November 10, 2022


In a historic election, we in Massachusetts elected the first Black woman for state attorney general, Andrea Campbell, and the nation’s first openly gay woman for governor, Maura Healey! Incredible efforts by grassroots leaders secured a yes on The Fair Share Amendment (Ballot Question 1), taxing incomes greater than $1 million. And, after many years of fighting for undocumented individuals’ access to driver's licenses, The Safer Roads Campaign (Ballot Question 4) passed, upholding the new law. 

The Boston Women's Fund team is excited about this progress, and we are reminded that none of this could’ve happened in a silo. We've been thinking about the pitfalls of individualism. American mainstream society encourages us all to be independent, to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” when we struggle. But we’ve seen such thinking sow division among people who are ultimately striving for the same thing — freedom.

The debate over affirmative action and other recent events have created tension between Black, Jewish, and Asian-American communities, in the lead-up to mid-term elections, no less. It can be challenging, in moments like this, to see the long game — that our liberation is tied together.

We know that a collective is stronger than any one person or any one group. Women protesting in Iran are calling for freedom from oppression, and that movement isn’t just one pin in one specific place, it’s a point connected by threads that crisscross the world. The same thread extends to women, girls, and gender-expansive people in Ukraine who are still experiencing food insecurity and gender-based violence due to the war. The thread certainly runs across our own backyard — from anti-trans legislation at an all-time high, to attacks on our reproductive health, to hate crimes and antisemitic rhetoric.

Women, girls, and gender-expansive folks, especially those who are people of color, elderly, immigrants, refugees, disabled, LGBTQIA+ or low-income earners, need support now more than ever. It’s long been a strategy to divide oppressed people fighting for justice, but history has shown that when we join forces, movements are supercharged and real change is driven. 

As Maya Angelou said, “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” Now is the time for us all to commit to spaces of dialog, to deepen our understanding of one another. Now is the time to support organizations working for collective change. 

Our grantees are building movements and collective power, strengthening communities in Greater Boston and beyond. We mean it when we say we envision a world where power, opportunity, and access exist for those persistently marginalized. You can support the women in Iran calling for change at this link. Read on for more on how you can take action for women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals in Greater Boston, join BWF’s upcoming fundraising campaign, and more.
“The death of my son has shown me that whatever happens to any of us had better be the business of all of us.” 

— Mamie Till-Mobley, mother of Emmett Till 
Learn more about BWF’s impact through the story of one of our grantees
Leslie Credle is the founder and CEO of Justice 4 Housing (J4H), a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals. Leslie knows how discriminatory practices impact formerly incarcerated people’s lives.

Her own complex experience as a returning citizen* seeking housing for her and her family fueled her drive to change Boston’s flawed system while helping others find a safe, permanent place to live.

Leslie transformed her pain into purpose. In just under two years, thanks to J4H’s custom approach, 60 previously incarcerated women have moved into homes of their own. The organization has also reunited 100% of mothers in the program with their children. But J4H's path to success didn't begin quickly.
*A returning citizen is a person who was formerly incarcerated. This language reduces stigma and honors the fullness of their humanity.
Join the Movement
What is required?

We do all the set up for you. We'll create your personal fundraising page, provide training, and hook you up with template emails, texts, and social posts that you can customize to share with your friends and fam. Check out our Champion toolkit here. All you have to do is tell the world why BWF matters to you!

Why is this Important?

November 29th is Giving Tuesday, one of the biggest days of community philanthropy all year. It's an opportunity for friends, families, and neighbors to discover and get excited about our mission and our work. The funds raised through these initiatives help power programs for women, girls, and gender-expansive leaders all year round!
Apply for the Women in Entrepreneurship Program
Are you a woman of color looking for support in growing your business? Would you like to be a part of an amazing community of women of color entrepreneurs? Apply to join Women of Color Entrepreneurship’s next cohort by November 18!

This program offers:
  • Long-term mentorship
  • Tailored programming
  • Peer sessions 
  • 1:1 assistance on business growth issues (goal setting, applying to grants and loans and building a repeatable sales process)
  • Curated access to potential partners, customers, lenders and investors

Reach out to with any questions.
Apply for a Sabbatical Program for Black and Indigenous Executive Leaders
The Black & Indigenous Resistance Fund’s Sabbatical Program is for executive leaders who identify as Black and/or Indigenous and who lead social justice organizations rooted in BIPOC communities in Massachusetts. The program offers these leaders the opportunity to take space and time for reflection, review, and renewal, absent the stress of financial concerns and operational demands. The sabbatical program is also committed to helping to support the applicant organization’s needs during the sabbatical period.  

  • Be an executive-level Black and/or Indigenous leader at a justice/equity-centered or community service-oriented organization rooted in a BIPOC community in Massachusetts
  • Have served in a leadership position at your organization for a minimum of 3 years
  • A minimum of 51% of your organization’s leadership (executive leadership, management, and trustees/board) identifies as BIPOC

For more details on the program, visit

Applications close Jan. 15th 2023
Take Action
Support Taller Salud’s Hurricane Relief Fund for Puerto Rico

Taller Salud is a community-run feminist organization in Puerto Rico dedicated to improving healthcare access for women, reducing violence, and encouraging economic growth through activism. After Hurricane Fiona, they created a Hurricane Relief Fund, providing essential goods and clean drinking water to more than 10,000 families in Puerto Rico. Learn more and donate to their efforts here.

Nominate an AAPI woman or non-binary individual for AAWPI’s National Civic Impact Fellowship and Incubator

BWF grantee Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI) is accepting nominations (and self nominations) for AAWPI's National Civic Impact Fellowship and Incubator. AAWPI will support Asian-American or Pacific Islander women or non-binary individuals with up to $10,000 to design and implement a civic impact project. They’ll also receive training, mentorship, and a deep, supportive community to help them bring their ideas to life. Nominations close November 31st. Get more details and make a nomination here

Volunteer Communications Support to BWF Grantees

Are you a communications professional that's passionate about grassroots organizations serving BIPOC, elderly, disabled, immigrant, refugee or low-income communities? We're looking to connect our grantees with volunteers who can support and boost their communications efforts. If you're interested, email for more info.

Volunteer or Donate to Merrimack Valley Black And Brown Voices’ Annual Thanksgiving Grocery Fund 

Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Voices’ Thanksgiving Grocery Fund helps Black and Brown families of the Merrimack Valley who are in need of assistance put a Thanksgiving meal on their dinner tables. They give away Market Basket gift cards, each with the value of a Thanksgiving grocery purchase. Amounts are varied based on family size. Donate to the fund or sign up to volunteer today! Get more information here. To volunteer, email or join their Facebook volunteer group.

Attend Sisters Unchained’s Fall Workshops and Drop-Ins

BWF grantee Sisters Unchained is holding a series of workshops and drop-ins open to the public this fall.

Intergenerational Sisters: Weekly workshop drop-in space for education and peer-to-peer support for formerly incarcerated women and daughters affected by parental incarceration. Inner-child healing, abolition in the past and present, healthy relationships, self-esteem, self-love, and more. Tuesdays, 5-6pm on Zoom. Email for details.

Cocoon Collective: Weekly drop-in space where young women and girls affected by incarceration can receive academic support and mentorship as well as work on goals. Mondays, 4-5pm on Zoom. To join, email

Fall Intensive: For Sisters Unchained participants to learn about abolition and social justice and explore creative expression and creative advocacy. Learn new ways to deal with daily stress and deepen commitment to individual and collective healing. All youth will receive a stipend for their participation. Wednesdays, 4:00-5:00pm on Zoom. Thursdays 4:00-5:30pm at New Beginning Re-Entry Services. Email for details.
Inside BWF
Reading:Beloved,” By Toni Morrison and a book on attachment science and relationships called "Platonic" by Marisa G. Franco, PhD.

Watching: Tracy Ellis Ross’ docuseries about Hair and Black Identity, “The Hair Tales;” “The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, “Tina—The Tina Turner Musical,” “Junior Bake Off,” and "The Curse of Bridge Hollow."

Listening to:Candied Daylight” by Jennah Bell; an episode of The Daily called “Why the Supreme Court Might End Affirmative Action,” and a podcast by Meghan Markle dissecting labels that hold women back called, “Archetypes.” 
*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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