2011-12 Economic Security Initiative Grantees
Build the infrastructure to coordinate statewide anti-sex trafficking efforts. Commercial sexual exploitation is seen by providers in every county in Maine. Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault will develop a web-based platform to provide Maine-based information and best practices resources, and support local efforts to develop a multi-disciplinary response through training, team building and facilitation.
Support efforts to protect women’s health care access in the state through community organizing, leadership development and advocacy. The work done by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is critical because we know that women who can control the number and timing of their children can take better advantage of educational and economic opportunities, improving their own future and that of their families.
Provide 150 girls with scholarships to Adventure Girls, a program that brings girls in grades 2-6 from Kennebec, Somerset and Penobscot Counties together with women facilitators 16 times a year to learn how women business owners, scientists, engineers, farmers and more choose their careers, how they deal with gender stereotypes and from whom they find support. Hardy Girls Healthy Women ensures that all girls, regardless of financial capacity, are able to participate in a program that helps prepare them for future economic independence and security.
Offer financial literacy education, wage negotiation skills and employment training and referral to women in correctional facilities. Each woman in the Women Unlimited program will create a budget and understand why living within a budget is vital to her success. Participants will have the tools to tell a potential employer about their time in jail and negotiate salaries. Upon completion of this training and following their release, they will be able to take advantage of trainings and employment referrals in career paths that pay 20% more than minimum wage.
Expand The Passages Program of the Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden that serves out-of-school pregnant and parenting young women through a home-based, self-paced high school diploma program. By working with teen parents in their own homes, Passages is reducing barriers to education for teen parents, helping young women advocate for themselves and their families and ending generational cycles of poverty. The Passages Program serves Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, Washington, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties.
Expand Mini-Grants: A Catalyst for Change, a statewide project of the Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community which supports low-income entrepreneurs, partnerships or small collaborative enterprises that are looking to grow into new markets, improve their collateral materials and professionalize their marketing strategy. Graduate Ambassadors of WWC also participate in the grant-making process as a means of furthering their leadership skills by engaging in public outreach, advocacy and fund development.
Increase support for marriage of same-sex couples in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties through 5,000 one-on-one conversations by EqualityMaine Foundation interns. Due to the lack of legal marriage rights for lesbian couples, their households often receive limited access to employer-provided spousal benefits, such as health care and retirement benefits. Additionally, current state and federal tax regulations place undue financial burdens on these families.
Bolster women’s wages and ensure that being a mother doesn’t cost a woman her job. Maine Women’s Policy Center will work to create new policies to increase access to education and training, ensure women are paid fairly for the value of their work, and enable workers to successfully meet their job obligations while also providing care to children and adult family members.
2011-12 Girls’ Grantmaking Grantees
Provide after-school theater arts program for girls ages 8-18. A Company of Girls produces powerful community theater targeted at creating awareness of critical issues that affect girls worldwide. It uses theater as a tool to develop teamwork, confidence and a sense of personal responsibility in each participant. Girls are involved in all levels of production, from behind the scenes technical work to performing in their own productions.
Send 10 Girls Advisory Board (GAB) members from across Maine to a two-day leadership retreat to learn, develop and broaden skills to engage hundreds of girls and dozens of adult service providers in genuine youth-adult partnerships for social activism. GAB members, in grades 9-12, work with the board of directors, executive director and programs director of Hardy Girls Healthy Women to plan events; ensure programs address what girls need and want; and work on changing the world so that girls have more positive experiences as they mature.
Equip young people with the skills needed to identify and escape the dangers associated with teen dating violence. Crossing the Lines, Avoiding the Dangers of Teen Dating Violence, a project of Safe Voices, involves an interactive reading of a novel that illustrates the realities of teen dating violence, followed by a student-directed project further enhancing the students’ engagement with the relevant issue. The project is available to high school students in the classroom and through school-based girls’ book clubs. Safe Voices is a domestic violence agency serving communities in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties.
Provide young women with the tools needed to teach 20-30 children, ages 4-10, the Naath-Nuer language, a language that has no proper dictionary or textbooks. Because students were born in the US, they have little to no understanding of their language, village life, lineage, history or responsibilities as Nuer-Americans. In addition to teaching, the South Sudan Nuer Community Development Organization will publish a comprehensive children’s primer on the language and culture for the 150 Nuer people of Portland and the children of the Nuer tribe worldwide.
Offer housing, parenting, education and case management for six homeless, pregnant or parenting young adults up to the age of 22 and their children. The Whole Health Star program of Youth Alternatives Ingraham will expose these homeless youth to recreational and healthy living experiences that will help them build life-long skills and support their development as caring and contributing members of their family and community. Activities include sewing, cooking, exercising and getting involved in their community.
2011-12 Regional Micro Grantees
Start a community garden next to the Camden food pantry at the Camden Hills High School. The Rig Project goals include promoting gardening skills among food pantry residents and planning and offering classes on food preparation and preservation.
Offer Pathfinders, a six-month program to high school students in Waldo County to help them see their lives after high school more clearly and give them basic financial and life skills needed to succeed, including balancing check books, applying for jobs and getting an apartment. Pathfinders is a program of The Game Loft, which uses non-electronic games and community involvement to promote positive youth development.
Provide leadership training to help prepare women residents for leadership roles in new cooperative housing. The residents of Medomak Mobile Home Cooperative in Waldoboro recently purchased the land and manage the park as a residents’ cooperative.
Produce All Starz: An Anti-Bullying Play, which New Hope for Women will run in lower elementary classes in Waldo County. The play is a very powerful and effective tool to begin the conversation in schools and reverse bullying and aggressive behavior that often leads to domestic violence.