Emily Kestel, Fearless editor, Business Record

The Iowa Women’s Foundation has announced the six recipients of its Core Grant program. The $150,000 grant program funds organizations across the state that address one of the barriers to women’s economic self-sufficiency that the Iowa Women’s Foundation has identified, which are child care, housing, employment, education and training, mentorship, and transportation.

Each organization will receive $25,000.

The recipients are:

  • Hawkeye Community College Foundation, for the Hawkeye Responsive Child Care program, which provides access to child care options that benefit parents who are Hawkeye students and students who provide child care services.
  • Iowa City Sober Living, for a new residential program that supports women in recovery from substance abuse. The program provides three to six months of support for women from all areas of the state.
  • Iowa’s Jobs for America’s Graduates, for helping dismantle systemic barriers that women entering the trades face. The grant will affect about 1,500 women in the programs across 40 counties.
  • Girls Inc. of Sioux City, for Toolbox, a program that gives girls ages 8 to 18 hands-on instruction and experience in the skilled trades.
  • NewBo City Market, to help provide a space for female entrepreneurs to build businesses from the ground up. The program will offer targeted mentoring opportunities, free business consulting, rent discounts, microgrants, child care stipends and financial literacy education. 
  • Oakridge Neighborhood Services, for the Wheels of Hope program, which enables women to obtain quality vehicles from reputable car dealers. The program is designed to help women create financial stability through the acquisition of reliable transportation.

In its 25 years of grantmaking, the Iowa Women’s Foundation has distributed more than $1.3 million in grants to 151 organizations for 280 projects benefiting women and girls in all 99 counties.

The recipients were announced at the Iowa Women’s Foundation annual luncheon in Coralville on Sept. 29. At the event, Iowa Women’s Foundation CEO Dawn Oliver Wiand asked the crowd to imagine a society where girls and women thrive.

“Can you imagine a world where girls are free to pursue an education in STEM, or a career in the trades, because there is no preconceived notion of what counts as women’s work? Can you imagine a world where C-suites and boardrooms are filled and led by mothers who didn’t have to choose between their careers and their families, because they had access to child care, flexible hours and supportive partners? Can you imagine a world where female athletes earn the same as their male counterparts? Where women have equal representation at every level of government, and where we have full autonomy over our voices, our bodies, our careers and every aspect of our lives?

“That is the world the Iowa Women’s Foundation dares to imagine.”