Cathedral Center
Independence Program:  Retention Project

Three years into formal programming, Cathedral Center’s Women’s Independence Program (WIP) is making tremendous strides helping women considered an unemployable return to the workforce and increase employment income. Through this Project, women gain financial stability and self-sufficiency which helps them realize their full potential and find their way out of poverty while employers gain loyal employees. The WIP coordinator collects data and conducts best practice research; provide follow-up support for clients and employers; educate clients about employer expectations; and help them advocate for themselves, while they readjust to the world of work.

HIR Wellness Center
Inter-generational Programming for Native American Girls and Women

In these sessions girls participate in talking circles to share their insights on the themes and prevention issues, create mind maps, and participate in special projects such as service work, learning traditional skills and crafts, participating in and learning how to plan cultural activities and community events. This group of girls helps plan the 2018 Red Sand Project for human trafficking awareness.

Girl Scouts, SE Wisconsin Chapter
Pathway to Leadership

Pathway to Leadership addresses barriers to leadership by providing scholarships for personal expenses involved in starting a troop and additional leadership development eliminating any skill gaps that would hinder a new leader. Each day at Girl Scouts SE Wisconsin is contacted by women looking for leadership opportunities for their girls, but too often don’t see themselves in a leadership role. Unfortunately, perceived lack of skills and the inherent costs of volunteering creates inequity and prove to be overwhelming.  This program creates equity of opportunity in becoming an empowered Leader.

LOTUS Legal Clinic
Legal Advocacy for Campus Sexual Assault Survivors

LOTUS trains pro-bono attorneys in Wisconsin for two necessary roles; 1) to provide free legal representation through LOTUS to female survivors of campus sexual assault, and 2) to be public policy advocates and ambassadors surrounding the broader issues that contribute to misogyny and widespread acceptance of sexual violence against young women. Collaboration with University campuses, including Title IX coordinators and Gender and Sexuality Resources Centers is a planned component of this work. Outreach to campuses in the greater Milwaukee four-county area will ensure that administration and students are aware of the ability to seek free legal counsel outside of the University system for all women victims of sexual assault.

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
Operational Support

Working is to empower Muslim women by helping develop skills and training necessary for self-advocacy, leadership and economic security. To advocate for Islam and Muslims by promoting an accurate understanding of the faith, to encourage dialogue among all people, to protect civil liberties and to build relationships and coalitions that work for justice, harmony, peace and understanding.

St. Joan Antida High School
SJA Summer Academy

The SJA Summer Academy was created as a solution to help the transition into high school, with the goal of increasing year-to-year student retention. The five-week bridge program, designed for all incoming freshwomen, exposes students to life at SJA through educational workshops and social outings, while obtaining practical experience via classwork and group discussions. Sessions include instruction in math, English and study/organizational skills courses led by ninth grade faculty and programs led by community partner organizations, covering a wide range of social and academic areas of interests.

The Benedict Center
The Sister’s Diversion Project

The Sister’s Diversion Project is a multi-year project designed to create, maintain and expand policies and practices that decriminalize prostitution and offer women treatment alternatives to incarceration so they can begin the journey to safer and healthier lives. The project is designed to create policy shifts that change the way Milwaukee addresses the issue of street prostitution.

As a result of funding from the Women’s Fund Social Change Grants program, the Benedict Center’s Sister’s Diversion Project was able to sustain and leverage funding for the program by receiving a two-year policy change grant from the Medical College of Wisconsin to focus on creating a city-wide prostitution diversion program. This has allowed us to significantly increase capacity to work on this social change project.

Why It Matters

Women in Wisconsin only earn 78.3 cents for every dollar their male counterpart earns. Without economic social change, it will take until 2058 for women to catch up.