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PRESS ROOM: World of Opportunity Kickoff Set for June 19 at the CrossPlex

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — The World Games 2021 will kick off its World of Opportunity program on Wednesday, June 19 at the Birmingham Crossplex. The program helps connect certified, diverse businesses to compete for opportunities with The World Games 2021

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By The Birmingham Times

The World Games 2021 will kick off its World of Opportunity program on Wednesday, June 19 at the Birmingham Crossplex.

The program helps connect certified, diverse businesses to compete for opportunities with The World Games 2021

The kickoff will feature Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin; DJ Mackovets, CEO of The World Games 2021; Jonathan Porter, Chairman of The World Games 2021; Marcus Lundy, Co-Chair, World of Opportunity program and Glenda Thomas, Co-Chair, World of Opportunity program.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. with breakfast and networking provided by Mixtroz and the program begins at 9 a.m with a welcome by Jonathan Porter, Chairman of The World Games 2021.

The program will also mark the official launch of the World of Opportunity supplier database, providing attendees the first opportunity to register for future business opportunities with The World Games 2021.

In addition to launching the supplier diversity database, a number of supplier diversity experts will be on hand and businesses are invited to register in the system onsite. Local business owners can RSVP for the event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/world-of-opportunity-kickoff-presented-by-the-world-games-2021-tickets-62528076159

The morning will also include a panel discussion – “Creating a Legacy with Diverse Suppliers” – with Chincie Mouton, Vice President of Community Engagement & Projects, Atlanta Host Committee; Glenda Thomas, Co-chair, World of Opportunity program; Tene Dolphin, Deputy Directory for Business Diversity & Opportunity, City of Birmingham and moderator Darlene Wilson, Managing Principal, Relay Accounting Management.

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times

Bay Area

Celebrating Women Who Inspire in Marin City

The Marin City Community Service District will be hosting their First Annual Women’s Legendary Hall of Fame Ceremony: Celebrating Women Who Inspire

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Spoken Word performances, praise dancing and music will be part of the awards ceremony. Refreshments will be served.
Spoken Word performances, praise dancing and music will be part of the awards ceremony. Refreshments will be served.

The Marin City Community Service District will be hosting their First Annual Women’s Legendary Hall of Fame Ceremony: Celebrating Women Who Inspire. This will be a special women’s history month awards ceremony that will be held on Saturday, March 26, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Marin City Senior Center, 640 Drake Avenue in Marin City.

Spoken Word performances, praise dancing and music will be part of the awards ceremony. Refreshments will be served.

The public is invited to help celebrate. Please RSVP with Florence Williams at fwilliams@marincitycsd.com or call the MCCSD at (415) 332-1441.

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Advice

Wells Fargo Expands Resources for Women-Owned Small Businesses

“We are at a unique moment in time, an inflection point, where we have a generation of women who have risen in the ranks as corporate leaders and have wealth to invest,” said Julie Castro Abrams, founder and CEO of How Women Lead. “Investing in women-founded companies is financially savvy, creates six times more jobs for women, and results in economic growth for us all. Collectively we have the wealth to fund women founders and the expertise and influence to support those companies to success.”

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Women, particularly women entrepreneurs of color, are leading the way in fair pay practices.
Women, particularly women entrepreneurs of color, are leading the way in fair pay practices.

Initiatives include focus on closing venture capital and gender equity gaps among entrepreneurs

SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo announced resources designed to help increase the growth of women-owned small businesses, including a $1.5 million grant to How Women Lead aimed at disrupting the unequal venture capital (VC) system for women founders. The grant will help inspire 10,000 women to invest with venture capital for the first time, ultimately building a $1 billion fund. In addition, the company is sharing new data and an interactive tool-kit on closing the economic gaps facing women entrepreneurs.

“Supporting women and women in business has always been a huge priority at Wells Fargo and this month we are underscoring our year-round commitment,” said CEO of Wells Fargo Consumer and Small Business Banking Mary Mack. “If we come together on actionable steps to close the gender inequity gap, we can accelerate the trajectory of women entrepreneurs and their contributions to the economy.”

Empowering a $1 billion venture capital fund for women-founded and led companies

Wells Fargo’s grant to How Women Lead will seed a $1 billion fund – the largest women-founded venture fund in the U.S. for women founders and women-led startups in the technology and health sectors. By engaging women who want to align their wealth and values with positive change, How Women Lead hopes to enlist 10,000 women to invest in other women as a means to build the fund over time.

Data shows that there is a significant gender gap in venture capital funding. According to Center for Venture Research:

  • Only 5% of accredited women investors have access to invest in VC funds, even though women control 50% of wealth today.
  • Only 1.8% of VC investments go to solely women-led startups. There are no large funds focused solely on women founders.
  • Only 5% of general partners in VC firms are women.

“We are at a unique moment in time, an inflection point, where we have a generation of women who have risen in the ranks as corporate leaders and have wealth to invest,” said Julie Castro Abrams, founder and CEO of How Women Lead. “Investing in women-founded companies is financially savvy, creates six times more jobs for women, and results in economic growth for us all. Collectively we have the wealth to fund women founders and the expertise and influence to support those companies to success.”

Promoting gender and economic equity among women entrepreneurs

Wells Fargo also collaborated with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial CenterPenn State University, and Fair Pay Workplace to launch a study looking at pay, ownership and valuation issues affecting the gender wealth gap among small business owners. Key findings included:

  • 55% of the early-stage women entrepreneurs surveyed do not pay themselves for work they do for the company.
  • Women entrepreneurs were more likely to pay themselves if their companies were eight years or older.
  • One third (34%) of women entrepreneur respondents do not have a three-month emergency fund for their expenses.
  • Access to capital was the number one barrier to company profitability, growth, and entrepreneur compensation.
    • 59% of women entrepreneur respondents said their income varies from month to month, and 53% said they’re spending equal to or more than their income.
  • Women, particularly women entrepreneurs of color, are leading the way in fair pay practices.

“This study shows us that women entrepreneurs have extensive knowledge about fair pay, but the actual practice is not within their desired reach due to challenges in funding and resources,” said Nicola Corzine, executive director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. “It is clear that once we remove pervasive barriers, women entrepreneurs will organically become change agents for fair pay.”

As a result of this study, a toolkit is available to small business owners to promote entrepreneurial empowerment and economic equity. In this step-by-step workbook there are tools, resources, and video content to guide business owners through what is needed to get to the place where they are paying themselves a fair wage. In addition to a pay equity checklist and an interactive workbook, included are insights, guidance, and learning from leading women entrepreneurs.

“Acknowledging the gender gaps that exist today is one of the first steps toward eradicating inequalities,” said Jenny Flores, head of Wells Fargo Small Business Growth Philanthropy. “By bringing more awareness, additional resources, and key connections and conversations to the table, we can create more avenues to capital, more equality, and help more women reach their full potential.”

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is the leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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Activism

Congresswoman Lee Applauds U.S. Mint Release of Maya Angelou Quarter

Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.

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Maya Angelou as depicted on the tail side of a 2022 quarter and a portrait of her. U.S. Mint.gov and Facebook photos.
Maya Angelou as depicted on the tail side of a 2022 quarter and a portrait of her. U.S. Mint.gov and Facebook photos.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) applauded the United States Mint for beginning shipments of the first coins in the American Women Quarters (AWQ) Program, starting with the Maya Angelou quarter on Monday.

The Mint implemented the new four-year program as authorized by the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lee along with Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), which was signed into law last year.

President Barack Obama presenting Maya Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Barack Obama presenting Maya Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

These circulating quarters honoring Maya Angelou are manufactured at the Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver. Coins featuring additional honorees will begin shipping later this year and through 2025.

“As a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, poet laureate, college professor, Broadway actress, dancer, and the first female African American cable car conductor in San Francisco, Maya Angelou’s brilliance and artistry inspired generations of Americans,” said Lee. “I will forever cherish the private moments I had the privilege to share with Maya, from talking in her living room as sisters to her invaluable counsel throughout the challenges I faced as a Black woman in elected office. I am proud to have led this effort to honor these phenomenal women, who more often than not are overlooked in our country’s telling of history.

“If you find yourself holding a Maya Angelou quarter, may you be reminded of her words, ‘be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.’”

“Maya Angelou’s writing and activism inspired countless Americans and her legacy helped fuel greater fairness and understanding across our nation,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Senate sponsor of the bill.

Maya Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.

Maya Angelou reciting her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

“She is exactly the type of leader I had in mind when Senator Fischer, Representative Lee and I wrote our bipartisan legislation to create a series of quarters honoring the contributions of American women. This coin will ensure generations of Americans learn about Maya Angelou’s books and poetry that spoke to the lived experience of Black women.”

“The Maya Angelou quarter will play a historic role to begin the conversation about our nation’s history that perhaps we have never had before,” said Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States. “Our coin and currency institutionalize our history, but to date, too many women have been overlooked from the classrooms to the boardrooms. Maya represents the courage, the advocacy, and most importantly, the voice of so many people who still remain voiceless today.

“She is the first of 20 women to be honored through these quarters as we count up to the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding in 2026,” Rios continued. “It will no longer be HIStory or HERstory, but Our Story. I want to especially thank Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her tireless support to make my dream of redesigning our nation’s coin and currency a reality. Let the conversation begin.”

“It is my honor to present our Nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson. “Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program.Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift.”

A writer, poet, performer, social activist, and teacher, Angelou rose to international prominence as an author after the publication of her groundbreaking autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Angelou’s published works of verse, non-fiction, and fiction include more than 30 bestselling titles.Her remarkable career encompasses dance, theater, journalism, and social activism. The recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees, Angelou read “On the Pulse of Morning” at the 1992 inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

Angelou’s reading marked the first time an African American woman wrote and presented a poem at a Presidential inauguration. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she was the 2013 recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community.

The reverse (tails), designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Artist Emily Damstra and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell, depicts Maya Angelou with her arms uplifted. Behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived.  Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “MAYA ANGELOU,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “QUARTER DOLLAR.”

The obverse (heads) depicts a portrait of George Washington originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday. Though her work was a recommended design for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flanagan design. Of Fraser, Deputy Director Gibson said, “I am proud that the new obverse design of George Washington is by one of the most prolific female sculptors of the early 20th century. Laura Gardin Fraser was the first woman to design a U.S. commemorative coin, and her work is lauded in both numismatic and artistic circles. Ninety years after she intended for it to do so, her obverse design will fittingly take its place on the quarter.”

Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2022.” The obverse design is common to all quarters issued in the series.

Authorized by Public Law 116-330, the American Women Quarters Program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing American women.

Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.

The additional honorees in 2022 are physicist and first woman astronaut Dr. Sally Ride; Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights; Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, who achieved international success despite racism and discrimination.

Please consult with your local banks regarding availability of AWQ Program quarters honoring Maya Angelou in late January and early February.

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Photos courtesy of Ella Baker Center, photography by Brooke Anderson
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