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Spring 2024


Dear friends,

We are only days away from our 14th Annual Mother’s Day Race on May 12, 2024, at Cisco Brewers in New Bedford. I’m excited to share stories about all the reasons why volunteers help with planning the race and why hundreds of women and families run with us on Mother’s Day. I run for all the women who were told they weren’t allowed to because it may impact their ability to have children. I lace up my shoes for Kathrine Switzer who made history in 1967 by becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race number, despite the race director forcibly trying to remove her. I show up for all the girls and young people who aspire to be athletes but face a steep gender pay gap in the field. I run for the mothers who face barriers to getting childcare to continue to climb the ladder until they break through the glass ceiling.

Mothers, especially those that identify as BIPOC, often experience what many call the "Motherhood Penalty" where full-time working mothers typically lose an estimated $18,000/year when compared to fathers. According to the National Women's Law Center, "One reason for the maternal wage gap is occupational segregation; mothers are overrepresented in low-paid jobs. But when we compare mothers and fathers working in the same occupation, we still see racist and sexist wage gaps. Indeed, the wage gap persists and, in some cases, widens in the most common occupations for mothers." This is why we need to continue to advocate for increased access to affordable and high quality childcare options and solutions to close the gender pay gap for all, especially mothers. We can get there by having more mothers running for office and bringing their unique perspectives to create policy-driven solutions to issues they know all too well.

Join us in celebrating Mother's Day all month long and keep us in your thoughts everyday. As Mother’s Day approaches, let's take this opportunity to honor amazing women in your life - you know them well - whether they are a mother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, or colleague, they have impacted your life positively and always inspired you to live your best life. 

In community,

Christine Monska

Executive Director

Annual Mother's Day 5K & Fun Run

Returns May 12th!

We are so excited to celebrate Mother's Day with the return of this incredible annual tradition for the first time since 2019. In the fall of 2006, a group of amazing local women organized a local road race and donated all of the proceeds to the Women's Fund SouthCoast. The first race was held on May 7th, 2007, and raised over $10,000 with only 30 volunteers and 250 runners. The race has now become the Women's Fund SouthCoast's largest annual event and fundraiser - with over 375 participants already registered and over $37,000 raised to date.

If you haven't already, please click below to register and join us for an amazing day with friends and community! All ages, genders and abilities are welcome! Online registration will remain open until 1pm on Friday, May 10th. We will also allow limited same-day registration at bib pickup on Saturday, May 11th and Race Day on Sunday, May 12th.

As an added incentive, all registrants will be entered to win one of three $60 gift cards good at Cisco Brewers New Bedford - this year's gracious Champion sponsor!

We hope to see many of you on Sunday, May 12th at 8:30am at Cisco!

Click to Register!

Support the Women's Fund SouthCoast & Honor Your Special "Mother" Figure!

If you are unable to join us on Race Day or would like to add a little something special to the day, consider purchasing an exclusive Women's Fund SouthCoast Mother's Day card for a special person in your life. The card will be mailed to them early enough to ensure it arrives for Mother's Day and their name will be honored in our Garden of Giving at the race. To ensure your card arrives on time to your honoree, please click below to make your gift of $25 or more by May 7th. 

Contribute Here!

The Women’s Fund Joined AHA! Women's Work Night in Celebration of Women's History Month in March

Topics discussed ranged from women’s local contributions to gender justice, economic empowerment, and the city’s renowned fishing history to spotlighting trailblazing women in science and film. The Women's Fund, YWCA SEMA, the Women’s Center, and Our Sisters' School were honored to present the Women’s Alliance’s local women’s history timeline.

This commemoration of often overlooked women and their efforts invited not only an observance of the history of the women's movement, but also invited people to expand their own understanding of what’s considered ‘women’s work’ to ensure it's visible, celebrated, and documented, contributing to closing the gender pay gap.

We Presented at the Girls Empowerment and Leadership Initiative Summit Hosted by the MA Commission on the Status of Women

The 2024 Girls Empowerment Leadership Initiative (GELI) took place on April 20th, at Simmons University in Boston. Commissioners and advocates came together to lead workshops on focus areas such as civics, policy advocacy, and leadership as well as communications and navigating conflict. The Women's Fund SouthCoast presented the SouthCoast Youth Leadership Panel, which spotlighted three young advocates: Adun Olubanwo, Keyanna Jones, and Camilla Adhaora Monteiro. Each of them were able to share some words of wisdom with attendees on how to create and lead a youth initiative. There was a palpable atmosphere of upliftment and empowerment of the amazingly diverse young women, providing a space for all in attendance to network, mingle, and connect. GELI served as a great snapshot of the effort of women supporting women and passing the torch.

We Attended Our Sisters' School's Intersectional Feminism Workshop

The future remains bright, as highlighted by the incredible students from Our Sisters' School. The student-led and facilitated workshop was presented at the YWCA in New Bedford on the complexities of intersectionality within the realm of feminism and the evolution of the movements started before our time by trailblazing women.

We Hosted Two Digital Grants Information Sessions

We hosted online information sessions to digitalize access and give insight into the grant-making process. Over fifty people joined us to learn more about our grants. We continue to strive towards accessibility, and to reach anyone who would like to understand and participate in this important work.

Board Member, Melissa Costa Joined Elect SouthCoast's Together We Run Panel Featuring Women in Office

The Elect SouthCoast Panel provided the perfect opportunity for women looking to broaden their network and ask questions about running for office. In the position that women find themselves today–with issues on a spectrum ranging from the threatened integrity of human rights to the closing of the gender pay gap–it has become imperative to the proper functionality of our society to have the largest, and often least served, demographic be duly represented in positions of power and office.

Board Member, Cynthia Cummings and Executive Director, Christine Monska Joined the Cast of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues!

The scene was set at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River on Friday, April 12 where a full house of multitudes of different people witnessed an astounding performance of the renowned play, The Vagina Monologues. The event, hosted by United Neighbors of Fall River and The Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality at UMASS Dartmouth, had community organizations set up upon entrance towards the stage, providing information and resources to the audience. The play's focus is on the intricacies and complexities of the relationship between women (as well as gender-expansive people) and their vaginas. Collective catharsis and enjoyment were the atmosphere created by the witty performers, as they expanded on the different emotions attached to having a vagina, delving into all fears and fantasies. The general feel of the stories sparked dialogue on the movement against the violence and policing of women’s bodies while encouraging the normalization of having a vagina, expressing your thoughts about your vagina, and most importantly saying the word, vagina! An overall lovely night of entertainment and reflection served doubly, as the proceeds were dedicated to help support The Coalition Against Period Poverty. 

Introducing Camilla Adhaora Monteiro - The Women's Fund's New Special Projects Intern

Camilla Adhaora Monteiro, a senior at New Bedford High, recently joined the Women's Fund to work on projects focused on youth empowerment, community upliftment, and Black women in S.T.E.M. As co-founder and president of the pending Black Student Association (BSA) of New Bedford High School, she channels her passions consisting of all topics connected to Black mediums of expression, namely fashion, videography/media, and history. Priding herself on devoting as much time as possible to helping out within local organizations, she splits her time between the Human Rights Commission Youth Council, the NAACP: New Bedford Chapter Youth Council, and the Women’s Fund SouthCoast. As an aspiring Architectural Engineer, her focus is now bridging social justice with her future profession, consolidating buildings and communities.

“Knocking door to door while walking around downtown looking for partnerships for the BSA ultimately led me to encounter the Women’s Fund SouthCoast. When offered the opportunity to be a part of the incredible team at the Women’s Fund, it was a no-brainer to accept. As I focused on starting up the Association, they were in contact and helpful every step of the way, which prompted me to want to learn more about the Fund itself, as well as help out in any way possible. In the short time I have had the pleasure of working here, I have entered into contact with a network of incredible women who have uplifted me and renewed my passion and confidence to innovate and lead. Since then, the Women’s Fund has helped with connections to multiple other projects that align with my personal and professional passions. The skill sets I have had the privilege of acquiring while being here will stay with me for the rest of my life and career, as I navigate my future even more confident and prepared.”

Camilla will continue her internship with the Women's Fund until she leaves for Howard University in the Fall. Congratulations on this incredible accomplishment!

Women's Fund in

the News

Women's Fund Board President Carmen Amarel publishes editorial "Women belong at the Feast: A Call for Inclusion" - The New Bedford Light

Women's Fund Executive Director Christine Monska on the importance of International Women's Day - The New Bedford Light

Women's Fund Executive Director Christine Monska is the first guest on Taunton Community Access Media's new show, TRUE Conversations, hosted by Tanya Lobo, Founder & CEO of True Diversity - Vimeo



Screening of $AVVY, a Documentary About Economic Empowerment for Women

DATE: Thursday, May 30th, 2024

LOCATION: New Bedford Whaling Museum- 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740

TIME: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

$avvy is a witty, insightful documentary that delves into the “cultural, historical, and societal norms around women, and money." Hosted at the Whaling Museum, the documentary focuses on women, as it tackles age-old notions and stereotypes projected daily onto women about their competency, and the necessity of spreading financial literacy. Now more than ever in a political climate hostile towards women's autonomy, this screening is imperative to furthering and encouraging women to “take the reins of their lives and financial futures."

Pre-registration is required as seating is limited!

Register Here!

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