WE Programs


The Women’s Conference organization has sought to directly empower women 365 days a year. Under the leadership of Maria Shriver and the guidance of our Board of Directors, The Women’s Conference has formed partnerships with established and respected organizations in the U.S. and abroad to develop ongoing and far-reaching women’s empowerment programs.

 


 


WE Educate® young women seeking to expand their educational pursuits and go to college by providing ten $2,500 Minerva Scholarships. We have also reached out and encouraged others to join us by starting their own educational empowerment circle to pass on the opportunity to more young women. Since 2005, the conference has awarded 28 Young Minerva Scholarships totaling $250,000.

 

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WE Invest in women to become more financially independent by investing in the whole woman and linking them to business training, mentoring, microloans and a support network that can help them start or expand their own business. We have encouraged women from our community to join The Women’s Conference lending team to extend microloans to other women through our groundbreaking partnership with Kiva.org. Together, we launched the first ever online peer-to-peer microlending program in the U.S. Since the launch, 117 entrepreneurs in 13 states have received nearly 24,600 micro-loans, totaling more than $650,000.

 

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WE Connect working families to money-saving programs and services they may be eligible for through WEConnect.net and engage women business owners, employees, community-based organizations, corporations, foundations and government in this important effort. We have partnered with organizations across the state to reach more than 19 million families in both English and Spanish. With our partners, we have opened three permanent WE Connect Neighborhood Centers in Santa Ana, Fresno and Irvine that serve thousands more and help add to the more than $110 million in savings already realized by struggling California families. We made a donaton to food banks across the state to provide more than one million meals to families in need. And our WE Connect program model is now being emulated by 22 other states.

 


 


WE Act to end violence against women by encouraging them to learn the warning signs of all types of violence including physical, sexual and emotional abuse. We have asked them to act in their own lives to support domestic violence shelters and other programs to fight violence against women. Since 2008, The Women’s Conference has awarded $80,000 in grants to help thousands of women and their families.

 

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WE Inspire people from all walks of life to know their past and dare to make their mark on history by educating them on the amazing contributions, unique journeys and on-going achievements of extraordinary women in our state’s rich history. We have encouraged women to make their own mark on history by investing in exhibits, programs and events at The California Museum in Sacramento that educate people about the contributons of remarkable women and men to California's rich history. The conference's support helped the museum double adult attendance and quadruple web actvity.

 

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WE Honor® women who have stepped forward in the spirit of Minerva and changed our world with their courage, wisdom and strength. We have honored their work through The Minerva Awards® and supported their mission through our Minerva grants. The awards were created by Maria Shriver in 2004 and named afer the Roman goddess, Minerva, who graces the California state seal. The Minerva Award winners have also received a cash Minerva Prize from the conference to further their life-changing work. Since 2004, the conference has granted $445,000 and honored 28 remarkable women.

 

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