APRIL 2015 Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Leadership Luncheon 2015
2015 Honorees: Spotlight on Judy Kahrl
Grantee Spotlight: Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Grantee News
Events, News, and Resources
Save the Date! The Power of She 10K
Read the 2013-14 Report to the Community



As I write, just one week since the tickets to the May 19, 2015 Leadership Luncheon went on sale, just over 200 tickets remain available. By the time you read this, they may be sold out!  I hope everyone who wants to be there can be. The program this year includes tributes to industry leaders, like Melissa Smith, CEO of WEX and Lamey Wellehan, and activists like Nicole Maines and Julia Kahrl. There will also be stories to inspire us all about the great strides being made to give every Maine woman and girl the opportunities they should have to lead safe, healthy and productive lives.


It's also exciting that this year's guests include a table full of founding board members, returning from across Maine and the United States to help us celebrate their vision and the great achievements of the past 25 years of grant making by the Fund. We are so honored that this work continues to inspire their dedication and support.


Between now and then, the board will decide on grant awards for this year. Two donor-advised funds will combine again this year with the Karen Moran Leadership Fund to support $98,000 in grant awards. We will celebrate those at the Luncheon as well. We have had site visits each month to the past years' grantees, and every one reminds us why we do this work: women and girls deserve access to education, healthcare, safety, leadership and employment opportunities, and the policy behind them all to ensure economic security for them and their families. When women and girls thrive, communities prosper. 


See you at the Luncheon!


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 




WHEN: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
WHERE: Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland 

Honorees: Melissa Smith, Nicole Maines, Judy Kahrl, and Lamey Wellehan
Grantee speakers and networking
Emcee: Suzanne Nance

Lead Sponsor:  

Cornerstone Sponsors: 

iBec Creative

Maine Magazine

Gift Underwriter:
Spinnaker Trust

Volunteer Underwriter
Hurley Travel Experts/Direct Travel

Video Underwriter:

Benefactor Sponsors:
Rep. Chellie Pingree and S. Donald Sussman

Supporter Sponsors:
Gayle Brazeau, Dean, College of Pharmacy, University of New England

Friend & Nonprofit Sponsors:
For sponsorship information, please contact Kelly at 207-774-5513 or via email

American Sign Language
ASL Interpretation Provided  
Leadership Luncheon 2015 


The Sarah Orne Jewett Award is given to a Maine woman who exhibits the attributes of the women in Jewett's works of fiction: true grit, independence, courage, humor and discipline. 


Judy Kahrl, founder of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights
2015 Honoree: Judy Kahrl

As a daughter of the founder of Pathfinder International, Judy Kahrl grew up in a family where reproductive health and birth control was dinner table conversation. While visiting Pathfinder programs in the developing world, Judy saw how women's access to comprehensive reproductive health services changed their lives by improving their own health and that of their families, and by empowering women to participate in their communities. In recent years, Judy and other women of her generation have become increasingly outraged by the numerous laws passed to restricted access to family planning and abortion clinics in the US.


Judy channeled this frustration by establishing Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights in 2013, also known by its acronym, GRR. Collectively, the grandmothers advocate statewide for secure access for all women and men to the reproductive rights, justice and comprehensive health care for which the grandmothers' generation fought so hard. 



"As members of the generation that grew up in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, we lived in the days when women in this country had little or no access to birth control.  Abortion was illegal and women were dying after unsafe abortions...Forty years later, many of us are grandmothers - older, and perhaps wiser. We are proud of the progress we made in the 20th century to improve access to reproductive services, but every day we see more signs that our rights to healthcare are being eroded by new restrictions. We are frustrated that despite our past efforts, our daughters and granddaughters may still be denied their reproductive rights.  At the same time, we've been inspired by grandmothers around the world taking action to make the world a better place for younger generations. We know grandmothers have great power. And so we have decided to act." - Judy Kahrl



Join us at the 2015 Leadership Luncheon to hear Judy Kahrl speak! 

May 19, 2015

Tickets on sale here.


SPOTLIGHT ON GRANTEE: Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault


On March 16, members of the Maine Women's Fund staff and board of directors visited grantee Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) at the organization's headquarters in Augusta.


The Maine Women's Fund's grant specifically funds staffing for the Attorney General's Work Group, and the staff time needed to increase the resources available to trafficking victims and providers in Maine - including establishing a victim's support fund, a volunteer bank, an online resource guide, and a media guide for Maine journalists reporting on human trafficking.


The representatives from the Fund learned that MECASA is in a unique position to support direct service providers with training, technical assistance, education and tools to support best practices. MECASA's view of sexual assault is inclusive of sexual harassment, gender-based bullying, child sexual abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, and rape. As a result of this breadth of work, the organization is able to support many organizations serving people all over the state on a broad range of topics as they relate to sexual violence.


MECASA's work in human trafficking began about five years ago with a small grant to do some training and outreach in that area. In their statewide work, they have watched awareness of and response to human trafficking and sexual exploitation grow exponentially. It is unclear how much of that growth is reflective of a greater awareness of the topic, and its connection to growing drug trafficking and other criminal activity. Still, basic resources-such as a common definition for the term "human trafficking" and common protocols for organizations addressing the issue-do not yet exist. 


Trafficking is not new to Maine, but it is just much more visible than it has been in the past. The average age of entry for trafficking victims is 13. Trafficking and prostitution are often confused with one another; however, anyone under the age of eighteen is a minor and legally, minors engaged in exchanging sex acts of any kind for goods or services are being trafficked. Trafficking may look different in rural and urban areas, and sadly sometimes families traffic their own children (e.g., to pay the rent).


During the visit, substantial conversation happened around the connection between cycles of poverty and trafficking and its relationship to other criminal activity. The group discussed the role that human trafficking victims play in other crimes that are dependent on the very complicated dynamics that make trafficking possible, and the fact that issues of economic security are at the heart of this problem. This dynamic makes training and education on the topic challenging, especially without discussing the environmental and contextual issues that create circumstances where human trafficking thrives.


Finally, the group discussed ways to empower victims of trafficking; many felt that allowing the victim to direct any support they may receive and that the help be immediate.  For example, focusing on asking what that individual needs to be safe that day or night and to address those needs that night.

For more information on Maine's human trafficking problem, visit the Maine Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Network, a program of MECASA: www.mainesten.org





Save the date! October 16, 2015: The Maine Women's Policy Center will be hosting the second Maine Women's Summit on Economic Security. In Building a Prosperous Maine, MWPC laid out a road map to economic security for women and our families. On October 16th, we'll come together to turn those ideas into action. Be sure to mark your calendar so you can be a part of this energizing day with like-minded opinion leaders from across the state as we hear from thought-provoking speakers, participate in interactive workshops, and take advantage of opportunities to build our skills. A special guest will be: Caroline Frederickson, the author of the forthcoming book Under the Bus: How Working Women are Being Run Over. She is an eloquent spokesperson for ACS and the progressive movement on issues such as civil and human rights, judicial nominations and the importance of the courts in America, marriage equality, voting rights, labor law, anti-discrimination efforts, and much more. 

The Maine Women's Policy Center held the 19th Annual Girls' Day at the State House on March 5. The organization hosted 100 eighth-grade girls from all corners of the state and they spent the day learning about the political process and how to be advocates. "I learned that I have a voice and an opinion. But mostly, I learned what I want to do with my life - run for office!" -Jillian, Appleton



Hardy Girls Healthy Women Parenting Webinar Series - March & April 2015 

We all are facing parenting issues other generations have never seen before, but what our experts know is that we can still succeed in raising hardy, healthy kids. Hardy Girls Healthy Women is happy to announce registration for the Parenting Series has opened! This new series will consist of seven 60-minute webinars with different experts in the field of child development who will share their research on how we can redefine the scope of childhood and offer tools that best support our role of parents. For full descriptions and registration information, visit: http://hghw.org/parenting-webinar-series/


Hardy Girls Healthy Women Girls Rock! Weekend - April 10-11

Since 1998, HGHW'S Girls Unlimited! Conferences have been bringing girls together in coalition to dissect media, forge social change and celebrate girls' voices and accomplishments. And entirely planned by girls! Girls in 4th-8th grade can attend Friday, April 10, at Colby or Saturday, April 11 at King Middle School. Join us at the Girls Rock! Awards on Friday, April 10 at One Longfellow Square in Portland to hear about the amazing, bold girls in our state. RSVP here


Please join other friends of Maine Family Planning on April 25th at 7:00 PM to celebrate the 2nd Annual Birds and the Bees Spring Soirée. "An Evening in Paris" will take place at the Portland Club on State Street in Portland. The Soirée will feature hearty and abundant hors d'oeuvres from Black Tie Company; dancing to La Vie En Rose, a sophisticated marriage of French Chanson and Golden Age Swing; and a fabulous auction of must-have unique items and experiences. This year's Raffle Prize: a 7 days/6 nights trip to Paris - airfare included and a choice of five hotels (need not be present to win)! Click here for details and to purchase Soirée admissions or raffle tickets. Your support of the Soirée benefits Maine Family Planning's sexual health care programming for low-income and uninsured Mainers.


Girls on the Run has two fun upcoming events:  

May 18 - Gelato Fiasco Scooping for Community Fundraiser for Girls on the Run! All day, mention Girls on the Run-Maine and your purchase benefits the organization. 

June 7 - Girls on the Run 5K at Cumberland Fairgrounds, 9:30 AM. This untimed, non-competitive run is the celebratory culminating event for 2015 Spring Program participants but is also open to public runners as a fundraiser for Girls on the Run-Maine. >>Register here


The Global Girls Group is proud to announce its year-end conference: Voices of Change! This is a conference for youth to come together for a day of aspirational workshops and activities. The young leaders will work together toward creating a community where social norms, attitudes, and beliefs support equal, healthy, and respectful relationships. They will leave with actionable ideas for implementation in their communities. The format will involve a keynote presentation by a community leader, presentations by the students, and student led breakout sessions. 

>>Read more





Webinar: New Data on the Real Barriers to Women's Economic Advancement

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
This webinar will share how Re:Gender's cross-sector approach is bringing together researchers and those who use research in their work to collaborate and make economic equity a reality. Women and non-gender conforming individuals in particular live financially precarious lives because of the systems and societal "norms" that govern gender and opportunity. Re:Gender focuses on applying a gender lens across five key issues - workplace structures, affordable housing, sexual violence, occupational segregation and immigration - to embolden organizations to demand financial stability for all genders as the primary strategy for ending economic injustice. With a network comprised of more than 350 institutions and individuals - from academia, business, government, labor, philanthropy and nonprofit organizations - Re:Gender helps to create new research agendas, shape policy and drive on-the-ground strategies.

>>Register Here


Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland

Join PPNNE and other Maine supporters for a fun, memorable and meaningful celebration as we take time to reflect on this important milestone in our history and look ahead to the next 50 years! Don't miss our special guest, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President, Cecile Richards. To buy tickets, click here.


Save the Date: Maine Women's Summit on Economic Security

Friday, October 16, 2015

Augusta Civic Center

Stay tuned for more details.




First Installment of IWPR's 2015 Status of Women in the States Report  

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and their earnings are essential to the economic security of families across the nation. Yet, gender equality at work remains elusive. Women who work full-time, year-round still earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared with men, and during the last decade little improvement has been made in closing the gender wage gap (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor 2014). The glass ceiling persists, and occupational segregation-the concentration of women in some jobs and men in others-remains a stubborn feature of the U.S. labor market (Hegewisch et al. 2010). These national trends show up in states across the nation. This report examines women's earnings and the gender wage gap, women's labor force participation, and the occupations and industries in which women work. It also considers areas where women have experienced progress toward gender equity in the workforce and places where progress has slowed or stalled.

>>Read the Report


2015 Report on Status of Women and Girls in Maine by the PCSW 

The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women is a nonpartisan, independent advisory board, statutorily charged with: "Serving as an advocate for women in making recommendations on proposed budgetary, legislative and policy actions to the Governor, the Legislature and other officials of the State and the Federal Government with respect to state and federal policies, programs and other activities affecting or relating to women in the State." The Commission gathered surveys from more than 3,000 women and girls across the state, reviewed data and research to supplement the survey findings and worked to build consensus around policy recommendations, offering a roadmap to leaders and policy makers to move the needle on key issues affecting women.

>>Read the Report


To End Extreme Poverty, Target Women and Girls, Report Urges

To achieve the United Nations' goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals must specifically target women and girls, a report from the ONE campaign argues.

According to the report, Poverty Is Sexist: Why Girls and Women Must Be at the Heart of the Fight Against Extreme Poverty, extreme poverty disproportionately affects women and girls in the developing world, many of whom face structural, social, economic, and political barriers to improving their lives that men - and women in wealthier countries - experience to a far lesser degree. "Poverty and gender inequality go hand-in-hand," the report's authors write, and addressing gender gaps in poor countries is not only a moral imperative but also a practical one, given the growing body of evidence which supports the idea that targeting investments in girls and women can help lift entire families and communities out of poverty. 

>>Read more


Celebrate Women's History Month with the New York Times Special Section

Use this page to quickly find Learning Network lesson plans, crosswords and archival materials - as well as links to current Times articles and multimedia and great resources around the Web. 

>>Read more


Obama Administration Expands 'Let Girls Learn' Initiative

The Obama administration has announced that it is expanding its efforts to help adolescent girls around the globe attend and complete school. The Let Girls Learn initiative will build on existing girls' empowerment programs run by US AID, the U.S. State Department, the Peace Corps, and Millennium Challenge Corp.; leverage partnerships with public- and private-sector partners; and challenge other governments to commit resources to help adolescent girls complete their education. Today 62 million girls - half of them adolescents - are not in school and, as a result, face diminished economic opportunities and higher risk of early and forced marriage. Studies have found that, for girls, secondary school attendance is correlated with later marriage and childbearing, lower birth rates, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, and lower rates of HIV/AIDS.

>>Read more


Older Women Workers and Economic Security

On average, women earn less than men with each paycheck, which causes a significant gender disparity in earnings over a lifetime. As a result, women often lack the financial resources needed in old age. This fact sheet addresses the economic needs of older women, their sources of income, and the gender wage gap by race and ethnicity. It discusses factors that impact the lower average lifetime earnings of women and policy changes that could increase the economic security of older women. Lower earnings than men for full-time work, lower likelihood than men to work full-time, and a greater likelihood than men to have had time out of the labor force because of caregiving all contribute to women's lower lifetime earnings.

>>Read more 


2014 Kids Count Report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation
"More than one-third of Maine children live in households where parents lack full-time, year-round employment, while 21 percent of Maine children - or 54,000 - live in poverty."
Read the full report here and the Maine report here.




Foundation for Financial Planning Accepting Applications for Pro Bono Programs for Underserved

The Foundation for Financial Planning awards grants to nonprofit organizations for pro bono financial advice and outreach activities to underserved communities. Grant amounts range from between $5,000 and $300,000. In 2014, the average grant awarded by the foundation was $18,000. The grant's average is not a benchmark and is subject to change annually, depending upon the number of grants received and allocation amounts. The foundation's focus is to support one-on-one sessions with pro bono financial planners and to fund sustainable programs. After you start the grant application an implementation tips document will be available to assist you.

>>Read more

L'Oreal Paris has announced a Call for Nominations for the 2015 L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth awards, an annual program designed to honor women making a "beautiful difference" in the world through voluntarism. Since 2006, the program, in partnership with Points of Light, has recognized eighty inspiring women who have selflessly devoted themselves to causes at the local and national level and  motivated others to get involved. Past honorees have been involved in a range of important causes, from advocating for victims of childhood abuse and mentoring homeless children, to helping break the cycle of poverty and empowering teens with disabilities. In 2015, ten women will be awarded $10,000 each and one woman will be named the national honoree and receive an additional $25,000 to further her charitable efforts. All ten honorees will be recognized in December at a star-studded awards ceremony hosted by L'Oreal Paris in New York.

>>Read more


Mary Kay Foundation Accepting Applications for Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program

The goal of the Mary Kay Foundation is to eliminate domestic violence. As  part of this effort, the foundation makes grants to organizations in the United States that assist survivors of domestic violence by operating emergency shelters. The grants are announced each October in observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Funds awarded by the foundation may be used for  operating expenses, with the exception of staff travel. The foundation will award a grant to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state. Any remaining funds will be distributed based on state population.

Only applicants operating an emergency shelter (immediate overnight housing) for survivors of domestic violence are eligible for a grant. 

>>Read more

Intel Corporation has announced a $300 million initiative aimed at boosting workforce diversity at the company and in the technology and gaming industries. Through its Diversity in Technology initiative, Intel will work to build a more robust pipeline of female and minority engineers and computer scientists; actively support the hiring and retention of more women and minorities; and fund efforts to increase the number of positive representations of these groups within the technology and gaming industries. To that end, the chip maker will collaborate with education programs focused on underserved neighborhoods and communities as well as computer science and engineering programs at higher education institutions, including historically black colleges and universities.

Mary Byron Project Announces 2015 Roth Award for Domestic Violence Programs

As part of its annual Celebrating Solutions Awards honoring innovative programs in the United States that demonstrate promise in ending the generational cycle of domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project created the Roth Award to reward and spotlight domestic violence programs that address the needs of under-served populations. Eligible programs provide services to populations (including those based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, faith, disabilities, low socioeconomic status, sexual preference, and victims from economically comfortable suburban areas) that traditionally do not know how to avail themselves of services or who are too ashamed to find them.

>>Read more

Launched a new global campaign to bring financial inclusion to low-income communities. 

Deadline: Open


American Honda Foundation

Invites applications for STEM programs. 

For individuals working to make their community and the world a better place in the areas of arts and culture, community health and wellness, the environment, and justice.

Deadline: Open  


Kellogg Foundation

Invites applications for programs that engage youth and communities in learning opportunities. 

Deadline: Open







We have another amazing year of successes to report for fiscal year 2013-2014 on behalf of the Fund, all of which were made possible with the generous support of corporate, foundation and individual philanthropists, like you.  


Click here or on the image to the right to read the report.


We thank you for your participation as a donor, volunteer, or for attending the Luncheon or our county conversations. We could not do this work without you. Together, we will make Maine the best it can be for all who live and work here by ensuring that women and girls thrive so our communities prosper. Thank you for your commitment to creating better lives for women, families and communities in Maine.     


Consider giving a gift to the Maine Women's Fund today. 



The Maine Women's Fund thanks MaineShare for its ongoing support. MaineShare makes it easy to donate to more than 30 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live. For more information, please visit the website.

On behalf of the staff and board of the Maine Women's Fund, thank you for reading and for all you do to support Maine women and girls.

Office locations:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 | 41 Mechanic Street, Suite 328, Camden, ME 04843

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