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The Power of One ... Multiplied by Many

September-October 2020

In This Issue: Leadership Letter | 2021 Grants Cycle Starts Early | Our First Virtual Grants ShowcaseTrimming Health Inequity Event Video

Leadership Letter

As we move through 2020 perhaps the unusual is now becoming the usual: keeping friends and family at a distance, meetings large and small through Zoom, events reformatted or canceled. What has remained the same, however, is AAWGT’s commitment to our mission and our ability to work together to move us as individuals and a group forward.

Our work to improve the quality of life for women and children is intensified and supported by “continuing to identify and implement best practices as we collectively invest, inform, and inspire our members and our community to ameliorate the inequities that surround us.” These words are taken from the banner statement recently added to our home page. Accordingly, we are designing and implementing changes and enhancements to our practices to address the racial inequities in Anne Arundel County, the place we know best.

Members are working collaboratively to view what we do through a racial equity lens. The Racial Equity Study Group and committees, particularly Grants and Education, are studying and developing the means to make this happen.

We will keep our members and the general public informed about our progress as we move forward. Members who would like to become involved should let one of us know. Your participation will enrich our efforts.

Working together and staying engaged, we can continue to make thoughtful progress toward a more equitable community.


Sheila Onuska, President
Elaine Shanley, Vice-President

2021 Grant Cycle Starts Early

This year AAWGT’s grant application process will begin earlier than usual. AAWGT accepts applications from nonprofits to fund programs that seek to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County. AAWGT’s Call for Applications will be released on Monday, November 2, 2020, and the Application will also be available online on that date.

The Applicant Training Workshop will also be advanced to Tuesday, November 17, and will be held in two parts: a morning session that covers organizational requirements and an afternoon session that focuses on the application requirements. The Applicant Training Workshop will be via Zoom Webinar and will be recorded so it can also be viewed later as needed. We hope this earlier date and expanded training will better respond to the needs of our applicants. The new schedule will be publicized on our website and disseminated by email. If an organization is not sure whether it is on our email list, please let us know at

Our First Virtual Grants Showcase

On September 9th, AAWGT presented its annual Grants Showcase by Zoom Webinar. Members and guests alike embraced the new format, with 211 registrants.

This annual event is our chance to literally “showcase” the wonderful work of our 2019 grantees who just completed their grant year. This year we added a segment to shine light on our new 2020 grantees—9 organizations that together received over $130,000 to fund their work in the coming year.

Showcase Moderator Susan Cook and Post Grants Evaluation Committee (PGEC) Chair Kate Caldwell kicked off the one-hour presentation, noting that over the past 14 years, AAWGT has invested over $1.2 million in AAC nonprofit organizations.

The Webinar provided an opportunity for grantees to tell us about the challenges and successes of their grant year. Presenters included Rob Levit/Creating Communities, Jo Ann Mattson/Light House; Tony Gamboa/Organization of Hispanic & Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County OHLA, Barbara Cupp/Rebuilding Together AAC; Laura Iversen/Start The Adventure in Reading STAIR - Annapolis, and Stefanie Takacs/Touchstones Discussion Project. Kristen Strain/Tahirih Justice Center was unable to attend due to illness but Susan Cook highlighted their project.

Our 2020 grantees were highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation we created to congratulate them on their newly-awarded grants.

Newtowne Community Development Corporation - From Surviving to Thriving - $10,000

Annapolis Immigration Justice Network - Legal Fund/Family Preservation Project - $20,000

Anne Arundel County (AAC) Food Bank, Inc. - Baby Pantries - $10,000

Chrysalis House, Inc.- Training for Child Development Staff - $6,330

HOPE For All, Inc. - Turning Houses into Homes - $19,978

The Light House, Inc. - Family Assistance Program - $20,000 

Seeds 4 Success, Inc. - Student Health and Wellness Initiative - $20,000

Services from the Heart - Backpack Buddies Program/Food Backpacks - $10,000

Touchstones Discussion Project - Expanding Women’s Life and Leadership Skills for Post-Incarceration Success - $20,000

The event closed with a thank you to our sponsors for their ongoing support and a reminder to all attendees that additional information about the grantees is on our website.

Upcoming Event (Webinar)

October 14, 2020, 7:00 - 8:15 pm

Elevating All Students-Eliminating All Gaps

Maisha Gillins, PhD, Executive Director, Office of Equity and Accelerated Student Achievement, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Please join us to learn about the ways in which Anne Arundel County Public Schools are focusing on Elevating ALL Students and Eliminating ALL Gaps. Dr. Gillins will review the history of racial disparities in the county and identify the steps necessary to begin to ameliorate them. She will provide specific examples of implicit/unconscious bias in the classroom and describe approaches to addressing it.

A community forum co-moderated by Tatiana Klein, Centro de Ayuda and Monique Brown, NAACP, AACo Chapter will conclude the evening.

This event is free and open to the public

Register Here

Upcoming events our members are engaged in. We invite others to join AAWGT to participate with us.

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In Case You Missed It

The video of our June Trimming Health Inequity Event is posted on this website, as well as Dr. Thomas’ resources.

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Anne Arundel Women Giving Together |
AAWGT is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
AAWGT is a member of Philanos: Accelerating Philanthropy through Women’s Collective Giving

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