International Women’s Day is recognized on March 8 each year as a central focus of Women’s History Month, dating back to 1980 when then President Jimmy Carter established the first Women’s History Week. It is a point of pride that URI was founded the same year as Women’s History Month, and our organization has played a role in elevating and empowering women for more than four decades.
Regarding our clients… URI’s doors are open to everyone, but our mission areas of domestic violence and homelessness disproportionately impact women and female-identified individuals. Our work each day to provide safe shelter and comprehensive, trauma-informed programs and services has a deep impact on women and their families because they are the majority of the clients who need us.
Regarding our leadership and staff… URI believes we must reflect the communities we serve. The majority of our staff is female-identified, including leaders who guide our agency. URI Executive and Senior Teams are 61% women, including Deputy CEO Dr. Carla Smith and the heads of both the Domestic Violence and Homeless Families programs. Our Board of Trustees is also proudly 60% women. The full roster of Executive and Senior Teams are disclosed on the Leadership page of our website and our Board list is found on the website as well.
This year Women’s History Month has two themes, and I am proud that URI aligns with both in our commitment to drive impact:
• UN Women created the theme of “DigitAll: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” This theme echoes the work of URI Economic Empowerment Program, which focuses on jobs of the future, technology, and financial security for our clients, including the Fab Lab that directly trains on a wide array of technology-based job skills.
• The National Women’s History Alliance established the theme “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” Foundational to URI’s work is to empower the clients we serve to own and share their stories of triumph. Past client stories are found on our website and online Newsroom, including inspiring video messages from Christine, Obina, and Dumitrita.
I am proud of URI’s 42-year legacy of empowering and uplifting women, and I invite you to visit our website to learn more and consider donating in support of our work to help transform lives.
In solidarity and gratitude,
Nathaniel M. Fields
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Resource Institute