Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

Women Encouraging Empowerment Inc.

  • Revere, MA
  • www.weewomen.org

Mission Statement

Dedicated to educating, advocating, protecting and advancing the rights immigrant, refugee and low income women and their families through organizing, leadership development and service delivery.

Main Programs

  1. Domestic Violence
  2. English for Women- Led Community Action
  3. Organizing and leadership Development
  4. Mother's Round Table

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Harbor Communities of Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, Chelsea and surrounding communities.

ruling year

1998

Principal Officer since 2010

Self-reported

Ms Gihan Suliman

Keywords

Self-reported

WEE, WEE Inc, Immigrant Women Empowerment, WEE Revere

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EIN

04-3286531

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Women's Rights (R24)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Our vision is the social and economic success of immigrant women based on leadership development and collective empowerment.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Domestic Violence

Our Domestic Violence program engage immigrant and refugee women in critical analysis and discussion on violence in our communities: the historical roots of patriarchal, racist and class based system here in the U.S as abroad in their countries of origin. We provide training and access to knowledge and information about legal rights, advocacy, education, referral, outreach and collaboration with other agencies Our efforts intend to support immigrants and refugee families in overcome barriers such as language, culture, isolation and poverty. Our presence, support and personal background as women of color are highly needed in these communities.

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$10,000.00

Program 2

English for Women- Led Community Action

The goals of our ESOL Program are to: develop learners English language skills and increase English proficiency; eliminate language barriers and develop members job and advocacy skills; provide opportunity and expand access for more women to attend ESOL classes; bring more women into the economic mainstream; create a pathway to advancement through literacy to job training, employment and/or further education; develop learners' capacity to effectively advocate for themselves, support their families and fully participate in civic life of their communities and reduce poverty and economic dependency.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Adults

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$32,000.00

Program 3

Organizing and leadership Development

Immigrant & refugee women in particular face a unique set of social and language challenges, social isolation, low self-esteem, violence and poverty. Our effort is creating leadership opportunity for immigrant women to change that that scenario. Organizing is the focus and practice in all WEE, Inc programs and effort. We seek the active participation of committed women and their families as recipients of services and as lead organizers for change in the community. Our work is guided by values of social justice, gender equality and collective empowerment. Our activities is to help women to learn, understand and use their knowledge and skills to overcome barriers to participating fully in society.We want to support our target members who are increasingly newcomers women in the country without any knowledge of organizing and through their involvement at WEE, will be able to exercise the power of critical analysis and participatory action.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$35,000.00

Program 4

Mother's Round Table

Reaching out for support is hard for immigrant women to do, especially, in a society where independence and self-sufficiency are highly valued. Asking for help can trigger feelings of shame and weakness. Mother's Round Table provides a supportive environment where mothers can bring up issues that they may have with their child, seek advice and offer their expertise as parents, share common experiences, success, and challenges.The majority of these immigrant mothers speak very little English. Language barriers and lack of experience make it difficult for women to communicate freely with their children, help them in school, and provide the support that their children need. They are all people of color, low income immigrant women, working at low level service jobs or unemployed. They have few support systems and few job-related skills and lack the ability to navigate daily life and experience instead social and cultural isolation.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Other Named Groups

Budget

$4,700.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Revere has a rapidly increasing and diversifying population and, as the community has become less homogeneous and the poverty level continues to rise, barriers such as lack of resources, and more glaringly, a lack of infrastructure for supporting and distributing resources, are creating tensions among different groups within the community. Immigrant & refugee women in particular face a unique set of social and language challenges, social isolation, low self-esteem, violence and poverty. Here there are far fewer nonprofits so support services are insufficient to meet the needs of immigrant women and their families. These women also face discrimination daily in the community at large as well as mistreatment at public offices due to their cultural or language barriers and other issues. These barriers further deny immigrant women ways to be involved in decision making, leading to further isolation. With determined focus to eliminate language barriers, provide a forum for immigrant women to come together and perceive themselves as active contributors to the society, increase their visibility and participation in the community, WEE is the only local organization providing this comprehensive support. WEE's contextualized learning strategy emphasizes survival, cultural relevance and is action-oriented. Our work is designed to eliminate language barriers while promoting leadership development and civic engagement for community building and transformation. We work to develop participant's critical perspectives, organizing and communication skills, to recognize the balance of power between immigrant and refugee women, employers, service providers, government officials and other recognized decision making bodies. Strengthen the "social fabric" of neighborhood unit-- that network of informal associations that enable people to survive and hold on to their sanity in spite of, rather than because of their marginalization. Our goal is to have migrant leaders (women) that are able to interact, make decisions and get things done collectively, confronting racism, sexism and hierarchy. In the long term, we want to advance the movement for racial equity through a coalition of grassroots groups and organizations to promote immigration issues and racial equity. We want regulations, new laws, development efforts and decisions of the institutions and elected leaders be based on the reality on the ground by incorporating the ideas of those most affected i.e., our constituents, the residents. To see our grassroots organizing not only build a counterculture, but also help members of our community feel passionate about who they are, where they came from and their collective effort. This will be an important dynamic in overcoming powerlessness.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Our effort is to break those barriers, challenge the negative stereotypes, discrimination and marginalization and work in collaboration with our members to take active part and successfully integrate in their communities. We work to address immediate issues that affect communities through an issues-based community organizing approach which is led by the women and volunteers. Our organizing and leadership development goals are to provide immigrant and refugee women the tools they need in order to succeed in their life, families, better their communities and achieve their goals. We focus on the economic and social education, history of immigrant & refugee women in the US, public speaking, networking, building networking, organizing and facilitation and parenting skills. Through our language classes, design lesson plans focused on providing information for our participants to understand the importance of their collective power . We have developed a series of leadership training materials especially around the 'know your rights' focus particularly in regard to the undocumented immigrants so that they are in a position to embody and disseminate knowledge. We introduce our new members to organizing and getting everyone engage in campaigns in support of bills. We work with our members and allies to promote policy advocacy campaigns targeted at challenging discrimination and other injustices immigrants and refugee women face. Advocating for and supporting bills and laws that will protect the rights of immigrant women and communities. Providing the space and opportunities to building immigrant women community leadership and empower them to challenge the system of oppression, such as in domestically abusive situation, fight injustice that affects their lives and work towards social change. We have learned from immigrant women with whom we work that English language education and access to information and services is critically connected with leadership development and the capacity for community organizing. Organizing and direct services are not separate among constituents who are low income, immigrant women and families facing both discrimination and lack of basic human need. We also use documentation, research and sharing of knowledge.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    To date WEE has been staffed by volunteers and part time paid staff who are stretched beyond capacity because of the increased demand for services. Despite the challenges of a limited staff, we have proven our strength and endurance to match the high demand in the area, continuing and increasing our programs offerings. Clearly there is an unmet need for WEE programs and services but the current structure and funding levels are inadequate to fulfill the need and the demonstrated promise of this vital organization. Recognizing that the organization is at a critical juncture, WEE Board, staff and participants undertook a comprehensive strategic assessment and planning process this past winter. We interviewed community stakeholders and identified the need to develop organizational capacity, sustainable funding and visibility. Stakeholders see WEE as a trusted organization that has built good relationships and is highly regarded in the community, but the organization lacks the capacity and the resources to achieve greater impact. To sustain our gains, WEE needs funding to be able to attract and retain highly qualified and committed full time leader and program staff. The board is currently actively looking for funding to hire and Technical Assistance for capacity building.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We use the Making the Case tool of Women Funding to evaluate our work. Staff are trained in using and completing the tool online. We will continue to learn and understand our membership issues, needs, strengths, challenges and opportunities in the communities. We will utilize the following performance indicators: a) Shift in individual and community behavior b) Shift in critical mass and engagement. We also use both verbal and written feedbacks from staff, members, community participants, and partners, allies, at meetings, events and trainings.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    With access to public transportation, good schools and relatively affordable housing, new residents have shifted the demographics in the area just north of Boston significantly. But Revere is a small city where there is no established municipal or nonprofit network to support residents in need of social support, especially newcomers from other countries. Over the past four years, WEE has become a well-known and trusted center for helping immigrant women and families in Revere and surrounding communities. In 2013 and 2014 we worked with over 300 individuals in our language classes, programs and community organizing activities. This includes women and men from more than 20 countries in Latin America, Asia, Middle East, North Africa, Central Africa, the Caribbean and mainland Europe who speak more than twelve languages. In this past year, three of our volunteers and founding members have move to leadership position in the city helping to bring more attention to the needs of immigrant women and their families. In this past year alone, three of our volunteers and founding members have moved to leadership positions in the city. Many of the staff, volunteers and Board are also active with other cross-sector committees and boards, providing further avenues for sharing and gathering information, beneficial in the city and surrounding communities. WEE helps by providing information and supports people to apply for services such as public housing, food stamps, health care, cash assistance, legal services, and domestic violence services. WEE provided 150 children with winter jackets and clothing, toys and school supplies. Now the City of Revere, its schools and many local organizations look to WEE when newcomers seek assistance and when they want to reach more immigrants to participate in community events. We hosted and collaborated on community forums/consultation, presentations, education and outreach activities in all four communities. We organized a series of 4 workshops on domestic violence, in 3 languages for 67 women and training of trainings for staff and volunteers (28) from 3 organizations in providence RI. Our members also made several visits to the Massachusetts State House, to advocate and push for the Domestic Violence Bill, safe Driving Bill, DACA/DAPA, Free in-state tuition for undocumented students. We collaborated with Boston College Center for Human Rights International and Casa El Salvador on a participatory research project on Migrants Intergenerational Experiences with English language learning ; as well as developed training resources on Know Your Right Tool Kit (KYR/ESOL) and domestic violence for staff and volunteers of non-profit groups. We also shared the findings of the research at two National Multicultural Conference and Summit in Atlanta and Lowell, MA .
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Harbor Communities of Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, Chelsea and surrounding communities.

Funding Needs

We are seeking foundation grants, individual and business donations. We especially need funding to pay our staff who are mostly volunteers. We need a full-time Executive Director budget ($45,000) full-time Community Organizer ($32,000) and Development staff budget. We are also seeking partners and collaborators for our organizational development effort.

Accreditations

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External Reviews

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Women Encouraging Empowerment Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms Gihan Suliman

BIO

Previous Program Associate at Health Care for All; Research Specialist

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"We area a community-based organization working with women for empowerment and leadership. We promote women and minority rights."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Laurie Holmes

CERO

Term: July 2014 - July 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?