The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) has announced a total of $50,000 in grant funding to five organizations for proposals to advance gender equity.

“The grant process was very competitive. 26 non-profit organizations submitted proposals for a combined request of $211,000 in funding. Each proposal was subject to a rigorous review by a team of community volunteers with training in gender-lens giving. These programs clearly rose to the top,” said Christina Castle, WFRI Board Member and Chair of the Grant Review Team.

Grantees were asked to focus their proposals on addressing one or more of WFRI’s 2019 advocacy priorities, including disparities for Women of Color, and more generally, economic justice and access to reproductive health and freedom.

The Grant Recipients

The grant recipients and awarded programs are:

Building Futures- “Women in the Trades” leadership program to grow the percentage of women in the building and construction trade, promote stories of women succeeding in the trades and identifying/addressing structural barriers to women’s success in the trades.

Girls Rock- “Changing Our Tune Project” to decrease the incidence of gender based violence within the music and creative community and provide resources to survivors and community members. The project will train owners and staff of local music venues, as well as bookers/promoters, musicians, artists and audience members in sexual harassment and violence prevention. Includes creating resources to support the work.

RI Black Business Association- “Emerging Professionals Program” designed to create a leadership pipeline of women of color.

“With Black and Latina women making lower wages than white women, addressing the issue of income equality is critical to ending poverty. Ten thousand dollars can go a long way in closing the skills and leadership gap among women of color, and that’s why this grant is so important,” said Lisa Ranglin, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA).

This is the first program proposed to specifically offer a solution the “double jeopardy” hypothesis which renders Black women “invisible” when being considered for hiring or promotion.

Sista Fire- addressing the maternal health crisis that Black women, women of color and their children face within RI. Funds will allow SistaFire to provide leadership development training with a focus on maternal health and related systemic inequities, and engage members in participatory resource to deepen the understanding of women of color’s experience in pregnancy and birth. Funding will also help to create “Perinatal Safe Spots” in RI.

Planned Parenthood- Funding would provide support for the RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom to protect and advance access to reproductive health care through advocacy and legislative action. The goal is to build an inclusive, intersectional reproductive justice movement that recognizes how race, gender, poverty, and citizenship status impact society’s marginalized communities.