WFS’s mission is to center and invest in the collective power, health, well-being, economic security, and leadership of womxn and girls of color in the US South. In short, we work to ensure their health, wealth, and power.
WFS envisions a flourishing South where womxn and girls of color are healthy, safe, and well-resourced to determine their own destinies and ensure that they and their families thrive. For this reason, WFS is committed to being a sustainable organization and a permanent, endowed institution that serves as a gateway for donors, foundations, corporations, and individual investors to maximize the social impact of their investments in womxn and girls of color in the South.
WFS transforms the model of traditional philanthropy by centering racial and gender equity from the start, serving womxn and girls of color. We aim to change the economic trajectory of at least 2.5 million womxn and girls of color by 2031.
WFS’s vision is to become a regional, national, and even international resource and treasure, establishing a legacy that secures the future and transforms the lives of womxn in the South for generations to come. To achieve our vision, we launched an ambitious $100 million fundraising initiative.
We value the brilliance of mother wit, equity justice, sisterhood, power-sharing, ingenuity, self-determination, and community wisdom.
Staff and Board
Our inaugural staff and founding board members consist of womxn of color and allies with lived experience in the South, making WFS uniquely positioned to communicate with – and for – womxn and girls of color in the region.
We excel in amplifying their voices for change. With more than a century of combined experience, WFS brings to bear deep expertise at local, regional, or national philanthropic institutions as c-suite leaders, program officers, and philanthropic advisors.
WFS was created to address the dramatic gap between philanthropic dollars given to mainstream nonprofit organizations versus those led by and serving womxn and girls of color in the South.
Womxn of color always do more with less. WFS is imagining what is possible with more.
As a public foundation, WFS raises funds and makes grants to active programs, services, and resources for womxn and girls of color and their families to stimulate building health, wealth, and power. As a new foundation, we are committed to growing our work with deep intention to honor place and community wisdom.
We want our work to HEAL
- Hasten opportunities for transformative investment in womxn and girls of color by building partnerships with womxn closest to the issues within communities
- Entrust in Southern WOC leaders, WOC-led nonprofits and small businesses by investing in healing-centered and capacity-building approaches.
- Amplify stories, solutions, and innovations to change the narrative about womxn and girls of color in the South through strategic communications and research.
- Leverage investment in the equitable progress being driven by Southern WOC leaders, entrepreneurs, and WOC-led nonprofits to change the economic trajectory of 2.5M WGOCs by 2031.
WFS aims to address policies and programs that disenfranchise womxn of color and are barriers to opportunities. We fund organizations with multi-year general operating support and leadership development grants. The Foundation also supports increasing capital to womxn of color entrepreneurs and creatives.
Shifting the South
At WFS, we are excited to expand into all 13 Southern states.
Rooted in our values of sisterhood and community-wisdom, we seek to be in relationship with WOC nonprofit leaders across the Southern United States.
As we expand our regional footprint, WFS will develop state based WŌC @ Rest cohorts to cultivate a dynamic and robust network of WOC leaders to write the next chapter for womxn and girls of color and shift the narrative of the South.
Womxn are most affected by inequity, at the intersection of multiple systems of oppression. The Solidarity for Sisterhood Report candidly highlights the significant systemic scenarios for Womxn and girls of the South.
See our Infographics to see how Solidarity for Sisterhood will shift Philanthropy in the South.
WŌC @ Rest ORGANIZATIONS
WŌC @ Rest is an unprecedented and radical approach to philanthropy.
We have a bold vision of bringing together three hundred womxn of color leaders in statewide cohorts (up to twenty-five leaders in each state across thirteen states) to engage in healing-centered, restorative practices over the next five years. These leaders serve on the front lines in the fight for equity, justice, healing, and prosperity in communities all over the American South. Our investment in their leadership will strengthen their organizations, the communities they serve, and expand their networks of support. This approach will allow us to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve conditions for womxn and girls of color across the South.
WŌC @ Rest addresses three issues that WOC leaders report are their greatest challenges: underfunding of their work; need for self-healing and leadership development support, and more strategic communications help.
Nonprofits led by womxn of color, especially Black womxn, often must meet a high bar to prove their “worthiness” and capability for funding, while being overlooked for their knowhow. In the South, philanthropy often masquerades as White benevolence, contributing to systemic harm to leaders and communities of color.
WŌC @ Rest offers hard-working womxn of color leaders a needed pause from responding to compounding disasters –COVID-19, an eviction crisis, persistent maternal mortality, mental health and safety, joblessness, and environmental disasters.
Each statewide cohort will REST:
- Restore by participating in a 2-day healing retreat;
- Elevate their leadership with a personal development grant;
- Support their organizational capacity through a general operating grant for their organization; and
- Tell their story by participating in a recorded storytelling exercise that will highlight the reality of womxn and girls, organizational and community needs, innovative practices in their work, and recommendations of how the philanthropic ecosystem can help.
WŌC @ Rest Organizations
WFS convened its first WŌC @ Rest cohort in December 2021 in Louisiana. Click on the organization’s name below to learn more about each organization and their leader’s experience participating in the inaugural cohort.