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The 10th Anniversary of Give to Lincoln Day is coming up on May 25, 2021. We really appreciate all of our donors who contribute to our work by giving us
funds to continue programs like Women's Health, the Early Childhood
Education Literacy Project, Civic Engagement seminars and support for
local organizations who help women and girls. Please visit The Women's Foundation of Lincoln & Lancaster County Give to Lincoln website to donate!




On Friday, April 5, the Women’s Foundation hosted a luncheon to honor community leaders and present results of the Women’s Voices Survey Project.  The Alice Paul Award was awarded is presented to a woman whose life’s work reflects her dedication to the struggle for women’s equality.  Marcee Metzger, the Executive Director of Voices of Hope, is this year’s Alice Paul Award recipient.  Voices of Hope has provided services, support and advocacy for survivors of domestic and sexual violence for 40 years. 


Councilman Carl Eskridge was presented the Erasmus Correll Award.  This award is given to a man who has supported women’s issues through their community leadership.  In addition to serving on the City Council for 8 years, Eskridge has supported women and their families, neighborhoods and advocacy groups through his work as an Ombudsman and minister.


The Sojourner Truth Awards are given to young women who have demonstrated a commitment to activism and advocacy.  Azcia Fleming, a junior at Lincoln High, received one of the awards.  Isabel Salas, Community Organizer of the South of Downtown Community Development Organization was the recipient of the other. 

In addition, Mayor Chris Beutler was recognized for his support during the years he has served as Mayor of Lincoln.  Mayor Beutler created the current Mayor’s Commission on Women during his first term as Mayor of the city.  




At the recent “Moving Women’s Voices into Action” luncheon, the Women’s Foundation presented the results of the Women’s Voices Survey Project.  Spanning a year and a half, women in Lincoln and Lancaster County were asked to answer questions that provided demographic information as well as the challenges and needs that women and their families are experiencing in our community.  Over a thousand women participated in the survey.  The results will help to guide future programming and inform local agencies.  See them here: WV 2018 executive summary





“The salvation of the state is the watchfulness of the citizens.” 
A Candidates Forum was held on Monday, April 16 at Irving Middle School Auditorium (2745 S 22nd St). The purpose of this event was to introduce voters to candidates who are running in county and state races.  Candidates running for NE Legislature, County Board of Commissioners and County Treasurer as well as Public Service Commission and others attended and answered questions prepared by the hosting organizations:  the Women’s Foundation of Lincoln and Lancaster Co, the YWCA Lincoln, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, NAACP Lincoln and Nebraskans Against Gun Violence.  Attended by approximately 125 people was a successful event and one that we were pleased to organize.  We hope to host similar forums in the future.  If you have feedback or would like to hear more, please email us at lincolnwomen@gmail.com.





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.





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.