A Letter from the President: Woman to Woman Kentuckiana celebrated a milestone anniversary in 2018. For 25 years, our organization has provided a community for women who seek belonging, self-expression, personal truth and value, and support in empowering their authentic selves. This vision of our founders continues primarily through the tireless work of women from across the community who have stepped into their power and service to ensure that the organization is growing, accessible, and fiscally sound, and that women feel connected to our mission and to each other.
Last year, we had a record fundraising year, raising nearly $8000 through our annual Give for Good Louisville campaign. With those funds, as well as your contributions through Amazon Smile, Kroger, Facebook, sustaining donations, and money collected from Intro to Women’s Work, we are able to provide financial assistance for a growing number of women to attend a Woman Within Weekend and for Women's Circle training. These funds also enabled us to host a variety of other community events, including Intro, the Weekend Celebration, and the 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Work has started on an organizational Diversity and Inclusion strategy, which was funded through generous donations aimed specifically at expanding the diversity within our community. We worked with a consultant, developed a unique Diversity and Inclusion mission statement for our organization, and began the process of reaching out to the larger Kentuckiana community to seek partnerships. As a result, the Louisville Urban League (LUL) is very interested in supporting the formation of a Circle for the young African American women involved in their workforce development programs. More to come as this partnership progresses!
At the February Leadership Circle meeting, we identifiedfive strategic goals for the 2019 that we feel will help us to maintain the excitement and momentum from last year:
To continue to build community fellowship
Increase diversity and outreach efforts
Increase access to Circles
Improve the practices of the board
All of these goals will strengthen our 25-year foundation, support our mission, and ensure that financial hardship never prevents a woman from working toward her self-empowerment.
Although it’s only April, much of the work to make these goals reality is already in motion, with a nearly full board of directors, the launch of ReCircle, our budding partnership with the Louisville Urban League, the continuation of Intro to Women’s Work, the formation of two new Circles, and a significant increase in the number of women completing the Circle Intensive training! Our community was also chosen by International as the host location for the Skills Workshop (held in March), and the Gathering of Women will be in our area, as well (coming in June). It’s going to be an exciting year! As an organization, wecontinue to fulfill our mission and utilize the generous donations of the community in the following ways:
Providing scholarships so women can attend Woman within weekends and other trainings.
Supporting Central & International in hosting, organizing, and staffing Woman Within Weekends, with particular focus on the Louisville weekend.
Supporting communities of Woman Within graduates to continue their growth and connection. Opportunities at the local level include:
Train Guides & Monthly Meetings
Monthly Board Meetings
Monthly Intro to Women’s Work
Re-Circle: continuing education for women in circles
Locally offered Workshops that explore issues like conflict, stepping into inner leader, shadow-
Community Gatherings, movie nights, game nights potlucks, talent shows Joint activities between Woman Within and Mankind Project Leadership and service opportunities:
Fundraising for Woman Within Weekend scholarships
E-Circle training – preparing women to sit in circle together in way that allows them to embody the mission statement.
Sponsoring additional programs, workshops and events within the region.
Providing preparation for Woman Within graduates to staff a Woman Within Weekend.
As a community, we consist of 17 regularly meeting circles between Louisville & Lexington, plus Intro to Women’s Work, with an average of 4-8 members per circle and up to 30 women who regularly attend open circles. We have 7 guides and 3 apprentice guides serving our region alongside 10 volunteer board members!
As always, I am honored to serve this community. I am humbled by the many enthusiastic, powerful women who serve with me, as well as those who came before us to pave the way, and for the opportunity to ensure this wonderful community has the foundations and growth needed to empower women for another 25 years!
In service, Ashley Barnes President, Woman to Woman Kentuckiana