It’s Women’s History month and in a city with over 4.5 million of them, we applaud these outstanding organizations that have harnessed the power of community and made it their mission to improve the lives of so many. — Kim Kuhteubl
Step Up Women’s Network
510 South Hewitt Street #111
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Step Up Women’s Network is a national, non-profit, membership organization dedicated to connecting and advancing women and girls. Simply stated, Step Up connects you to the professional women you need and to the underserved teen girls who need you. Step Up combines after-school programs with mentorship and paid internship opportunities that focus on career preparation. Programs are designed to engage women in a way that inspires a life-long commitment to responsible, philanthropic involvement, encompassing hands-on volunteer work and leadership opportunities.
Downtown Women’s Center
442 S. San Pedro St.,
Los Angeles, CA, 90013
In 1978, Jill Halverson rented a storefront and opened the city’s first Day Center for women in need. Today the Downtown Women’s Center is Skid Row’s only facility exclusively for homeless women – the fastest growing segment of the homeless. It provides permanent, supportive housing for 71 women, and a safe and healthy community for over 2500 others including: day beds for overnighters, a cafeteria for meals and a medical clinic that handles everything from mental health to breast cancer screenings. If you’d like to join the army of over 800 volunteers, you can help with an array of programs like computer training and art projects or the birthday club, where volunteers organize birthday parties to celebrate the residents’ special day.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
8700 Beverly Boulevard, Suite 2416
Los Angeles, California 90048
Founded in 1957, the Guild has grown from a knitting circle of 18 friends to over 1,500 members. In the early years, they raised funds through movie premieres chaired by big Hollywood stars like Rosalind Russell, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Crawford. Today, Women’s Guild members have raised more than $40 million for Cedars-Sinai, including monies for the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and initiatives that fight lung disease, women’s heart disease (the biggest killer of women), breast cancer and HIV/AIDS.
The Women’s Foundation of California
340 Pine Street, #302, San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 321 2052
In addition to providing more than $24 million in grants to 1200 plus organizations over the past 30 years, The Women’s Foundation of California runs an innovative Women’s Policy Institute (WPI). Since 2003, the institute has trained 200 of California’s fiercest women leaders on how legislation is made, and then connected them to those in power. Fellows have advocated for legislation for safer cosmetics, measures addressing violence in the workplace and an expansion of protections for noncitizen victims of trafficking and domestic violence. Notably, they have championed 12 bills that have become laws that benefit all Californians. The Foundation has recently launched a Los Angeles donor circle and hosts the Momentum Awards in May.
The Women’s Conference
1801 Avenue of the Stars #1201
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Now recognized as the nation’s premier forum for women, this “conference with a conscience” grew to distinction under the powerful leadership of the Former First Lady Of California, Maria Shriver. In 2010, the conference expanded to three days and more than 150 extraordinary speakers came together to speak to 30,000 women empowering them to be “Architects of Change” in their own lives, their communities and the world. The Conference also has a global online community, where more than one million women gather online. The grand finale features The Minerva Awards, a ceremony which recognizes women creating legacies of service and contributions to California, the nation and the world.
Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis
1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90067
MS affects close to two million Americans primarily between the ages of 20 and 40, and three times as many women. In 1993, after being diagnosed with the disease, Nancy Davis established her foundation and held the first Race to Erase MS event, earning over $1.3 million. To date, the foundation has raised over $30 million for multiple sclerosis research, channeling most of its funds into The Center Without Walls. This nationwide collaboration of physicians and scientists brings together the brightest minds from the nation’s MS research centers to work as a team on therapeutic approaches to eradicate the disease.
Geena Davis Institute On Gender In Media
Six years ago, while watching kid’s television programs and videos with her young daughter, Academy Award winner Geena Davis noticed a remarkable imbalance in the ratio of male to female characters. With her foundation, she has raised funds for the largest research project on gender ever undertaken in children’s entertainment. Conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith and her team at USCs Annenberg School for Communication, SEE JANE is a program of the Institute that utilizes research, education and advocacy to engage the entertainment industry in recognizing the need for gender balance in movies, TV and other media aimed at children 11 and under.
Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
400 West 30th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Planned Parenthood Los Angeles is the largest provider of reproductive health care services in Los Angeles County — 72% of their clients are at or below the federal poverty level. All of their sixteen health center locations offer outreach programs and presentations on subjects ranging from puberty to mid-life issues, to abstinence and contraception. They work at the local, state and federal level to advocate for medically accurate sexuality education, contraceptive equity, patient safety, and affordable access to reproductive health care for all people.
155 N. Occidental Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Store: 11102 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood CA 91601
Sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, St. Anne’s first opened its doors in 1908 as a safe refuge for young, unwed, pregnant women. Today it is a highly regarded social service agency committed to developing and sustaining programs that address the special needs of at-risk, pregnant and/or parenting young women and children — most of whom come via the Los Angeles County Departments of Children and Family Services and Probation. All of St. Anne’s programs strive to empower and educate, so these women and children recognize their own value and potential, giving them the hope and the tools needed for a better future.
National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles
543 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 651 2930
Founder Hannah G. Solomon spoke at the Women’s Congress of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and called on women to shape the destinies of American lives. In 1909 Rachel Kauffman heeded that call and assembled 15 courageous women who risked the disapproval of their husbands and defied traditional thought to form the Los Angeles Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. Inspired by Jewish values of helping others — regardless of culture, ethnicity, religion or race — Council Thrift Shops across the city fund a variety of outreach including talkline, counseling, support groups, family court project and scholarships among others.
Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County
P.O. Box 125
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
The Women’s Shelter Program (WSP) began as a grassroots volunteer run shelter in 1977 offering “safe houses” for victims of domestic violence. Today, the extensive support services offered are meant to help the victim to escape from a violent life, for good. Domestic violence and child abuse, in their fullest scope, impact primary victims, family members, society, and future generations. With this in mind, it is the program’s goal to stop the cycle of violence by providing a variety of services in both Spanish and English including: emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, legal assistance and crisis call support.