During last summer’s tour, foundation officials heard from women about the biggest difficulties they face. Foundation director Dawn Oliver Wiand says this year, they’re brainstorming initiatives to help women succeed.
“In Fort Dodge for example, they are starting to look at child care and the fact that the scarcity is there and they really need to see what they can do,” Wiand says. “So, they’re starting on a plan for child care.” The tour intentionally returned to the same 18 Iowa cities that were visited last year, as Wiand says the foundation wants to collaborate with women in those communities.
“I said to them, ‘Now, you let me know how you want to see our help moving forward,'” Wiand says. “And quite honestly, many of them are saying they need the resources and they need the awareness.”
The foundation will offer grants to support efforts to help women overcome barriers to economic self-sufficiency. So far, the tour has stopped in Fort Dodge and Waterloo and will visit the other 16 cities between now and September.
(Thanks to Mary Khan, Iowa Public Radio)