‘These Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Giving’: 12 Leaders in Women’s Philanthropy Speak Out

By Marianne Schnall

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (and growing awareness about the many cracks and inequities that plague our society and institutions such as systemic racism), women’s philanthropy has become a powerful force responding to the many urgent needs on a local and national level, filling in the gaps of inadequate government funding, and also addressing the often unrecognized specific needs of marginalized communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including women and Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC).

The fact is, we need philanthropy more than ever—not just to assist those who are most vulnerable as a result of the pandemic but also to proactively use gender-lens, intersectional giving as an engine to support a purposeful re-shaping and rebuilding of a more equitable and just world.

I reached out to an esteemed group of leaders in the space of women’s philanthropy to get their visions about the role philanthropy could play in these turbulent and transformative times, what innovative ways their organizations and members are responding, how women can lead the way and mobilize resources, and also what ideas they have to inspire a culture of giving.

With insights from: Jennifer Alcorn, Emilienne de León Aulina, Elizabeth Barajas-Román, Sarah Haacke Byrd, Vanessa Daniel, Latanya Mapp Frett, Donna P. Hall, Surina Khan, Monique W. Morris, Ana Oliveira, Kavita Ramdas and Teresa Younger


News, Resources, and Actions

This Pandemic Is a Racial Health Crisis that Disproportionately Affects Black Americans and Transgender People

By Hilary Weaver

Last week, on June 19, our nation observed Juneteenth, which is the day in 1865 when Black people in Galveston, Texas were told they were free. This was two-and-a-half years after Abraham Lincoln put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in the U.S. free. This year, protesters took to the streets to call for justice for the Black Americans who are killed by police brutality and hate crimes each year. As we honor Juneteenth, it’s also a time to recognize that we need more data on police violence. Also, take the time to think about Harriet Tumban, George Floyd, and what ‘counterfeit’ really means in this country. And you can stream the film Miss Juneteenth now.

COVID is a racial pandemic
In 2020 alone, at least 16 transgender people have been murdered in the U.S., including Riah Milton and Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells, who were both killed violently. Meanwhile, a global pandemic still rages on. As Ms. Magazine reported, Black workers are twice as likely to have COVID-related concerns or retaliation at work. Systematic racism makes COVID-19 deadly for the Black community and other communities of color. Listen to this podcast episode about Arkansas prisoners who are organizing to demand adequate measures against the pandemic. This also poses the question: Should healthcare workers be activists, too?

Who we trust as this pandemic continues
The Factual found data that suggests women journalists are the most credible voices on the topic. We can continue to learn from women-led nations that are heading off COVID-19, especially while experts in these countries watch the U.S. with alarm. CNN reports that more COVID-19 research might come to the forefront if women in the science field were pushed to the forefront as credible authors. Instead, women are forced to take on “impossible” roles during the pandemic while their unemployment rates remain high.

How to help beyond protesting 
Here are some resources where you can donate directly to help support the Black transgender community, and learn from the stories of the people who marched for Black trans lives at the Brooklyn museum last Saturday. COVID-19 disproportionately affects the transgender community. Please keep that in mind as you continue your activism and fight for everyone to receive the healthcare they deserve. And, as you learn, watch the documentary Disclosure on Netflix, and understand why movements need to include trans people in order to make real change.


FEATURED AUTHORS: Derrick Bryson Taylor, Ignacia Fulcher, Brianna Holt, Nicholas Goldberg, Ericka Claudio, Janell Hobson, Elinor Aspegren, Hilary Weaver, Jenna Ashendouek, Christian Weller, Nina Lakhani Dorothy Wickenden, Ruth Hailu, Phillip Meylan, Lucina Di Meco, Rick Noack, Katie Hunt, Kelsey Micklas, Madison Feller, Sarah McBride, Katelyn Burns, Devin-Norelle


We have big plans to develop COVID Gendered with additional content, resources, actions, events and other special features. Please help us grow our work and make this project sustainable by making a donation. If you are interested in sponsoring this initiative, please contact us.
Thank you!




* indicates required


Back to COVID Gendered