New Board Members Make Waves

When and Where I Enter, Inc. (WWIE) is marking 2015, its 10th anniversary year, with some bold changes. The foundation, which raises funds and provides grants to support women of African descent in Latin America, has increased its number of board members from five to 14. Meet WWIE’s Board of Directors here.

The foundation has found a new flow with the new team. “It’s incredible and everyone is working so hard,” says WWIE Founder and Executive Director Veta Byrd-Perez. “People put their energy in and do their jobs well. I couldn’t be more pleased with the work that they’ve already done.”

With more hands to help, WWIE will be able to broaden its reach to supporters in more U.S. cities, including but not limited to Washington, D.C., New York, Miami, San Francisco and Atlanta. The board is compromised of members who hail from, have relocated to, or obtained their degrees in, these cities.

They want to ensure that Black women in Latin America, who face tremendous obstacles including disproportionate poverty and deeply ingrained sexism and racism, are supported in their efforts to create social change. The new and continuing board members come from a variety of national backgrounds and professions.

“We have a diversity of opinions and perspectives,” says Byrd-Perez.

With more members in additional cities able to build on WWIE’s first decade of work, the board has plans to heighten community involvement. Byrd-Perez would like university students to collaborate on fundraising efforts. She also wants to raise awareness about the challenges facing Afro-descendant women in Latin American countries.

“We are looking to increase our funds so that we can award more grants,” Byrd-Perez says. “Fundraising is important…and along with that comes awareness. The more people are aware about the issues and work that we are doing, I’m hopeful the funding will increase.”

In just a few short months, the team has put its energy into marketing, planning events and updating WWIE’s online presence. The foundation is focusing on maintaining communication with current grantees and reaching out to new corporate and individual donors.

The grants WWIE gives make it possible for constituents of grassroots organizations in Latin America—Black women and girls—to develop a wide range of skills and to deepen their knowledge about sexual and reproductive health. WWIE also supports leadership development in order to facilitate women’s projects and initiatives that positively impact their communities, while uplifting their cultural heritage.

By Tia Simmons