This Women’s History Month, we need your help to raise $5,000 by March 31 to sponsor 100 enrichment workshops for the women of DWC. To date we’ve raised an incredible $1,075. Will you help us reach $2,000 by the end of the day?
March is Women’s History Month, and today on International Women’s Day (March 8) we at the Downtown Women’s Center recognize and celebrate the dynamic women who have made our city so great!
Throughout LA’s history, we have seen women like former deputy district attorney Clara Foltz (who authored the first state bill that paved the way for women to become members of the bar), civil rights activist Charlotta Bass (the first African-American woman to own and operate a newspaper in the United States), and blues singer Etta James (who started a creative revolution in the music industry) not only change the face of our city, but also create avenues for others to pursue their dreams.
Above left: Clara Foltz (1949-1934) was the first female deputy district attorney in the U.S. (source)
Above center: Charlotta Bass (1874-1969) was the first African American woman to own and operate a newspaper in the U.S. (source)
Above right: Singer Etta James (1938-2012) was a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer who won six Grammys and Blue Music Awards. (source)
We know that change-making women are not just present in history; they are women we see every day at DWC!
Our Education and Enrichment Programs provide women with a space to heal through creativity, while also empowering them to build skills and pursue their own dreams by attending workshops for writing, design, acting, photography, dance and more. These programs are tailored to an individual’s needs so that we can help our participants #createHERstory.
Above: Our Education and Enrichment programs provide women with a space to heal through creativity, while also empowering them to build skills and pursue their own dreams by attending workshops for writing, design, acting, photography, dance and more.
DWC participant Pamela Walls, who has attended several different enrichment workshops, explains why having a creative outlet has allowed her to heal and succeed: “Being creative is like breathing to me, so that's why I create—it's living." Today, Pamela is an established actress, singer, and writer making a name for herself in our city.
“Being creative is like breathing to me, so that's why I create—it's living." - Pamela W.
Above: Artist and DWC participant Pamela: "I don't think of art as a blank canvas waiting for my brush, my imagination awaits like horses do before the gate opens at Santa Anita. DWC is my open gate that ignites and empowers my imagination to soar."
Our creative workshops empower women to develop skills creating handcrafted products like candles, soaps, and journals. DWC resident Magdalena Tran, who currently attends our jewelry-making workshops, feels fulfilled when she sees other participants wear the jewelry she designs, knowing it makes them feel beautiful and elegant. Like Etta James, Magdalena’s creativity has touched the lives of those around her. (You can purchase Magdalena's and other women's jewelry here!)
Above: Magdalena T. creates a beautiful new pair of earrings (and a necklace to match!) in DWC's jewelry-making workshop.
DWC Social Enterprise Program Coordinator Latoya Hawthorne has also witnessed a strong sense of community in the workshops she oversees: “DWC's workshops provide a safe space for women to express their creativity and also expand their support system by establishing meaningful friendships. It’s heartening to see how everyone motivates and holds each other accountable.”
DWC resident Susanne C. recounts her empowering experience taking our volunteer-led Creative Writing classes: “Participating in these programs made me stronger. They made me learn about myself. My philosophy is to acknowledge the past, understand it, let it go, and let it be an experience for a better life to be lived today and tomorrow."
Above: Susanne C. learns about poetry with volunteer Bob Bowen in DWC's creative writing workshop. (Image: Erica Kawamoto Hsu)
“Participating in these programs made me stronger." - Susanne C.
Just as Foltz, Bass, and James overcame obstacles and used their experience and knowledge to inspire those around them, the women of DWC are redefining success and making waves in our city. We are thrilled to continue empowering them, and it is because of your support that our Education and Enrichment program is made possible.
This International Women’s Day, you can continue to champion the empowerment of LA’s women like Susanne, Magdalena, and Pamela. #createHERstory with us by donating below!