Blog

Women's Fund of Rhode Island

05-15-2020
Anna Zoodsma
According to the Bureau of Labor, 83% of people working in the field of social work are women. Additionally, the field is often described as a “female majority, male-dominated” occupation due to the distribution of power among most social workers. That is staggering! As someone who has spent time working with at-risk teens in a wilderness setting and with their families in their homes, this gender stratification has been my experience as well. I and the majority of my colleagues are female, though all members of the board of directors that I work with are male.
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04-30-2020
Stephanie Huckel
The definition of “ally” has shifted a bit for me in the past decade. The word itself still means the same thing — a person who supports a community of which they do not personally identify. My view of who has the authority to use the word and how it is used has shifted. I used to view “ally” as a personal identity. To be a good ally, I kept listening and watching those I wanted to support. As a queer person, I listen to and watch the actions of those who call themselves allies to my community and me. Things didn’t always line up as neatly as I would have liked.
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04-13-2020
Vanessa Volz
Before COVID-19, rates of domestic and sexual violence were distressingly high, and after this era comes to a close, incidents will still occur at alarming rates.
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03-06-2020
Women's Fund of Rhode Island
I had seen just a glimpse of the battlefield ahead and couldn’t have cared less about his ideas, mainly because he wasn’t looking for feedback. 
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02-28-2020
Mara Tractenberg
Art can be a tool to challenge dominant ideas about social and political issues. Art that addresses social justice issues has changed the thoughts, ideas, preconceptions, and beliefs of the people who are viewing it, which in turn can cause pollical and social change.
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01-29-2020
Daniella Habib
The first time I heard of a doula was my first week as an intern at WFRI. I attended an event celebrating the passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act in Rhode Island. While everyone was incredibly proud that the RPA had passed, many felt disappointed that Bill H5609 did not. Known as the Doula Bill, it would have allowed care by a doula to be covered by Medicaid. I didn’t recognize how instrumental doulas are in the lives of pregnant women until I read Dr. Ayana Moore’s story in the Washington Post. In February 2019, Dr. Moore spoke to the newspaper and discussed her first delivery by Cesarean section, describing it as “extremely traumatic” when her doctor refused to listen to her when she said she could feel pain during the procedure. For her second pregnancy, Dr. Moore hired a doula.
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09-24-2019
Farah Faye
The day I experienced the most extreme case of bias in my career was supposed to be a typical day. I was giving a presentation to a group of middle-aged investors, some of whom I had known from previous business experiences. They were all men, but I was used to that. In Fintech (financial technology), you're always presenting to a group of men.
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09-17-2019
Tim Lehnert
The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) recently announced $50,000 in grant funding to five organizations. WFRI was launched in 2001, and since then its WFRI Grant Program has awarded more than $700,000 to Rhode Island organizations and programs empowering women and girls. In the most recent cycle of funding, prospective grantees were asked to focus on one or more of WFRI’s 2019 advocacy priorities, which include disparities for Women of Color, economic justice and reproductive health and freedom.
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08-22-2019
Kelly Nevins
Monday, August 26 is Women's Equality Day, commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment. A century ago, women in this country were not allowed to vote, yet many Americans take that right for granted today. One out of three eligible women fails to exercise her right (CAWP, 2019).
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08-05-2019
Paula Hodges
My work in the common good and political advocacy sectors are defined by the women who brought me up in the world. My impatience stems from seeing the slow pace of change for gender norms in the home where I grew up. My career was unfathomable as a naive Missouri farm girl. Then I met Mindy. She was a pay-it-forward manager and chief of staff who hired me as an intern and wouldn't let me go. She coached and navigated me around every career pivot and barrier. Networks are a constellation of mentors, pipelines, alma maters - professional and personal associations. Often these networks are implicit. They expand the obstacles that divide those who were born into the norms of public service and those of us who stumble upon public service after strife and righteous indignation call us to change the world.
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