9 to 5 Wisconsin
Artists Working in Education
Cathedral Center
Girls Rock Milwaukee
Grand Avenue Club
LOTUS Legal Clinic
Neighborhood House of
   Milwaukee

Neu-Life Community
   Development

Planned Parenthood
Radio Milwaukee
Renaissance Theaterworks
University of Wisconsin
   Foundation

Wisconsin Women’s Network
Wisconsin Conservatory of
   Music

9 to 5 Wisconsin
Civic Leadership Development

9to5’s leadership development program includes our paid Community Justice Fellows Program (CJFP), advocacy trainings, community political education workshops, all designed for new leaders to apply their skills in real time and develop their leadership.

The Community Justice Fellows Program will provide organizing and advocacy training for Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) women in the Milwaukee area, to build their leadership for grassroots social justice movements. For more than a decade, 9to5 has invested in the leadership of grassroots women through our 10-week paid organizing apprenticeship (formerly called the Community Internship Program).  The program provides individual coaching in-the-field community organizing and leadership development for women with demonstrated activism through 9to5 activities. 

In order to expand our organizing and advocacy training, to reach and engage a larger number of women, our leadership development programs include a political education workshop training series (Power of Participation), a weekend legislative and advocacy training in Madison (may be virtual in 2022), and ongoing opportunities to participate in issue campaigns.  Over a two-year period, we will reach and engage over 500 women in CJFP and other advocacy trainings and direct actions.

Radio Milwaukee

Artists Working in Education
Artist-in-Residence at Sojourner
Family Peace Center 

AWE’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program activates space within Sojourner Family Peace Center to provide therapeutic art activities to the mothers and children who reside there, ensuring equitable access to educational and mindful creative activities for the participants, meaningful employment for artists, and culminating beautification for the space and those who enter it. AWE’s trained teaching artists guide participants through hands-on art activities that emphasize creative self-expression, build collaborative skills, and promote mindfulness and healing. The art activities not only offer safe ways to express emotions and build and practice coping skills, but they also teach technical art-making skills in a way that guides participants in the process of creating a large-scale public art piece. AWE teaching artists design projects that equip participants with the technical skills they need to design and create the large-scale public art piece, from brainstorming the concept to sketching the designs to learning and practicing the mural, sculpture, or mosaic processes before working together to create and install the culminating art piece.

AWE’s teaching artists are local working artists who receive training in teaching, community engagement, and child development in order to best meet the needs expressed by the participants and partnering organizations while earning a stipend. Sojourner and AWE have enjoyed an extensive partnership that has produced numerous sculptural mosaic elements that adorn their space, providing uplifting aesthetic experiences in what could otherwise be a continued traumatic environment.

Cathedral Center
Cathedral Center: Women’s Independence Program (WIP)

As the largest Milwaukee-area shelter that serves women and families, Cathedral Center has immense opportunity to inspire positive change in our client’s lives. Cathedral Center’s Women’s Independence Program (WIP) is helping clients to develop skills, search for secure employment, and increase employment income. As a workforce development program for vulnerable populations, WIP offers the unique framework that connects our clients with supportive services, soft skills education, workforce skills and trainings, a career path, as well as employer-specific orientations and trainings. We then match our clients with employer partners based on employer needs and client skills.

Participants begin the program by completing an individual assessment with WIP staff. The assessment is used to inform staff about appropriate next steps. Participants work with staff to create a resume and cover letter, learn interviewing skills, and participate in peer and one-on-one sessions. Staff also work with clients to help them develop soft skills, such as communications skills, personal development, and life skills.

Through WIP, women gain the financial stability and self-sufficiency, helping them to realize their full potential – and find their way out of poverty – while employers gain loyal employees. Support from the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee will enable our Women’s Independence Program to continue growing.

Girls Rock Milwaukee
Building the Future

Girls Rock Milwaukee seeks funding to build capacity fund 2 positions within our organization, specifically Girls Rock Camp Director of Ladies Rock Director. As with many female-driven organizations, Girls Rock runs on hard working women volunteering our time. The Board is volunteer run. The camps are volunteer run. All fundraising is driven by volunteers. Girls Rock MKE is sustained by the enthusiasm and dedication of its volunteers.

Girls Rock MKE also has a unique advantage in that many volunteers have experience in the music industry either as creative artists or in the support industries. Their collective experience and knowledge are critical to running an efficient organization that offers quality instruction. Since 2013, over 150 people have volunteered to help support the organization, many of them parents of campers and former campers themselves who have aged out of the program. In 2017, we launched our Ambassador Program for former campers who want to volunteer at camp. Ambassadors served as “junior” band coaches and assisted instrument instructors and workshop instructors throughout the week. They were also responsible for moving and setting up gear, designing the camp yearbook and assisting where needed at the showcase. This provides yet another leadership opportunity for young womxn.

We are seeking funding to pay 2 amazing women that run our Girls Rock and Ladies Rock camps. This funding would pay for part-time, seasonal work. Ideally, we move to have these positions be full-time, year-round positions but the Women’s Fund would provide the seed funding to build capacity for Girls Rock Milwaukee.

Grand Avenue Club
Creating a Vibrant Women’s Community: The Water St. Boutique

The thesis that we aim to prove is that when women who have experienced mental illness have access to a pre-vocational voluntary experience working with other women as colleagues and access to the highly committed store staff, they will increase their self-esteem and life satisfaction and are more apt to meet their goals.

The work proposed is a continuation of running Water St. Boutique, including recruiting and training new members (membership recruitment has resumed); soliciting top quality clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry, art, and small household items, cleaning and researching their value on the internet, preparing items for sale; preparing the store windows, serving the customers, assisting customers and notifying people of items for sale via a weekly e-mail.

LOTUS Legal Clinic
Operations

With your support, LOTUS will continue to provide exceptional quality, free legal and empowerment services, in a holistic, trauma-informed manner to individuals who are victims of sexual assault, abuse, or labor or sex trafficking. LOTUS assisted 83 clients with legal cases in 2020; 51 of these clients are survivors of human trafficking. Of LOTUS’ 39 clients with immigration needs, 29 are survivors of sex or labor trafficking and 10 are survivors of sexual violence. Even as we see small steps toward broad economic recovery, the pandemic is not over and the systemic inequities that exacerbate vulnerability to trafficking remain.

In addition to our legal services, LOTUS offers a survivor empowerment program through our Untold Stories writer’s workshop. This program is nationally recognized for its innovative approach that combines art therapy, creative writing, and law to help survivors process their trauma, reclaim their autonomy, and emerge with a sense of purpose and strength.

Neighborhood House of Milwaukee
Woman2Woman Initiative

Woman 2 Woman (W2W) is a dynamic education and adult-teen mentoring program designed to help marginalized young women of color address a number of issues that create barriers to their ability to realize their full potential. Educational sessions will focus on mitigating and avoiding toxic relationships; identifying domestic violence, its root causes and societal impacts; gender roles and how they impact women; intersectionality, identity and systems of oppression; healthy dating and consent; trauma and trauma-informed care; debunking myths and stereotypes; and self-protection and reproductive rights.

W2W also connects teens to caring adult female mentors and staff trained to provide support in order to create a caring, supportive and safe community. Participants gain efficacy through knowledge of relationship-based abuse and how they can reduce/eliminate it, develop leadership and mindfulness skills and learn how to promote healthy relationships and how to be an active bystander. All participants are low-income women and teens who have directly or indirectly experienced trauma connected to poverty and/or violence.

In 2021-2022, W2W will serve at least 20 teens recruited from the NH Teen Program and partnering public and private schools. We will also have three experienced mentors on aboard and plan to recruit and train three new mentors from the community by October. Core activities will focus on bi-monthly education sessions focused on the evidence-based Love Notes healthy relationship curriculum.

W2W collaborates with key community partners, including Pathways High School, the Black Health Coalition, Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, Sojourner Truth House, Urban 360 and the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Girls Rock

Neu-Life Community Development
Girls Group

Exercising self-care plays a major role in reducing anxiety, improving self-esteem, and developing and maintaining healthy relationships with yourself and others. Girls Group is aimed at youth aged 12-17 that live, attend school or attend programs in 53206. This zip code is well documented as being an extremely economically challenged and high-crime area, with a high rate of single-parent households, and many of the girls lack the influence of positive women figures. Girls Group is led by two (2) Neu-Life staff who are former program participants themselves, and as a result, they understand firsthand the real struggles the youth are facing. Evidence suggests that Black girls who have access to relatable, adult Black women who are able to connect with them in unique ways have lower academic, social, and cultural risks than Black girls who do not have access to gender and race-matched mentors (Lindsay, Cummings, & McClendon, 2011; Watson, 2016).

Being a teenager can be tough, and we strive to offer a program to help teen girls learn about the many changes that they have going on, how to meet their ever-changing needs and become more socially aware of others. Girls Group fosters a sense of inclusion and acceptance, while providing social connections and recreation. Being a part of a community and feeling included is extremely important in people’s lives, and the importance of this social community cannot be over-valued.

Girls Group participants will be led through examples of positive self-care (i.e.: field trips, hands-on activities, group discussions, etc.), with positive role-modeling by staff and volunteers. Participants will learn to feel good about themselves and learn how to form positive connections. They will also be assisted with learning the importance of proper hygiene, and cellphone and social-media safety.

Planned Parenthood
Power to Determine (P2D) Youth Ambassador Project 

Exercising self-care plays a major role in reducing anxiety, improving self-esteem, and developing and maintaining healthy relationships with yourself and others. Girls Group is aimed at youth aged 12-17 that live, attend school or attend programs in 53206. This zip code is well documented as being an extremely economically challenged and high-crime area, with a high rate of single-parent households, and many of the girls lack the influence of positive women figures. Girls Group is led by two (2) Neu-Life staff who are former program participants themselves, and as a result, they understand firsthand the real struggles the youth are facing. Evidence suggests that Black girls who have access to relatable, adult Black women who are able to connect with them in unique ways have lower academic, social, and cultural risks than Black girls who do not have access to gender and race-matched mentors (Lindsay, Cummings, & McClendon, 2011; Watson, 2016).

Being a teenager can be tough, and we strive to offer a program to help teen girls learn about the many changes that they have going on, how to meet their ever-changing needs and become more socially aware of others. Girls Group fosters a sense of inclusion and acceptance, while providing social connections and recreation. Being a part of a community and feeling included is extremely important in people’s lives, and the importance of this social community cannot be over-valued.

Girls Group participants will be led through examples of positive self-care (i.e.: field trips, hands-on activities, group discussions, etc.), with positive role-modeling by staff and volunteers. Participants will learn to feel good about themselves and learn how to form positive connections. They will also be assisted with learning the importance of proper hygiene, and cellphone and social-media safety.

Radio Milwaukee

Radio Milwaukee
Lifting Up Through Music Radio Milwaukee: Representation of Women in Public Media

Although radio is a consistently male-dominated industry, equity and inclusion of women in public media are built into the fabric of Radio Milwaukee. Below is a brief summary of the ways we create space for women in this field:

  • On-air – Many radio stations, commercial and non-commercial, still operate under the old adage that you can’t play two songs by female-identifying artists back-to-back. At Radio Milwaukee, not only do we play music by women in succession but our playlist each day is curated with 50/50 gender representation at the forefront, as well as the inclusion of individuals who identify outside the gender binary.
  • Outside of music, the voices you hear on our airwaves are also an important area of inclusion. Salam Fatayer is our audio storyteller and the voice of our signature program, Community Stories which amplifies the everyday voices of our city. In addition, each Sunday we air SHEROES Women’s Fund Preliminary Application Page 4 Radio, a syndicated radio show created, hosted and produced by Carmel Holt, inspired by her own 25-year career in radio, and a lifetime devoted to music.
  • Station Leadership – The number of women in positions of leadership in public media is not where it should be, in fact, only 12% of Program Directors from radio stations across the country identify as women. At Radio Milwaukee, we are proud to have Dori Zori leading our station and managing on-air staff. Dori’s inclusive approach to playlist creation, staff development and overall mentorship strengthens our mission and provides a blueprint for women and girls in our community to see radio as a viable career option.
  • Programming – Grace Weber’s Music Lab is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high school students, led by two women. 88Nine Amplifier, our artist-development program features a gender-balanced cohort of four local musicians.
Radio Milwaukee

Renaissance Theaterworks
ACTUALLY: Community Outreach, Education, and Advocacy 

Renaissance Theaterworks will conduct community outreach to foster education and advocacy related to sexual consent and assault. To enhance our production of ACTUALLY by Anna Ziegler, RTW will engage local nonprofit partner organizations as well as colleges and universities. Partners will be experts in one or many related fields including: sexual assault response, healthy relationship education, youth mental health, Title IX, and/or college campus life.

RTW was scheduled to produce ACTUALLY in March 2020, but was forced to cancel our production run due to COVID 19. At that time, we had secured a slate of partners, including: Aurora Healing & Advocacy Services. the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention, REDgen, and The Women’s Center of Waukesha. We plan to reach out to our previous partners to re-engage their support, and we intend to contact new potential partners such as: Denim Day MKE, Team Teal 365, Women’s & Children’s Horizons (Kenosha), and more.

We will conduct extensive outreach to engage local campus representatives as panel experts and talkback participants, and to encourage student group attendance. We believe that college students will see themselves and their peers reflected in this play, and will most benefit from engaging in discussion and education on the play’s themes.

Education and advocacy activities will include:

  1. Post-show talkbacks with community partners.
  2. Scholar Afternoon panel discussion(s) with groups of experts.
  3. Published “Study Guide” and discussion questions, shared with audiences to facilitate conversations outside of the theater.
  4. Promotion of community partners in print and online materials to make audiences aware of local services and resources.

University of Wisconsin Foundation
Sustaining Girls Who Code Classes 

Since our classes are free, we’ve had to raise funds through donations or grants. In the recent past, we received grants from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the American Family Life Insurance Dream Fund and new this year, a sponsorship from Generac.  But the continuation of the above funding is uncertain.  A grant from the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee will help stabilize our funding for 2022.

For the 2021-2022 school year and the following year, we plan to offer two types of classes: fully in-person or fully online.  This is new for us.  Since our inception in 2016, we’ve run only in-person classes.  When the pandemic hit, we only ran online classes.  But we’ve since realized that there is a need for both types of classes if we want to reach students, especially those with transportation issues or health concerns.  We also have to limit capacity for both types of classes so that struggling students can receive personal attention (especially in the online setting), and students can have some form of social distancing (in the in-person setting).

Hence, we are running more classes with limited capacity and hiring more instructors and teaching assistants (1 instructor and 1 TA per class).  When we were fully in-person, we had a maximum of three classes every semester hosting 50-60 students.  This academic year, we expect to have at least five classes with about 12 to 15 students per class.

Wisconsin Women’s Network
Policy Institute

The Wisconsin Women’s Network (WWN) Policy Institute is a nonpartisan program that trains women of all ages and backgrounds from across Wisconsin to be advocates in their communities and to navigate Wisconsin’s legislative and state budget process to advance policies that improve the lives of women and girls. The program is provided at no cost to the participants, and covers travel and lodging expenses for women who must travel to participate. Over one-third of the 2019-2020 institute participants were women from Milwaukee and the surrounding area.

As an extension of the WWN’s long standing commitment to issues affecting Wisconsin’s women, the Institute trains women to develop effective policy solutions for issues that impact the health, safety, and economic security of Wisconsin women.

The Policy Institute has also received grants from Zonta and Evjue Foundation, and partners with various organizations to bring in guest speakers throughout the program.

Due to safety concerns regarding gatherings during the COVID pandemic, WWN pivoted in 2020 to the “Year of the Alumni” which supported past institute participants in reviewing policy advocacy and leadership skills virtually. WWN hosted five virtual sessions on topics including navigating polarizing topics, budget process, crafting your message, and teaching what you have learned to others. For the 2021-2022 institute year, to continue to protect the health of participants and facilitators, WWN will be offering three virtual accelerated institutes rather than one large four month, in-person training sessions. Funding is needed for staff time, technology needs, and the costs of transitioning to three virtual trainings and adapting the program.

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in partnership with N
ia Imani Family, Inc.

This partnership nurtures mother-child bonding through music to help moms break the generational cycle of trauma, while delivering the benefits of a neuroscience-based, early childhood music curriculum to the children. Young women working to overcome trauma, manage mental health issues, and achieve economic self-sufficiency have additional challenges when they are mothers: How to develop a positive, nurturing bond with their babies and toddlers, how to effectively redirect a child’s behavioral issues, and how to prepare their children to learn in school so they will have the best possible start in life.