A powerful reminder
Photo provided with permission by G4GC Love is Healing
COVID-19 Response Fund grantee, IGNITE National
Next week, we will witness history in the making as Senator Kamala Harris is sworn and becomes the first woman and the first Black and South Asian Vice President of the United States! She is a powerful reminder of what happens when we invest in our girls as agents of change and leaders, and how we can inspire and transform girls of color when they can see and recognize possibilities for their own future. As we saw in Georgia, Arizona and throughout the country, it is Black, Indigeneous, Latinx and other girls and femmes of color who are leading the way for us as we continue to build a stronger, more inclusive, more equitable society than the one we find ourselves in today.
The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, and the ongoing threats of violence throughout the country, are horrifying, and also all-too-familiar for those of us who have been bearing the impacts of white supremacy and colonization for generations. I am writing about this now, one week later, because I chose to prioritize the wellbeing and safety of my team, an all-women of color staff, my family, and the girls in all of our immediate lives. As we all process this time in history, it is imperative that we listen to and affirm our girls, and remind them that they are sacred and that they are loved.
Last week, along with multiple events in the last few years, crystallizes the importance of Grantmakers for Girls of Color’s demands for a world where our girls are thriving. They make it overwhelmingly clear that G4GC’s mission—to resource and amplify transformative organizing work that dismantles systems of oppression in the United States led by girls, femmes and gender expansive youth of color—is critical to the very fabric of our American Democracy.
In the midst of all of this, I could not be happier to announce that G4GC has brought on two more incredible women to help us achieve our mission. Josefina Casati joins as our Senior Director of Communications, and Dr. Whitney Richards-Calathes joins as our Senior Director of Research, Advocacy, and Policy. Both women bring deep experience, strong expertise and, most importantly, a lifetime commitment to girls of color, to our leadership team at this critical moment. Please learn more about both of these phenomenal leaders below.
As I watch the swearing in next Wednesday, I will be heartened by what the moment signifies—a nation on the brink of change, and an opportunity to strengthen our movement toward the justice and liberation that our communities require. I am also invigorated by this giant resource we are building together for Black, Indigeneous, Latinx and other girls and femmes of color. It is their wisdom that gives me hope, and their leadership that will lead us to our next, better chapter.
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.
Grantmakers for Girls of Color
MEET THESE INCREDIBLE ADDITIONS TO G4GC’s LEADERSHIP:
Josefina Casati joins us as our new Senior Director of Communications.
Josefina Casati (she/her) is a content strategist, award-winning journalist, and advocate committed to building bridges that uplift marginalized communities. Her interest in authentic storytelling was sparked when, as a teen, she saw how limiting narratives resulted in harmful treatment of Black and Latino students.
That led to a career in journalism, where she influenced whose stories were told, and how those stories reflected the rich, nuanced contributions of individuals and communities. Josefina is a fierce advocate of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Her work serving on boards and volunteering with nonprofits has influenced strategy, programming, and engagement, and includes the Texas Book Festival Board, UTES School Board, Austin PBS Community Advisory Board, Settlement Home for Children, Communities in Schools, and Latinitas. As Creative and Editorial Director for Pulso, a national media start-up that empowers Latinos, she collaborated with diverse media ventures to develop citizen engagement models. Her focus as Executive Editor of the nationally-lauded ¡Ahora Sí! was to validate and inspire the Spanish-speaking community in Central Texas. Josefina is committed to elevating girls of color, and helping them embrace their beautiful potential. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.
Dr. Whitney Richards-Calathes joins as our Senior Director of Research,
Advocacy, and Policy.
Dr. Whitney Richards-Calathes (she/her) is a community-based researcher, transformative justice practitioner, organizer, and writer. Born into a family of labor organizers and youth workers, Whitney holds movement work at her center. For over ten years she has worked on issues that she believes deeply in and that inspire her: young women’s leadership development, educational access, prison abolition, racial justice, and gender equity. She has worked with organizations such as the Sadie Nash Leadership Project and Community Connections for Youth in NYC, as well as the Youth Justice Coalition in Los Angeles. She holds a PhD from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York and writes about the impact of incarceration on generations of Black women in Los Angeles. She is experienced in participatory research and Black feminist methodologies, while also centering collaborative and accountable research that’s in service to change. Whitney believes that social justice is beyond the jobs we have though – it is an ethic in how we live life, build relationships, respect and interact with the Earth and how we value ourselves. Whitney is from the Bronx and is currently based in Harlem.