September 22, 2022


Happy Fall! Today marks the very first day of a new season. But before we step into autumn, we'd like to reflect on a few of the exciting highlights from our summer at Boston Women's Fund.

This summer, we hired six radical youth leaders in our summer Youth in Transformative Philanthropy Initiative. Together, they learned about philanthropy, participated in workshops and led a phenomenal $25,000 grantmaking round to fund a youth-focused organization in Greater Boston. 

After community nominations, interviews with grassroots leaders, and a formal consensus-based review process, their work culminated in August with the selection of one organization to join the BWF family. We’re so excited to welcome Blackyard as our first Youth-Centered Movement Building and Activism Grantee! Blackyard is a transformative learning community for Black youth combating racism and homophobia. Featuring afterschool programming, music and art activities, family support, and dialog about racial justice, the organization is an inclusive space for all Black youth, including queer youth, to learn, lead, organize, and develop programming plans and bring them to life. We’re excited about Blackyard’s impact in the community, and we can’t wait to continue to share their work with you.

We were so impressed by the strength of our youth leaders’ creative ideas, passion for social justice, and leadership throughout the summer. We want to send a huge thank you to them for their time and efforts. In doing so, we must also thank and bid a bittersweet farewell to the team that led them: Sam Garcia and Genielysse Reyes, our two incredible summer Youth Coordinators, and Samantha Hale, our Director of Organizational Development and Culture. As we continued to develop our vision for how we wanted to show up for women and gender-expansive individuals, our grantees, and our team, Samantha Hale also made countless invaluable contributions to BWF at a pivotal time of growth and exploration. We can’t thank you enough, Samantha, for all of your hard work! You’ll be dearly missed.

We’ve got lots more to share about what’s ahead at BWF. Read on for an opportunity to join an all-star leadership development program, more on the new faces on our team, ways to take action in your community, and a deeper look inside BWF.

“Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.”

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Accepting Applications for 2023 Women of Color Leadership Circle!
BWF is thrilled to share that applications are now open for the 2023 Anna Faith Jones and Frieda Garcia Women of Color Leadership Circle!

This six-month cohort program supports women and gender-expansive leaders of color in the nonprofit sector and advances their leadership journeys. This is far from your standard leadership development program. The Women of Color Leadership Circle (WOCLC) is designed for women of color by women of color. It focuses on restoring the hearts and spirits of today’s nonprofit leaders by combatting the harm many have experienced from enduring white supremacy culture in the workplace. Now in its third year, the WOCLC will be exclusively led by BWF with facilitation support from the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Apply today to:

  • Participate in monthly facilitated sessions curated to be a safe space for belonging, fellowship, learning, unlearning, self-care, and restoration.
  • Get executive coaching by women of color coaches. 
  • Build your network.
  • Experience a leadership-development program tailored for women and gender-expansive leaders of color in the nonprofit sector.
*Applications close October 14th
New Board Leadership
We’re excited to announce new changes within our Board leadership! Introducing Akosua Ampofo Siever, Board Chair; Melissa Tearney, Vice Chair; Amanda Matos-Gonzalez, Treasurer; Virginia Meany, Chair, Finance Committee, and Claudia Thompson, 40th Anniversary Chair. We're looking forward to all that their leadership will bring. We’ll be sharing more about each of these Board Members across our social media in the weeks to come. For now, check out our Get to Know You Q&As with Akosua and Melissa on the BWF blog!
Introducing New Staff Members
The BWF team is growing! We’re pleased to introduce Olivia Lehman, Director of Development and Growth, Kiarah Hortance, Program Associate, and Aisha Woodruff, Director of Communications! Expanding our team strengthens our ability to drive our mission and better serve women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals in Greater Boston and beyond.
Keep an eye on our Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn pages in the coming weeks to learn more about Kiarah and Aisha. Today, you can check out our social media pages for our latest Staff Spotlight Q&A with Olivia!
Take Action
Call to Action: #ProtectTransHealth 

The Biden administration has proposed a new rule that takes major steps forward to protect all trans people from health care discrimination. Everyone should have access to safe and affirming medical care — and no one should have to face discrimination at the doctor’s office. Submit a comment by Sunday, October 2nd to tell the administration that you support the new rule! Make your voice heard here.

Support AFAB’s Annual Celebration and Fundraiser

Next month, the Association of Haitian Women in Boston is holding its annual celebration and fundraiser. Please consider volunteering or sponsoring this event to bolster its success and support Boston’s Haitian community! Saturday, October 22, at 6:30pm on Zoom. For more information, or to RSVP, call 617-287-0096 or email!

Attend Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition's Fall Social and Name Change Clinic
MTPC is co-hosting a Fall Social and Name Change Clinic for trans and nonbinary folks at Transhealth Northampton. They’ll provide answers, advice, and support on the legal name change process alongside their partner Namesake Collaborative. There will also be pumpkin decorating, a clothing exchange, snacks, cider, and more! Sunday, October 2nd.
1pm-4pm. Register here

Attend Asian Women For Health’s 10th CelebrASIANS Benefit Fashion Show
Asian Women for Health is holding their 10th annual CelebrASIANS benefit Fashion Show in Starlight Square in Cambridge. All funds support peer-led support initiatives, breast and cervical cancer education and outreach, and programs fostering intergenerational community and cultural connection among the women they serve. Sunday, October 2nd, 3pm-6pm. Free and open to the public. Register here.
Inside BWF
What We’re Reading: "You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience," by Tarana Burke and Dr. Brené Brown; Communion,” by Bell Hooks; and "Hood Feminism" by Mikki Kendall. 
What We’re Watching: Sheryl Lee Ralph's incredibly moving acceptance speech at The Emmys; TV shows "The Equalizer" (starring Queen Latifah!) and "Vampire Academy," and a powerful documentary about Black maternal health and birth justice called "Aftershock."

What We’re Listening to: "The Black Girl Songbook podcast;" a song by Willow called "Hover like a GODDESS," and this episode of Amanda Seales' podcast on racism experienced by Black girl gymnasts.
*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.
Share this newsletter with others: