Rancho Cucamonga, CA – On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Inland Empire United Way launched Women United to rally women in the community to make a meaningful, lasting difference in the Inland Empire. The Women United launch was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont where 95 local, women leaders came together to learn about Women United and consider investing their time, talent, and resources to address the community’s most critical issues.
Women United is a powerful, global network within United Way of 70,000+ women leaders across more than 165 communities and six countries, all focused on building stronger communities. Women United fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. By igniting the power of women — who bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done — Women United finds new solutions to old problems, locally and nationally.
Inland Empire United Way’s Women United is joining other established Women United groups in Southern California including United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Orange County United Way, and Arrowhead United Way.
Attendees of the launch had a chance to hear from other influential women who have a passion for the community and Women United.
Dr. Nazanin Zargarpour, the Director of the Educational Evaluation Master’s Program at Claremont Graduate University and a member of the Core Faculty of the Claremont Evaluation Center, presented on issues of poverty in the Inland Empire. Dr. Zargarpour described how one in four children in the Inland Empire lives in poverty, which amounts to roughly 300,000 children in our communities. She went on to explain that poverty is a form of trauma that affects every area of a child’s life including lasting effects on their physical and emotional health, the foundation of learning, and even violence and abuse. Yet despite poverty and layered trauma, students can turn their lives around. With the right kind of help, students are able to achieve a living wage job with a stackable career and access to higher education, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.
Michelle Branch is the Vice Chair of the Women United Global Leadership Council and volunteers her time on the Council focusing on advocacy and leadership development. Ms. Branch is a practicing attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area and flew down for the day to present on the mission of Women United and the volunteer impact of women as an integral part of forging the future of United Way.
Tracy Simmons, Regional Vice President of Enterprise and Chair of Inland Empire United Way’s Board of Directors, closed the gathering with remarks about igniting change in the Inland Empire. She reminded the women attendees that it is in their nature to protect fervently and fight fiercely for the people and causes they care about. As protectors, women uplift each other and join together in focus, drive, and community impact. She included that Inland Empire United Way’s Women United is a group with an undeniable determination to drive action and get results.
More than half of the attendees responded positively with over 50 women expressing interest in being a part of the executive committee. The next Women United gathering will be a breakfast meeting on December 14th at Inland Empire United Way. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop the executive committee, determine the signature issue, and plan future activities to engage the community.
This is just the beginning for Women United in our region. We are continuing to look for women leaders in the community to join us in building a network of tireless champions dedicated to creating a better life and stronger Inland Empire. For everyone.
For more information on Inland Empire United Way’s Women United, please visit our website at ieuw.org/womenunited.