March 18, 2024

Community… Using Voice

An important aspect of our mission work is advocacy with the goal of making change. We want to address the barriers that stand in the way for everyone to thrive, this means the status quo must shift. In that spirit, we share an update on two Wisconsin bills. 

SB 877
In an effort to share information with Wisconsin senators, in January we co-signed a letter with two Wisconsin Women’s Funds. The main message was:

“To prevent any disruption to the critical services, we urgently request your support in championing the implementation of funding from the state. This measure helps to ensure organizations dedicated to supporting victims, especially women, can continue their valuable work without interruption. We ask for your support of the proposal that replaces the lost VOCA funding as addressed in SB 877.”

On March 12, 2024, SB 877 was passed by the Wisconsin senate and sent to Governor Evers. Click here to read the related press release.

AB 905
In an effort to address pay equity, an important first step is pay transparency. The Assembly Bill 905 was proposed in December 2023. Click here to read the bill.

See you soon,



Lisa Attonito, executive director

April 12, 2023

Welcome, Spring!

Spring is here… the season of rebirth and growth. The light, sounds, and colors, remind us that each day is a new one. Let the spring greens be inspiration for action.

With that in mind, these days are difficult. After a month of celebrating the achievements and contributions made by women during National Women’s History Month, we have concerning national news and events.

As you likely know, a Federal Judge in Texas challenges the FDA approval of mifepristone, a synthetic steroid that is most commonly used for medically induced abortions, though also is used in the management and treatment of Cushing’s syndrome and uterine leiomyomas. If this decision holds, it impacts pregnant people seeking an abortion and so many more too. In Tennessee, lawmakers ousted fellow elected representatives on a technicality, which underscores that our democracy is being tested, and who holds/controls power matters. We experience gun violence as an everyday occurrence and mass shootings are on pace to break another record this year. There is new or pending legislation impacting LGBTQ+ rights in states across the country. Book bans and language limitations only add to the concerns. 

We have to ask ourselves if this is the country we want. A democracy is messy, though it takes vigilance to sustain. We all have to be included. We all have to be respected. We all have to stay engaged.

Grounding decisions in humanity/human rights and acknowledging/valuing women, ensuring our rights, is essential. This provides women, and gender-expansive people, in all our identities, the chance to thrive and realize our full potential. With love for one another, our nation is strengthened.

Let’s hold each other accountable as we continue our journey to become a more perfect union. Let’s imagine the possibilities and move equity forward, especially for women in our community.

Read on for information and plan to attend our WF Celebration of Impact… YOU are the Women’s Fund and we look forward to being together. 




Lisa Attonito, executive director

PS: If you are seeking ways to engage, please let us know. You are welcome!

December 2022

The Year… 2308

According to UN Women, at the current rate of progress, it will take 286 years to reform legal frameworks to promote, enforce, and monitor gender equality in public life around the globe. For comparison, there is a prediction of bionic eyes before 2030, and people landing on Mars before 2060. Do we really have to wait until 2308?

To explore what women in public life means, we invite Justice Janine Geske, a distinguished professor at Marquette University Law School and someone who served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to share her insights. This is timely, with a nonpartisan general election that includes one seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court scheduled for April 4, 2023 (and the primary on February 21.). It is important to understand this institution, know its role, and how the decisions impact our daily lives. Join us… registration is open.

Also, on the Winter Solstice (aka, the shortest day and longest night of the year) please reflect and take action. Make decisions about your philanthropy using a lens that benefits women and girls. Join the movement… make a gift, show up, and be the ripple that is needed to shift attitudes and behavior in Greater Milwaukee so women and girls reach their full potential and everyone thrives.




Lisa Attonito, executive director

PS: Remember social change (shifting attitudes, behavior, and culture) takes commitment, time, and money. 

July 1, 2022

Equity for Women Includes Bodily Autonomy

Intellectually we knew a ruling from the SCOTUS could overturn Roe v Wade, though the reality of it happening is still full of emotion.

Since the beginning we have been focused on advancing equity for women. We believe women must control their own destinies and be safe at home, at work, or wherever they are. Women must hold positions of power and authority in public and private sectors, and have economic equality. Therefore, we support all birthing and pregnant people in our community: We see you, we see your humanity, and we advocate for your rights and dignity. We support access to the full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion care.

We are planning a WF Reception… join us for a meaningful evening.

Thank you for your engagement and investment.




Lisa Attonito, executive director

PS:  We acknowledge the ruling from the US Supreme Court has broad and cascading impact. We recognize feminism has historically, and repeatedly, abandoned many marginalized groups…we are working to disrupt that pattern. 

May 4, 2022

Precedent… or not?

By now, it’s likely you’ve heard or read about the leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that suggests Roe vs Wade will be overturned. How can this be?

This landmark decision that ruled a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose without excessive government restriction was signed into law in 1973. We are living well into the 21st Century. Seven of the nine Justices favored the original opinion, and five of those seven were nominated by Republican U.S. presidents.

Women have had voting rights for more than 100 years. More women than men have been graduating college since 2014. We have women in elected positions at every level of government, and all three branches of government. Women make up more than 51% of our U.S. population. Support for precedent in Roe is at 72% of respondents in a Marquette Law School poll last January. Women are achieving… we are having success and celebrating milestones every day, and in every aspect of our lives. Why is there even consideration of setting women back?

Cisgender women are the only humans capable of procreation. Is this why? Does this explain why access to reproductive health care is divisive and polarizing? If all our bodies had the same biological capabilities, would this be an issue? Would it be controversial?

If we value women, embrace DEI initiatives, believe in equality, and are working for a more perfect union, this draft opinion cannot hold. A reversal of Roe will have negative repercussions for women. It negatively impacts our economic situation, educational attainment, physical and mental health, and so much more.

Is there a precedent? There has to be!




Lisa Attonito, executive director

PS:  We ask for your new or enhanced support. Remember, just 2% of all charitable gifts are in support of women and girls.