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WFSA Receives National Award

As reported by the Arizona Daily Star, the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona is the recipient of a highly competitive $150,000 national award from the Women’s Funding Network and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to increase the economic security of families through two-generation systems change.

“A two generation problem requires a two generation solution,” says Dawne Bell, WFSA CEO. Over the next three years, WFSA and its fellow awardees – Dallas Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham – will work collaboratively to develop scalable, research-driven, sustainable two-generation approaches to systems that link early child education and care to employment for low-income families through partnerships with local, state and national leaders focused on these key issues.   

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dawne Bell, Chief Executive Officer
Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
Office 520.622.8886

Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona Receives National Award

Tucson, AZ (December 2017)— The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona (WFSA) is the recipient of a highly competitive $150,000 national award from the Women’s Funding Network and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to increase the economic security of families through two-generation systems change.

The winners of this national award include:

  • Dallas Women’s Foundation
  • Women’s Foundation of Colorado
  • Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
  • Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham

The two-generation approach is a new way of solving social problems like intergenerational poverty. Over the next three years, WFSA and its fellow awardees will work collaboratively to develop scalable, research-driven, sustainable two-generation approaches to systems that link early child education and care to employment for low-income families through partnerships with local, state and national leaders focusing on these key issues.

“A two-generation problem requires a two-generation solution,” says Dawne Bell, WFSA CEO. “The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona is known for successfully fostering collaboration and funding innovative solutions, we have strong relationships with statewide leaders, and we sincerely thank the Women’s Funding Network and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for investing in us and this bold new approach to two-generation work.”

Consider these facts: Arizona’s overall poverty rate is 17.4%, compared to 13.5% nationwide, according to U.S. Census data. While poverty rates are declining nationally, Arizona’s poverty rates have steadily risen since 2000. In Arizona, 79% of single-parent families with incomes below the poverty level are headed by women. The monthly median cost of a licensed child care center for one child under the age of four in Arizona is $820, greater than the monthly median rent for a two-bedroom apartment according to WFSA’s research on Supporting Arizona Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency. Research also shows that children who start kindergarten or first grade less prepared socially and academically are likely to stay behind, inhibiting their chances for success over their lifetimes.

By changing the conversation around childcare, and focusing on the connection between childcare and economic development, Arizona will achieve measurable improvements in children’s learning, and healthy development and in parents’ success both as caregivers and breadwinners.

“We love being able to provide useful tools, up-to-date research, and other resources to our members. What’s more exciting is when we have the opportunity to support current work that is on the leading edge of transformation.  Since early 2016, we’ve been surveying the landscape of two generation work within our network — programs for caregivers as well as their children, a holistic approach proven to be effective at increasing the economic security of families. With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we are building on this knowledge to establish the Two Generation Advocacy Cohort.  Four women’s foundations have been selected for this cohort based on their proven ability to advocate for fairer, smarter practices that support women and their families,” says Cynthia Nimmo, President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network.

The ultimate goals of this project are to expand the skilled workforce in Southern Arizona and throughout our state, while simultaneously improving the educational and health outcomes of children living in poverty.

Continues Dawne Bell, WFSA CEO: “There are over 130 women’s foundations throughout the U.S. and the globe, many in much bigger markets than Southern Arizona, and we are honored that we were able to obtain this tremendous opportunity and leverage these national resources for our region. With our collaborative partners, we are excited to build Arizona’s capacity to link childcare and workforce development systems, a critical solution for family economic security in our region and our state.”

About the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona collaborates to achieve social, political and economic change that empowers women and girls. The Women’s Foundation empowers women and girls through research, advocacy and grantmaking. Leadership development is built into all aspects of the organizations from the nationally recognized Unidas philanthropy program for high school girls to the Tucson Public Voices Fellowship, changing who narrates our world. With “The Self-Sufficiency Standard” research report, the Women’s Foundation educates community leaders and policy makers about the economic realities facing women and girls. In 2017, the Women’s Foundation awarded over $700,000 in grants to more than 20 organizations, covering a wide range of needs. Grants are made from annual competitive grant cycles, recommended from donor advised funds and allocated through Unidas.
More information:
www.www.womengiving.org.

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