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Thank you for 2023

Dear Colleagues,

One of my favorite authors, Willa Cather, once said, “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”

In writing this for our last newsletter of 2023, my thoughts lingered on the lessons and learnings of the year. For example, I am reminded that in periods of deep challenge and stress, trust must be given even as it is being built. Working together through tests, we gain confidence in our partnerships and our ability to move through rough waters as a team. When it is calm, we are able to notice the small and the subtle. These details allow us to create deeper meaning and fine tune our direction and purpose.

Thank you for helping create the ecosystem for all types of learning in 2023. My highlights included:

  • Gathering with hundreds of you for WFN’s Feminist Funded ‘23 conference. I loved hearing the thought-provoking panels (check out mainstage panels at WFN YouTube channel) and was proud that WFN hosted the first ever Feminist Philanthropy Hill Day in partnership with amazing colleagues. Looking forward to seeing you all again in Washington, D.C. in 2025.
  • Connecting with global advocates in Rwanda for the Women Deliver conference (read incoming WFN Board Chair, Paulette Senior’s reflections on it all here).
  • Writing with friend and colleague Saida Agostini-Bostic, from Funders for LGBTQ Issues, to raise a clarion call to philanthropy about the need to understand that anti-trans laws are an act of hate against all of us, and that we must stand together to fight back.
  • Feeling honored that Inside Philanthropy acknowledged the power of this network by including me among inspiring friends and colleagues in their 50 Most Powerful Women in US Philanthropy.
  • Celebrating members working to improve Black maternal health.

WFN is closing our offices today through Tuesday, January 2nd for a period of intentional calm and reflection. For me, that reflection will include deep gratitude for this community. Thank you for your partnership and all you do to create a better world for all. Sending you best wishes for the holidays and new year.

In solidarity,

Elizabeth Barajas-Román
Women’s Funding Network 
President & CEO

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Letters from Elizabeth

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