel called "With the Fire on High" by Elizabeth Acevedo; a book on healing racialized trauma called "My Grandmother's Hands," by Resmaa Menakem; and an article about civil rights activist Claudette Colvin.

What We're Watching: "The Future of Trans," a TransLash interview with Alok Vaid-Menon; "My Name is Pauli Murray," a documentary about a remarkable, unsung Black non-binary activist who shaped civil rights legislation during the civil rights movement; and voting right's activist Fannie Lou Hamer's speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

What We're Listening to: a podcast about women of color and politics called "Our Body Politic;" "15" a benefit single about voting rights for Black Americans, by Aisha Burns; and "If I Can Change You," by TE Studios, a local youth-run arts for justice label.
*Disclaimer: The above media do not reflect the views of Boston Women's Fund and are not endorsed by Boston Women's Fund. These are the items our board and staff are currently engaging with to further their learning and/or rest and find joy.
"I want to see America be what she says she is in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. America, be what you proclaim yourself to be!" 

– Pauli Murray