MWF is thrilled to welcome Kay Hunt as the new president of the Board of Trustees.
Kay was first elected to the Board in 1993. She has significant experience in philanthropy and women's issues as the Administrator for Corporate Contributions at Detroit Edison. Previously, she chaired MWF's Fund Development Committee. Kay also serves on the Board of the University of Michigan Musical Society and has been a friend to many non-profits, especially in the arts. MWF is privileged to have her proven leadership and expertise at our helm. Welcome, Kay!
Because of the success of last year's fund raising efforts, the MWF Board of Trustees has authorized a $25,000 increase to support our general grants cycle, which funds projects in employment/economic development; improved management of women's non-profits; leadership development; self-sufficiency; and sexual assault/domestic violence. This increase will allow MWF to expand both the number of grants approved and the dollars authorized. Grant proposals are currently being reviewed and grants will be announced in December 1996.
MWF is honored to receive $76.750 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to be used to strengthen our functioning through leadership development and organizational capacity building. Their support will permit us to improve our technology, our services to women's non-profits, and organizational expertise. With the support of this grant, our second decade of service begins with a giant leap forward.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 to "help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations." Its programming activities center around the common visions of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.
To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific focal points or areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education, and higher education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. When woven throughout these areas, funding also is provided for leadership; information systems/technology; efforts to capitalize on diversity; and family, neighborhood, and community development programming. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
According to the Michigan Women's Commission 1992 study on incarcerated women, Unheard Voices, 94% of women in jail were incarcerated for nonviolent, economically-driven offenses. Over 50% of the women interviewed for the study indicated that they had been victims of some sort of abuse in their lives. The report also touches on the role that domestic violence plays in the lives of these women prior to their incarceration. Some women were sentenced to jail due to their "aiding and abetting" of a crime committed by their batterer.
The report also discusses the poor treatment women receive in jail or prison, including sexual assault by male correctional officers. Women often do not receive the needed prescription medications or access to medical services. Incarcerated pregnant women do not always receive the appropriate prenatal care or childbirth education, often resulting in poor birth outcomes.
In 1971, the Michigan Department of Corrections sought to provide alternatives to incarceration for pregnant or parenting women and a "halfway house" in the community for women. Project Transition was formed to provide this type of service. In 1990, Project Transition received a five year demonstration grant from the Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Substance Abuse Prevention to begin the program recently funded by the Michigan Women's Foundation -- the Women and Infants at Risk program (WIAR).
Project Transition is one of the nine human service agencies housed under MetroMatrix Human Services in the Detroit area. The mission of the agency is to advocate for and assist women who have been involved in the criminal justice system. The advocacy component of their mission is carried out through work with the corrections system's administrators, at both the state and local levels in identifying and meeting the needs of women involved in the system. The agency also offers comprehensive services to individual women that will assist them in their efforts toward reintegrating back into their families and society.
The Women and Infants at Risk program of Project Transition is a long-term residential treatment program for pregnant and postpartum women involved in the criminal justice system. The program offers a residence for the mother and her infant, labor and delivery support (facilitated through Hassle Hospital's Midwifery services), counseling, linkages to community resources, baby care and parenting classes, discharge planning, adult education and full-time employment training.
The adult education and employment training programs teach women interviewing skills, resume production on a computer, applications, budgeting, how to address the issue of their offense with the employer and how to dress for success. Upon completion of this eight-week program, women enter "job search" where with staff assistance, they secure employment that compensates at greater than $6.15 per hour. Women must be employed for a minimum of 30 days before they are eligible for discharge. All of these services and programs are held on site, and the women's children are cared for by foster grandparents while they are in adult education and employment training.
In June, 1996, the Michigan Women's Foundation made a $4,500 grant to Project Transition to fund some of the operating expenses for the WIAR program. MWF was thrilled to learn this summer that the Skillman Foundation approved a grant of $780,000 over the next three years for the WIAR program. Helping women who have been victims most of their lives reenter our society with new skills, education and motivation to succeed, Project Transition truly emobidies the mission of MWF.
For the past five years, Barbara Labadie has been one of the Michigan Women's Foundation's most generous supporters, with contributions to the annual benefit dinners an to the Foundation's annual fund. Recently, she decided to make a longer-term giving commitment to MWF through a gift of life insurance.
Gifts of Life insurance are an easy and affordable way to make a deferred gift in addition to planning for one's family. An individual is entitled to an income tax deduction for the current value of the policy at the time of the gift. Future premiums paid on a policy irrevocably assigned to a charity are also tax deductible. Most importantly, an individual donor does not have to be wealthy to create a memorial at MWF. By committing a relatively small amount over a period of years, one can establish an eventual memorial that will significantly exceed the total value of similar cash gifts over a lifetime.
Barbara Labadie is Chairman of Labadie Capital Management, a Troy-based investment management firm. She specializes in socially responsible investments, creating portfolios according to highly specific social parameters by screening stocks based on a company's record on such issues as labor practices, equal employment opportunities and environmental sensitivity. To demonstrate her sincere commitment to these principles, her firm donates 5 percent of her fees to a charity chosen by each client. For clients who have no preference, Ms. Labadie recommends MWF.
An interest in women's issues has run throughout Ms. Labadie's life. She is a cofounder of Women in the Senate and House (WISH), a network that raises money for Republican women running for office; a sustaining member of the Women's Economic Club; and a corporate member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. According to Barb Labadie, "Men know how to support each other. Women have to learn how. My purpose is to educate and help women evolve to do this."
Ms. Labadie supports the Michigan Women's Foundation because its mission of women's self-sufficiency is consistent with her own goals. She understands the value of the Foundation's endowment as a security for the future. Her gift will be designated to the MWF endowment fund, which will provide unrestricted grantmaking funds for programs for women and girls.
"I don't give advice," she said. "I just set examples. When I get involved, I want to show others and get them involved. It's fun."
The Michigan Women's Foundatin frequently "takes its show on the road" to host small receptions in communities around the state. It is a terrific way for us to meet new supporters, learn more about the communities we serve, and raise funds, and they provide our guests with opportunities to network or just to see old friends.
Our most recent such event took place in Kalamazoo on September 26. Ann and Don Parfet generously hosted us at their lovely Italian restaurant, Bravo! Over 50 guests came out despite pouring rain to welcome our new Executive Director, Peg Talburtt, and to learn more about MWF. In her remarks, Peg extended an invitation to the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek communities to partner with the Foundation in finding and funding projects to change the lives of women and girls in Michigan.
The event raised over $7,000 for the Foundation -- enough for one and perhaps two of our grants in our General Grants Distribution cycle. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Host Committee for this event. These individuals really made it happen: Donna and Jack Gray, Harriett Hall and George Franklin, Barbara and Jerry Hill, Susan and Peter Ordway, Ann and Don Parfet, and Sondra Shaw.
If you would like to host a similar reception or would like to help plan one, please call Andrea Piotrowski Larson at (517) 374- 7270.
Kristen VanWeelden Gootjes joined the MWF staff as a program officer in Mid-September. Her primary responsibility will be to coordinate Young Women for Change, the grantmaking committee of 15 high school age women in Kent County. Kristen comes to MWF with valuable experience. Kristen has worked as an intern at the Grand Rapids Foundation and also as a staff member of the Calvin College Service/Learning Center for four years. While earning her bachelor's degree in English and Business Social Science, she served as Calvin's representative to Michigan Campus Compact as well as coordinated the campus' Big Sisters program, spring break service projects, and fund/raisers to support Habitat for Humanity. She is currently serving as the Lakeshore Coordinator for Women Matter! And is leading a club for girls in her neighborhood.
Watch out for a Nancy Drew catalog, which should be arriving in your mailbox within the next couple of weeks. No, this Nancy Drew is not the crime-solver you remember from those childhood novels -- she's a talented Michigan artist who is donating 20% of the proceeds from her holiday catalog sales to the Michigan Women's Foundation. So please support a Michigan woman artist and MWF by purchasing unique holiday gifts from the catalog.
Bobbie S. Butler,
Equal Employment Officer,
Michigan Department of Corrections
Hilda Patricia Curran, Michigan Jobs Commission
Teresa S. Decker, Varnum, Riddering Schmidt & Howlett
Jay Felt, Dykema Gossett
Judith C. Frey, President, The Issue Network Group, Social/Political Activist
Beth Goebel, Executive Director, Dyer-Ives Foundation
Pearl M. Holforty, C.P.A., CEO, Liberty BIDCO
Kay Hunt, Detroit Edison Foundation
Mildred M. Jeffrey, Board of Governors, Waye State University (Emerita)
Majorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D., Chief Physician, Ford Motor company (Retired)
Tish Preston, Senior Associate, Henry Ford Health Care Corporation
Mary Jo Pulte, Owner, the Lodge at Yarrow
Maureen P. Reilly, Jude, Michigan Court of Appeals
Tessie Baltrip Sharp, Assistant to the Provost, Wayne State University
Marilyn H. Steele, Ph.D., C.S. Mott Foundation (Retired)
Jane R. Thomas, Ph.D., Assistant Dean, School of Medicine, Waye State University
Terri D. Wright, Chief, Bureau of Child & Family Services, Michigan Department of Community Health
Margaret Talburtt, Ph.D., Executive Director, on-line address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Bitonti Stewart, Associate Director, on-line address: email@example.com
Andrea Piotrowski Larson, Director of Degelopment, on-line address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Van Weelden Gootjes, YWFC Program Officer
Nicole LaRosa, Office Assistant