This past fall, many of you met Karen at our Annual Luncheon. Karen, a single mom, recently lost her job and later her home. While living in her car, Karen continued to look for a job, and maintain a sense of normality for her young daughter. I share Karen’s story because it is not just one woman’s story. In Texas, women are overwhelmingly the face of poverty.
In Dallas, women-led households are disproportionality poor. Even women who are living above the poverty line face significant challenges from low-paying jobs, high costs of child care and housing and lack of insurance benefits. Teen birth rates in our city are among one of the highest in the U.S., and in our five highest poverty zip codes, are comparable to the rates in Sub-Saharan African countries. Our research combined with our extensive community knowledge has exposed an unfortunate reality: women and girls are seriously and disproportionally suffering the consequences of poverty in our community, and are dramatically underrepresented in leadership positions.
The time is now to take action – and unlock greater resources to advance social and economic change for and by women and girls in our community. Dallas Women’s Foundation has committed to raise $50 million to invest in solutions that get to the root cause of women’s economic insecurity – and reverse them. Through Unlocking Leadership: The Campaign for Dallas Women’s Foundation, we aim to change the trajectory of what is possible for women and girls, because when their lives and opportunities are transformed, our entire region and economy are transformed. Through your generous support, to date we have raised $32.4 million. But this campaign is more than a dollar goal. Every gift will impact the lives of thousands of women and girls.
In the months to come, I hope you’ll join us in our commitment. Whether you advocate on our behalf, attend an event or give your time or provide financial support, you are rewriting the story for women and girls in our city and state. Thank you for being part of this important work. Karen’s story is not over, and with your support, women and girls will no longer be defined as the face of poverty, but the face of our future. Join us today, and let’s rewrite this story, because Strong Women make a Better World.
Roslyn Dawson Thompson
President and CEO