By Kim Storin
While Austin continues to grow and prosper, Central Texas women and their children continue to face a significant gap when it comes to equity, opportunity and affordability.
Did you know that 40% of BIPOC women in Central Texas live below 200% of the federal poverty level? Or that one-third of Central Texas women are uninsured, compared to only 16% nationwide? In fact, a recent report by Oxfam ranked Texas as the fourth worst state in the country (including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) for working women in 2021.
While the statistics are staggering and the gap for local women continues to widen, I continue to be optimistic about the future because I know that the work that we are doing through the Women’s Fund is directly addressing the opportunity gap for women and their children in Central Texas.
This year, the Women’s Fund refined its process to take an intersectional approach (gender and race) to grantmaking. In the spring, we granted $400,000 with a racial equity lens to local nonprofits that taking are working tirelessly to address critical issues that face Central Texas women. Here are some of the updates our grant partners shared in their mid-year progress reports:
- Unintended Pregnancy Prevention: “Support from the Women’s Fund helps ensure People’s remains an unwavering resource for reproductive health care and wrap-around support for the community.” – People’s Community Clinic
- Child Care: “Funding from the Women’s Fund has helped us keep our Child Development Center open during the Delta surge, utilizing COVID mitigation efforts like increasing outdoor play, limiting co-mingling between classrooms, and providing education around vaccine and prevention for staff and families.” – Jeremiah Program
- Reducing Health Disparities: “Because of the grant funds, we are able to train, supervise, and certify 7 Black women as Certified Doulas, thus increasing the number of culturally congruent birth workers in Central Texas!” – Black Mamas ATX
As the chair of the Women’s Fund this year, I am excited to announce our 2022 campaign theme: She is Key. When we invest in women, communities thrive. This is why we’ve set an ambitious goal to award a minimum of $500,000 in grants to area nonprofits.
Our strategy is guided by data and our collective giving approach amplifies our dollars, voices, and impact. Together, we can be a catalyst for change, funding innovative ideas that make the biggest impact to close the opportunity gap in Austin.
Join us to invest in the future of Central Texas women and their children.
Kim Storin is the chief marketing officer at Zayo where she drives the global brand, positioning and marketing strategy as part of the overall company transformation. She is the 2021-2022 chair of the Women’s Fund Steering Committee.