Religion

Women of Faith Called to Invest in Women, Girls

Monday, March 29, 2010

Women of faith recently joined secular feminists, social activists and philanthropists at a meeting in Dallas. Deborah Richardson says they came away resolved to put their collective spirit and financial power behind the sacred needs of women and girls.

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Editor's Note: The following is a commentary. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the views of Women's eNews.

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Speeding Up the Engines for Change

Reflection wall at the United by Faith conference in Dallas, 2010.What other means can we use to accelerate our work toward achieving social justice? At the conference, discussions focused on both individual and collection actions. As women of faith and action, we often focus our energy outward on the task at hand and as a result don't nourish ourselves enough to be truly effective change makers.

But as Layli Phillips Maparyan of Georgia State University shared in her workshop, "Spiritual Activism: a Womanist Approach to Social Change," we must nurture our bodies, mind and spirits in order to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Barbara Thompson, founder of the Global Village School, a school in Decatur, Ga., that helps teenage survivors of war and refugee camps get an education, also noted, "If the inner work is great, the outer work is never small."

The Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland closed the conference with these final words of wisdom and affirmation: "You are on the right path, know your own authority, stick your breasts out and seek solace and support in your allies. You are not alone."

The conversation about investing in women and girls will be continued on a much wider scale during the upcoming Women's Funding Network annual conference, which is being held in Denver from April 22-24.

Deborah Richardson is chief program officer at Women's Funding Network, a global champion for investment in women and girls. Women's Funding Network provides its more than 155 member funds with ongoing access, training, tools and support to help them increase their investment, influence and impact.

For more information:

Women's Funding Network

http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org/

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