As an advocate for women and girls, the Women's Fund created the Advocacy Task Force in January 2014. In December 2014 and March 2015, the Task Force held two "Stop the Violence" convenings--one in Knoxville, TN and one in Johnson City, TN. Attendees of the two convenings included representatives from nonprofits, philanthropy, law enforcement, and government. Many of them have worked on behalf of women and girls for more than 25 years, providing a variety of services to women affected by violence, inclouding housing, legal, counseling, education, professional development, and life skills.
Since these convenings, in May 2015, the Advocacy Task Force became a standing committee of the Women's Fund and established a two-year strategy outlining key action steps that are crucial in strengthening how the Fund advocates positive change. Through a collaborative and multifaceted approach, the committee seeks to address the key barriers facing women at their root causes.
The goal of the Advocacy Committee is to advise for policies, programs, and efforts that serve the health and well-being of women. The committee will advocate against domestic violence and sex trafficking, developing recommendations for the Women's Fund Advisory Board to consider, planning activities that may be sponsored, and bring informed debate to the advisory board for action. The committee is composed of Advisory Board members and other members of the public who may have expertie and/or interest in issues central to the mission of the Women's Fund. The committee will be guided by the vision and mission of the fund and will act in accordance with its governing policies.
Using the data gathered at the "Stop the Violence" convenings, the Advocacy Committee is currently planning a community forum, projected to take place November 2015. Through this forum, the committee seeks to educate the public about the affects of sex trafficking and domestic violence in our region and to help connect women in East Tennessee with the resources they need to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. Stay tuned for important news about the forum regarding the location, date, guest speaker and more!