31 January 2011

Grantee Round-Up: Grantees Making Waves Nationwide

What have Ms. Foundation for Women grantees been up to lately? Read below to learn how the groups we support are changing the world around us -- one day at a time.
  • Joining forces with more than 70 other organizations, Ms. Foundation grantee Wider Opportunities for Women issued a statement in support of the affordable transportation proposal outlined by President Obama in his State of the Union address. As these projects, and debate around them, moves forward, WOW will work to ensure that women and communities of color get their fair share of the many expected jobs and contracting opportunities in construction, maintenance and operations that a national investment in improving our transportation infrastructure is likely to create.
  • A new tool unveiled by the Western States Center might help revolutionize the way grassroots organizations work -- and how effective they are in the long-term. “Capitol Gains: Traditional Vs. Movement Building Approach” is designed to help organizations move beyond organizing around legislative issues alone, by showing them how to incorporate long-term movement-building approaches into their organizing strategies. An initiative of WSC's VOTE (Voter Organizing Training and Empowerment) program, the report offers a useful chart for identifying key differences between legislative versus movement-building outcomes; make sure to download [pdf] your copy today.
  • On the heels of a new report highlighting the positive impact of California's Family Leave legislation -- which provides eligible employees up to six weeks of family leave at "55 percent of their usual weekly earnings...to bond with a new child or to care for a seriously ill family member" -- the National Partnership for Women and Families re-doubled their efforts to implement similar legislation across the US. The report, conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the City University of New York, surveyed hundreds of California residents, business owners and employees alike, who were affected by the legislation. Notably, researchers found that "nearly 87 percent of employers in California have not experienced significant cost increases as a result of the state’s paid leave program," and "89 percent or more have experienced an unnoticeable or positive effect on productivity, profitability and turnover." Talk about a program worth replicating... Tell leaders in your state: everybody deserves paid family leave!
  • The National Women's Law Center is collecting signatures for a sign-on letter to the House and Senate in support of funding for early childhood education. If you represent a national, state or local organization, now's the time to do your part to ensure that all children receive the quality care and education they deserve. They'll be accepting additions to their list of supporting organizations until February 1 -- so act now. (In other news, NWLC was mentioned last week by Nicholas Kristof in his column for the New York Times about abortion rights and religiously affiliated hospitals. Read it and weep.)
  • The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights successfully mobilized a campaign in support of an undocumented individual who had been detained and threatened with deportation after a routine traffic violation unearthed his immigration status. Jonathan Sanchez was eventually released on bail after an onslaught of faxes, emails and telephone calls arguing for his freedom, and against the collusion of county police and ICE (collaborations that put hundreds of people like Jonathan in jail each year), successfully pressured the Sheriff to release him. Congrats to NNIRR for their remarkable work on behalf of immigrants everywhere.
  • Last week, Ms. Foundation grantee LIFETIME launched an innovative media campaign in opposition to proposed budgets cuts in the state of California. During a protest outside the Capitol, members of the organization -- which helps low-income parents enroll in, continue and successfully complete higher education and training -- unveiled posters using images from the the film "Twins" to compare current Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget cuts to those of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger -- and not favorably. Brown's proposed budget will cut nearly $12.5 billion from the state budget, in part by putting vital social services, like California's welfare-to-work program, on the chopping block. The ABC local affiliate, Fox40, and the San Francisco Chronicle all picked up on LIFETIME's campaign; as states across the country struggle to balance their budgets, expect to see more cuts like the ones Brown is proposing coming soon to a  municipality near you.
  • Together with students in an Environmental Planning class at the University of New Orleans, grantee organization the Louisiana Bucket Brigade recently conducted an analysis of oil, chemical and hazardous substance releases in Louisiana during the 2009 calendar year. After mapping the results, the group found that of the 1,605 incidents reported in the Gulf of Mexico that year, 112 occurred in marsh environments and 315 were within a mile of a school, "demonstrating that oil and chemical spills are a large problem in Louisiana both on and offshore" -- and leaving Louisiana's school children and its low-income residents (who are more likely to live along the wetlands) at increased risk for exposure to environmental toxins. 
  • And just in case you missed our shout-out late last week, take a little time now to watch Ms. Foundation grantee Domestic Workers United represent (!) on "The Colbert Report." DWU Organizer Christine Yvette Lewis speaks truth to power here on the topic of domestic workers' rights -- 100-percent-not-to-be-missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment