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Women’s Fund Announces Recipients of $240,000 in Grants

EASTHAMPTON — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) announced a total of $240,000 in new grant commitments in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties.

Working within focus areas of educational access and success, economic justice, and safety and freedom from violence, partners in these communities will each receive $60,000 over three years to deploy innovative programs that will help shift the landscape for women and girls.

Grantees include Berkshire County’s Flying Cloud Institute and ROPE/Women of Color Giving Circle for their Berkshire Collaborative for GIRLS in STEM project; Franklin County’s Greenfield Community College, Montague Catholic Social Ministries, New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, and Seeds of Solidarity for their Women’s GARDEN Project Collaborative effort; Hampden County’s Neighbor to Neighbor and Voices from Inside for their Voice Activated project; and Hampshire County’s MotherWoman, UMass Amherst, and Hampshire College for their Firm Foundation: Policy Change for Mothers project.

“We had an extremely competitive applicant pool,” said Elizabeth Barajas-Román, Women’s Fund CEO. “The grants committee made difficult choices based on projects with meaningful collaborations, clear and attainable impact on the community, and on proposals that balanced our portfolio of funded projects already in the field.”

The new 2015 grantees join exiting Women’s Fund grant partners funded through 2017: Berkshire United Way for a coalition effort titled Face the Facts Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition; the Prison Birth Project in Hampden County, which will continue its social- and reproductive-justice efforts for incarcerated and post-incarcerated mothers; and, in Hampshire County, the Treehouse Foundation’s project, Re-envisioning Foster Care Together.

“Collectively, these grantees will help leverage the WFWM’s impact on the lives of women and girls in Western Massachusetts,” Barajas-Román said. “The WFWM will also continue to convene skill-building sessions and support the programming of organizations that work on issues that impact women and girls.”

In addition to the financial award, WFWM will invest an additional $20,000 into the partnership by giving each organization the opportunity to nominate its staff, constituents, or board members as participants of the WFWM’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI), a program that has equipped 200 women from across the four western counties to become civic leaders in their communities; impact policy on the local, state, and national levels; and seek and retain elected positions.

The WFWM is a public foundation that invests in the lives of local women and girls through strategic grant making and leadership development. Since 1997, the WFWM has awarded more than $2 million in grants to more than 150 programs in the four counties of Western Mass.

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