From the Women’s March to the #metoo and #timesup movements—in the past 15 months we’ve seen many strong civic leaders step up and create grassroots movements that speak for women’s rights in all its facets.
Here at ioby, we believe that positive change starts in our backyards. Everyday we see on-the-ground women leaders combat racial injustices, advocate for bike safety, beautify public spaces, mentor young women of color, and SO much more!
Today, on International Women’s Day, we’d like to celebrate the many women who have fought to make their neighborhood more inclusive, safer, greener and more fun for all!
Here are 12 women who are currently fundraising for their community project, in random order. We hope you’ll consider showing them some love with a donation of any amount!
1. Amal Altareb, Memphis, TN
Amal (third from left) with the Speak 901 team
After experiencing first-hand the segregation in Memphis and the divided political climate, Amal Altareb, a Muslim-American, created a space to celebrate diversity and inclusion with her fellow high school students. Amal and her team are currently fundraising $1,580 to host a Grand Gala event with speakers, activities, food, and booths with representatives from different local organizations.
2. Rachel Oscar, Cleveland, OH
After successfully fundraising over $2K last year for a public mural on a bridge that has historically divided two neighborhoods in Cleveland, A Bridge that Bridges is back at it again! Picking up where Gwen Garth and Kaela Geschke left off, Rachel Oscar is leading fundraising efforts to create an inclusive community conversation about race and build a mural celebrating all Clevelanders.
3. Sheila Barksdale-Gordon & Dionne Grayman, Brooklyn, NY
When Sheila Barksdale-Gordon and Dionne Grayman saw that there was a lack of health and fitness activities in their neighborhood of Brownsville Brooklyn, they launched a running group for women called We Run Brownsville. Since then, Sheila, Dionne, and the We Run Brownsville team have raised over $16K on ioby and have just launched their fourth fundraiser! They’re currently raising $9,300 to bring a community race to their neighborhood.
4. Jeanette Pierce, Detroit, MI
Jeannette Pierce (front right) with a tour group at Good Cakes and Bakes.
As Executive Director of the Detroit Experience Factory, Jeanette Pierce is dedicated to educating both locals and visitors about Detroit, in order to promote inclusive prosperity. With a fundraising goal of over $25K, the Detroit Experience Factory team will continue to host walking tours, pop up events and continue to help be the megaphone for Detroit’s Great people, places and projects.
5. Janel Sterbentz, San Antonio, TX
With Janel Sterbentz at the helm, grassroots bike advocacy group Bike San Antonio is currently fundraising $2,195 to get their 501c3 nonprofit status. Funding this project will allow this group to hire staff, applying for grants, and continue efforts to improve bike safety in San Antonio.
6. Keyona Dunn, Niagara Falls, NY
Keyona Dunn with the Wish Mentoring group
Create a Healthier Niagara Falls co-chair and lifelong resident Keyona Dunn launched the Wish Mentoring program for middle school girls to foster a healthy relationship with themselves, their families and their community. With a fundraising goal of $5,185, Wish Mentoring will build a community project— host public workshops about positive self-image, health, civic engagement, and even free yoga classes!
As part of the Healthy Neighborhoods Challenge, your donation will be matched up to $1,000.
7. Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, Philadelphia, PA
When you look around at cities all over the country, it’s no surprise that they’ve mostly been planned by men. So what would a women-led city look like, anyway? Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman and her team are currently raising $8,027 to host a conference and find out! This inaugural working conference of The Women Led Cities Initiative will bring together women working in all areas of urbanism to connect, collaborate, and start the conversation around a feminist city for all.
8. Britney Thornton, Memphis, TN
Britney (front right) with neighbors and volunteers of JUICE Orange Mound
Two-time ioby leader Britney Thorton is unstoppable! As Founder of JUICE Orange Mound, a nonprofit organization that civically engages residents in the historic neighborhood of Orange Mound, her team is currently fundraising $1,580 to create a public mural to beautify and showcase the pride of her community.
9. Jennifer Beaugrand, Bronx, NY
Jennifer Beaugrand founded Bronx is Blooming in 2011 with the mission to engage communities and youth in environmental stewardship through the beautification of local parks. For her second ioby project, her team is fundraising over $20K to provide stipends to high school and college students who will mentor and help their community become greener and more sustainable.
10. Sandra Alfonzo, Brooklyn, NY
Diego and Sandra
After fundraising over $9,600 to build an adaptive bike for Diego, a disabled teenager in Brooklyn, Sandra Alfonzo is already fundraising again–only two months later! This time she’s fundraising $10,835 to provide adaptive bikes to three disabled children in New York City.
11. Claire Gubian, Brooklyn, NY
PS 20 Green Arts Committee Chair Claire Gubian helped develop a school program to broaden students’ thinking and problem-solving abilities with art and gardening. They’re currently fundraising $15K to create a school-wide composting program, maintain a beehive, and create other garden projects to educate students and inspire green art.
12. Danielle Sweeney, Baltimore, MD
Baltimore based transit activist and blogger Danielle Sweeney wants to track no-show buses and generate feedback from riders. With a fundraising goal of $2,210 she plans to document MTA buses’ on-time performance in Baltimore City, publish findings, and hold the MTA accountable for unreliable service.