How We Recognize Women’s History Month

Jamie Perry

YNPNdc is reflecting on the enduring resilience of women all around the world, and honoring the contributions that women have made to our history, culture, and society. Every year, the National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA) chooses a theme to guide its programming and vision, and this year’s theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” Honoring the “women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice, and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society,” we must embrace our collective past to inform our future actions. We must honor the brave women before us who fought for the right to be free, to vote, to marry who they love, to attend desegregated schools, to not be discriminated against – to exist as equal citizens. As nonprofit professionals, we recognize how a strong and engaging mission can energize the community.

In 2017, the Women’s March became an international movement, drawing crowds around the world to address the inequalities women and families face, and to create transformative social and political change. Other movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Time’s Up, and others, have made progress in addressing the inadequacies of our society and legal system. It is in this spirit that YNPNdc looks to celebrate Women’s History Month, by embracing our nonprofit community and taking cues from those visionary women who helped create peaceful, nonviolent change.

Nonprofits and advocacy organizations working to support women and families

For more than 45 years, the National Women’s Law Center has fought for gender justice, whether in our society, in the courts, or in public policy. The organization works to break down barriers and create solutions to the gender inequality that women, especially women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income families face.

The Washington Area Women’s Foundation helps women and families out of poverty by building economic opportunities that positively impact the community. By mobilizing the community, the Foundation ensures that economically vulnerable women and girls in the region can access the resources needed to thrive.

The Washington, DC affiliate of Girls Inc. works in the local community to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. The organization helps young girls realize their goals through mentoring, academic support, college prep, leadership development, and enrichment activities.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is still prevalent in many women’s lives. DC’s first domestic violence shelter, My Sister’s Place (MSP), seeks to end domestic violence and empower survivors to live healthy, independent lives free from violence. MSP offers a range of care, including emergency shelter, clinical counseling, and comprehensive services to empower survivors.

Other Organizations working to empower women and families: National Organization for Women, House of Ruth, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, Planned Parenthood, Empower Women, and Women Strong.

Art, Cultural Events, and Local Businesses

  • With the motto, “By Womyn, For Womyn,” the Femme Fatale DC Pop-Up is local and women-owned. Help support creative and collaborative businesses by shopping at their pop-up shop, or by attending a weekly event in the space.
  • All Work and No Pay: A History of Women’s Invisible Labor” explores the implied and historical expectation that women take care of the domestic and unpaid work, despite the progress made in the paid labor force. This exhibit is available at the National Museum of American History now through February 2020.
  • Although it’s been 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, women (especially women of color) continue to struggle to achieve equality. “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” honors the radical women of the past and examines the cultural, political, and social landscape of today. The exhibit is showing at the National Portrait Gallery March 29 – January 2020.
  • The exhibit, “Queens of Egypt” at the National Geographic Museum immerses you in the daily lives of Egyptian queens from the 18th and 19th dynasties. Learn about the historical and cultural impact of Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and other mighty queens now through Sept. 2, 2019.