January 20, 2022


The Boston Women's Fund is honored and grateful to step into another new year driving support for grassroots organizations in their work to achieve economic, racial, and gender justice. We have exciting programs, virtual conversations, funding awards, and more on the horizon that we can't wait to share with you in the coming months.

We spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day reflecting on his legacy and all of the many women who contributed to the success of the movement. We're ruminating on the movement work to be done, self-love, community among women+ of color, and the elements of movement building. Through it all, our thanks go out to you and your dedication to justice for women+ and girls+ in greater Boston and beyond. Read on for a deeper look inside this month at BWF.

"Martin Luther King press conference." 1964.
Library of Congress, Public Domain.
“Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is canonized in American culture by his “I Have a Dream" speech, and in the years since his passing, the shape of his legacy has been molded to fit a comfortable, peaceful form. But the parts of his work concerning the fight for economic justice have been cut away, along with another critical element — the women entrenched in the movement.

We can not celebrate Dr. King's influence and achievements without also lifting up Coretta Scott King and the numerous women deeply involved, though largely overlooked, in the successes of the 1960's civil rights movement.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. 1964. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Herman Hiller / New York World-Telegram & Sun, Public Domain.
Introducing the 2022 Women of Color Leadership Circle!
Co-founded by BWF's Executive Director, Natanja Craig-Oquendo, The Women of Color Leadership Circle is a six-month cohort program that helps women of color leaders in the nonprofit sector advance their professional development and leadership goals. Participants engage in facilitated sessions centering self-care, professional development, and leadership while fostering belonging and community, tackling the isolation many experience in the workplace.

BWF will lead the program this year, with facilitation by the Interaction Institute for Social Change and support from The Boston Foundation and the Angell Foundation. The 2022 cohort's first meeting is today, and we're excited to share their journey with you throughout the year.
Inside BWF
As a team, we are learning the "how-to" of consensus decision-making. Seeds For Change has great resources on the process, including this. We also participated in a "Movement Ecology" training by AYNI that has helped shape our understanding of Movement Building. 

What We're Watching: "Women of the Movement," a TV show depicting the true story of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley; "Sort Of" a TV comedy about a gender-fluid millennial; and MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech.

What We're Listening to: A true-crime podcast called "The MLK Tapes;" "Best of Me" by Anthony Hamilton; "Bad Luck," by Khalid; "Live from Blackalachia" by Moses Sumney; and "King Holiday."
*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.
“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.”

– Bell Hooks, "Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope," 2003.