February 2022 Newsletter

The Link

February 2022

Join TPC’s Leadership Team or a TPC Committee

TPC members are not only generous with their dollars, but many help by joining standing committees. We are currently looking to fill some leadership positions, described in detail in this attachment. We hope you will review each position to see if there may be a role that piques your interest. Committee Chairs need to hear from you by Tuesday, February 22 if you are interested or would simply like to learn more. If you would rather participate in a non-leadership capacity, each committee is very welcoming of new members. Committees and respective contacts are:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (contact Kelsea Médard)

Education (contact Jenny Morrison or Osamagbe Osagie

Finance (contact Cathy Konicki)  

Grants (contact Sue Meehan)  

Marketing & Communications (contact Leigh Chandler or Valerie Godhwani)  

Membership (contact Caroline Boeckman)

Membership Committee

We are proud to share that the success of TPC’s new Membership Investment Structure has caught the eye of other giving circles. Last month, Philanos, the top women’s giving circle network in the US, invited us to present about TPC’s new structure during a national webinar that will give other organizations the opportunity to learn from, and ask questions about, TPC’s membership model. TPC will be represented by Board member Kelsea Médard, who is one of three panelists featured in the webinar “Tiered Membership: Is it Right for Your Circle?” The event will take place on Tuesday, March 8 at noon. If interested, you may find more information and register for the event with a note that registration closes on March 6.

February’s Exceptional Philanthropy Dialogue

What is economic stability? This is one of the many questions posed at our most recent Philanthropy Dialogue, “Beyond Employment: The Challenges to Economic Stability,” held on February 10. TPC’s own Dr. Tariana V. Little started the evening by suggesting that economic stability can be thought of as “steady income that meets our life needs.” She outlined the wide range of challenges that the next speaker, Lori Sylvia of TPC grantee BEST Hospitality, illustrated with client stories. She compared a typical pre-pandemic story with a current one, underscoring why it is so hard to fill available jobs. Barriers such as access to technology, computer skills, childcare, and limited English proficiency have all been further magnified by the pandemic. Dr. Charles Daniels, CEO and co-founder of Father’s Uplift, another current grantee, added the need for mental health services to the list. He reminded us that it is “relationships that get you in the door” to a job, connections that many of his clients lack. FUL Ambassador Greg Carter shared his personal story of the support he received when transitioning from incarceration. Tariana summed up key points and reminded us that the sense of community that is needed to support economic stability can be found through the “building of the village” with organizations that TPC supports. The evening ended with thoughtful questions from the audience of 45 members. Far too much to capture in this summary, so we welcome you to view the recording of the event at your convenience. Our next Philanthropy Dialogue will be held in April, so stay tuned for an invitation.

Upcoming Events/Volunteer Opportunities

Tuesday, February 22. Given the success of last September’s forum, TPC will be hosting its second grantee networking event, which brings this and last year’s grantee leadership together for an open discussion about current challenges and successes along with the invaluable opportunity to enhance each participant’s network. A summary will be provided in next month’s Link. (This is a grantee-only event.)

Saturday, March 26. Project Citizenship, in cooperation with the City of Boston, will hold its seventh annual Citizenship Day. If you are interested in lending a hand, volunteers are needed to help eligible future citizens complete a 20-page citizenship application, which is the first major step in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. 

This will be an in-person event, with Covid-19 protocols in place. You can register to volunteer at https://projectcitizenship.org/citday2022-volunteerregistration/ or email McKenzie Bell to learn more.

BEST Hospitality Training would love your help. BEST is looking for TPC volunteers to practice interviewing skills with graduates of its healthcare environmental services and hotel housekeeping training programs. Practice interview sessions will be held virtually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm the weeks of:

  • March 14 through March 25
  • April 18 through April 29
  • May 23 through June 3

Volunteers may choose the 2-hour shift on any day/time that works with their schedules. BEST welcomes participation for as many shifts as possible. Volunteers are required to attend a one-hour virtual training session. Training date options will be shared when you signs up. Please contact BEST staff member Lori Sylvia to sign up.

Grantee Impact: Project Citizenship

Liaisons: Diane Koziel and Anne Poulin

Project Citizenship (PC) seeks to increase the naturalization rate in Massachusetts and beyond. PC is a nonprofit agency that provides free, high-quality legal services to permanent residents to help them become U.S citizens. PC offers free workshops, eligibility screening, application assistance, legal referrals and all materials needed to apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, PC works collaboratively with community-based partners in Massachusetts to provide a range of support services, civics instruction, application assistance, and ESOL classes. (Read more…)

DEI Spotlight

Diversity | Equity | Inclusion

As we celebrate Black History Month, we are reflecting on the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Act was necessary because of decades of voting discrimination heavily perpetrated against Black Americans who were prevented, through bureaucratic means like gerrymandering, poll taxes, and literacy tests, as well as other means such job loss, intimidation, and outright violence, from exercising their right to vote. The Act was brought before Congress because of the efforts of people who are often celebrated this month, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, lesser-known civil rights warriors like Diane Nash or Amelia Boynton, and their allies. It passed successfully through Congress in 1965 and was signed into law before being expanded five times.

In 2013 the Supreme Court heard the Shelby County v Holder case, and decided that an essential element of the law, “preclearance,” which gave the federal government oversight of changes to voting policies and procedures in counties with a substantial history of voting rights discrimination, was unconstitutional. In her dissent against that conclusion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg opined that “throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Since then, states have moved ahead with changes to electoral policies and procedures, including shutting down polling places, limiting mail-in ballots, and purging voter rolls. In many of these cases the impact is undeniably racist, and in every case, the impact is not limited to Black Americans, but disproportionately affects all voters of color, indigenous peoples, young and old voters, and voters without time to wait hours in line to vote because of work or health or without means to get to a polling location.

Recently, activists and elected officials have been working to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to reinstate preclearance and prevent additional discriminatory changes. Most recently, in January of this year, it was suggested that a Senate vote on the Act be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Ultimately it did not move forward against threat of filibuster, but pressure continues to rise on elected officials to do something to secure voting rights for all.

For more on the Voting Rights Act and on John Lewis, for whom the current iteration of the bill is named, check out:

  • Video: Brennan Center President Michael Waldman testifies before the House on the need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act 
  • Article: Debunking False Claims About the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Graphic Novel: “March,” a three-book graphic novel memoir by former Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. “A vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights.”

Want to share feedback, ideas or resources? Please email us directly at: Diversity@thephilanthropyconnection.org

The Philanthropy Connection’s mission is to inspire and enable a community of women to learn, grow, and engage in collective giving to support nonprofit organizations that address systemic inequities impacting individuals and families within the greater Boston area.

Email: connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org
Phone: 617-544-7812

TPC members include all women who identify as cisgender, transgender, agender, gender queer, and femme. TPC welcomes everyone for whom “woman” is a meaningful identifier or experience.

TPC qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) for US tax purposes. Our EIN is #46-0665444.