As we rush headfirst into the holiday season, the Women’s Fund team has been reflecting on Feast Table of Our Future, the spoken-word poem Women’s Fund commissioned from Manon Voice to demonstrate the resiliency of women in our community. The Feast Table of Our Future is the inspiration behind the next five blog posts. We chose to highlight several grantees and talk with them about our collective table.

This year has been hard. For many women and girls in our community, their Feast Table may not only be missing the people they love but may also be missing a nutritious meal. Maybe they don’t even have a table or a safe, affordable place to call home. It’s impossible to hear Manon Voice and not be filled with wonder at the resiliency of the women in our community.

Here’s what we know about the resiliency of Concord Neighborhood Center and their thoughts about our table.

Concord Neighborhood Center serves families on Indianapolis’ near-Southside – and has been able to do so even during the pandemic. With emergency funding from Women’s Fund, they were able to quickly transition to providing full-day childcare for the families in their community and equip staff and students with the tools to be successful with e-learning. Over the past several months, they have reassigned staff to provide the continued full-day e-learning and to address increased calls for basic needs assistance, including help with rent, utilities, and food.

Concord credits their sustainability during this time to a compassionate, resourceful, and dedicated staff and to the generosity of the philanthropic community. When the pandemic first hit, Concord immediately began following all safety protocols to keep their essential staff and the children they serve healthy and safe. They shifted to virtual programming, and as a community they took on the greater responsibility of caring for each other during a time of need.

What gives them hope for a brighter future is the ability to take the lessons they have learned during this crisis and put them toward growing and developing even stronger partnerships in the community.

Women’s Fund values its long-time partnership with Concord and asked Hallie Robbins, Resource Development Coordinator, what it means to be together at our community table.

Q.     In your opinion, what does the Women’s Fund table look like?

A.      The Women’s Fund table is a table full of women who care about this community, empowering women, and advocating that every woman and girl can earn a spot at the table.  

Q.     What does the Concord table look like?

A.      Concord’s table looks like that of a neighborhood center that has been serving its community for 145 years. It’s inclusive of all neighbors and reflective of their collective, but also individual goals, values, hopes, dreams, and assets. It’s diverse in terms of socioeconomic status, educational attainment and real-world skills, ages and family demographics. In its own way, it is everything the Southside is and hopes to be. 

Q.     What does it mean to be a valued member of the Women’s Fund table?

A.      To be at the Women’s Fund table is to be a part of a vibrant community of women who care about this community and empowering women. For Concord, Women’s Fund support has signified to us that we are inclusive and responsive and supportive of women and girls in our community. It is a very distinct and important seal of approval that we are doing something right and good for our community and people! 

Q.     How can Concord play a role in supporting more women and girls at the community table?

A.      Concord’s organizational structure and program design have always been inclusive of women and girls and giving them a place at the community table. Our hope for the future is that our community table will look like it always has here on the Southside – inclusive and reflective of its broader community. As Concord moves among and between different community tables, it is important that we take our women and girls with us, so that they are empowered to earn their own seats at more tables than just ours. 

Read this blog post to read more about how Concord responded to the pandemic and leveraged emergency funds granted by Women’s Fund.

Women’s Fund is committed to creating a true “feast table for our future.” We invite you to join us at our table and help make a difference in the lives of women and girls in central Indiana.