Women’s Fund of R.I. grants nearly $50K to 5 local nonprofits

PROVIDENCE – The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island awarded nearly $50,000 in grants to five organizations working on projects intended to advance gender equity and help level the playing field for women and girls in Rhode Island, the nonprofit announced.

Since its launch in 2001, the Women’s Fund grant program has awarded more than $700,000 to organizations and programs in Rhode Island that empower women and girls, according to the nonprofit, whose mission is to eliminate gender inequity in the state through systemic change.

The Women’s Fund said it asked applicants to focus proposals on addressing the group’s priorities, including disparities for women of color and economic equality and access to reproductive health and freedom.

According to a Women’s Fund report, “Women of Color 2018: A Snapshot,” wages of women of color are disproportionate to the overall gender wage gap. Women of color also spend more of their income on housing and have higher poverty rates than their white counterparts. Copies of the report can be accessed at www.wfri.org/research.

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“With Black and Latina women making lower wages than white women, addressing the issue of income equality is critical to ending poverty,” said Lisa Ranglin, CEO and president of the Rhode Island Black Business Association, which received $10,000 for its Emerging Professionals program. “Ten thousand dollars can go a long way in closing the skills and leadership gap among women of color, and that’s why this grant is so important.”

The grant recipients are:

  • Planned Parenthood received $10,000 to provide support for the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom to protect and advance access to reproductive health care through advocacy and legislative action. The goal is to build an inclusive, intersectional reproductive justice movement that recognizes how race, gender, poverty and citizenship status impact society’s marginalized communities.
  • Rhode Island Black Business Association received $10,000 for its Emerging Professionals program designed to create a leadership pipeline of women of color. This is the first program proposed to specifically offer a solution to the “double jeopardy” hypothesis, which the Women’s Fund said renders black women “invisible” when being considered for hiring or promotions.
  • Building Futures received $9,800 for its Women in the Trades leadership program to grow the percentage of women in the building and construction trade, promote stories of women succeeding in the trades and identifying/addressing barriers to women’s success in the trades.
  • Sista Fire received $9,000 to address the health crisis that women of color and their children face in Rhode Island. Funds will allow Sista Fire to provide leadership-development training with a focus on maternal health and related systemic inequities and engage members in participatory resources to deepen the understanding of women of color’s experience in pregnancy and birth. Funding will also help to create “Perinatal Safe Spots” in Rhode Island.
  • Girls Rock received $8,800 for its Changing Our Tune Project to decrease the incidence of gender-based violence within the music and creative community and provide resources to survivors and community members. The project will train owners and staff of local music venues, as well as bookers, promoters, musicians, artists and audience members in sexual harassment and violence prevention.