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South Florida Nonprofit Transforms Lives of Women and Girls

South Florida Nonprofit Transforms Lives of Women and Girls

The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade joins forces with different organizations and runs campaigns focused on leadership development, economic security, health, and freedom from violence

In 1993, in the wake of Hurricane Andrew’s destruction, a small group of women with just $5,000 in their pockets decided to launch The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade, with one aim in mind: to transform the lives of women and girls in Miami-Dade County.

Since then, this nonprofit has been advocating for women’s rights covering different aspects that affect the lives of women living in South Florida, taking action through advocacy, education, research, and grant-making

In their first 25 years, much of their work was intended to fill the massive funding gaps in programs working with girls and young women. Through their grant-making programs, they jumpstarted, incubated, and supported other community organizations in their service to thousands of women

According to their published figures, in their first 25 years, The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade gave out approximately $3.7 million in grants to 485 organizations and programs, making a difference in the lives of 60,000 women and girls

However, after this long period, The Fund decided to shift its program and strategy to focus on critical issues with greater impact in the community. Their new focus aims to promote systemic change in four areas: leadership development, economic security, health, and freedom from violence

“We’ve been working for more than twenty-five years empowering women and girls by supporting hundreds of innovative programs,” said Executive Director Kathy Andersen. “We now focus on collaboration, bringing together like-minded funders, community organizations, and individuals to use our collective power to create change in policy and practice,” she added.

In recent years, The Women’s Fund has taken a visible role joining forces with different organizations and jointly have run campaigns based on their four strategic pillars. For instance, under their freedom from violence program, In October 2018, the fund tackled domestic violence because “one in three women locally and nationally will experience it,” Andersen said.

The campaign took over Metrorail stops and bus shelters and posted billboards emblazoned with the helpline to report domestic violence using the tagline: “because our community needs to know what number to call.

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Other campaigns have focused on aspects as homelessness or mental health and suicide. The fund worked with the Homeless Trust to assist mothers, LGBTQ youth, and women without homes. In December 2018, mental health and suicide were the issues, as suicide is the second leading cause of death in girls and young women aged 10 to 24

In February 2020, the fund partnered with The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to launch the Stop Sex Trafficking campaign, to stop sex trafficking in Miami-Dade County leading up to and beyond the 2020 Super Bowl LIV held in Miami.

“In our convening activity, our collective theme has been ‘One Team’ to represent the determined work of all of the law enforcement agencies and community partners working together,” said Andersen. “We are united to build the strongest force in the country to combat sex trafficking. Beware, buyers and traffickers. You will be exposed and prosecuted,” she concluded.

Haz clic para leer en Español: Organización sin fines de lucro transforma vida de mujeres y niñas en el sur de la Florida

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