Legacy & Leadership Donor Tea

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By Morgan Hebert, NH Women’s Foundation Policy and Programs Intern

 

Last Wednesday, we at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation hosted a ‘Thank You’ tea for many of our dedicated donors. The event was hosted at the beautiful Bridges House in downtown Concord, which serves as a public event space as well as the home of New Hampshire’s governors. The Bridges house has a long history but its name and significance stems from former owner, Styles Bridges. Bridges was a former New Hampshire governor from 1935-37 and a New Hampshire Senator from 1937 to 1961. Styles not only used the house as primary living space, but used it to bring New Hampshire to political significance by hosting presidents and campaign events during presidential primary, including Dwight Eisenhower. In 2004, former first lady of New Hampshire, Susan Lynch, launched a major renovation project that brought the house to its current state[1]. With its rich history, location in Concord, and inviting interior, it was the perfect space for this event!

Last week’s tea was a special event meant to honor and show appreciation for all of our leadership and legacy donors. Our legacy and leadership donors play an important role in the functioning of our organization and their dedication to the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation helps us to serve and improve the lives of women, girls and families across New Hampshire.

As part of the event, donors received a performance from a girls group through Arts In Reach, one of our grant beneficiaries. Arts In Reach (AIR) is a non-profit based on the New Hampshire seacoast that gives teenage girls in Rockingham and Strafford county a space to learn about visual and performing arts. In addition to being a learning space for young girls, AIR also serves as a creative outlet and a safe space to help them overcome emotional challenges common among teenage girls and develop important skills like self-confidence, goal-setting, leadership, and teamwork. AIR provides girls with the tools to express themselves and develop into confident young women, something we at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation are proud to support.

Before the performance, a mother of an AIR alumni gave a speech attesting to the powerful message and effectiveness of AIR’s programs and how it shaped the life of her daughter. Afterward, a group of 6 girls from the program performed covers of songs for the attendees, including “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield and “Seasons of Love” from the musical RENT.  All of the selections carried themes of strength, confidence, and inclusiveness, sending a message of positivity and reflecting the impact AIR has had. Following an emotional speech and performance, it was clear AIR cares about the lives of young girls and has played an active role in helping teenage girls in New Hampshire.

Perhaps the most important message left by the performance was a reminder to our many donors of the value of their contributions. It allowed everyone to see the tangible work we and our partner organizations do to improve the lives of women and girls in New Hampshire. The event and the beautiful performance put on by AIR put in mind why our donors give to us and why it’s important to continue to donate. Our leadership and legacy donors, founders, board members, and all of those who contribute to the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation represent a community that is caring, engaged and active in improving the lives of people in New Hampshire. Thank you again to all of those who were able to attend and to those who donate to our foundation. We appreciate all of your effort, and the communities your contributions benefit thank you as well!

[1] “History.” Friendsofbridgeshouse.Org. The Bridges House, n.d. Web. 31 May 2016.

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New Hampshire Women’s Foundation: Policy and Programs Intern, Morgan Hebert

morganAs the newest member of the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation’s team, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Morgan Hebert and I am a senior undergraduate student at the University of New Hampshire, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Economics.  I am joining the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation as an intern through the Carsey School of Public Policy’s Social Innovation Internship. Since 2011, the Carsey School and the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise has sponsored annual internships at leading, impactful, for and non-profit organizations around New Hampshire. My time this summer will be spent between the NHWF and Veris Wealth Partners, a sustainable investment firm in Portsmouth.  I will be working as a policy and programs intern at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation and my primary role will be working on social media, assisting with event planning, organization and set up, as well as conducting research on women’s and family issues in New Hampshire. I look forward to learning more about these issues in New Hampshire and helping the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation take steps forward in improving the lives of women, girls and families.  I am honored and excited to be here!

I have a very strong interest in economic development, humanitarianism, and education.  These interests stem from a family history of educators and youth advocates as my mother has worked in public education for nearly 20 years, and both of her parents were teachers as well.  My mother is a Spanish teacher at Portsmouth High School and has been a role model and unwavering supporter of my interest in education, government and economics. While at UNH, I work as a teaching assistant at a local pre-school and am passionate about the value of early-childhood education and equal access to education.  I look forward to learning more about how the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation expands opportunities for women and girls across the state.

Outside of my studies at UNH and my work, I enjoy running, yoga, and any activities that allow me be outside and see the world. I am from the seacoast of New Hampshire so I enjoy spending my free-time on the beach but also hiking in the White Mountains. I enjoy travelling as well. I spent my freshman year of college living in Madrid, Spain and seeing as much of Spain and Europe as I could. I have also spent time travelling and volunteering in South America. This past January, I spent 3 weeks in Peru volunteering at an under-funded pre-school and English-as-a-Second-Language school about 45 minutes outside of Lima, as well as spending a day hiking in the Andes to Machu Picchu. During my trip to Peru I saw not only a part of the world I had never seen but elements of poverty that were previously unimaginable. Since, my passion for education and poverty reduction has grown stronger.

My first week with the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation was very exciting. I met all the members of the NHWF staff, as well as another Carsey School intern from UNH!  I was able to help set up and attend a donor tea at the Bridges House in Concord last Wednesday, as well.  The event included many important donors, board members, and founders of the Women’s Foundation. There was also a performance from Arts in Reach, a NHWF grant recipient. Arts in Reach is non-profit organization that gives teenage girls in Rockingham and Strafford counties a safe, and creative space to learn about visual and performing arts. I felt immediately welcome by the staff and community of the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation and I cannot wait for the many opportunities that lie ahead!

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New Hampshire Women’s Foundation: Philanthropy Intern, Sydney Gillis

Sydney Gillismarilla 2   As a new intern for the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself in my first blog post!  My name is Sydney Gillis, and I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of New Hampshire, with a major concentration in History and a minor in Russian language. I will be going into my senior year next fall at UNH, and am very excited that for the summer I will be the Philanthropy Intern for the NHWF.  As the Philanthropy Intern, my primary focus will be assisting with the grant process; including drafting grant related stories for our newsletter, helping to assemble grant booklets, as well as creating new grantee partner posts for social media. I am also very thankful for my acceptance as one of the the John G. Winant fellows through the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH. The Winant Fellowship focuses on encouraging students to pursue public service experience by rewarding them a generous stipend for serving a minimum of 300 hours at a government agency or non-profit organization, which in my case is the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.

I have a strong interest in philanthropy as I am currently, and have been since 2014, the president of the Amnesty International chapter at UNH.  I love being the president of an organization that helps to spread awareness of human rights and social justice issues on our campus. It is an incredibly rewarding experience, and has added to my interests in possibly working with non-profit organizations, or pursuing the study of law, post-graduation.  I am very excited to have my experience with non-profits be expanded even more so through my internship with the NHWF!

Beside my involvement with Amnesty International, I enjoy reading, cooking, yoga, writing, and spending time with my friends and family. I am also treasurer of the National Slavic Honors Society at UNH, Dobro Slovo. I believe being involved in campus organizations and societies is a great way to immerse yourself in the UNH community, and meet new people at the same time! I live on campus during the school year, and love having the opportunity to do all of these things in my free time. Home is just 15 minutes away from campus in Nottingham, NH, so I truly get the best of both worlds going to UNH!

My first day as an intern at the NHWF was particularly exciting, as I was able to attend the unveiling of the portrait of Marilla Ricker in the New Hampshire State House. The event was filled with members of the NH community, legal professionals, and politicians including Governor Maggie Hassan! The significance of the Marilla Ricker painting expanded well beyond the fact that she is just one of the eight portraits of women in the NH State House. Ricker herself was the first female attorney in our state, the first woman who attempted to vote in NH, as well as the first woman to run for the position of Governor.  She was truly an incredible woman. Dedicating her career to “start the ball a’rolling” in regards to women’s rights, Ricker poses as an extraordinary historical figure who will hopefully now become more well known in NH and beyond. My favorite part of the ceremony was the recitation of a quote by Ricker, “Be kind. Be good. Be just”, as these are wise words everyone should take to heart. Witnessing the unveiling of Marilla Ricker’s portrait and hearing her story was a truly incredible first day at the NHWF!

As a young woman who is a History major, I am well aware of the unequal representation of women in history, and I am thrilled to assist in the future process of ensuring that women can and will leave their mark historically, which I have already witnessed on my first day. Also, as a young woman in New Hampshire, I am very excited to be a part of an organization that focuses on the empowerment of girls and women in my state through philanthropy, advocacy, research and education. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity of becoming the Philanthropy Intern for the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, and I very much look forward to the experience it brings!

 

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APRIL 12 IS EQUAL PAY DAY

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By Pat Yosha, NH Women’s Foundation Leader’s Network Member

 

Here is a simple truth: the pay gap, the difference between what men and women are paid in the U.S., is real. Equal Pay Day marks the day this year when women’s pay catches up with what men were paid last year! In 2016, Equal Pay Day falls on April 12. To symbolize this continuing pay inequity, women wear red – to show the urgency of developing a solution to this persistent issue.

Women working full time in this country are typically paid just 79 percent of what men are paid. And though there have been gradual improvements in narrowing the gap (it was 59 percent in 1974), progress has slowed in recent years. Why, we continue to ask, is that the case?

Let’s look at what research shows: How does the education of a worker determine pay scales, for instance? One study shows that when males and females have equal college graduation backgrounds, one year after graduation males earn 7 percent more than females. Among full-time workers 10 years after college graduation, there is a 12 percent unexplained difference.For men and women with a high school diploma, the gap is 23%; for those with less than a high school diploma, the difference is 20%. In other words, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education!

Becoming a parent has affected women’s earnings; a “motherhood penalty” not only has an impact on a woman’s income because of time off for having a baby, but there is documentation that shows employers are less likely to hire mothers compared to childless women, or mothers are offered lower salaries than other women. One study shows that many fathers actually receive a wage premium if they have children!

Pay gaps exist in nearly every occupational field, but jobs traditionally considered male fields, such as computer programming, aerospace engineering and firefighting pay more than fields dominated by women, such as office and administrative support, sales and service occupations. Though there are educational and training efforts to open up all occupations to both genders, old habits die hard. Occupational gender segregation has decreased over the last 40 years, but even when women enter typically “male” jobs such as computer engineering a pay gap persists. And in a once typically “female” occupation, nursing, female nurses earn only 90 percent of male nurses wages!

Race and age are further components of pay inequity, which beg for political solutions. For Hispanic women, earnings are 89% of Hispanic men’s earnings, but are only 54% of white men’s earnings! Within the African American workforce, women earn 90% of men’s earnings, but only 63% of white male earnings.

The gender pay gap grows with age. Full-time workers in the 20-24 age group are paid 92% of what are paid weekly; but workers who are 55-64 years are paid 76% of men’s median earnings. There is hope here that as the younger workers age, the ratio between women’s and men’s wages will continue to shrink.

In New Hampshire, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of 2014, men’s (full-time, year-round workers), earnings were $55,617, women’s were $42,052, or 76% of men’s. New Hampshire is 40th on the ratio scale. (In New York, women earn 90% of men’s earnings. Our neighbors in Massachusetts earn 82% of men’s earnings.)

As we consider these disappointing figures, it is useful to review what has already been done to confront the pay gap. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act was passed, requiring employers to give employees “equal pay for equal work”. And The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination in employment hiring, firing, promotion and wages on the basis of numerous characteristics, including sex. In 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act provided additional protection. However, since 2010, the Paycheck Fairness Act has been languishing in Congress. As a result, in 2014, President Obama signed executive orders on equal pay, banning retaliation against workers who talk about their salaries, and to help identify patterns of discrimination and support voluntary compliance.

New Hampshire‘s legislature and governor took steps to remedy pay gap problems. In 2015, an Equal Pay Law which included a non-retaliation clause, was passed. Legislators here apparently understand that pay equity is a family issue, not just a women’s issue. But at both the state and federal level, it has  been clear all along that laws and regulations are needed; pressure on employers or the hope for voluntarily ensuring pay equity for men and women for equal work have not come easily.

Proof of the power of gender differences in pay is the recent action by the U.S. women’s national soccer team. The team filed a gender discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requesting an investigation of the habit of paying men’s national teams more than women. The motive for the suit, said the women leading the investigation request, was “equality” as well as “monetary gain”. “Respect” is what we want, they added. When we wear red on April 12th, that is what we are calling attention to: our society succeeds economically and ethically when we have equality and respect.

So we celebrate Equal Pay Day, but with the long-range desire to be able to eliminate the day because we have finally reached equity.

(Sources for the figures included here come from: “The Simple Truth about the Pay Gap”, AAUW publication Spring 2016; and National Committee on Pay Equity website.)

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Social Changemakers

Nyomi-revised photo (3)I recently had the privilege of attending a UNH Social Entrepreneurs panel held by the Carsey School for Public Policy. As a former Carsey Social Innovation intern the work that I did through Carsey is responsible for teaching me about social change. In a lot of ways my Social Innovation internship has also and has drawn me to my current position as administrator of the NH Women’s Foundation.

Attending this event allowed me to meet some amazing leaders and better understand how the work that we do, as a nonprofits fits into the greater context of social impact. This panel highlighted the work of social entrepreneurs in the greater Boston area. All three of the organizations, Y2Y, the College for Social Innovation and Strong Women Strong Girls shared their stories of the unique need and their solution for a positive impact on their respective communities. Each organization had a mission focused on the theme of social innovation and how to use business solutions to address social and environmental issues.

Y2Y Founder Sam Greenberg is a recent Harvard undergraduate and founder of a homeless shelter for young adults’ ages 18 – 24 in Cambridge. At Y2Y, volunteer students from Harvard help provide a path that aid in progressing Y2Y residents out of homelessness. His inspiration was based on seeing the need, first-hand. Greenberg worked with community members to design a homeless shelter to showcase the unique talents of many and find a collaborative solution to improve Harvard Square. In order to put together the resources for a homeless shelter, it meant capturing the attention of local business owners and making it a collaborative effort. By doing this, Y2Y not only received donations for local businesses but they built relationships that have contributed to sustaining their social efforts long-term.

The College for Social Innovation, co-founder Lisa Jackson helped to create an organization which designs hands-on curriculum for students. The College is able to provide experiences that allow students to spend a semester working in the Boston for a social enterprise that couples learning in the classroom, with learning in a given field. Although their mission is clearly a positive one, what struck me the most is the work they are doing to close the opportunity gap. Their hope is to give these kinds of experiences to a variety of students so that they leave school with internship experience regardless of economic status. Jackson made the point that while so many of these programs are available at elite institutions, we haven’t really done our job until these opportunities are the reality for anyone pursuing a college degree.

Executive Director Siiri Morley of Strong Women Strong Girls (SWSG) discussed the need for mentorship for young women and girls. SWSG pairs young women and girls in under-resourced communities with mentors to help teach them curriculum, as well as help to empower them and give them the tools to evade social pressure. While the need for mentorship is underserved, it was noted that women who had participated in the program as girls came back to be a part of this multigenerational mentoring program and help young women and girls through the same challenges and curriculum that they had learned. Morley stated that the self-esteem of most women peaks right before adolescence and that it’s important to have these kinds of programs to make sure they continue to be able to identify their potential.

The greatest take-away from this event was how each organization really worked to meet individuals where they are at, and provide an outlet for all people to be a part of social change. It’s about embracing people at all levels of involvement. Seeing the work that these organizations are doing to have a positive impact in the lives of other’s was an important reminder that nonprofit work is all about creative solutions to social issues.  I learned about this during my own Carsey internship when I had the opportunity to serve as the Communications and Marketing intern at ROC USA in Concord NH. ROC is a nonprofit that works nationally to address issues of home security. Since mobile homeowners typically pay rent to a landlord, they are subject to high rent increases or an entire sale of the land. By helping mobile home owners cooperatively purchase the land underneath their mobile homes they are able to provide loans that allow communities to have home security and prosper.

I’ve always been  inspired by the work that ROC USA does and it helped me realize how important it is to transform the lives of people and really focus on meeting the need, which is what the NH Women’s Foundation is doing with its Family-Friendly workplace initiatives and its grant making.

When organizations like the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation offer opportunities to host interns, we give others another avenue to engage with the issues that we work on and the policies that we address, through a more hands-on learning experience that drives real social change.

 

Nyomi Guzman is the Administrator at the NH Women’s Foundation and is a recent graduate from the University of New Hampshire in Durham. She completed a double major in Communication and Women Studies, with minors in Queer Studies and Race & Ethnic Studies. Ms. Guzman spent a year researching interracial couples in film and the progression of racial acceptance in America over a twenty year time frame. She has also worked as a Carsey Social Innovation intern in the marketing department at ROC USA, which helps manufactured home community residents address issues of home security, and as a Marketing and Media consultant for the Office of Inclusive Excellence in Durham. Ms. Guzman has been a New Hampshire resident her whole life, growing up in Amherst, NH.

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