FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2021
NEW YORK (July 30, 2021)—Caring Across Generations, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and four other organizations have been awarded a $10 million, five-year grant to increase women’s equality by bolstering the American caregiving infrastructure. This cross-movement group of leading advocacy organizations was selected for the grant through the highly competitive Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, an initiative to advance bold ideas to increase women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030.
The organizations’ shared project, Building Women’s Equality through Strengthening the Care Infrastructure, was one of just four funded after a year-long competition that drew more than 550 proposals from all 50 states.
“For too long, our country has treated care and caregiving as an individual burden instead of a collective responsibility—ours is the generation that will change this,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations and National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We’re thrilled this grant will allow us to research, test, and scale equitable new models for care. Thanks to this historic grant, we will be able to lay the foundation for a system in states and across the country that values caregiving and thus supports true equality for women, especially women of color.”
The Equality Can’t Wait Challenge is hosted by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda French Gates to advance social progress in the U.S., with support from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. The Challenge is managed by Lever for Change, an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which matches philanthropists with problem-solvers to accelerate change.
Caring Across Generations and the National Domestic Workers Alliance will convene partners working at the intersection of disability rights, racial and gender equity, and the labor movement: The Arc, Family Values @ Work, MomsRising Education Fund, and the National Women’s Law Center. Working together, these organizations will strive to overcome the effects of an inadequate U.S. care system that has relegated women—typically women of color and immigrants—to low-paying, physically and emotionally demanding jobs with little or no benefits. The work of paid caregivers makes it possible for others to go to work in higher-paying jobs that better support their families while knowing their loved ones have the care they need.
The project’s ultimate goal is for all women—regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic background—to be able to give and receive the care they need for themselves and their families without the threat of economic instability. Reaching that goal will require the creation of a caregiving infrastructure through policies such as universal long term care services and supports, universal child care, and paid leave for all.
The organizations will approach this groundbreaking effort in three ways: building relationships with state-based organizations dedicated to care solutions, transforming social norms and culture to view care as a collective responsibility, and conducting research to back the evidence-based case for policy shifts shaped by the views of women of color.
Below are additional comments from coalition partners:
“The unpaid and underpaid labor of working women has long been invisible and undervalued – in our economic, political and social systems,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “COVID-19 laid bare and exacerbated the resulting gender and racial inequities. We have a unique opportunity in Washington and across the country to finally value the disproportionately Black, brown, and immigrant care workers and families who are truly the backbone of our entire society. We are so excited for the opportunities made possible by this grant to right these critical wrongs and advocate on behalf of women and families of this and future generations.”
“The Arc of the United States is proud to work with our partner organizations to work towards an inclusive care infrastructure that supports the unique needs of people with disabilities, their families and the direct care workforce, that has for far too long been overlooked despite their essential work,” said Nicole Jorwic, senior director of public policy at The Arc.
“Women and moms were disproportionately pushed out of much-needed jobs during the pandemic, with moms of color experiencing compounded economic and health harms,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of MomsRising. “This is in no small part because our nation has a wholly inadequate care infrastructure, including a lack of national universal policies relating to childcare, paid family and medical leave, living wages for care workers, home and community-based services, access to unbiased health care and more. Now, through this initiative we are standing and rising together to finally build the equitable care infrastructure that we all need.”
“For far too long, society has dishonored the invisible caregiving work that undergirds every industry and every workplace,” said Sade Moonsammy, interim executive director of Family Values @ Work. “In policy and practice, this country strategically and consistently minimizes our nation’s historic and ongoing dependence on coerced or underpaid labor and the marginalization of women—particularly black and brown women. FV@W is proud to be a part of the critical work of strengthening our care infrastructure, both through our network and now with Caring Across Generations as part of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge grant. The moment for this work is urgent as families continue to grapple with the pandemic. We are pleased that this investment in our partnership will help our continuing efforts to secure a just and sustainable care infrastructure.”
Caring Across Generations is a national campaign of families, caregivers, people with disabilities, and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country. By harnessing the power of online and grassroots organizing and culture change work, we are shifting how our nation values caregiving and calling for policy solutions that enable all of us to live well and age with dignity. Learn more at http://caringacross.org.
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at www.domesticworkers.org.