Giving Guide: Women’s History Month - The Long Island Community Foundation
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March 2, 2023   |   By the Long Island Community Foundation
Giving Guide: Women’s History Month

Photo courtesy of Hot Bread Kitchen

Women’s History Month honors the contributions of all the women and girls who have built and changed our culture and society. While progress has been made since Sojourner Truth demanded women’s rights across gender, race, and class—“Ain’t I a woman?”—our country’s journey toward gender equity and justice continues. Here are some nonprofits we have supported that are training the next generation of leaders, promoting economic mobility, and combating gender-based violence.

BUILDING LEADERSHIP

Youth development programs for girls provide a safe, welcoming space for them to talk about unique concerns and connect with peers and caring adults. With preparation and support, girls and young women can educate others about the issues that are important to them and advocate for solutions. These nonprofits create opportunities for young people to build leadership skills, find mentors to help them develop their voices, and mobilize to pursue social change.

The Butterfly Effect Project works with about 500 girls on Long Island, providing them with a community and safe space to talk about the issues on their minds, while also learning skills to build healthy relationships, address bullying, prepare for college, and volunteer. Its premise, like the “butterfly effect,” is that small efforts early in life can greatly alter future outcomes for the better.

Girl Be Heard trains teen girls to use theater and storytelling to advocate for social change. Participants have performed at venues including the United Nations, New York City Hall, the national Women’s March, and the State Department to advocate on issues including gender-based violence, gun violence, and food insecurity.

GOOD for Girls leads a program in Westchester County that matches girls ages 9 to 18 with women who serve as mentors. Through mentoring sessions, workshops, and field trips, the group helps girls build socio-emotional skills, feel empowered, commit to learning, and access support.

New Hour for Women & Children works to increase the leadership and advocacy skills of women directly impacted by the criminal justice system. It provides comprehensive support during and after incarceration to promote well-being, strengthen parenting skills, develop workplace skills, and help women achieve successful reentry and self-sufficiency.

SUPPORTING ECONOMIC MOBILITY AND JUSTICE

Women make up about half of the city’s workforce, but are overrepresented in low-wage industries and are often paid less than their male counterparts. The wage gap is especially pronounced among women of color. Women who are immigrants often face additional challenges in finding employment and obtaining culturally sensitive support in their native languages.

Hot Bread Kitchen serves low-income women of color through culinary training, computer literacy, and English-as-a-second-language programs. It works with Eataly, Google, Whole Foods, and other employers to place participants in jobs. It also runs a small-business incubator that helps food start-ups run by women transition to independence and recently moved into a 10,000-square-foot space in Chelsea Market that once housed the Food Network Test Kitchen.

La Fuerza Unida Community Development Corporation provides access to capital, business development services, and financial coaching for small businesses owned by low-income immigrant women, particularly women of color, living on Long Island.

Women for Afghan Women is run and led by Afghan women, providing workforce training and legal services in six languages. Many of the women it serves do not read and write in either their native languages or English, and two-thirds live in poverty; often they have never attended school or worked outside of the home. Women receive individualized case management support that can help them pursue further education, access mental health support, prepare college applications and resumes, enroll in skills-training programs, and find job placements.

COMBATING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

The worldwide #MeToo movement has brought increased attention to the longstanding inequities, discrimination, and gender-based violence disproportionately impacting the country’s girls and women. The nonprofits below offer culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services to survivors as they heal.

Her Justice recruits volunteer pro-bono lawyers to represent low-income women in family, matrimonial, and immigration law cases. Eighty percent of its clients are survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. It also operates a weekly telephone hotline and conducts know-your-rights workshops, and advocates to improve the systems that ensure access to child support, financial autonomy, and freedom from abuse.

Safe Horizon operates eight domestic violence shelters across the five boroughs. It provides therapeutic care and case management to women and children living at its shelters through teams of trained social workers. With support from The Trust, it has built out a program that offers clinical mental health services onsite and administers behavioral health screenings to children.

Sakhi for South Asian Women provides linguistically and culturally appropriate services to South Asian survivors of gender-based and domestic violence. Sakhi provides survivors with case management and mental health services, safety planning, job-seeking assistance, a food pantry, and help to navigate the legal system. It works with other South Asian groups to identify and support victims of domestic violence, and advocates for improving the cultural sensitivity and language capacity of city services and agencies.

This list is not exhaustive. There are many incredible nonprofits helping make our region a better place for all; we seek to highlight a few that may not be on your radar, but please reach out to our philanthropic advising department at info@licf.org if you would like recommendations tailored to your charitable goals.

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Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marie C. Smith
Director of Donor Relations and Communications
(631) 991-8800, ext. 223
msmith@licf.org

Get our media kit

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