If March has always been recognized as Women’s History Month in recent years, this year the recurrence hits differently. 2020 has been a year of change, socially and politically, and our perception and sensibility about reality has certainly changed and has been molded on events where women were at the center of attention. From the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the first Madame Vice President, women and the role they play in our society have never been so centered in our cultural landscape before.
This is why we want to dedicate this blog article to the women in our network that we recognize and celebrate as personal influencers for the mission they’re fighting for and for the impact they have on their communities.
Christina Lewis is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor. She is the Founder of All Star Code, a computer science education nonprofit that wants to empower Black and Latino young men with the skills, networks, and mindsets to succeed in technology. It all happens during the summer intensive program, a six-week course that introduces students to essential web development skills, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a network of peers who also love building things that matter. She’s a committed nonprofit leader who made her life mission about giving back and contributing to racial equality. She’s also the co-founder of Give Blk, a database of Black-founded nonprofits, making it easier for donors to connect with these organizations.
Elizabeth Clay Roy, CEO, Generation Citizen. Elizabeth Clay Roy is a lifelong leader of civic engagement and social change initiatives, and the new Chief Executive Officer of Generation Citizen, a national nonprofit committed to providing youth with the knowledge and skills they need to actively participate in our democracy and facing the problem of young people not participating in politics. Elizabeth’s entire life working in the community development space demonstrates a passion for the pursuit of a more equitable democracy and equal society.
Aviva Rahmani, pioneering ecological artist and art activist Aviva Rahmani has worked at the cutting edge of the avant-garde scene since she committed her career to the arts at the age of 19. She has devoted many years of her working life to teaching, inspiring, and leading others through her art to a renewed focus on ecological restoration as artmaking. Aviva was able to creatively explore subjects of extreme interest like climate change and water and endangered species preservation with her own one-of-a-kind language. Aviva Rahmani’s current projects, The Blued Trees and The Blued Trees Symphony (2015- present) have been installed and copyrighted in the path of natural gas pipelines to protect forests across miles of North America: “In the midst of ecocide, art can divine hope out of a chaotic world. My task as an artist is to understand that and design another world.”
Brinton Parson,Head of Alexander Robinson School, is a consummate educator who has extensive teaching and administrative experience, she’s dedicated to the mission of educating children from diverse backgrounds and committed to mold students into curious, creative and confident learners who will develop into innovative thinkers and leaders, prepared for the challenges of adolescence and beyond. Brinton assumed her role as Head of School just as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our world and the learning spaces for our children. She has taken on the most challenging of the problems facing schools, large and small, with incredible courage, vision and resiliency.
Emily Contillo, Head of Staff, The Wright Group NY, for her key role in TWG’s commitment to providing a bridge between nonprofits and policy-makers discovering resources that will significantly foster their ability to achieve budgetary and legislative goals. The organization was founded with the goal of helping partners who provide services to the most vulnerable and in-need New Yorkers. COVID-19 brought the issues they focus on every day to the surface and to the public from health care access to food insecurity – and more broadly, race and class disparities. One of their biggest achievements this past year was due to their singular focus on the nonprofit community, to be able to connect their clients with both government entities and other members of the community to ensure that they are able to survive this and other crises and continue to serve as vital resources to the city.
Dina Rosenthal has been the Staten Island Children Museum’s Executive Director for nine years. She has a Master of Arts degree and over twenty-five years experience working in youth, science and historical museums. Across communities, in programming, with staff, boards of directors, volunteers, artists and visitors, Staten Island Children Museum persistently strives to build a culture of diversity of voice and representation, authentically inclusive spaces and equity for all. During this time of at-home learning, even a space like the museum had to reinvent itself. For this reason, they have created a number of resources to bring Staten Island Children’s Museum into your home through activity sheets, recipes, and interactive videos to keep the learning (and exploring) going.
Beth Rosenthal is currently the Managing Consultant for the Children’s Global Health Fund, and Principal of Collaboration and Change LLC. CGHF is a nonprofit charity organization whose mission is to save the lives of vulnerable children and families globally by raising funds for and providing support to organizations improving family health in developing countries. The Children’s Global Health Fund’s current development efforts aim to ensure the long-term sustainability of Clínica de Familia La Romana, a Dominican non-profit organization aimed at improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the region. She is also the Principal of Collaboration and Change, a NYC based nonprofit that has been a consultant to organizations, collaborations and government agencies since 1985. Her community planning and organizing efforts in NYC neighborhoods resulted in multi-agency revitalization projects and community-wide funding for new initiatives.
Katia Sperandio is currently a marketing and communications specialist with extensive experience advising organizations of all sizes on developing and managing effective digital media marketing programs. Katia holds a Masters of Arts degree from the prestigious Bocconi University in Milan, Italy which is consistently ranked one of the top international business schools.