Asset Funders Network introduces the Equity Amplifier for Economic Security (EA), a new monthly spotlight series highlighting organizations or nonprofits focused on building economic security/asset building in communities of color.
The mission of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation (TMWF) is to empower, promote, and support women and their families through education, outreach, philanthropy, and social services.
At TMWF, the employees and Board of Directors:
- are women and 90% are women of color (including Asian, African, Black and Hispanic descent)
- speak over 15 different languages
- represent 7 countries
TMWF was the first domestic violence shelter in Texas to understand and address the specific needs of survivors of color from Middle Eastern and South Asian backgrounds. In addition to providing immediate intervention services, our agency prioritizes cultural change through enhanced outreach services.
WATCH and LISTEN to the interview with Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation:
Q&A with TMWF’s Executive Director, Mona Kafeel
Can you provide an example of a program or initiative that your organization is spearheading to advance economic opportunity and prosperity for communities of color?
TMWF offers financial empowerment services to encourage survivors to overcome barriers and increase economic security through:
- Obtaining sustainable housing
- Eliminating financial barriers such as transportation and childcare
- Enabling survivors to gain new professional skills and certifications
- Connecting survivors with employment assistance through the Texas Workforce
The Allstate comprehensive financing literacy curriculum, which is readily available in English and Spanish, has been translated into Arabic and Urdu for specific modules by TMWF, providing life-changing information with a culturally competent approach.
What are some specific barriers or biases from within philanthropic organizations that you believe are hindering diverse organizations from accessing adequate funding or support?
Major agencies, especially those that are community-led, do not have access to share their knowledge rooted from experiences. This may include voicing challenges, barriers and even accessing partnerships with philanthropic
This results in limited to no representation, limited availability of funds and further neglect of underserved populations.
How does this work impact communities and populations that are historically marginalized, underserved, and/or under-resourced?
Escaping domestic violence is a complicated and often dangerous process that can involve a multitude of challenges. Given the nature of immigrant survivors and mainstream agencies, these challenges are increased tenfold. Local shelters and programs who are unable to accommodate for the cultural norms, dietary and religious customs of immigrant women often leave survivors feeling overwhelmed and terrified.
Mainstream shelters can’t provide a safe space if they’re not meeting the culturally-specific needs of survivors. According to the annual census conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, only 35% of programs provided bilingual advocacy services for survivors and only 21% of programs provided support and advocacy related to immigration on census day. Our agency was created to directly address this gap which exists within the social services sector and our programs offer holistic services which include bilingual, legal, mental health and case management services.
Name one thing funders need to be cognizant of when connecting or partnering with diverse organizations and communities?
Funders must provide flexibility and work with organizations led by people of color to understand socioeconomic and cultural implications and barriers that community-led agencies and their clients face.
To learn more about Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, visit tmwf.org. TMWF can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at @TXMWF and Instagram at tx_mwf.
About the Equity Amplifier
The EA serves as a space where philanthropy can engage with communities of color and examine how funders are addressing concerns in a manner that is intersectional and inclusive. Each month, AFN members will have the opportunity to access organizations and nonprofits in communities of color that are focused on economic security and asset building, including an informational brochure and a brief interactive virtual video presentation.
As a benefit of AFN membership, funders may nominate local nonprofits focused on building economic security/asset building in communities of color to highlight as part of the EA series. AFN members will also receive the opportunity to participate in a brief interactive virtual video presentation that will be shared with national AFN membership, allowing your organization to showcase innovative models and best practices to help build a more secure future for diverse communities.