Women To Women Giving Circle To Focus On "Empowerment" Projects | WGLT

Women To Women Giving Circle To Focus On "Empowerment" Projects

Sep 8, 2016

The Women to Women Giving Circle of Illinois Prairie Community Foundation is sponsoring a screening of the documentary "The Empowerment Project" Tuesday September 13.
Credit theempowermentproject.com

The Women to Women Giving Circle of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation is an organization founded by women for women and children.

In the last six years, it's provided more than $200,000 in grants for local programs and projects.

This year, the focus will be programs that " inspire girls and young women to achieve their  highest potential," according to Kathi Davis, the foundation's program director.

About $40,000 in grants will be available for those programs.

Applications will be accepted September 26 through October 27 from registered charitable organizations, schools, places of worship, and government entities. 

Speaking on GLT's "Sound Ideas," Davis said, "It's open to any group that has a program or would like to have a program. We are also very willing to fund not only programs already in existence, but let's say an organization has seen a great program in another community and they would like to bring that program to our community, we are willing to look at that."

"We are also willing to look at pilot programs as long as there is evidence those have been well researched and hold promise," she added.

Kathi Davis, program director at Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, says the group will support programs that "empower" young women and girls.
Credit Illinois Prairie Community Foundation

The group will launch its new grant cycle with a public screening September 13 of the documentary film, "The Empowerment Project."

The documentary was  created by five young female filmmakers and features profiles of women who moved beyond traditional roles.

The film asks the question, "What would you do if you weren't afraid to fail?"

Davis said she hopes the film will help community organizations gain insight into the types of programs Women to Women is seeking to fund.

One of the programs Davis cited is the "Heart and Sole" running program at Colene Hoose Elementary School in Normal. The program pairs physical exercise with lessons in self-esteem and confidence-building for fourth and fifth grade girls.

The Heart and Sole program at Colene Hoose School in Normal builds confidence and self-esteem in pre-teen girls
Credit Judith Valente

"Heart and Sole" was inspired by a national program called "Girls on the Run," whose founder appears in "The Empowerment Project" documentary.

A feature on "Heart and Sole" aired on GLT's "Sound Ideas" on  May 16, 2016 and can be heard at www.wglt.org.

The screening of "The Empowerment Project" will take place at 4:30 p.m. September 13 at the Illinois State University Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main Street in Normal. A panel discussion will follow led by three women from the community who have moved beyond traditional female roles. Admission is free.