Women’s Funding Network Chief Strategist Marcia Coné is passionate about the Two-Generation (2Gen) Approach to breaking the cycle of poverty for women and their families. Here, she talks about WFN’s efforts to support its members in implementing the 2Gen philosophy and theoretical framework, as well as the work of the 2Gen Advocacy Cohort and their recent wins.
What is a 2Gen Approach?
When we think about poverty, programs are typically targeted to the needs of different members within the family. For example, you might have a child in a Head Start Program, while the parent is getting job training. This is helpful, but the 2Gen approach—which was developed by the Aspen Institute—looks at ways of addressing the family as a whole system and meeting their individual needs simultaneously, through multi-generational programming and policies. Two-generation approaches draw from findings that the well-being of parents is crucial to their children’s well-being and conversely, parents’ ability to succeed in school and in the workplace is substantially affected by how well their children are doing.
The Women’s Funding Network’s biennual conference is more than a collection of workshops, panels, and keynote addresses. Women Funded is a unique event because of the people we get in the room. When funders and advocates of gender equity come together, powerful collaborations begin and real change begins to happen.
The Gender Breakfast, a monthly gathering of gender professionals and advocates in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an example of such collaboration. Shruthi Jayaram and Lucina Di Meco met at Women Funded 2017 and decided that, together, they would create and host the Gender Breakfast series. These meetings are a chance for gender professionals to network and have a themed discussion led by an expert. To learn more about how Women Funded inspired this initiative, we went straight to the source and talked to Shruthi and Lucina.
Photo: Lucina Di Meco and Shruthi Jayaram
Tell us more about yourselves and what brought you to Women Funded 2017.
Lucina:I’m a senior gender equality expert and women’s rights advocate, currently serving as Director of Girls’ Education at Room to Read and Global Fellow at The Wilson Center. Having just moved to San Francisco from the East Coast, I was thrilled to attend a conference and get to know like-minded professionals in Bay Area! That conference ended up being for me quite momentous, as I met Shruthi there. Right away, we started talking about our shared yearning for a community of gender equality experts in the Bay Area. A few weeks later, we co-founded The Gender Breakfast.
Shruthi: I’m a Senior Project Manager at Dalberg Advisors, a strategy consulting firm dedicated to global justice and social impact. At Dalberg, I advise clients and develop strategies to increase women’s economic empowerment and shift deep-seated gendered norms and attitudes (e.g., around women’s role in the home and in caregiving). I moved to San Francisco in 2017 and like Lucina, came to WFN 2017 to meet like-minded gender equality advocates.