Our inaugural cohort of WOMEN'S WAY Action Partners are:
Alice Paul Institute: The Alice Paul Institute educates the public about equal rights activist Alice Stokes Paul and furthers her work by providing leadership development programs for women and girls. API presents programs in the larger community and at Paul’s birthplace – Paulsdale in Mt. Laurel, NJ – that highlight the valuable contributions that women have made, and continue to make, to our society. API is based at Paulsdale, the only publicly accessible National Historic Landmark in New Jersey that honors a woman.
Alice Paul Institute……in action: Keyanna Wigglesworth has been a Girls Advisory Committee member for four years and has participated in API events, workshops, trips in addition to being a regular at GAC meetings. Poised and highly intelligent, she wowed a room of lawyers and business women with her speech on GAC at the 2011 Alice Paul Equality Awards. In April, Keyanna ventured to Washington, D.C. to support the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment speaking perceptively on the issue with several members of Congress. In May, Keyanna was accepted to Harvard. We are proud of Keyanna and we wish her well at Harvard where she will be sure to bring Alice Paul and develop herself further as a leader.
Childspace Cooperative Development Inc: Childspace CDI provides a range of services to improve the economic well-being of women in the child care sector. Childspace CDI enhances the effectiveness of child care advocacy in the Philadelphia area by expanding the number of child care practitioners actively involved, and building their capacity to engage their parents, staff and opinion leaders in their neighborhoods. This is accomplished through training, developing leadership and cultivating opportunities for engagement within the CCDI Provider Committee and beyond. All work is done in coordination with regional and statewide coalitions for maximum effectiveness.
Childspace CDI….in action: Aliya has been active in the Provider Committee and attending Childspace CDI financial trainings for the last few years. As a relatively new director she found the training and networking
especially helpful. She learned from the “True Cost of Care” training how to first determine what it actually cost her to provide care for the 68 children in her program, and then to set her rates based on this. As a result she has been able to bring in additional revenue that she has invested back into improve the quality of her program. For example, she is now able to offer her 13 staff paid sick days so they don’t feel they have to come to work when they’re sick or lose pay. Recently, Aliya attended CCDI’s “Money Matters” to develop her fee schedule, and to revise and implement her personnel policies. All of these improvements to her business practices enabled Aliya to hire and keep the qualified staff she needs to meet the Keystone Star 3 level - considered an indication of quality care for young children.
Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County: The Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, Inc., (“DAP”) seeks to prevent domestic violence and is committed to providing services that meet the needs of victims. The Domestic Abuse Project supports an empowerment process, which enables victims to move towards self-sufficiency.
DAP…..in action: “Jane” is a young mother with three children. Jane came to DAP as a result of the physical, verbal, sexual and financial abuse she endured at the hands of her husband. She reported being terrified, in a great deal of pain, and confused as to how her husband could abuse her so badly. As a DAP client, Jane began individual counseling and learned the dynamics of domestic violence and felt that she could identify with many of them. She has been healing herself emotionally through DAP’s counseling program for many years now, utilizing support groups as well as therapeutic counseling. She now is able to recognize signs of abuse, has healthy boundaries and has love and respect for herself; she was able to undo much of the emotional manipulation that her husband put her through throughout their 20+ year marriage. She has made much progress since she first contacted DAP and has reported that she is very thankful for DAP’s services and could not have made it this far without the help and support of the Agency.
Women’s Law Project: The Women’s Law Project is one of only a few public interest law centers in the nation devoted to women’s rights ¾and the only one in Pennsylvania. The WLP is nationally recognized for cutting-edge legal advocacy and three decades of achievements that have positively impacted women and families in Pennsylvania and nationwide. The WLP mission is to create a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives.
WLP…in action: WLP’s youngest client, Charlotte Murphy was featured in Ms. Magazine’s article celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX. WLP worked with Charlotte, a fifth-grade basketball player who attends an elementary school within the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) system. Her basketball team was eliminated last year, but the boys' team was not. The young activist wrote to Superintendent Linda Lane, told her the school was in violation of "title nine," and demanded a meeting. Her courageous advocacy led PPS to overhaul their elementary athletics programs. At our urging, PPS formed a K-5 basketball league that would be gender-balanced and equitable (that is, if a school wanted a basketball team, it would have to have both a boys' team and a girls' team, and the teams would be treated equally). While some naysayers predicted that requiring teams for girls would end up eliminating athletic opportunities for boys, the girls of the Pittsburgh Public Schools proved them wrong. Of the 16 elementary schools, 14 have chosen to participate in the new league, a big net gain for the boys as well as a spectacular improvement for the girls, who last year had just two teams.
Women’s Opportunity Resource Center: The Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization, was founded in 1993 to promote social and economic self-sufficiency for economically disadvantaged individuals—primarily women—and their families. WORC is the first microenterprise program targeted to low-income individuals in Philadelphia and one of the oldest in the nation. It offers a unique combination of self-employment/micro-enterprise training, support services, savings programs, and access to invaluable business and financial resources. WORC’s services address poverty by helping disadvantaged individuals break out of cycles of dependency permanently through innovative self-help strategies.
WORC…in action: Ms. Jeffries, a low income, Hispanic woman with three children, enrolled in WORC’s Smart Start Training program and started her home care business in the summer of 2009. Her business operates out of her home and has grown to the point where she projects annual revenues of $160M. At the time she started her business, Ms. Jeffries borrowed $2,500 from WORC’s micro loan fund to cover the costs of the initial professional fees, computer equipment/software, logo / marketing, and liability insurance and working capital. Over the next two years she successfully repaid the loan, while hiring 7 workers. She received a second loan for $8,000 from WORC to further expand her business and is using the proceeds for marketing materials, new office equipment, and working capital to bring on 3 new workers.
Women Organized Against Rape: Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) was founded in 1971-1972 and is Philadelphia’s only rape crisis center. WOAR’s mission is to eliminate all forms of sexual violence through specialized treatment services, comprehensive prevention education programs, and advocacy for victims of sexual assault. WOAR offers a comprehensive continuum of care including free individual and group counseling to children and adults who have experienced sexual assault, a 24-hour hotline, court and medical accompaniment and outreach to Latino communities and other communities across Philadelphia. Their Prevention Education department provides educational programming in Philadelphia public and private schools, universities and colleges, medical and social service organizations, as well as the community at large.
WOAR….in action: Maya is a 32 year old woman who was raped by an acquaintance at a friend’s house. She began to have nightmares and flashbacks of the rape, but also found herself having flashbacks of sexual abuse she had suffered as a young teen. Maya was experiencing uncontrollable bouts of crying and could not sleep although she felt exhausted. Maya attended several sessions of individual counseling over several months at WOAR where she began to learn the common reactions people have to traumatic events and began to understand the ways she had coped with the sexual assault in the past. In addition, Maya learned new ways of coping while she processed the painful and awful memories of the assaults. Maya observed how her anger and sadness often mirrored the grief cycle and she slowly began to also experience hope. As Maya healed she felt increasingly empowered to advocate on behalf of herself and others.