The Women's Foundation is celebrating Women's History Month and the many contributions women have made to our community at a luncheon on March 31. With a theme of “Celebrating the Past – Planning for the Future,” the luncheon will highlight 40 years of service by Women's Commissions in Lincoln and Lancaster County. Recipients of several awards will be honored including the Alice Paul Award, given to a woman who has had a lifelong dedication to women's rights and the Erasmus Correll Award, awarded to a man who has supported women's issues. Additional awards include the Sojourner Truth Award honoring emerging young women leaders.


The “Celebrating the Past – Planning for the Future” luncheon will take place Friday, March 31 from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Lincoln Country Club, 3200 S. 24 th Street. Cost is $40. For questions, contact us at lincolnwomen@gmail.com or register HERE.



Nominations are being taken for the Alice Paul, Erasmus Correll and Sojourner Truth Awards. Due March 20. Send your nomination forms to lincolnwomen@gmail.com


Past Alice Paul Award Winners

2015 - Patty Pansing Brooks

2012 - Kathie Uhrmacher

2009 - Bonnie Coffey

2006 - Janice Walker

2005 - DiAnna Schimek

2004 - Leola Bullock

2003 - Dr. Gerise Herndon

2002 - Kathy Campbell

2001 - Melba Cope

2000 - Susan Scott

1999 - Susan Hale

1998 - Sheryl Schrepf

1997 - Dr. Barbara DiBernard

1996 - Linda Knox

1995 - Gail Linderholm

1994 - Jan Gauger

1993 - Lela Knox Shanks

1992 - Beatty Brasch

1991 - Lois Hansen; Donna Karnes

1990 - Kit Boesch

1989 - Donna Polk

1988 - Christine Funk

1987 - Judy Wesely

1986 - Betty Peterson

1985 - Ada Munson

1984 - E. Shelton Burden

1983 - Ina May Rouse

1982 - Rosemary Machacek

1981 - Lynn Roper

1980 - Rose Meile

1979 - Esther Hamon

1978 - Gina Washburn

1977 - Kappie Weber


Past Erasmus Correll Award Winners

2015 - Scott Young

2007 - Rev. Otis Young

2006 - Milo Mumgaard

2005 - Sen. David Landis

2004 - Rev. Lauren Ekdahl

2003 - Bob Moyer

2002 - Thom Cope

2001 - Topher Hansen

2000 - Rick Wallace

1999 - Brian Mathers

1998 - Tom Casady

1997 - Dr. Jim Lewis

1996 - Gary Lacy

1995 - Randy Moody


Past Sojourner Truth Award Winners

2015 - Becca Brune and Kamryn Sannicks

2005 - Kate Simmons

2004 - Sarah Mason

2003 - Natalie Roberts

2001 - Ixchel Swinehart

1999 - Evamarie McDowell

1998 - Julie Thai




The Women's Foundation has started a literacy project with the Community Action Partnership's new Head Start location. Once a month, the members of the Women's Commission read to the children in the preschool and then the Women's Foundation donates a copy of the book to each child.

When the Prosper Lincoln results were announced last year, the Foundation decided to join the efforts of the Early Childhood Development Initiative and support learning to read. Margaret Fuller once said, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” We hope our Literacy Project will encourage young children and their families to read and enjoy books!


Jessica Adkisson Hesse, member of the Mayor's Commission on Women, reads to preschoolers at Head Start.






Since the recession, the amount of women-owned businesses has steadily increased, locally as well as on the national level. According to an American Express OPEN report,


“As of 2016, it is estimated that there are now 11.3 million (11,313,900) women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people (8,976,100) and generating over $1.6 trillion ($1,622,763,800,000) in revenues. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses. Therefore, over the past nine years, the number of women-owned firms has grown at a rate fully five times faster than the national average.”


A similar report by the Omaha World Herald in 2013 pointed to the increase in women-owned businesses in Nebraska, the percentage being higher than the national average by 3%.


The Women's Foundation, working with the Mayor's Commission on Women, has compiled a directory of the businesses owned wholly or in part by women in Lincoln and Lancaster County. Beginning with a directory that had been created by the Human Rights Commission, entries were added or deleted, inclusion being voluntary and not an endorsement by either the Women's Foundation or the Mayor's office.


If you or others would like to be added, please contact lincolnwomen@gmail.com


You will find the directory HERE.


If you would like to make a pledge to the Women's Foundation of Lincoln & Lancaster County please visit HERE






"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." These words by Margaret Mead, noted anthropologist, remind us that engaged citizens can start a movement, improve the health of our communities and bring about change. The April 14 CIVICS ACADEMY provided an opportunity to learn more about how to achieve this through civic engagement.


The Women's Foundation, NE Appleseed and the YWCA hosted this event for participants who were able to learn about Neighbor Works Lincoln and the Civic Health Index from Nebraskans for Civic Reform. Then a panel of elected officials explained their roles in our community and how to engage locally. Many thanks to Annie Mumgard - Lincoln Public Schools Board, Jane Raybould - City Council and former Lancaster County Commissioner, NE State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks and Kim Taylor-Riley - Director of Equity, City of Lincoln.


Future Civics Academy events will be announced here and on email.




On September 3, 2015, the Women's Foundation hosted a luncheon to celebrate those in our community who contribute to the improvement of women's lives through education, advocacy and outreach. "Women in Leadership" took place at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel from 11:30am-1:00pm. Once again, we presented the leadership awards that were a tradition with the Women's Commission: (1) the Alice Paul Award, given to a woman whose life's work reflects her dedication to the struggle for women's equality, was awarded to Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, a long-time community volunteer and activist and now dedicated state legislator (2) the Erasmus Correll Award, given to a man who has exhibited outstanding commitment to issues affecting women, was presented to Scott Young, the Executive Director of the Food Bank (3) the Sojourner Truth Award, given to young women who attempt to enhance the quality of life for girls or women through volunteer efforts and/or community involvement. There were two Sojourner Truth awards given this year. One to Becca Brune, a community activist and chid advocate with Nebraska Appleseed. The other was awarded to Kamryn Sannicks, a senior at North Star High School who has already become involved in political campaigns.





Miles to Go: Women Activists Reflect on the Road Traveled

In the summer of 2013, The Women’s Foundation of Lincoln/Lancaster County began a video/audio project using oral histories to highlight individuals who were active in fighting for gender equality in Lincoln during the 1970s and early 1980s. The interviews were done with women who made important progress towards equality for Nebraska, each centering on salient issues, such as education, economic independence, legal standing, intimate partner violence, childcare and reproductive health. These twelve include women who were active in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Commission on the Status of Women and the Nebraska Coalition for Women. The footage has been edited to log interviews and select clips for 2-minute audio montages aired daily on the radio station KZUM (89.3) during Women’s History Month.


The Foundation’s goal for this project is to preserve the voices of women who fought for significant gains and to showcase activism: our purposes are to educate young people about local history that has a direct bearing on the rights they currently enjoy and to inspire them to continue fighting against injustice. Interviewees and areas of expertise include Ada Munson and Virginia Walsh, Nebraska Coalition for Women; Chris Funk, first Executive Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster Commission on the Status of Women; Lynn Roper, advocate for Title IX implementation; Ina May Rouse, the Displaced Homemaker Act; Marcee Metzger, former Women's Center director and Executive Director of Voices of Hope; Rosemary Machacek of New Directions Center; Helen Moore, second director of the Women’s Studies program at University of Nebraska Lincoln; Beatty Brasch, Executive Director of the Center for People in Need and long-time friend of Lincoln's first woman Mayor, Helen Boosalis; Natalie Olson, former officer of the Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission; Linda Pratt, former Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Nebraska; and Mary Jo Ryan, advocate for early child care legislation and licensing of care centers.


We have produced an hour-long documentary comprised of interviews, archival materials, and other narration or historical information. The premiere of this film was held on September 30, 2014 at the Ross Film Theater.


Curriculum entitled "The Struggle for Women's Equality" has been developed and is available to schools to be used in classrooms across the state. The film is currently on DVD and is available to the public. Please contact us at lincolnwomen@gmail.com for copies.



Listen to the two-minute audio segments here:

Ada Munson and Ina May Rouse
Beatty Brasch
Chris Funk
Helen Moore
Linda Pratt
Lynn Roper & Natalie Olson
Marcee Metzger
Mary Jo Ryan
Rosemary Machacek
Virginia Walsh
Chris Funk & Virginia Walsh with Kathie Uhrmacher
Jan Gauger

Jareldine Mays

Thomas Christie


If you are interested in viewing the full length videos of the original interview you may find them here.



Mission: The Women's Foundation of Lincoln & Lancaster County is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides resources for educational programs, advocacy, and services that promote equality and social justice for women.


Projects - Past and Present: Some of the projects that the Women's Foundation has sponsored are: The Women and Money Conference provides valuable financial education for women to help them in areas like budgeting, savings, investing and planning for retirement.

Real Women Run is an initiative to encourage and support women who are interested in political life and/or running for public office.


Lincoln Women's Voices: A History of Activism is an oral history project. Women who were activists during the 70's and 80's were interviewed about the changes that came about in the women's movement.


A "Women at Work" Conference was held on Saturday, October 4 at the UNL City Campus Student Union. This conference combined some of the Women and Money subjects, popular in previous conferences, with those that involve Women in the Workplace. Topics included Equal Pay, Flexibility in the Workplace and Non-Traditional (STEM) Jobs for women and handling of personal finances and planning for the future.


History: In 1977, the Friends of the Commission on Women was established to support the Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission and was one of the first "Friends" organizations in the country. While the Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission was defunded in 2007, Mayor Chris Beutler formed the Mayor's Commission on Women because there is a continuing need in our community for women's voices to be heard. The Lincoln Mayor's Commission on Women currently consists of 15 women and men who advise the Mayor and his office on the issues that pertain to women and families in Lincoln. The Women's Foundation, which was started in 2012, aims to aid the work of the Commission as well as the creation of other projects that serve women and their families in our community.