The author Tish Harrison Warren wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times recently, in which she listed her 2022 resolutions. She called them “reSOULutions,” and said that it really doesn’t matter if you are able to keep your resolutions, because “Resolutions help us reflect on what our lives are like, what we would like them to be like, and what practices might bridge the difference. There is hope in the idea that we can change – that we can keep growing, learning and trying new things.” What insightful words!
We are eager, as your president and vice president, to facilitate real change in our community. We will do that with generous grants, education sessions, the Women in Leadership event, our open house and our grants showcase. Everything we do goes back to our mission to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County.
An openness to change has allowed us to build on what our members accomplished in years past. We couldn’t have come up with the new, streamlined grants application without 15 years of experience in grant making. We wouldn’t have created the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee without the Racial Equity Study Group. We wouldn’t have learned about trust philanthropy without exploring unconscious bias. The list goes on.
In the spirit of trying new things, Maryann is starting a blog, which will also be posted on Instagram and on our website under News. She hopes to engage members in a new way with posts about our grantees, our events, the nonfiction that the book group is reading, our members and more. Please follow her on Instagram, @giving_together.
As we begin a new year, let’s keep growing, learning and trying new things, and also building on the tremendous accomplishments of last year’s leadership. What’s so wonderful about AAWGT members is their openness to helping, giving and changing. It’s an honor to be surrounded by so many amazing women.
Maryann Gosnell, President
DEI: Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
A video shows a young white man at a local park fiddling with the lock on a bicycle. No one walking by does anything. A young Black man is seen doing the same thing, and multiple people call the police. Many Anne Arundel Women Giving Together members watched that video during implicit bias training and, coupled with events going on in Washington, D.C., were moved to find more ways to address racial inequality and bias in our community.
The DEI Committee was formed because our Racial Equity Study Group (RESG) saw that we had to get specific about integrating DEI into our policies and grants. This special ad hoc committee has been meeting regularly to articulate how to go about doing just that. Our giving circle is in a unique position to address DEI because of the grants we give, through our education sessions and our Women in Leadership event. Since DEI falls so neatly into our mission, we plan to develop a charter and ask the Steering Committee to recognize DEI as a permanent committee.
Under the guidance of the RESG, AAWGT:
On February 9, 2022, we will host the year’s first education session, “The Geography and Color of Anne Arundel County Poverty,” which will be led by Dr. Pamela Brown. Dr. Brown will provide us with information she has compiled for the latest edition of Poverty Amidst Plenty, published by the Community Foundation. We will learn about poverty, the income gap, housing insecurities, transportation barriers, homelessness and the high cost of childcare in our county. It is our hope that this presentation will give our grant reviewers and members insight into the communities we serve when casting votes for the 2022 grantees. This event will also be open to the public. Register to attend here.
We know that diverse voices bring deeper understanding of issues and more creative solutions. As this year unfolds, this special committee will be hard at work incorporating DEI into AAWGT, involving all of our committees.
For more information, visit our website, our Facebook page, our blog and Instagram about the DEI Committee’s work.
Pamela M. Brown, Ph.D.
The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County's Poverty Amidst Plenty Community Needs Assessment report has been essential in understanding the needs of the most vulnerable citizens in our county. Author of the report, Dr. Pamela Brown, will present recent data and information on the current state of our county which will be very useful in helping us make well-informed decisions during our grants selections.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Please register HERE. Follow the registration questions all the way to CONFIRM. Your confirmation should arrive within seconds. If you have any questions about registering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. for assistance. The Zoom link to join the program will be sent the day before the event.
Not a Member Yet?
Please email us at email@example.com if you’d like to be added to the invite list for our next prospective member event, which we will continue to host by Zoom until it’s safe to meet in person again.
Call for 2022 Grant Applications: An Invitation to Nonprofits
Anne Arundel Women Giving Together is proud to have had the opportunity to partner with outstanding nonprofits over the years and we look forward to continuing that work. For 2022 we will offer a single grant type to simplify the application process. And although we have a “focus” area this year that highlights applications we are particularly interested in receiving, we continue to invite applications from a wide variety of organizations, as we have in the past.
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County. For 2022, we are particularly interested in proposals that address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and focus on the underlying causes of hardship (such as childhood hunger, higher mortality rates, educational disparities, homelessness and mental health concerns). We also encourage applications from organizations with annual gross receipts of less than $100,000 – we love to help new nonprofits become established.
The focus statement is not meant to eliminate organizations from applying for one of our grants. Instead, we hope to encourage organizations that fall within the focus areas to submit a grant proposal. We know the past two years have been especially difficult for nonprofits, so we have worked this year to make our application process easier and less time consuming.
A Warm Welcome to our Newest Members!
Annapolis Immigration Justice Network
Annapolis Immigration Justice Network connects low-income Anne Arundel County families, children and individuals to immigration legal representation and case management support as they seek asylum or other pathways to relief from deportation. We work to prevent family separation in our community by assisting immigrants navigating a complex and difficult immigration process. Program services include legal fee financial assistance, referrals to quality attorneys, translation services, and transportation to immigration court hearings and other federal requirements. Over the last two years, our clients who have faced final hearings have had a 93% success rate in receiving favorable decisions in courts, establishing their right to remain safely in the United States.
The $20,000 AAWGT grant supports our Youth Representation Program. Half the funding goes toward providing financial assistance to children under the age of 21 who need funding for their immigration legal fees and the other half pays a portion of the Executive Director’s salary. This funding could not have come at a more critical time: AIJN has seen a 200 percent increase from 2020 in the number of unaccompanied children reaching out for legal services.
At this time, we have already allocated the $10,000 in legal fee assistance to five children who now have qualified immigration attorneys representing their cases to win relief from deportation. Most of these children fled to the border by themselves to seek refuge and safety in the United States. Our youngest client, “E,” is receiving assistance with the help of AAWGT’s grant. E is only 14 years old and arrived in Anne Arundel County in May 2021 after fleeing from Honduras alone. He has an excellent case for a form of relief to stay in the U.S. and has retained one of our trusted partnering attorneys to represent him!
We know that legal representation brings hope, stability and a long-term solution for these children, and we are so grateful to AAWGT for all of your support!
The Racial Equity Study Group (RESG) grew out of the November 2018 Racial Equity Institute presentation at Maryland Hall, which AAWGT co-sponsored. In January, 2019, Giving Circle members who had attended came together for personal growth, to share their understanding with the larger membership, and to figure out what could be done about racial inequities. RESG intersects with the Grants and Education committees, has brought training on unconscious bias to grant reviewers and the membership at large, and has spearheaded the formation of the DEI Committee.
2022 begins our fourth year of meeting and there are several topics on the agenda including: the Study of Women in Cross-Cultural Conversations, understanding the lives of women of different races; The Voices of the Enslaved, an historical perspective; Lessons Learned from Black Authors, what a book club can teach us; and Equity in Philanthropy, how it works in the community.
Open to all AAWGT members, registration for all monthly meetings which are held on Zoom the second Tuesday of the month from 4:00-5:00 pm. is available on the members’ page on our website. Please join us!