Issue 1: Welcome to theHF

Dear Reader,

Here’s what I know: I know something about the way the world works (and doesn’t) for girls and women. As a child growing up in the 1950s, I chafed at the difference in the rules for boys and girls. My early career was rife with the sexism of the Mad Men era. I became an outspoken rebel, balking at society’s gender constraints, lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment.  Did you know that even now only men are covered under the Constitution of the United States of America? An Equal Rights Amendment has been proposed in every session of Congress since 1982.

There’s no denying we’ve made progress. Among the victories: my grandmother having the right to vote, and my generation winning the right to keep our own names should we chose to marry. But we still have a long way to go. Since the Harnisch Foundation’s inception in 1998, we’ve invested in creating a fairer world for everyone, trying to level the playing field for people whose circumstances offer them less than equal opportunity, equal protection, and equal justice.

And after nearly two decades of work, we realize it’s the right time to step up our commitment to girls and women. Of course, we are committed to valuing all races, all ages, all economic classes, all all all. But currently, we’re laser-focused on women and girls because adding them to every equation changes every result.

We hope you’ll explore the site and learn about the incredible work our grantees are doing to create a more fair and equitable world. Watch our video, share your questions, and let us know if you come across typos and bugs as you take a test drive. I am indebted to others for making the work and this website possible. I’m the founder and president, but the person who runs the Harnisch Foundation is the Executive Director, Jenny Raymond. She’s been my trusted partner since Day One. We wouldn’t be here without Bill Harnisch, whose skill and generosity makes it possible. I’m grateful to Lindsey Taylor Wood, who inspired and led the strategic redesign of the Foundation’s work in the world and whose fingerprints are on every page of this website. I appreciate the contributions of Lindsey’s talented and tireless team members Carla Blumenthal and Devon Fisher, with additional services provided by The Workshop.

Thanks to you, too, for your part in helping to make this world a little more fair, equitable, and inclusive.

We all hope you find something of value here and that you will come back often.

Ruth Ann