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Changing the World for Women and Girls – One Woman at a Time

by Renita Van Dusen

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

I recently attended the beautiful Women of Influence Giving Circle annual celebration event, in which we celebrated our members, supporters and grantees. It was an amazing night of networking with wonderful women in the Twin Cities who pool their resources together to donate to meaningful organizations supporting women and girls in our community. This year, we raised over $20,000 and will support following organizations:

Alexandra House: Providing violence prevention advocates that work with youth to prevent dating, domestic and sexual violence before it begins, as well as intervention services for youth who have already experienced violence in their lives.

Genesis II: Adolescent parenting programs serving teen mothers, ages 14-21, primarily youth of color from North Minneapolis, the area of highest adolescent birth rates in the country.

Laura Jeffrey Academy: Innovative urban tuition-free charter school offering unique girl-focused education, grades 5-8. The school emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math to prepare young women to gain access to fields in math and science. (Affina is also volunteering at Laura Jeffrey Academy  – see our previous blog post.)

Girl Scouts of the MN & WI River Valleys: Beta Gamma Girl Scouts enhance unity and friendship among high-school aged African American and Somali girls, while developing leadership skills and giving back to the community. 100% of last year’s seniors in this program went on to college.

We welcome new members to our Women of Influence Giving Circle. We, as a group, decide each year where the money goes to benefit women and girls in our local community. One woman at a time, we believe we are changing the world!