Face the Facts: Reduce Teen Pregnancy
Berkshire United Way
Your Women's Fund is a key funding partner of the Face the Facts: Reduce Teen Pregnancy project, a county-wide coalition led by Berkshire United Way. From 2009 to 2014, Berkshire County has seen a reduction in the teen birth rate of 54%. This significant reduction has occurred through a four pronged strategy: advocating for comprehensive Sexual Health Education, inspiring and facilitating parent engagement, improving access to reproductive health services, and developing innovative youth-specific marketing campaigns around reproductive health. Encouraged by the recent decline, the coalition aims to reduce the teen birth rate by another 50% by 2020.
Funding Cycle: June 2014–June 2017
Partnering Organizations: Tapestry Health, Pittsfield High School, Railroad Street Youth Project, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, Herberg Middle School, Miss Hall's School, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Taconic High School, Wahconah Regional High School, Berkshire Children and Families, Elizabeth Freeman Center
PBP: Advocacy and Training
Prison Birth Project
The Women's Fund supports advocacy and educational programming of the Prison Birth Project (PBP). PBP was instrumental in passing S.2063, Anti-Shackling legislation abolishing the harmful practice of shackling incarcerated women who are pregnant or in labor, becoming a national leader as other states implement similar legislation. In addition, PBP has 18 fully trained doulas (and more being trained annually) that are providing care such as weekly childbirth education classes to at least 75% of all pregnant women at the Women's Correctional Center in Chicopee. They provide doulas with continuing education trainings such as Opioid Dependency and birth, and created a support group for currently incarcerated women known as "MAU: Mothers Among Us," which has 26 unique participants being trained as leaders and advocates.
Funding Cycle: June 2014-June 2017
Partnering Organizations: National Institute for Reproductive Health, Prisoners Legal Services, Families for Justice as Healing, Mt Holyoke College, Community Partnerships for Social Change (CPSC), and Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) of Hampshire College
TurnUP! Young Women in Science program
Flying Cloud Institute (FCI)
Fifteen years ago, a grant from WFWM led to the founding of FCI's Young Women in Science program (YWIS). This funding cycle, focusing on girls in rural Berkshire County and urban Pittsfield, TurnUP addresses the barriers local girls must overcome to successfully enter STEM careers. The Women's Fund's multi-year grant makes it possible for YWIS to deepen relationships with host schools and communities, create a Women in STEM network, promote curricular changes in the public schools, build corporate partnerships, and develop new promotional materials to catalyze change.
Funding Cycle: June 2015 – June 2018
Partnering Organizations: Rights of Passage Empowerment (ROPE)
Neighbor to Neighbor
Voices from Inside (VFI) and Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) are partnering to form Voice Activated, a project to build a powerful base of formerly incarcerated women, standing up for their rights, and advocating for an economic empowerment agenda. Through their involvement with VFI, formerly incarcerated women find their voices, tell their stories, and build their self-confidence. They then join Neighbor to Neighbor in their Jobs Not Jails campaign, which is working to pass the Justice Reinvestment Act through the Massachusetts state legislature.
Funding Cycle: June 2015-June2018
Partnering Organizations: Voices from the Inside
Firm Foundations: Policy Change for Mothers
This project empowers participants to share their stories to create lasting impact on policy for mothers in Massachusetts; specifically pregnant workers. Women need protections in the workplace so that being pregnant or being a mother does not mean losing their job or living in poverty. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) provides this substantial support. This project features collaboration between MotherWoman, state legislators, local universities and colleges, and national policy advocacy organizations to ensure passage of PWFA for mothers and families in Massachusetts. If passed, this bill could affect thousands of women across the Commonwealth with workforce accommodations during pregnancy.
Funding Cycle:June 2015-June 2018
Partnering Organizations: Hampshire College and UMass Amherst
Franklin County Women's Growing Agricultural Resiliency and Developing Economic Networks (GARDEN) Project
Greenfield Community College Foundation
The GARDEN project empowers survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Franklin County by providing 1 college credit for each of four Re-Skilling courses completed through Greenfield Community College's Farm & Food Systems Program offered at sites in the community. The project also includes coordination of transportation, childcare, translation services, peer mentoring and advocacy by successive cohorts to ensure successful completion of skills classes. Over four years an expected 75 women and their families will take steps towards healthy life-styles, food security and economic independence by creating cooperatives and maintaining community gardens in Turners Falls, Greenfield, and Orange.
Funding Cycle: June 2014 – June 2017; June 2015 – June 2018
Partnering Organizations: Greenfield Community College Sage Education Center, Montague Catholic Social Ministries, NELCWIT, Seeds of Solidarity
Re-envisioning Foster Care Together
Re-Envisioning Foster Care Together promotes widespread community engagement and collaboration among individuals, organizations, and institutions to benefit children in foster care. Through the annual REFCA conference, the intergenerational Treehouse Community, advocacy, education and collaboration, Re-Envisioning Foster Care Together promotes child welfare reform and empowers the leadership and voice of women and girls. Working locally, regionally and at state and national levels, Re-envisioning Foster Care Together project is building an exemplary model of innovation in the Pioneer Valley, which will advance a national movement.
Funding Cycle: June 2014-June 2017
Partnering Organizations: Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass Amherst; Boston College School of Social Work; MA Department of Children and Families (DCF); Children's Study Home; Enchanted Circle Theater