5 Women-led Organizations You Should Know About
By Marlon Fuentes | Design Strategist, verynice
Happy International Women's Day! To celebrate we'd like to put the spotlight on a few of the amazing women-led organizations we've had the pleasure of working with.
"Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future." – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Etkie celebrates the rich landscape and cultural heritage of the southwestern United States through their refined jewelry and accessories produced by Native American women in New Mexico. Etkie strives to make their production process as values-driven as the products they create by ensuring that each piece is crafted or finished by talented individuals in underemployed communities. verynice had the opportunity to work with Etkie to design their brand identity which was inspired by the rich cultural heritage and timelessness of their craft.
Working with Etkie was an absolute pleasure. I really enjoyed the enthusiasm and spirit they brought to the creative process." – Alisa Olinova, Art Director, verynice
Downtown Women's Center
Founded in 1978, the Downtown Women’s Center is the only organization in Los Angeles exclusively dedicated to addressing the needs of women overcoming poverty and homelessness in Skid Row. DWC's mission is to provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women.
verynice was fortunate enough to be asked to help with the 2014 Annual Report as well as both participate in and design the 2013 Downtown Women’s Needs Assessment for the Downtown Women’s Center. Not only did we leverage our local volunteers to go out to Skid Row and help collect valuable information from its female residents, we also were able to see the project through by designing a series of infographics and a publication. Working with their newly revealed rebranding, we designed a publication that introduced their donors and supported to their new look. The pages feature beautiful full page photographs of the women who live and love DWC, and their stories.
"verynice is much more than a design agency – they have been critical collaborators in our communications strategy for two years now. We’ve partnered with them on such a wide range of projects – digital and print design, illustration, website development, photography, and workshop facilitation – and their work is consistently of the highest quality and always pushes forward our brand and mission." – Ann-Sophie Morrissette, Director of Communications and Policy
The Empowerment Plan
The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. Their goal is to help build a better life for those that have become trapped in the cycle of homelessness. They emphasize hiring homeless parents from local shelters to become full time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families.
The individuals Empowerment Plan hires are trained to manufacture a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag at night, and a bag when not in use. The coats are distributed to homeless people living on the streets at no cost to them through partnerships established with outreach organizations in communities around the nation.
"We're so excited to kick off our working relationship with the Empowerment Plan. In our interactions thus far as well as in the materials we've been deep within, I've been blown away by Veronika Scott's leadership, determination, and vision to improve lives everywhere." - Matt Manos, Founder and Managing Director, verynice
Mothers2Mothers trains, employs, and empowers mothers living with HIV to bring health and hope to other mothers, their families, and communities. Significant progress has been made over the last decade towards the elimination of paediatric AIDS. Yet each day, 600 children are still infected with HIV. Almost 90% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, and most acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
m2m’s programme also has a positive impact on the Mentor Mothers themselves. The employment enables Mentor Mothers to gain financial security for themselves and their family. By virtue of being professionalised, Mentor Mothers become role models in health centres and their communities, putting a face to empowered, strong, and healthy HIV-positive women, and thereby reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
The Mentor Mother Model has been identified as a key strategy in the United Nations Global Plan to eliminate paediatric AIDS by 2015 and keep mothers alive. m2m advances four of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that most directly affect the health of women and children.
"As on of our early nonprofit clients, it was a pleasure to work with m2m's leadership team in Los Angeles and South Africa." – Kate Manos, Director of Design Operations, verynice
Swipe Out Hunger
Swipe Out Hunger partners with college campuses to end hunger while raising young people’s awareness of homelessness and hunger through education and outreach.
Born under the name Swipes for the Homeless in 2009, a few friends at the University of California, Los Angeles went into the dining hall, used their meal cards to swipe some sandwiches and then deliver them around town. In a single week, 300 meals were collected. A few months later, in partnership with UCLA’s Dining Services student they were able to donate their extra meal funds and that allowed the number to grow to 1,087 meals. By the Fall of 2014, it exceeded 15,000 donated meals in a single week.
As of 2015, the movement has been renamed to the current, Swipe Out Hunger has delivered its its 1,206,145th meal. verynice believes in their mission to raise awareness, foster student leadership and – Swipe Out Hunger.
"Rachel Sumekh is a visionary leader and truly sets the bar for Millennials around the world. It's been an honor working with Swipe Out Hunger on a Pro-Bono basis for years, and watching this organization go from student group to global movement." – Matt Manos, Founder and Managing Director, verynice
Together we can do great things.
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