Last year, America celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, a right won by women who dared to imagine a greater future for themselves and the broader community. As we approach the 101st anniversary of women’s suffrage, we continue to commemorate and celebrate. The reasons are many. As our country welcomed Kamala Harris, its first female vice president, into office, we have seen how women across the United States have continued moving communities forward. Whether by leading nonprofits back to organizational stability, providing care for more than 125 million individuals with COVID-19, or advocating for accessible childcare so that parents can continue contributing to their family’s economic livelihoods.
Women move us forward with their ideas and inventions, constant care, and physical and emotional labor. As the anniversary of the 19th Amendment reminds us, women’s history is full of figures who exemplify leadership, grace, courage, and resilience – a resilience women often tap into, especially in the face of insurmountable barriers. The Crimsonbridge Foundation recognizes and believes in the close connection between building women and girls’ power and seeing communities thrive.
For these reasons, we are committed to increasing women’s representation in leadership positions to create positive and more inclusive systemic change. In 2020, more than one-third of the Foundation’s leadership grants went towards Women and Girls Leadership. The Foundation doubled its grantmaking impact and partnered with six nonprofit organizations to invest in cultivating leadership, encouraging civic engagement, and building women’s power to combat structural barriers to success.
The following six partner organizations have moved local and national communities of women and girls forward in many ways. In the last year, these organizations have created timely resources, fostered dialogue, connected people with diverse leadership role models, implemented training for growing skills and sustaining wellness, and met leaders’ specific needs with training, networks, and support.
Girl Scouts Council of the Nation’s Capital delivered leadership training focused on connection, discovery, and “taking action” to girls of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Girls on the Run of Montgomery County utilized creative strategies to ensure that costs, transportation, and physical, emotional, and intellectual accommodations would not be barriers for girls wishing to participate in their programming.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research brought together researchers, advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss strategies for building women’s leadership and political participation. She Should Run created the “Breaking Barriers” webinar series to facilitate critical conversations about common challenges and inspire women historically underrepresented in political leadership to consider running for office.
Washington Area Women’s Foundation centered the voices of young women and gender-expansive youth of color in their Young Women’s Initiative by investing in youth-led projects to advance gender and racial equity in the District of Columbia. Washington School for Girls adapted their “Courageous Women, Compassionate Leaders (CWCL)” initiatives to a distance learning platform so that their elementary and middle school students could continue participating in social, emotional learning, and leadership development initiatives during the pandemic.
Each year, the anniversary of women’s right to vote reminds us of a transformative victory that continues to inspire and shape our country. Join us in commemorating and supporting organizations that advocate for women and girls’ leadership and civic engagement, and work to increase representation for all women.
Learn more about our community partners here, and visit our website this fall to see our 2021 grantee community partners in Women and Girls Leadership.