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May 15, 2024

Ms. Foundation for Women Honors Jamarah Amani, Rhiannon Carnes, Lateefah Simon, Sophia Madrigal, And Culture House

The Women of Vision Awards: Seeding Solidarity & Sisterhood marked President and CEO Teresa C. Younger’s 10th year leading the foundation and a special Congressional Resolution recognition

PHOTOS: HERE

Credit: Getty Images for Ms. Foundation for Women

NEW YORK, NY, May 15, 2024 – Last night, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the nation’s first and oldest women’s foundation, hosted the Women of Vision Awards: Seeding Solidarity & Sisterhood. This year’s event celebrated the Ms. Foundation’s new home in Brooklyn, New York, and recognized a powerful decade of growth for the organization under the leadership of President and CEO Teresa C. Younger.

The evening honored Ms. Foundation grantee partners  Jamarah Amani, Executive Director of Southern Birth Justice Network and Rhiannon Carnes, Executive Director of Ohio Women’s Alliance,  as well as Culture House leaders Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg and Nicole Galovsky, civil right and social justice advocate Lateefah Simon, and youth activist and Gold Award Girl Scout Sophia Madrigal. The event was co-hosted by Danielle Moodie, host of iHeart’s #WokeAF Daily, co-host of the Daily Beast’s The New Abnormal and #democracyish, and Ms. Foundation Board Member, and nationally syndicated radio host Angela Yee of Way Up with Angela Yee and previously The Breakfast Club, and featured Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University and award-winning author. Singer, songwriter, and storyteller Ari Afsar provided attendees with a performance during the event, and renowned DJ Mary Mac performed a special after-party set following the awards ceremony. 

The Ms. Foundation was also recognized and honored with a Congressional Resolution for their work to build women’s collective power and center women and girls of color in philanthropy. Teresa Younger, President and CEO and Ruth McFarlane, Deputy CEO announced that since the start of its ambitious 18-month campaign to raise $100M called Creating the Future We Deserve in January 2023, the Ms. Foundation has raised over 94 million dollars in funds to support the work of the foundation for the next 50 years. 

The Women of Vision Awards is the Ms. Foundation for Women’s largest annual fundraising event, honoring feminist advocates, activists, and thought-leaders who ignite policy and cultural change. Since its founding in 1973, the Ms. Foundation has invested more than $90 million to build grassroots movements fighting for gender equity for women, particularly women of color around the country. Since its inception, the foundation has supported over 1,600 grassroots organizations throughout the country working for change on a grassroots level in order to build power and advance democracy. 

Below, please see highlights from the night and key quotes from the evening’s speakers. 

HIGHLIGHT: Ms. Foundation President and CEO Teresa C. Younger:

QUOTE: Teresa C. Younger said, “All night long you’ve experienced the solidarity and sisterhood that started with seeds planted by our founding mothers, nurtured by generations of invested community members, and seen through to fruition by so many people in this room. And we want to keep our garden growing and growing.” 

HIGHLIGHT: Rhiannon Carnes, Woman of Vision Award Recipient 

As a grantee partner and Executive Director of Ohio Women’s Alliance, Rhiannon was honored for her fearless dedication to reproductive justice.

QUOTE: Rhiannon Carnes said, “Regardless of what is popular or what is familiar, it takes bravery and determination to build a liberation movement—navigating through limited resources and at times very little allyship when standing on the right side of justice and freedom. This moment will reveal itself in the future of our children and generations to come. And despite how much labor is required or how uncomfortable it may feel, they will call upon us to answer. Who was courageous enough to refrain from turning a blind eye? And who was strong enough to refrain from turning our backs? And if we watered and cared for the seeds we planted or if we allowed weeds to destroy and tarnish what we’ve grown together?”

HIGHLIGHT: Jamarah Amani, Woman of Vision Award Recipient

As a grantee partner and Executive Director of Southern Birth Justice Network, Jamarah was honored for her vital role in building the birth justice movement

QUOTE: Jamarah Amani said, “My parents intended to conceive and birth a warrior, an activist who would carry on the struggle for Black liberation. And so here I stand on all of that powerful legacy. I am a birth justice midwife. Birth justice means that every person has a right to decide if, when, where, how and with whom to give birth. Birth justice means full spectrum care – including abortion and reproductive and sexual health and wellness for everybody. Birth justice is providers who respect your pronouns, your identity, your values, your culture and your ways of being. Birth justice means your body is always yours and you never have to surrender your body or your human rights to a system that was designed to destroy you.”

HIGHLIGHT: Lateefah Simon, Marie C. Wilson Award Recipient:

This award honors trailblazing feminist leaders who amplify their voices and enact positive change by paving the way for generations to come. Lateefah is a past grantee partner, a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and social justice, and the President of MeadowFund. 

QUOTE: Lateefah Simon said, “There are few women who were around in those early days who understood collectively what we could do. If Marie was here today, I’d tell her I’m not running for Congress, I’m going to win. And I’ll say this to you now of what she taught me – philanthropy can be different…Justice is not service, what we deserve is liberation…And that has always been the work of the Ms. Foundation.” 

HIGHLIGHT: Culture House: Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg and Nicole Galovsky

Annually, the Ms. Foundation honors grassroots leaders who have impacted the women’s movement in unparalleled ways, and Culture House was recognized for their impactful work and commitment to diversity and inclusion across all of their projects.

QUOTE:  Carri Twigg said, “We’re so honored to be here with you all and to be recognized in this way. We founded Culture House to make media with two things. First and foremost that contributes to a shared vision and is engaged and more interconnected. And secondly, to provide opportunity to other creatives that align with our values.”

HIGHLIGHT: Sophia Madrigal, Free to Be You and Me Award Recipient:
This award honors young activists enacting change and leading the way for future generations. Sophia was honored for her work focused on the healing power of indigenous storytelling through her Gold Award earning project with the Girl Scouts of the USA.

QUOTE: Sophia Madrigal said, “In storytelling, there is a place to hold the generation which was lost to boarding schools, and the ongoing crisis of MMIP, to tell their story so their families are not forced to carry the worst horrors of a silent and forgotten war. In seeing our stories celebrated and protected, Indigenous people are seeing our dreams come true. In many ways the most important thing I can bring to help my community, as an Indigenous girl, is my voice, and I can do that through storytelling.”

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For more than 50 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has shaped women’s philanthropy in the United States, providing a blueprint for the establishment of hundreds of local and regional women’s funds, influencing mainstream culture through nationwide projects such as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and making grants totaling over $90 million to more than 1,600 grassroots organizations across the country. Through research, advocacy, and grantmaking, the Ms. Foundation is the national model for sustainable, trust-based philanthropic support of women of color-led movements. With equity and inclusion as the cornerstones of true democracy, the Ms. Foundation works to create a world in which the worth and dignity of every person are valued, and power and possibility are not limited by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or age. 

Press Contact:
Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis 
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