It began as a casual conversation between Kate Farrar, Executive Director of the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and Sharon Cappetta, Director of Development at The Community Foundation for Women and Girls, during the 2016 United State of Women Summit. Now, it is a full-fledged and far-reaching network aimed at providing support and collaboration for organizations serving women and girls across Connecticut. The Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls (CCWG), launched last month with more than 20 members and six funders, gathered at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to celebrate the beginning of the Collective. Members range from Girl Scouts to Planned Parenthood and the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors; the YWCA to The Alliance to End Sexual Violence and Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
The Collective is a supportive network that unifies organizational members, facilitates collaboration, and bolsters their collective power to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls in Connecticut. CWEALF is the initiative's organizer.
“Now is the moment to come together to make progress for women and girls,” said Kate Farrar, Executive Director of CWEALF. “As the state’s leading champion for women and girls, CWEALF is thrilled to convene organizations across the state to increase our impact.”
Organizers say that while many organizations are doing critical work to transform the lives of women and girls in the state, too often, these organizations operate separately, leading to silos. The CCWG aims to “expand our strength as a collective force. It builds on participants’ individual assets with a community network of organizations that uplift and amplify each other’s work. The very act of coming together in this way increases each organization’s impact to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls in Connecticut.”
"Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls is pleased to support the newly launched Collective. Collaboration, Diversity and Inclusion are core values of the Community Foundation’s. Through the Collaborative, partner organizations will develop a common language and requisite understanding of what is needed to advance gender equity," said Tricia Hyacinth, Director, Fund for Women & Girls. "Moreover, members, from all regions of the state, currently working independently, will achieve greater impact through their collective efforts."
“The Community Fund for Women & Girls and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven are delighted to support the Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls,” said Sharon Cappetta, Director of Development. “This emerging network of committed program providers are already doing great work with women and girls in the state. Together, working collectively, they strengthen their individual organizations and connect to potential partners, as well as bring attention and audiences to the gender implications of public policy in Connecticut. Our communities and our state benefit from targeted investments in nonprofit organizations, especially those who are working directly to advance women and girls.”
Other funders of the Collective are the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls; The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut's Women and Girls’ Fund; the Women’s Fund at Connecticut Community Foundation; and the Main Street Community Foundation's Women & Girls’ Fund. The Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls is guided by the following principles of gender equity, racial justice, LGBTQIA rights, civil rights, disability rights, ending and preventing violence, economic justice, reproductive rights, and immigrants’ rights.