March came to a close with an insightful panel discussion from the leaders of Casa Cornelia Law Center, Southwestern College Microenterprise Family Childcare Program, and Community HousingWorks. We thank the Education Team for presenting a powerful conversation that was moderated by former State Senator and Women Give San Diego member, Dede Alpert. Over the course of the evening we heard from Ann Durst, founder of Casa Cornelia Law Center, Patricia Bartow, Center Director of the Microenterprise Family Childcare Program at Southwestern College, and Sue Reynolds, President and CEO of Community HousingWorks. We learned about the issues that women with limited financial resources face and the unique programs that these organizations have created to empower them financially.
The title of the meeting “It Takes a Village” embodied the idea that the success of these organizations and their clients is tied to collective efforts and support of staff, volunteers, teachers, grantmakers and more. When asked the question, “What is your key to your organization’s success?” all three speakers touched upon the importance of community.
For Casa Cornelia Law Centers, they rely on the generosity of lawyers who provide pro bono services to help victims of human and civil rights violations. Additionally, they have helped over 150 people obtain work authorizations this year and make strides towards financial stability.
At Southwestern College’s Microenterprise Family Childcare Program, students learn by example to see proven models of success. Through collaboration and unique workshops, women are introduced to a variety of business opportunities as well as diverse perspectives on childcare. After fourteen weeks of intensive learning, the women celebrate their achievements and community of support by producing a graduation ceremony with teachers and volunteers.
Finally, at Community HousingWorks (CHW), the women who graduate from their Financial Fitness Classes are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to work towards getting out of poverty. With numerous housing sites in San Diego and Los Angeles, CHW not only provides educational opportunities but also communities where individuals and families can access support services and live sustainably.
This panel discussion was a great way to end Women’s History Month and hear from individuals who are making a true difference for women in our community.