May 26, 2022

Greetings!

The Boston Women’s fund has lost an incredible force in our family. Many of you heard that Jean Entine, co-founder and former Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Fund, passed away last week, just a few days ahead of her 80th birthday. 

It has never been lost on me that I stand on the shoulders of giants, and Jean, in every way, was certainly one of those giants. Two months into my role here at the Boston Women’s Fund, amid the pandemic, I had the opportunity to Zoom with Jean. She shared incredible stories of both successful and unsuccessful fundraising and the joy she found in her work at BWF, specifically through the eyes of young people. The Young Sisters For Justice in Philanthropy program has been and continues to be reviewed and reimagined by our youth leaders and was founded under Jean’s leadership. We also shared tears as we both spoke about losing our children to cancer. 

From that moment on, Jean and I met every single month. She very graciously offered her time and her advice — and dropped as many
“F-bombs” as I did during our conversations, making me feel like I was in the best company.

Jean and I also talked about the impact that Renae Gray, beloved leader, co-founder, former board member, and Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Fund, had on her life and the lives of so many others. Renae is also among the giants that I have had the honor of learning from and a reminder to all that we have to trust, support, and love black women when they need it the most.  

When I think about white allies, I think about how Jean stood up for women of color, knowing just when to take the back seat, step aside, or give up her place at the table because other voices were needed more.

Jean was many things, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, an organizer, a confidant. As we reflect on the last 40 years of our own history, we at the Boston Women’s Fund are committed to lifting up the legacy and the life of the great Jean Entine. Our deepest condolences to her family, friends and all that knew Jean. Fly high my friend, and rest easy. We will take it from here. 


In Solidarity,
Natanja Craig Oquendo
Boston Women’s Fund, Executive Director

“Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.”

— Anonymous

Calling All Youth Leaders!
Boston Women’s Fund is hiring Youth Leaders aged 16-21 to join us this summer in our mission to impact the lives of women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals. 

Youth Leaders will lead BWF in awarding $25,000 to youth initiatives making transformative change in Greater Boston. This is a hands-on opportunity to work in philanthropy, learn about the nonprofit sector, and organize around issues of social justice. Additional opportunities include meeting with and learning from community leaders and leaders in the philanthropic sector, learning to write grant proposals, providing social media support, and more! Deadline extended to May 31st. Details here.
Breaking Down the Battle Over Roe v. Wade
All people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) are in a monumental battle for control over their reproductive health.

The leaked Supreme Court opinion signaling that access to abortion is in jeopardy is a drastic and dangerous leap away from liberation. In our first blog in a new series on reproductive justice, we break down what this could mean for folks at home and across the country, why this is everyone’s issue to combat, as well as what you can do to join the movement.
A Note on Healing and Self-Care
Boston Women’s Fund is sitting with the widespread collective grief within our nation and around the world over the recent mass shootings. Words cannot convey the depth of the pain created by repeated tragedy and generational traumatic loss. On top of this, societal pressures to prioritize productivity over well-being deny us the healing that is essential to our humanity. Grieving is overwhelming. Yet, grief is often wise; it knows what our bodies and spirits need. 

As a reminder to us all, it is okay to be upset, infuriated, uncertain, and overwhelmed. It is okay to not know what to feel. It is okay to slow down to rest, to breathe deeply, to take a walk in nature. Self-care is not always rooted in individualism. Often, we heal in community. As we heal together, we can restore ourselves. We can then propel forward together and take action to promote gun safety legislation and stop endemic gun violence.
Take Action
Support Cambridge HEART’s Petition for American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Those living in Cambridge, MA, can sign Cambridge HEART's Petition to support the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to Cambridge HEART. This is also an opportunity to show your support for making the city’s ARPA funds allocation process more transparent and participatory. 
Mark Your Calendars for the first Trans Pride: A Celebration of Liberation

Transgender Emergency Fund is hosting the first Trans Pride: A Celebration of Liberation, a day of community bonding, healing, food, performances, and activities for the LGBTQ+ community. June 4th, 2022, at Government Center Plaza in Boston. Learn more here.

Attend Alzheimer’s Association’s Virtual Community Forum

Grimes King Foundation for the Elderly supports the Alzheimer’s Association, which is hosting a community forum to share resources and support families in managing a loved one’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia. June 9th, 6:00-7:30 pm. To register, call 1-800-272-3900 or email tkalstonswan@alz.org to sign up for the next forum.

Support Neighborhood Health’s Fundraising Events

BWF grantee Neighborhood Health is holding two fundraising events next month. Attend Pottery Night on June 10th, from 7-9 pm, and decorate your own one-of-a-kind “feminine ware" mug crafted by Pipe Dream Pottery with expert instruction by artist Cat Daze at Indigo Fire Studio. 79R Grove St., Watertown, MA. Get tickets and details here. On June 13th, Neighborhood Health will also host a Reproductive Health Trivia night at Dorchester Brewing Company from 7-9 pm. Eight people per team. Tickets are $15. Get them here.

Attend Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Professionals For Trans Rights Event

Professionals for Trans Rights is BWF grantee Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s annual fundraiser where regional businesses, organizations, and allies can show up for our trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive community. Join in on Tuesday, June 14th, 6-9 pm at Dorchester Brewing Company. 1250 Mass Ave, Boston, MA. Get tickets here

Attend Asian Women For Health’s Annual Meeting 

Interested in getting involved with BWF grantee Asian Women for Health's work? Attend their annual meeting and open house on June 15th from 6-8 pm. CALA, 1060 Broadway, Somerville, MA, 02144. This is a hybrid event. Register here to attend on zoom.  

Sign Up for Sisters Unchained's “A New Beginning” Workshop Series

In partnership with New Beginning Re-entry Services, our grantee Sisters Unchained is hosting three virtual workshops throughout the month of June for women impacted by incarceration/criminal legal system. Their goal is to empower women through intergenerational healing. 

The “Radical Abolitionist Healing Workshop” is writing-based and focused on inner child healing while exploring untold stories of women abolitionists and considering what radical abolitionist healing looks like. “What is Restorative Justice and Transformative Justice?” explores alternatives for justice beyond the system, and “All About Microaggressions” examines the impact of microaggressions, how you can respond to and heal from them, and creates a safe space for women to support one another in navigating daily oppression. View their schedule here. To sign up, email info@sistersunchained.com

Support the Prison Moratorium 

Learn about the Prison Moratorium Bill to stop the new women's prison project and create an opportunity to address the root causes of incarceration by shifting the state's spending priorities. To learn more and call your State Senator, go here

Challenge Racism Through Programs Geared Toward White Allies

For white allies and accomplices who are looking to deepen their learning on how gender, sexuality, and socio-economic background intersect with the work of interracial, intergenerational, anti-racist community building, our team has compiled a list of upcoming programs. 

White People Challenging Racism hosts an antiracism workshop called Moving from Talk to Action. The next session is from July 26th through Aug 23rd. Community Change Inc. also runs a range of initiatives and programs for white folks to learn, network, and act to address racism in Greater Boston and beyond. Lastly, you can also sign up for SURJ Boston’s virtual Weekly Action Hours for a regular time to take action collectively. Facilitators guide participants through a series of calls and emails to politicians, as well as petitions, fundraisers, and more, offering important context and support.
Inside BWF
What We’re Reading: Abortion in U.S. History,” an article by Planned Parenthood; The ACLU’s mini-guide to talking about abortion; “Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice,” a book by Stillman, Fried, Ross and Gutiérrez.
 
What We’re Watching: Mia Mingus’ keynote speech at the 2018 ​​Disability Intersectionality Summit; “Youth v Gov,” a documentary about 21 youth climate activists pursuing a lawsuit against the US government; and 16-year-old Logan Green’s spoken word performance on the adultification of Black Girls. 

What We’re Listening to:Finding Me”, Viola Davis’ memoir; Wu Fei, a composer, singer, and master of the guzheng, the 21-string Chinese zither; and “A Seat at the Table” by Solange.
*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.
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