THE XX FUND is proud to present the 2020 grantees; During an unprecedented year, these organizations worked through unfathomable obstacles to support their communities, many of whom were the most significantly impacted by the pandemic. They were able to pivot and retool their programs when necessary to meet changing needs. These organizations are engaging in incredible work on the front lines of social change and all worthy of awareness and support.
Alexandria House provides safe and supportive housing for women and children escaping homelessness, domestic violence, or trafficking, helping them in the transition from emergency shelter to economic stability and permanent housing.
Although Alexandria house experienced a two-floor fire last March 2020 at the start of the Pandemic, this year since has seen an outpouring of community and donor support, which allowed Alexandria House to fund its fire repairs beyond what insurance money allowed–repairs were made by a women-owned roofing company, Supreme Roofing, who are members of National Women in Roofing. Throughout the pandemic, Alexandria House has increased their spending 600% to meet their community’s increased needs, providing over 1,200 weekly meals to their residents and neighbors (their meal outreach prior to the pandemic was 50 weekly meals). are preparing to open their greenhouse, and will be welcoming new families this summer as they have seen six families move into permanent homes in the past few months.
Black Women for Wellness is committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment, and advocacy. BWW organizes innovative and relevant programs for reproductive justice, environmental justice, access to quality prenatal, maternal, and child health care, voter mobilization, and civic engagement.
During the COVID crisis, Black Women for Wellness released a digital wellness guide for women of color, “Being Well in the Midst of A Pandemic,” and has provided weekly meal and grocery distribution for a cohort of pregnant women. They increased their sexual health education program online for youth, and developed and issued the Birthing People’s Bill of Rights to support pregnant women and parents going through maternity during COVID. They have also been engaged in COVID Vaccine equity, including: creating and posting a website where to share resources, updates, information, and videos from trusted messengers, conducting vaccine outreach and education via phone and text banks, publishing fact sheets on COVID vaccine mis- and dis-information circulating in their community, and working with ARC (formerly incarcerated folks) to conduct further vaccine outreach.
CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants. CHIRLA organizes and serves individuals, institutions, and coalitions to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights.
While CHIRLA’s in-person offices are closed to the public, their legal, organizing, and advocacy staff are still working and have shifted their consultations to a virtual platform, unless absolutely necessary. CHIRLA has also been engaged in COVID equity work, which currently includes COVID Vaccine equity, by providing in-language outreach, translation, and appointment support regarding the COVID vaccine. Additionally, CHIRLA is working with LA County to provide strategic guidance on community experiences with COVID services and are helping to identify gaps and develop real solutions to best meet community needs. They have conducted live community engagement events online, including dispelling myths and conducting rumor control by developing narrative shifts through personal stories and images.
The Garment Worker Center’s mission is to organize low-wage garment workers in Los Angeles in the fight for social and economic justice, addressing the systemic problems of wage theft, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions, and the abusive and inhumane treatment faced by workers on-the-job.
Garment workers were deemed “essential” during the Pandemic; however, corporations were not legally required to protect their garment workers against the deadly realities of COVID-19. This year, GWC member Ana De los Rios gave powerful testimony to the CA Senate Judiciary Committee, which helped pass the Garment Worker Protection Act (SB62) out of committee, which plans to move on to the CA Senate Appropriations Committee: GWC collected and 5,000 signatures in support of the Bill, and over 100 fashion brands have signed on. This year, GWC also won the right to organize public health councils in their factories, which is crucial during the COVID crisis. They continue to provide Pandemic relief to garment workers, post COVID-related information on their website, and partner with community organizations providing food assistance.
JDI is the only organization in the world dedicated exclusively to ending sexual abuse behind bars. One of JDI’s core strategies is to work closely with corrections officials and inmates inside detention facilities to stimulate meaningful and lasting culture change. At the California Institution for Women (CIW), JDI provides ongoing support to a sexual abuse peer education program, established confidential professional trauma support services, created the inmate-run Council for Inmate Wellness to improve leadership and community-building, and launched a series of art workshops that the inmates named ‘Blooming Within These Walls.’
This past year, following COVID physical distancing protocol, JDI has been working with the Warden and Director of Mental Health at the California Institution for Women to coordinate video and/or telephone counseling sessions between its clients and its staff. While in-person crisis counseling sessions remain suspended, JDI staff continue to correspond with their clients through letters and have developed a self-guided workbook of healing activities for incarcerated survivors. They have secured an agreement with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to distribute this healing workbook inside all LA County jails, as well as to the women at CIW.
New Village Girls Academy is the only tuition-free, all-girls charter school in the state of California. It provides an empowering and highly supportive learning environment for young women living in urban communities throughout Los Angeles.
New Village Girls academy shifted quickly and dynamically to a virtual platform at the beginning of the pandemic, providing their 106 enrolled students (and counting) with Chromebooks and hot spots as needed, continuing their advisory program, and working with students’ schedules to adjust their learning hours accordingly. They continue to make monthly school supplies distributions, and they distribute hundreds of meals daily to students and their families, in collaboration with their community partners. They have also collaborated with Volunteers of America and GYRD to provide home visits to students who seem less engaged due to virtual and distanced learning. Their annual Speed Networking event, which was held online this year, was a great success, with attendance including 40 mentors from 10 states in over eight industry sectors.
The mission of MOSTe (Motivating Our Students Through Experience) is to mentor and empower girls from underserved neighborhoods of Los Angeles County to become the next generation of college-educated women. From 7th grade through college, MOSTe provides programming that combines personal growth with academic skill-building, believing that change happens at the individual level, with one girl at a time. MOSTe serves 265 girls each academic year and has three phases: middle school, high school, and college and beyond.
During the pandemic, MOSTe pivoted to a virtual platform to reach its students online, in which they continued to offer mentorship, resources, and a positive network, which helped every single member of their class of 2020 enroll in college. In 2021, they are continuing to review college acceptances and financial awards with their current graduating class and are continuing to connect their students to internships while maintaining their programming such as yoga, games, movie nights.
Trans Can Work is located in Los Angeles, California and is committed to advancing workplace inclusion through innovative training strategies and workforce development. As transgender leaders working to advance inclusion in the public, private, and non-profit sectors across the country, Trans Can Work provides guidance on workplace culture, training, assistance in recruiting, job training and workforce development for transgender individuals, job seeker support services, and a jobs network of inclusive employers.
When COVID hit last year, Trans Can Work had just begun its partnership with the City of West Hollywood on a city-wide Anti-Transphobia Campaign, which included conducting diversity and inclusion training with Weho employers and service providers. As the pandemic halted in-person interaction, they quickly took their platform virtual, developing their “First Day on The Job” Training, which centers the experience of Transgender/Gender Nonconforming People of Color as they interact with their workplaces. They complimented their e-learning with a fully-virtual Inclusive Workplace Toolkit, which equips all employers–big or small–with the resources necessary for an inclusive and diverse work environment and culture, including free eLearning and training for West Hollywood businesses and access to a free Inclusive Workplace flash drive with electronic versions of their full in-person curriculum, which links to a Cultural Diversity Certification online training.
The Westside Infant-Family Network (WIN) provides early childhood mental health therapy and comprehensive support services to families with young children (prenatal through 5) struggling with generations of trauma, abuse, and neglect.
During the pandemic, Westside Infant-Family Network (WIN) has distributed 1,193 packages of diapers and wipes, fulfilled 209 orders of educational, household and clothing items, provided $52,130 in rental assistance, and distributed $48,913 worth of groceries to families. They shifted their entire operation online, even increasing the number of individuals they are caring for–all via Telehealth and Zoom. They also launched a community ambassador program, which conducts in-person and virtual outreach community members, connecting them with resources such as COVID testing, education and supplies, mental health and well-being resources, and social support services. WIN’s community ambassadors have provided 125,471 COVID resources to their community members between October and December alone. Additionally, their COVID-related virtual workshops, which focus on trauma education and support, have seen participation of up to 282 people.