Latanya Mapp Frett

This Black History Month, we interviewed Black leaders in philanthropy, development, and global health from across the world who are showing up, shifting power, and putting solidarity into practice across borders.

Latanya Mapp Frett is the President and CEO of Global Fund for Women and the author of The Everyday Feminist: The Key to Sustainable Impact—Driving Movements We Need Now More Than Ever.

The roots of international development and philanthropy go back to colonial times—and the sector still reflects those dynamics. What do you see as the future of philanthropy and international development? 

In my book, The Everyday Feminist, I dream that these sectors will transform and follow those most marginalized to ensure social change on their own terms.


The Everyday Feminist: The Key to Sustainable Social Impact—Driving Movements We Need Now More than Ever

How grassroots feminists are changing the world—and what we can do to support them.

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How can philanthropy change past practices that are the result of colonialism, patriarchy, and racism?  

Three words come to mind: Center, Look, and Nurture.

First, we must center everyday feminists of color, and especially Black women, with a specific goal to disrupt racist tendencies in philanthropy that are holding them back.

Second, we need to look for everyday feminists—especially those who are the hardest to find and those experiencing specific crises. It’s also so important to remember that we don’t have to re-create the wheel—we can partner with feminist funds who are experts at finding these grantees.

Finally, it’s critical that we nurture young everyday feminists to support their capacity, even if they have small organizations that are battling to achieve more capacity.

We must center everyday feminists of color, and especially Black women, with a specific goal to disrupt racist tendencies in philanthropy that are holding them back.
Latanya Mapp Frett

Global Fund for Women President and CEO

Solidarity is something we talk about a lot at Global Fund for Women, and in the philanthropy sector. How do we put solidarity into practice? 

There are so many ways to practice solidarity! Global Fund for Women tries to support many of these efforts via the movements and partners we fund. A few that come to mind: We need to protect everyday feminists serving as human rights defenders everywhere and implement no tolerance policies for countries that don’t comply—with sanctions attached; we must urgently dedicate funds to women and girls in humanitarian situations including through women’s funds that are closest to the communities; we must support feminist technology and startups that double the proportion of women working in technology and innovation, and also eliminate online gender-based violence; and we should expand access to sexual and reproductive health and rights to ensure bodily autonomy for all.

What is a first step that people can take to be an everyday feminist?

We all could use a little more patience—we should embrace and value the slow path to real, lasting change. Funders need to stick with everyday feminists through the natural ups and down of movement work. A short-term focus and pulling resources will disrupt progress and often cause the work to die.

We also need to be thoughtful about including movements at different stages: Emerging, Taking-Off, and Formalization, and even Decline. This increases the likelihood of funds reaching the everyday feminist at the exact moment of need.

Finally, we need to provide “better” funding—allowing for more flexible funding to encourage everyday feminists to use resources where they are most impactful, and moving away from directing single issue grants to maximize programs that are organically intersectional.


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