Michigan Women's Foundation, 17177 North Laurel Park Dr., Suite 445, Livonia, MI 48152
telephone: (734) 542-3946; fax: (734) 542-3952; URL: http://www.miwf.org/
Center for Women, 25 Sheldon Blvd., SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
telephone: (616) 742-2389; fax: (616) 459-8460

Michigan Women's Foundation
Fall 1998

Women's Health Funding Initiative Grants Awarded

On September 29th, the Michigan Women's Foundation Board of Trustees approved the 1998 Women's Health Funding Initiative grants. The Women's Health Funding Initiative grant cycle was extremely competitive, attracting over 45 proposals and nearly $1,000,000 in grant requests. MWF is proud to announce the following recipients of WHFI funding:

A.C.C.E.S.S. received $30,000 for The Arab Female Domestic Violence Advocacy Project to develop and implement an advocacy-training project to empower Arab female victims experiencing domestic violence. A.C.C.E.S.S., in partnership with the United Muslim Women Association of the Islamic Institute, will train Arab women in community leadership roles to become advocates of victims of violence. Arab women will be encouraged to utilize these "community leaders" for resources and support if they are suffering from domestic violence and abuse.

Migrant Health Promotion in Monroe received a grant of $25,000 to produce, "Nuestra Salud," a series of four ten-minute videotapes developed specifically by and for Farmworker women to increase their ability to understand and control their health. Developed using the materials and lessons learned from the Michigan Women's Foundation funded Camp Health Aide Program, the video series will essentially double the amount of culturally and linguistically appropriate information available to Farmworker women about their health.

R.A.V.E. of West Michigan received $30,000 for Building Healthy Futures, a 2-year cooperative venture between R.A.V.E. of West Michigan and Grand Rapids Public Schools. R.A.V.E. will provide curriculum and intensive training instruction to school nurses, social workers, counselors, and educators on the issues of relationship abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Next, middle school students will participate in and 8-week, comprehensive education program addressing the issues of relationship abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Grand Rapids Public Schools will then provide for a semester to conduct individual and group counseling for girls identified as at-risk or already involved in unhealthy relationships.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians received $20,000 for The Rural Breast Health Project which is designed to increase access to breast health care by providing outreach clinics in each of the 6 Northern Michigan counties in an attempt to screen a minimum of 150 Native American women, aged 40 and older. In addition, the program will include group and individual counseling and education.

MWF would like to express thanks to all grant applicants. Also, many thanks for the hard work of all Women's Health Funding Initiative committee members, including our co-chairs, Jane Thomas, Ph.D. and Marianne Udow!

Perspectives: Empowerment
by Margaret Talburtt, Executive Director

"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." "Mother" Mary Jones

Mother Jones sums up one aspect of empowerment that is a core value for MWF. The twist that our board has added to this definition is that the fight promotes the independence of women and girls, permitting them to achieve their full potential. We want to fund programs that provide women and girls with the support, opportunity, and skills required to attain economic and personal self-sufficiency.

As we announce our grants for the Womenís Health Initiative in this issue, you will find a connection between empowerment and those programs we have funded. RAVE will work with the Grand Rapids Public Schools to prevent dating violence and avoid later issues of domestic violence. The Midwest Migrant Health Project will produce health tapes in Spanish so those female farm workers can gain expertise for their self-care and well being. The Upper Peninsula will be served by our grant to the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians Rural Health Program. Although there is state money available to pay for mammograms for these rural women, there are few resources to support access to mammogram sites. Our dollars will target outreach efforts both before and after the mammogram itself. Finally, funds were granted to A.C.C.E.S.S., a community center serving the large Arab population in the west Detroit area. This project will train women leaders in the community to advocate for victims of domestic abuse. Again, the common thread is supporting women and girls to new levels of independence in their lives.

As donors and friends, your support empowers us to do this work. We will Ďfight like hell for the livingí. Together, we can achieve this goal.

Young Women for Change Established in Metropolitan Detroit Area

The Michigan Womenís Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of a metropolitan Detroit Young Women for Change. The generous support of NBD Bank, with an additional endowment gift from the David M. Whitney Fund has made this long-time goal a reality!

Young Women for Change began in Kent County three years ago to actively involve young women in philanthropy, as well as to help meet the needs and improve the futures of girls and young women in the community. The young womenís committee consists of 15-20 young women (ages 14-17) of diverse backgrounds who access the needs of local girls and then grant funds to programs working to serve those needs. The committee grants approximately $20,000 per year to the selected programs. The program is truly a win-win situation; girls are given the opportunity to gain leadership skills, learn about issues facing girls in their community, and practice issues facing girls in their community, and practice philanthropy. In addition, the programs that Young Women for Change awards grants to, also benefit from the needed grant dollars.

Raising Strong and Confident Daughters

Women play an important role in helping young girls to grow up into strong and confident women. Here are a few tips to use with those girls in your life.

  1. Teach girls to trust themselves by regularly validating their feelings and experiences.
  2. Point out and talk about the many limiting stereotypes girls experience daily from the media. For example, in order to be liked, girls need to be thin and pretty. Show girls how TV and magazines push this idea rather than real images of females.
  3. When a girl expresses interest or curiosity in a particular career, find and introduce her to real female role models who embody this interest.
  4. Encourage a girl to treasure spending time with herself. Spending time alone helps girls to get to know themselves and leads to greater self acceptance and less of a need to please others.
  5. Take the time to educate yourself about and expose girls to the vast amount of excellent childrenís literature and biographies that feature resourceful girls and strong women. For example, consult Just Girls , a regularly updated catalogue of books for ages 4-14 which portrays spirited and adventurous girls.
Source: "Raising Strong and Confident Daughters"

Trillium Trendsetter

When talking to Terri Handlin, one wonders how she "gets it all done." The answer is that she is very organized. Sheís also extremely dedicated to the issues she cares about. Ranking high on that list are issues that affect women and girls. Terri, Supervisor of Career & Technical Services at Forest Hills Public Schools, has been a donor and an avid MWF volunteer since 1992, when she attended her first MWF event, the annual benefit dinner.

Today, Terri serves on the "Women of Achievement & Courage" dinner committee and co-chaired the event in 1998. She is also a member of MWFís West Michigan Fund Development Committee and is a core member of Divided Sisters, small group of women of color and white women committed to take steps to resolve issues that still divide women. Terri also has a special interest in the development of strong, confident young women. She is a mentor to members of Young Women for Change, engaging them in activities, such as community events celebrating womenís history. This winter she will facilitate some of their discussions on the topic of diversity.

Why is she so involved in MWF activities? She says, "Simply put, I grew up a female without opportunities. Although my career choice, education, is a traditional choice, I am determined to be a role model to encourage girls. Also, MWFís vision and goals match mine."

In her non-MWF volunteer life she sits on the board of Grand Rapids Community College, has co-chaired Legacy Ď97, a month-long series of events highlighting the contributions of women throughout history, and helps organize Girls Matter! In her school district. Terri is member of the AAUW and the Greater Grand Rapids Womenís History Council.

MWF salutes you Terri, for sharing your talent and time to benefit the women and girls of Michigan.

Grantee Spotlight: Groundwork for a Just World

The Michigan Womenís Foundation, along with other supporters, funded the Michigan Assemblies Project, a statewide initiative managed by Groundwork for a Just World in partnership with welfare rights organizations and the Michigan Fair Budget Coalition.

The purpose of the project is to improve opportunities for low income women targeted by welfare reforms for a rapid transition into the labor force through community recommendations, which promote the familyís stability and protect the childrenís safety.

The Michigan Assemblies Project concluded its extensive inquiry into the status of Michiganís low-income families and the barriers they face in their effort to become self-sufficient at its June 12-13 state assembly. Representatives came to this meeting from 12 local assemblies held earlier around the state. These delegates from around the state reached a consensus on a package of recommendations that they believe will increase affected familiesí chances of becoming permanently free of the welfare system. In addition to skills enhancement and state assurance of ongoing care for families based on need, the recommendations focus on the infrastructure issues of:

Local testimony demonstrated that mandatory welfare to work activities with no infrastructure in place to support them creates a high level of stress in many families. Their stability is threatened as parents experience difficulty keeping their children and themselves safe while working and traveling to work. The impact was felt by families still in the assistance system as well as those who have "worked their way" out of it.

Specific recommendations will be explored locally, shared with policy makers and used at candidate forums. The final report that will include research findings and the recommendations will be published in late October. It will be available from Groundwork for a Just World. Call Barbara Beesley (313-822-5197) for more information.

MWF Development Committees Focus on Individual Donors

MWF is trying out a new way of developing its resources. Seeking to maximize existing individual donors, Southeast and West Michigan committees were formed to implement fund development plans in their respective regions. Western Michigan and its 13 members have been meeting every few months to strategize about how to approach and ask individual donors, who have the potential and desire, to upgrade their annual gift. To prepare for asking individuals to upgrade their gifts, the committee went through a training on the individual solicitation procedure led by former Development Director, Louis Motoligin. "The ask" is done over lunch, by telephone call, or by letter. The impetus behind asking individuals to upgrade their annual gifts is that many donors simply have not been asked in person to increase their giving. MWF has already gained four major annual donors (defined as $1,000 to $5,000 per year and up) as well as several gifts upgraded from $50 to $250.

Why the emphasis on individuals, rather than corporations and foundations? The answer is that individuals care deeply about the Foundation and tend to be very loyal donors. Committee member Elizabeth Pletcher says, "I have found West Michigan to be a community whose ethic is strong in the philanthropic tradition. Whole towns share in the educational and humanitarian efforts that are only possible because of this areaís many generous and forward-thinking citizens, who not only work through their businesses and civic groups, but who give of themselves personally." Pletcher says she helps raise funds for MWF because she believes, "MWF respects the desires of the donors when making funding choices. I am pleased to help MWF because of its energetic use of funding."

However, committee members agree that fundraising is not always easy. Itís a challenge to ask your friends and colleagues to give their own money toward a cause. Committee member Terri Handlin admits that, "Women are used to giving, but not always financially. The question is, how do we approach each other? Women are a generous untapped resource. We are improving our giving as we gain more economic power. We know that we must take care of young women and girls---itís are responsibility. I have found the Grand Rapids womenís network to be incredible. We are very blessed with many role models."

Elizabeth Pletcher adds, "Hopefully, as we approach year 2000, we will not let out economic caution impede our desire to share. Fundraising is not always easy, but a good cause will always be a good cause."

MWF thanks its Fund Development Committee members!

West: Laurie Beard, Susan Bissell, Jean Enright, Laurie Gardner, Beth Goebel (chair), Terri A. Handlin, William W. Jack, Jr., Carol Paine-McGovern, Elizabeth Pletcher, Faye Richardson, Wendy Stock, & Lisa Wurst.

East: Susan McClanahan (co-chair), Terry Merritt (co-chair), Janette Englehardt, Cynthia Harkaway, Pearl Holforty, Mildred Jeffrey, Wallis Klein, Beth Konrad, Eunice OíLoughlin, Tish Preston

MWF Introduces New Director of Major Gifts

The new Director of Major Gifts and Development Coordinator for MWF is Sue Wagner. She is a Join Together Fellow for leaders assisting communities fight substance abuse. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funds the fellowship. She also completed an intensive Grantsmanship Training Program from the Grantsmanship Center based in Los Angeles, Ca.

Ms. Wagner served as the first Executive Director of the Michigan Alcohol Issues Forum, a statewide program promoting collaborative community-based alcohol prevention initiatives addressing impaired driving and underage drinking. She raised over $1 million in two and one half years to fund Forum programs.

Additionally, she served as the Director of Media of Relations and Special Assistant to the Director of the Michigan Travel Bureau for nearly 10 years. Prior to that, Ms. Wagner was the Public Affairs Coordinator for Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood and Legislative Liaison for the Michigan Conference of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Ms. Wagner co-founded the 20-200 Club (200 members donate $20 per month) for the non-partisan Michigan NOW Political Action Committee.

Ms. Wagner earned an M.A. in History/Herstory. She and her husband, Robert Kolt, live in the Lansing area. He owns a public relations firm in Okemos.

Regional News

Ann Arbor - the Huron Valley Girl Scout Council, funded by MWF, is offering advanced leadership training statewide for girls. 284 girls have participated in the training program.

Benton Harbor - the Readiness Center has begun a leadership development program, funded by MWF, for low-income women. 300 women have participated thus far.

Bingham Farms city reception, September 16 at Lynda Haber Ronieís home, raised $12,220 and attracted 61 attendees.

Detroit - Southwest Alliance for Neighborhoods (SWAN), with MWF support, has begun a Womenís Home-ownership Initiative for low income, single parents. Forty-nine women have participated and nine have received mortgage pre-approvals.

Grand Rapids - Girls Matter! Library Collection, a project funded by Young Women for Change and Schuler Books & Music, has put books and videos with women as central characters into middle school libraries. Girls Matter! Books have started a domino-effect in the Forest Hills School District. "This proves the pen is mightier than the sword," says coordinator Bettegail Shively, "Women can march for their rights, but these books have really got everyone thinking about making the curriculum more equitable to benefit all kids." The placement of these materials in libraries has started these actions: The schoolís media specialists have integrated the books into their curriculum; other middle schools have used the book list to order books for their libraries; a core group of teachers and media specialists have started a book club reading the newly purchased materials; a lunch-time book club for girls has begun; and a one-day inservice for teachers to discuss girls programming was held.

Grand Rapids - Planned Parenthood of West Michigan has released "Getting Ready for Growing Up" kits, partially funded by Young Women for Change of Kent County. The kits contain a journal and a book interviewing local girls about getting their first menstrual period. PP has already sold hundreds of kits and has collaborated with other nonprofits and schools to purchase them for their curriculum. Cost of each kit is $15. Call 616-774-7005 to order.

Grosse Point Park city reception, July 16 at Louise Motoliginís home, raised 78 donations and attracted 70 attendees.

Livonia - 67 grant requests were received for MWFís 1999 General Grant Cycle. These requests totaled over $600,000. Final decisions will be made in February.

Mt. Pleasant - The Womenís Aid Service, Inc., with MWF support, has implemented a very successful sexual assault training program in the area schools. 1029 student contacts have been made.

Novi - MWF Board Member, Hilda Patricia Curran was inducted into the Michigan Womenís Hall of Fame on October 22nd at the Novi Hilton.


November 17 (Southeast) & November 18 (West) 9AM-3PM: MWF Fall Meeting for staff and board members of organizations who have sought funding or plan to seek funding from MWF. Come and share best practices with other project directors and participate in workshops focused on evaluation and fundraising led by local experts. Lunch provided, cost $15 (scholarships available). Call the MWF office at 734-542-3946 to register.


The 1998 summer edition of the Trillium included an article prepared by MWF volunteer, Karen Cady. We regret the error made in the spelling of her name.

Websites to Explore:

The Michigan Womenís Foundation website is up and running! Visit the websites at http://comnet.org/mwf

Want to see a woman president in the next millenium? Learn more about the nation-wide effort in this website: http://www.thewhitehouseproject.org

To obtain articles previously printed in Trillium or Road Map give this website a try: http://www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/privmich.htm#michwomen

For a non-partisan voting guide: http://www.womenvote.org

For womenís resource information, try out this website: http://www.hamilton.edu/personal/acastle

MWF Welcomes New Board of Trustee Members

MWF is proud to announce new members to its board of trustees. We are proud to welcome the following new MWF Board members:

Kathleen Fochtman , Partner at Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett law firm in Grand Rapids; previous co-chair of the MWF dinner in Grand Rapids; and a previous board member of GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunity for Women, a current MWF grantee).

Guadalupe Lara , Corporate Manager of Social Work for the Detroit Medical Center; doctoral candidate in Social Work & Medical Anthropology at MSU; co-founder of the Michigan Hispanic Mental Health Association and the National Organization of Latino Social Workers; serves on boards of Michiganís Children and United Way Community Services.

Terry Merritt , Corporate Secretary (Human Resources and Public Relations Director), Walbridge Aldinger construction firm; serves on MWFís Detroit Dinner Committee and Fund Development Committee and sponsor of several city receptions; 1998 President-elect of the HAVEN Board and previous president of the Womenís Economic Club.

Christine Moody , Chief Executive Officer, Superior Health Alliance, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; MBA from Lake Superior State; Fellow, Annie E. Casey Foundation; current member of the Governorís Task Force on Childrenís Justice.

Leslie Murphy , Partner in Charge of Litigation & Valuation Services at Plante & Moranís Detroit office, previously Managing Partner, Plante & Moran, Grand Rapids; previous MWF Grand Rapids Dinner co-chair; Investment Committee member, Frey Foundation; past president of the Womenís Resource Center; and previous board chairperson of United Way, Grand Rapids.

Amanda Van Dusen , Principal, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone law firm; has served on MWFís General Grants Distribution Committee; very active in the Detroit philanthropic and volunteer community including the DIA, Greenfield Village, and the Citizenís Research Council of Michigan.

Sheryl Wolberg , Associate Media Director, Stone, August, Medrich & Co.; serves on MWFís Detroit Dinner Committee, Womenís Health Initiative Committee, and the Young Professional Womenís Committee; and member of the Adcraft Board.

Guest Editorial
written by Deb Bloom, Executive Director, Women Matter

After years of listening to people take pot shots and slam feminism, the cover story of the July 29, 1988 issue of Time magazine, ďIs Feminism Dead,Ē compelled me to respond.

Is feminism dead?

First, let me state that I have always considered myself a feminist.

I attended college so that I could have a career.

I am married and have a daughter and two sons.

Currently working full-time, I also spent ten happy years at home full-time.

I marched for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Iíve always believed men and women are equal yet value the unique characteristics of each gender.

According to the dictionary, feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

During the past several decades, feminism has been part of organized activities on behalf of womenís rights and interests. Yet feminism has become demonized, linking the word to bra-burning radicals, women who are anti-family, hate men, think all women should work outside the home, want to rule the world, and really donít concern themselves with the real issues that concern women.

The Time magazine story portrayed todayís feminism as glitzy, having a good PR spin and not doing anything.

The article framed feminism as a movement of a few self-absorbed, self-appointed women as spokespersons.

The story was not only insulting to feminists, but to all women!

Being a feminist does not mean we all think the same or that there are one or two national spokespersons speaking for us all. Our individual and collective voices must be heard!

Feminism is a part of a much bigger picture, the womenís movement; the evolution of women becoming full partners with men, economically, politically, culturally, and within the family relationship.

It didnít begin in the 60's or 70's, but has been part of an ongoing evolution for women, both in the U.S. and globally, the fight for women to be treated as equal human beings.

I think we must have moved into a new state of the womenís movement, having two aspects. It may not be as radical or revolutionary, but it is just as important.

First, the movementís about valuing the different roles women have in society today, in the workplace and at home.

Itís about women and girls, men and boys, free to make choices in their lives. As Marlo Thomas so aptly said in her childrenís book, "Free to Be, You and Me."

Women who choose full-time homemaker as their career deserve the respect from women and men working outside the home.

Many homemakers choose to become community volunteers, a valuable and shrinking resource for our communitiesí nonprofit organizations.

Stay-at-home moms are attending to our nationís most valuable resource, our children.

They work endless hours, often with no breaks!

Full-time homemakers and mothers do all this without earning paychecks, pensions, or other workplace benefits.

The second part of the womenís movement is that women are emerging as a major economic and political force in America...

Yet millions of women today rely on two incomes to make ends meet. Women no longer work for "pin money" but are major contributors to the family pocketbook. It means earning enough income so that women can find affordable, safe homes for their families, can access better child care, pay for transportation to and from work, and obtain health insurance coverage for their kids. Hopefully, they will have enough left over to set aside for their kidsí future and for retirement.

Women today want good paying jobs.

They want to be paid the same as men for doing the same work.

Why should a woman earn less even though she works as hard as or has as much responsibility as a man?

The womenís movement today is about everyday women working together to improve their lives.

Itís about women listening to their inner voice and having the freedom to decide their own course in life.

Itís about respecting each otherís choices and roles, whether itís to marry, have children, stay at home full-time, part-time, or to work outside the home.

Itís about being able to make the choices that will best meet their individual and family needs.

Itís about becoming partners with employers and policymakers so that womenís perspectives are included in decisions concerning their jobs, their families, and the economy.

Itís simple. To me, the very essence of the womenís movement, and feminism, is living in a world as if women mattered.

Do you know a woman or girl cartoonist?

Do you know a woman or girl who is a cartoonist? Michigan Women's Foundation would like to print cartoons drawn by Michigan women in future Trillium editions.

Submit artwork to:

Jennifer Steiner,
Michigan Women's Foundation,
17177 North Laurel Park Drive, Ste. 445,
Livonia, MI 48152

Michigan Women's Foundation Board of Trustees

Bobbie S. Butler
Hilda Patricia Curran
Lynn A Feldhouse
J. Kay Felt
Kathleen P. Fochman
Judith Frey
Beth Goebel
Sondra Shaw-Hardy
Barbara A. Hill
Mildred M. Jeffrey
Beth Konrad
Barbara Kratchman
Guadalupe Lara
Terry Merrit
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D.
Christine Moody
Leslie A. Murphy
Tish Preston
Tessie Baltrip Sharp
Jane R. Thomas, Ph.D.
Marianne Udow
Amanda Van Dusen
Sheryl S. Wolberg
Terri D. Wright

Michigan Women's Foundation Advisory Council

Julia Darlow
Teresa S. Decker
Deborah I. Dingell
Jean Enright
Ruth R. Glancy
Linda M. Gobler
Pearl M. Holforty, CPA
Kay Hunt
Florine Mark
Helen W. Milliken
Lelie Murphy
Lana Pollack
Mary Jo Pulte
Hon. Maureen P. Reilly
Margaret Taylor Smith
Marilyn Steele, Ph.D.
Geneva J. Williams

Michigan Women's Foundation Staff

Margaret A. Talburtt, Ph.D. (Executive Director)
Vearlina Clemons
Jennifer Crute Steiner
Kathleen Tkach
Sue Wagner
Kristin Van Weelden Gootjes

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