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Women & Girls of Color Fund Advisory Council Applications Open

// September 9, 2020

What We’ve Learned from the Community, Apply to Serve on the Women & Girls of Color Fund Advisory Council

This summer, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado President and CEO Lauren Y. Casteel announced our new Women & Girls of Color Fund. We asked for your input and committed to listening, learning, and transparency.

Since then, more than 160 community members from 25 counties completed our survey and we convened a group of experts in nonprofits, grassroots and transformational philanthropy, and gender equity to develop a framework for the fund. We continue to meet with dozens of community leaders and peer foundations to help guide our process and goals. And our board committed to contribute $50,000 per year to the fund for the next three years!

Here’s what we’ve heard so far, where we go from here, and how you can apply to join the Women & Girls of Color Fund advisory council.

What Are the Assets, Gifts, and Contributions of Women and Girls of Color in Your Community?

“This list is endless” – Sonya Ulibarri, Adams

“Women and girls of color have always been and continue to be the backbone to our society in more ways I can type in this box.” – Brittany Kinney, Eagle

“When an immigrant community family is in need, women are the first to step up to organize a fundraiser to help the family. They have so much to contribute about their experiences, the barriers they have overcome and their dreams.” – Anonymous, Montrose

Women and girls of color mobilize grassroots movements that create real change in our communities. They are thought leaders who shape our understanding of gender and race, and they are uniquely positioned to lead us into a better future because of their lived experiences.

The ways women and girls of color lift up our communities are incredible: leadership, lived experience, resilience, entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to collaboration, drive, philanthropic spirit, culture, heritage, activism, courage, and emotional labor were all named many times in our survey.

You also told us how many of these assets are undervalued and how expectations of strength, resilience, and emotional labor can be traumatic and lead to burnout.

“We are strong and resilient, and often take care of many people other than ourselves first. And we can do it because of our strength. However it can become taxing and draining on our emotional and physical well being.” – Nicole Marie Ortiz, Denver

“We’ve seen what women and girls of color have accomplished with little support and resources. Imagine what they could do if those with power, privilege, and platforms went beyond ineffective social media posts and lip service. We must actually recognize the value of this group and support the visions they have for our future. By investing in them, we are investing in stronger communities, validated voices, and comprehensive democracy.”

– Teresa Younger, Ms. Foundation for Women, Essence

What Are the Greatest Issues Affecting the Economic Security of Women and Girls of Color in Your Community?

Systemic racism and oppression attempt to diminish the gifts, experiences, leadership, innate power, and potential of women and girls of color.

These systems create barriers to economic security such as poverty, lack of funding and capital, trauma, access to basic needs and healthcare, glass ceilings and glass cliffs, equal education, immigration policies, financial literacy, stereotypes, and few opportunities for leadership development and networking.

Addressing immediate needs is critical, but we must also work to change the underlying systems that perpetuate racism, colonialism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism.

“We need to focus our energy and resources into changing the system of oppression instead of focusing on how to change the oppressed so they can fit within oppressive systems.” – Yessica Holguin, Denver

“Generational poverty and childhood trauma. That’s IT. And it’s deep. These are HUGE topics, and we cannot BEGIN to talk about economic security until we deal with these two topics together.” – Anjuli Kapoor, El Paso

“The focus needs to be on reclaiming and redefining what leadership means to us.” Neha Mahajan, Denver

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us! If you haven’t already done so, please take our brief survey and share the survey with your networks.

Funding Priorities & Grantmaking Process

Our framework and priorities for the Women & Girls of Color Fund are based on your feedback. We will focus on organizations led by women and girls of color that are committed to building economic power and dismantling oppressive systems.

“This fund will position us to invest in women of color who we know have traditionally been left out of funding opportunities because of the inequities that exist in philanthropy.” – Angell Pérez, Colorado Circles for Change, Denver


Led by Women & Girls of Color Focused on Women & Girls of Color Colorado-based, Colorado-focused
Liberatory Leadership Advancing Economic Security Those Traditionally Most Underfunded


Read our guiding philosophy and principles, view our 2020-2021 Women & Girls of Color Fund timeline, and learn about our grantmaking process.

Apply for the Women & Girls of Color Fund Advisory Council

The Women & Girls of Color Fund is community-designed and community-led. The Women & Girls of Color Fund advisory council will oversee two application cycles in 2021, learning together, reviewing applications, and selecting grantees. Applications are now open through October 7, 2020.

The council will be made up of Colorado women of color, girls of color, and nonbinary people of color ages 17 and up passionate about The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s mission. No grantmaking experience necessary. Community members with lived experience in our funding priorities, rural Coloradans, trans women and nonbinary people, and community organizers/activists who work on these issues are especially encouraged to apply.

Learn more and apply today.

Four Ways To Support the Women and Girls of Color Who LEAD Our Communities

LEARN Learn about the Women & Girls of Color Fund, our philosophy, and our grantmaking priorities
ENGAGE Take and share our community survey
ACT Apply for the Women & Girls of Color Fund advisory council and share with your networks
DONATE Give to support women and girls of color across Colorado


Lead with Us

Thank You To Our Framework Committee for Sharing Their Time and Expertise!

Amber Coté headshot

Amber Coté, Colorado Nonprofit Association

Carly Hare headshot

Carly Hare, <i kita u hoo <i ]a hiks, CHANGE Philanthropy

Nneka McPhee headshot

Nneka McPhee, American Associates – Ben-Gurion University, SPIN (Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs)

Angell Pérez headshot

Angell Pérez, Colorado Circles for Change, Angell Pérez Consulting

Cori Wong headshot

Cori Wong, Colorado State University – Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Positive Philosophy Consulting

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