Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Happy New Year 2021!
We hope, like us, you had some time to refresh and pause during the holidays.
We would like to take a moment to celebrate and reflect on this historic moment; Vice President Kamala Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is the first Black American, first South Asian American, and the first woman to hold the second-highest office in the country. In her victory speech, Vice President Harris said: “I’m thinking...about the generations of women — Black women. Asian, White, Latina, Native American women … who have paved the way for this moment tonight, women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all.” And at this moment, we are optimistic for all the women who will come next. Furthermore, we are optimistic about the new administration’s commitment to unity, recovery, and progress.
Simultaneously, as a nation, we are healing from the trauma of the Capitol terrorist attacks, unraveling centuries of systemic racism, and fighting a global pandemic. While 2020 and its course shocked and pained many of us, we took strength in the community we have built together and we thank you for that.
Within the context of massive global upheaval, women’s leadership has stood out as a beacon of calm and thoughtful responsiveness. Women’s leadership and active collaboration towards systems change are critical levers for peaceful and prosperous societies. Women leaders, across organizations, have created resources to ensure we build new products, systems, and alliances whose purpose is to further the goal of justice and access to capital beyond COVID. We remain in service of the many emerging leaders that will continue this work in the decades to come and for whom COVID has validated initial hypotheses, allowed for unexpected connections, and bolstered bold ideas.
With this letter, we would like to share some good news about milestones achieved, what we are grateful for, and what you can expect coming up from WIIN!
SOME GOOD NEWS
In light of COVID, our Board forged ahead with a virtual format for our learning sessions. Undaunted by the uncertainty the pandemic posed, we were pleased to continue conversations with exciting leaders across the impact investing spectrum and their cutting-edge insights benefited the entire network.
Unsettled by crimes against George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on low-income communities, leaders in the racial justice space led us through a discussion around Building Resilient and Equitable Communities with leaders from Arabella Advisors, Nwamaka Agbo Consulting, Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Robasciotti & Philipson.
In the fall, in line with the statistics coming out around the impact of the pandemic on working women, we discussed Promoting Wellness in the Pandemic Era with leaders from Capital Impact Partners, Opportunity Finance Network, and Gartner.
Our year-end event leveraged our long-term partnership with the Women Innovators and Leaders Network (WILD). Discussion between leaders from The WILD Network and Spectrum Impact delved on the overlap between impact investing and international development and how development professionals can leverage their core skills to create value in the growing impact investing sector.
We would like to extend our hearty congratulations to our 2020 Co-Chair Lily Beitel-Horton for accepting a new position as a financial advisor with BSW Wealth Partners in Boulder, Colorado, and for passing the CFP®. After two years on the Board, Jessel Amin, has stepped forward to the Co-Chair position to steward the Board along with current Co-Chair Sarah Ebrahimi. We also are excited to celebrate our Board and Advisory Member’s professional achievements; Renee Della Rata was promoted to Manager of Credit Underwriting at MicroVest; Laura Hill was promoted to SVP, Chief of Staff at EquiFI PBC and launched Opus8 Phoenix Fund which invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs in the technology field; Camille Jones launched CariCapacity, an advisory firm which supports entrepreneurs in the Caribbean; Ranjani Sridharan launched Kshetra PBC, and its FinTech marketplace, ImpactCred, to provide platform services and working capital to social enterprises working on the UN SDGs; Lucy Jodlowska began a new role as Executive Director at Winrock Solutions, a new subsidiary of Winrock International.
WHAT WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR
We would like to take a moment to celebrate our achievements in 2020. Firstly, we are grateful for and want to recognize the unwavering commitment of the board and advisory members who, in an unprecedented environment, worked to bring you four virtual events with record-setting engagement.
2020 was a challenging year in many ways and we did not charge for our events. Instead, we accepted donations to organizations creating meaningful impact in our communities. Thanks to your support of our events, we were able to pass through donations totaling $2,498 to The Bail Project, The Loveland Foundation, and the Capital Area Food Bank.
We are proud of the collaborative effort of our community in pooling resources to help support each other through the pandemic and propel us on our journey of learning and racial justice.
In 2020, we also launched our brand new website which allowed us to capture the breadth of the knowledge and networking events hosted since the beginning. If you are new to the sector, please pop over to our resources section and let us know what else would be helpful to support your journey!
We are proud to have made some small leaps with your help. The network now has a robust membership of over 800+ members across 366 plus organizations.
WHAT WE LOOK FORWARD TO
We are looking forward to leaping into 2021 with renewed energy and optimism. In the near term, our events will continue to remain virtual, but we look forward to meeting again in person when it is safe to do so. In 2021, we hope to continue to promote valuable content and connections within our community. In that vein, we will be following up with a short membership survey to help inform our strategic planning for 2021. Your feedback will help to ensure that we curate content that is meeting the moment and fostering opportunities for meaningful connections. We appreciate your engagement and are committed to supporting you in any way we can- please reach out to us!
Thank you and we look forward to a great year ahead!
The WIIN Board