February 2016 Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Spotlight on Impact: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Service
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
2016 Leadership Luncheon and Award Recipients
Grant Opportunities & Events
Save the Date: 2016 Leadership Luncheon
A Message from the CEO

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

I came across this quote in January as our nation remembered the life and work of one of the greatest social-change activists of our time, Martin Luther King, Jr. It reminded me--and fueled my energy for--the work we do every day to create social change for women and girls, and especially for their economic security in Maine. Each of you reading this monthly Enews demonstrates that "passionate concern of dedicated individuals" that fuels the work of supporting organizations doing great work and engaging the public to increase awareness and build the philanthropic resources towards a vision of a just and caring society, where women and girls thrive, so communities prosper.

The Fund Grants Committee received over $450,000 in Letters of Interest in December and now is receiving and reviewing the almost $200,000 in proposals for work being done by a myriad of organizations increasing access to education, healthcare, leadership, building personal safety, creating public policy and financial skills and literacy that support women and girls being economically secure. When it meets in March, the Grants Committee will recommend to the Fund board which of those organizations will receive a total of over $110,000 in grants for 2016. We are committed to doing more and know that will involve even greater "tireless exertions" to build the resources to meet the unmet need in the future. Maine women and girls deserve the best we can do to create positive social change for their future and we know there is significant unmet need.

When we gather at the May 18, 2016, Luncheon to Celebrate Maine Women in the Arts we are counting on our community to be bold, joyful and generous in supporting the vision and moving the Fund toward its goal of meeting more of the needs of Maine women and girls. Read more below about photographer Rose Marasco, this year's Sarah Orne Jewett recipient, and Julia Sleeper, Founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth, chosen as this year's Samantha Smith recipient who we will celebrate that day. We hope their stories will inspire you, as they have inspired us, to continue the struggle toward social justice for Maine women and girls. We plan to announce in March when tickets will be available for sale, so stay tuned. We hope to see you there!

Thank you for all you do for Maine women and girls.


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 

Spotlight on Impact: From Spaceships to Safe Spaces

Charlotte's Spaceship
Twenty teardrop-shaped, "spaceships" maneuver around a classroom. Each ship, a hula hoop made of PVC pipe and duct tape is held with two hands, around the body at waist height, by a child. Silently they wander around the room trying to avoid contact with other spaceships. They pause for instruction. With a show of hands they indicate whether moving around the room without talking was easy or challenging. The spaceships begin moving again, but now the occupants can communicate; the children say, "excuse me," when they need to pass each other and some ask for more space. Again the spaceships pause. Who thought talking was easier than not talking? Who thought not talking was easier? The exercise continues. How many people fit in a space ship? (One). How can you share space? (The facilitator demonstrates how to overlap the hoops after asking the other person to share space). The small pilots practice asking to share space and twenty kindergarten voices chant in unison:

"This is my personal space.
I am the boss of my personal space.
I decide who gets to share my space with me.
This is my personal space.
I am the boss of my personal space."

Using imagination, duct tape and a bit of PVC piping, the concepts of verbal communication, non-verbal cues and the importance of personal space are physically manifested for children 4-8 years of age to successfully introduce self-empowerment and advocacy. The Space Ships curriculum is one of the prevention education programs designed and presented by 2015 grantee Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Service (SAPARS) in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin County schools. Continue reading... 
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
Catherine Lee, Managing Director of Lee International  
At age seventeen, Stephanie Littlehale of Rockport was homeless and sleeping in her car in a Walmart parking lot. A little more than four years later, a Mitchell Scholar, she graduated as valedictorian of her class at the University of Maine and she is now a third-year law student at Georgetown University. Together with Senator Justin Alfond and Kristen Miale, President of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Littlehale shared her story at the Overcoming Food Insecurity panel, the kick-off event for the 2016 Justice for Women Lecture Series.

2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the University of Maine School of Law's Justice for Women Lecture Series, established by Catherine Lee. Born of her involvement with Maine Law's Women's Law Association (WLA), Lee, a Lewiston native and the Managing Director of Lee International, shared how the idea for the series came about:

"The WLA students had a hunger for any international connection and it was clear that more needed to be done to help bridge the cultural divide between traditional Mainers and new Mainers. So, after one of WLA's spring receptions the idea became clear to me -bring an extraordinary woman leader from a developing nation to Maine for a week to speak about justice for women and girls."

In previous years, the Justice for Women Lecture Series has brought human rights, building peace and sex trafficking to the fore by bringing internationally renowned speakers to Maine. Continue reading... 
2016 Leadership Luncheon and Award Recipients

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. The 2016 recipient is one of Maine's most prolific living photographers, Rose Marasco of Portland. A versatile photographer and an inspiring, insightful teacher, Marasco uniquely incorporates framing, point of view and orientation to make images with a complex relationship to the everyday world. Marasco has had significant one-person exhibitions at: Houston Center for Photography, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, Sarah Morthland Gallery, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Farnsworth Museum of Art and at the Portland Museum of Art, according to her website. Her work has also been featured in numerous group shows of distinction most notably at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Marlborough Gallery, Photokina, the International Polaroid Exhibition and the Smith College Museum of Art. Her photographs are included in public collections including: the Fogg Museum at Harvard University; Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection; the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College; Photography Collection at the New York Public Library; the Portland Museum of Art; and the Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
The Samantha Smith Award recognizes a young woman from Maine who works to promote social change in her school or community, inspires other girls to become active in supporting long lasting change in Maine, uses her voice boldly to influence others and make a difference in her community. 2016's recipient is Julia Sleeper, Founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth Center in Lewiston. Born and raised in the Bangor area, Sleeper attended Bates College and began the present-day Tree Street Youth Center in 2011 with a mission to support the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through academics, the arts, and athletics in a safe space that encourages healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development while building unity across lines of difference. The Center serves over 120 students weekly who speak 14 languages, has a 95% college acceptance rate and 100% high school graduation rate. All programs are offered at no cost to families.
The Visionary Partner Award is awarded to a person or entity who has helped to advance the Fund's vision of a just and caring society in which Maine women and girls thrive so communities prosper. This year's award will recognize the Women of the Commons of Eastport. Nine local women: Nancy Asante, Anna Baskerville, Ruth Brown, Sue Crawford, Vera Francis, Linda Godfrey, Alice Gough, Meg McGarvey and Alice Otis, have pooled their energy and resources to develop a comprehensive mixed-use plan to revitalize the historic American Can Building in downtown Eastport, including the Shop at the Commons, where the work of more than 90 fine artists and artisans is available for sale in media ranging from burl bowls to wildlife paintings. On the second floor, two fully-furnished two-bedroom vacation rentals and a classroom/studio/conference room are completed and available for rent. Future plans include a small theater, catered dining space, a boutique hotel and condominiums.

Originally awarded by the YWCA, the Tribute to Women in Industry Award (TWIN) recognizes a woman who is a leader in her field and has achieved significant accomplishments as a business owner, business executive or nonprofit organizational leader. The 2016 recipient is nationally renowned Melissa Sweet of Rockport. Sweet is the illustrator of nearly one hundred children's books, recognized for excellence in her field with awards including: the 2008 Caldecott Honor Book, 2012 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award, and New York Times Best Illustrated Award. Her female characters consistently demonstrate strength, independence and resolve, and her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Madison Park Greetings, Smilebox and for eeBoo Toys, which have garnered the Oppenheim and Parents' Choice Awards.


Domestic violence shelter grant applications are available from this web site or from The Mary Kay Foundation from January 15 to April 30 each year. To view the full RFP click here.

 "Her Heart"
 A lunch and discussion with Doctors Erickson and McCann to learn more about cancer treatment options and cardiovascular disease prevention and minimization risks in women. 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
11:30 AM
Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch, Auburn
For more information click here.

20th Annual Girls' Day at the State House
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
For more information click here.


Women in Maine: State of the State
Presented by Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, CEO Maine Women's Fund
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
 5:15 - 7:30 PM
The Eclipse, 2 Park Drive, Rockland
For more information click here.  

Presented by Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, CEO Maine Women's Fund, and chair, Maine's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Jeff's Catering, 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer
For more information click here.  

12th Annual CeleSoirée
March 18, 2016
5:30 PM
Ocean Gateway, Commercial Street, Portland
Featuring West African Drum and Dance Group Akwaaba Ensemble
For more information click here.  

Empower Immigrant Women's Conference

Saturday, May 21, 2016
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Economic Empowerment Forum
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Trailblazer Award Evening Gala
Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine, Portland
For more information click here.

The United State of Women: The White House Summit
Monday, May 23, 2016
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC
For more information click here.

Professional Advisor's Newsletter

The Maine Women's Fund has launched a newsletter for professionals in the estate and financial planning fields. Quarterly, we share information about planning ideas and opportunities that trust and estate attorneys, trust officers, accountants, investment advisors, financial planners and others can use to advise charitably inclined clients interested in economic security for Maine women and girls. The Fund offers charitable gift annuities and Donor Advised Funds along with a whole range of options to give donors as many choices as possible to fit their planning goals while creating a legacy of economic security for women and girls.
To receive the newsletter use this LINK or to read the first two issues, click HERE.
  2016 Leadership Luncheon

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The Maine Women's Fund has awarded grants totaling $98,000 to organizations working to build the economic security of Maine women and girls. This includes grants from donor-advised funds, resources established by individuals who make recommendations as to how the funds are spent. Read More...



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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