My name is Jessica Arzate, and I proudly support the work of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon as the Board’s Vice President and Grants Committee Chair.
Over the past few months, the Foundation has been working with rabia (ruby) shirazi and the team at (re)solution lab to examine, challenge, and transform our own equity analysis at an organizational level. We are not the first foundation, nor will we be the last, to begin to make deep and meaningful shifts to our work in our ongoing pursuit of intersectional gender equity.
One of our most significant areas of reflection has been the examination of the voting system we've used for grantmaking over the past three years. Collective investment and shared decision-making are laudable goals that we will continue to incorporate into our work. However, we also know that many of our practices have unintentionally created barriers to membership for lots of folks, resulting in too many voices being left out of our voting system and, therefore, our grantmaking efforts.
The voting system will continue to be in place for this year’s grant cycle, however it may look very different next year. Our commitment is to developing a model that is driven and informed by equity because that is what it truly will take to create an Oregon where every woman, girl, and femme can thrive.
Equity in action takes more than just time. It takes leadership and a collective of individuals who are committed to challenge their assumptions, recognize the ways in which the privilege and power of white feminism and philanthropy have been paramount. I feel deep gratitude and appreciation for the thoughtful approach of the Women’s Foundation and know that we are ready to adapt and transform.
We're committed to keeping all of our members and stakeholders informed as we keep moving forward in our journey.
Stat of the Month
Perpetrators have sexually or domestically assaulted more than 1 million Oregon women and girls. That’s more than half the female population of the state.
Join us for our 4th Annual Reception on May 16, 2018 from 5:30-7:30 at Elysian Ballroom in downtown Portland. Learn about the impactful work of this year's amazing grantees and connect with other individuals deeply committed to an Oregon where every woman and girl can thrive. We'll collectively award $100,000 in member-supported, intersectional gender equity grants and share highlights about the Foundation. Child care is available on-site, but please register and include name(s) & age(s) in the RSVP.
May 13, 2018 is the deadline for members and guests to RSVP for the Annual Reception.This event is free of charge.
This year's participatory grants voting cycle will be open from April 30 - May 13, so make sure to update your membership now! Be on the lookout for electronic ballots delivered to your inboxes next week.
Name: Brie Richards Age: 27 Occupation: Database & Office Administrator at Women’s Foundation of Oregon Member since: June 2017 Gender pronouns: She/Hers
Why are you a member of the Women’s Foundation? Because I am deeply passionate about the mission, the work, and intersectional equity for all women and girls! And because I work here. :)
What quality do you most admire in others? Compassion and conviction.
What was your first volunteer experience? I was a Girl Scout for a very long time, and one of the tenants of being a Girl Scout is service to the community. I remember volunteering at the McCall Senior Center to play Go-Fish with the folks gathered there for community - it was great!
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Growing a human and becoming a mother - just 6 more weeks to go!
Why is gender equity important to you? Intersectional gender equity is deeply important to me because women and girls and people who identify as women and girls have faced oppression and voicelessness for too long. It is important to me that all women and girls are given opportunities to grow, lead, and create a society that will continue to empower every part of who they are. I am proud of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon for creating a space and a pathway through which this work is possible!
What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Kayaking on a quiet, lazy river surrounded by nature, taking plenty of pit stops on the shore to enjoy food, beer, and sunshine.
What makes you laugh uncontrollably? My partner - especially when he impersonates me!
Thanks so much, Brie!
Make a Difference - Vote!
The Foundation's grantmaking cycle this year coincides with Oregon's May 15th Primary Election. In addition to casting your ballot to invest in organizations transforming their communities on behalf of women and girls, make sure you also remember to vote for statewide and local candidates whose leadership and decision-making reflects a gender lens. Mail in or drop off your ballot before 8pm on Election Day to ensure your vote gets counted.
April 27 (4-8pm): Take Back The Day And Night for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Southern Oregon University, Ashland Survivor Circle at 4pm in the Rogue River Room; Pizza with the W at the Women’s Resource Center at 5pm; Yoga at Shasta and McLoughlin Residence Hall Courtyard at 6:30pm; and Keynote Speaker and Take Back the Night Rally at 7pm.
May 4:Reducing STIs: What’s Going On?, online Join Oregon Health Authority for a series of webinars: Oregon’s Approach to Youth Sexual Health. While rates of teen pregnancy have decreased, the same cannot be said for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). What’s the story? Learn about current rates, efforts to decrease stigma and prevent STIs, and discuss some systemic obstacles related to STI prevention that are making this particular goal of the Youth Sexual Health Plan our most perplexing.
May 8-10:Northwest Justice Forum 2018, Southern Oregon University, Ashland The NW Justice Forum fosters the gathering of individuals committed to, or interested in learning about, the principles and values of restorative justice. We gather to increase understanding, share practical application, ensure cultural inclusion, and explore theoretical implications of living and working restoratively in the Northwest.
May 12 (7-8pm): SUPER: WOMEN IN TECH Live Storytelling, Aladdin Theater, Portland For the second year, we’re presenting amazing stories from folks in the tech industry! Funny, poignant, moving and compelling stories.
May 18: Sexual Health Promotion is Sexual Violence Prevention, online Inclusion of sexual violence prevention efforts within the state’s Youth Sexual Health Plan was a big deal ten years ago, and now more than ever the connection of “sexual health promotion is sexual violence prevention” is a central tenet of Oregon’s approach. Learn about current efforts to improve and expand sexual violence prevention programming in schools and communities throughout the state.
May 20-23: New Visions for Safety, Equity, and Justice, Sunriver The Oregon Coalition's annual conference invites domestic and sexual violence advocacy program staff, community partners, social workers, government officials, and others throughout the state to learn, network and develop new tools to take back to their communities.
Mar 28 - Oct 27: Manahatta, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland Nagle’s story illuminates the tragic consequences of commercial exploits, including the removal of Native people and the attempted eradication of their culture, that gave rise to the America we know today. Securities trader Jane Snake is torn between worlds. Her return to Wall Street in 2008 brings her to Manahatta (“island of many hills” in Lenape), the homeland her ancestors were violently forced to leave in the 1600s. Meanwhile, her family in Oklahoma struggles to save their language, their culture and their over-mortgaged home. Jane Snake’s return to Manahatta defiantly demonstrates that the Lenape are still here.
News to Know
The Guardian: The Mother Load America is failing mothers. From shamefully short maternity leaves to crushing childcare costs, from high maternal death rates to uneven distribution of household chores, the Guardian’s series The Mother Load explores why it’s harder to be a mother in America than in any other developed country.
Dame: Who's Protecting Home-care Workers in the #MeToo Era? About nine in ten home-care workers are women, and more than half of them people of color. There are an estimated 2.9 million people like June Barrett working in homes as health care and personal care attendants, a range of work that exists under a patchwork of state and federal labor protections and is paid for by a patchwork of public and private funds. All of this means that it’s very easy for workers to slip through the cracks, to remain unprotected by the law.
Rewire News: Women of Color Bear the Brunt of the Gender Pay Gap Over half a century after the signing of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women are still paid less than men, are more likely to live in poverty, and comprise the vast majority of workers in low-wage jobs. While this represents a “grave” concern to women at all wage levels and within every occupational and educational category, the numbers show that the gender pay gap is a double whammy for women of color, who not only earn less than white men but consistently fare worse than even their white counterparts in the job market.
TIME: Student Walkouts Have Changed American History Before. Here's How Though they may not be old enough to vote, students are making their voices heard outside the nation’s schools — in some cases, by physically getting up and leaving. TIME reached out to people who participated in three of the 20th century’s biggest school walkouts. In each case, the participants tell TIME that the decision to walk out of their school buildings indicated that times were desperate. Walking out happened when other attempts to get attention failed.
Colorlines: Students of Color Condemn Proposals to Arm Teachers During #NationalWalkoutDay Per a press call with youth activists that was organized by the Women’s March on Monday (March 12), in addition to standing in solidarity with Stoneman Douglas, many students of color also demanded that lawmakers divest from plans to enlist more police officers and arm teachers in schools, and invest in more mental health professionals and better school infrastructure.
Portland Mercury: The Unlikely Hiker Jenny Bruso is Making Space for Those Who Feel Shut Out of the Outdoors. Bruso set out on a digital quest to find those marginalized and underrepresented people who also were going against the grain and enjoying the outdoors, defying the stereotypical embodiment of an “adventurer.”
As a Women’s Foundation of Oregon member, you’re joining a community of over 800 individuals who donate their time, efforts, and/or funds to improve the lives of women and girls in Oregon.
Become a member or renew now, and you'll receive our annual membership gift - the Count Me In Calendar! The calendar offers 52 weeks of powerful actions to bolster your capacity as an agent of change for women and girls in your community.
Join us and strengthen our collective force for gender equity in Oregon.