Author Archive

March 2012: Third Wave Joins Women’s History Month Campaign

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

March 2012

Amidst intensified attacks on women’s rights this election year, Third Wave Foundation is partnering with 25 women’s funds from across the country to increase attention to the issues affecting women and girls nationwide.

With politicians openly supporting a reversal of women’s rights – from attempts to deny them access to contraception to deeming them unfit for military combat – the “Calling All Women: Send a Message of Strength” campaign is raising awareness of the inequality that exists and highlighting the change that local and national women’s funds are advancing in communities around the country.

Throughout the month of March – Women’s History Month – the campaign is using mobile-giving technology and a multi-pronged social mobilization approach to spread the message that women must unite for change. By texting WOMEN to 50555, supporters can donate $10, which will be distributed to participating women’s funds.

The campaign features a video demonstrating the impact of inequality on women’s lives. With women still earning only 77 percent of men’s pay – and disparities in access to health care and education pervasive, women continue to lag behind men in many social indicators.

Women’s funds across the U.S. work every day to make positive change by supporting women on a broad range of issues, including living-wage jobs and workplace supports for mothers. By building leadership, skills and connections, these funds also help combat the underrepresentation of women in public office and higher-earning career fields, like science and technology.

As a feminist, activist foundation that works nationally to support young women and transgender youth ages 15 to 30, Third Wave Foundation is committed to growing the women’s movement by supporting new and innovative approaches to pursuing gender, racial, social and economic justice.

For more information about the “Calling All Women: Send a Message of Strength” campaign, please visit

Sonya Shields

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Sonya Shields was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Great Neck, Long Island.  She is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, where she received a degree in Public Relations.  Sonya is a long-time social justice activist and seasoned development and marketing professional who has raised over $25 million to support various progressive nonprofit organizations. She is currently working as the Chief Officer for External Relations and Advancement with Brooklyn Community Services.  Sonya has also worked as the Director of Development for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Keep A Child Alive, Astraea Foundation, New York City Anti-violence Project and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  She has also provided consulting services for the National Black Justice Coalition, Freedom to Marry, Queers for Economic Justice, Afropop Worldwide, African Refuge and many other organizations.  Sonya is a founder of the National Black Justice Coalition; and served on the board of the organization.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Astraea Foundation, Mautner Project, National Black Leadership Forum, Dance Institute of Washington, DC, and the HIV/AIDS Council for the Mayor’s Office of Washington, DC.  When Sonya is not working for various charities, she enjoys writing, photography, and DJing.  

We’ve Launched our 2010 Annual Report to Kick-Off our 15th Anniversary!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We’re kicking off the celebration of Third Wave Foundation’s 15th Anniversary Year by sharing our most recent annual report, which documents an incredible year of supporting young leaders in social justice.

Thank You! This report shows the ways everyone in our community came together to make this work possible. Because of your energy, commitment and partnership Third Wave was able to:
● Fund 23 feminist youth-led organizations that are developing leaders and organizing young people to transform their communities.
● Support the collaboration of 20 reproductive justice organizations to identify the issues that are immediate threats to the well-being of their communities, and the strategies to confront those threats.
● Provide trainings in financial planning during tough economic times to 25 organizations and blogging for social justice to five grant partner organizations.
● Give funding for emergency abortions to more than 500 young people in need across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Download the annual report here.


2011: A Year of Victories

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Gender Just marches for gender equity.

Part of our feminist, activist work is taking the time to celebrate our successes and share them with one another. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’re looking back at 2011 and all of the amazing accomplishments Third Wave and its grant partners have made this year.


Brown Boi Project – published the BBP Health Guide, Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self-Love for Brown Bois, a vital tool for masculine-of-center people of color.

Chicago Abortion Fund – succeeded in removing anti-choice billboards that targeted women of color in Chicago.

Choice USA – hosted Destination 2012, a grassroots organizing and leadership development conference for young reproductive justice activists. The conference included presentations from Loretta Ross of Sistersong, Gloria Steinem, and Shelby Knox.

COLOR (Colorado Organization for Opportunity and Reproductive Justice) – held their sixth annual Latina Health Summit, educating 150 young Latinas and their families about reproductive health and justice.

Colorado Anti-Violence Project – is celebrating 25 years of envisioning queer liberation this year; their youth project, Branching Seedz, also co-organized the second Trans & Queer Youth Media Track at the Allied Media Conference this year.

Gender Just – created the Fellowship for Gender JUST Youth Leadership and Organizers, which brought four young activists together to creatively engage their communities around gender justice.

JASMYN (Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network) – threw their fifth annual Coming Out Day Breakfast, which hosted community members, small business owners, and corporate partners dedicated to LGBTQ youth.

Justice Now – premiered the first video in their new series on the history of sterilization in prisons (check it out here).

Kalpulli Izkalli – celebrated fifteen years of holistic, natural healing with their fifth annual Anniversary Celebration and Community Healing event.

Khmer Girls in Action – launched their new Youth at the C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities and Resources for Empowerment) Campaign, which centers young people’s wellness in community decision-making.

Media Literacy Project – spread the word about media justice and wireless policy as LGBTQ issues at the National Conference on Media Reform.

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health – mobilized hundreds of people during their second Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice through a blog carnival, internet activism, and an auction.

New Voices Pittsburgh – won the 2011 YWCA Racial Justice Award for Community Engagement for their active work around reproductive justice for women of color.

Power U – held their first community forum to address the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Pipeline and prevent the racialized incarceration of youth of color.

SPARK Reproductive Justice Now – lobbied the Georgia state legislature and defeated an anti-choice “Right to Life” bill that disproportionately targeted women of color.

St. James Infirmary – kicked off a new media campaign, raising public awareness about sex workers’ rights and fighting the stigma attached to sex work.

Sylvia Rivera Law Project – educated the public about trans* issues through their various events, including a Coffee Talk series, a Summer Health Series, and teach-ins at Occupy Wall Street.

Women with a Vision – won a victory for sex workers’ rights through a legislative action that ended the “Scarlet Letter law,” which required sex workers to register as sex offenders in Louisiana.

Young Women’s Empowerment Project – led a march through Chicago to protest the city’s treatment of homeless, homefree, and street-based youth. The march was part of a broad campaign including a self-care guide, a Street Youth Bill of Rights, and posters.

Young Women United – defeated five anti-choice bills in New Mexico that threatened the reproductive health and freedom of women and families.

Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition – celebrated seven leaders in philanthropy, the third sector, and the corporate world who are supporting leadership development and HIV prevention for young women of color.

Third Wave is proud to have been able to support the incredible activists within the organizations above do work to fight to end discrimination in their communities. We are excited to continue to uplift young feminist voices working towards gender justice  in the year ahead.

Job posting: Third Wave Foundation Office Manager

Friday, November 18th, 2011

It’s an exciting time at Third Wave: we’re hiring! Third Wave is currently seeking a new office manager. See the job description below for details.

Position Overview
Working under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Office Manager is responsible for managing Third Wave’s day to day financial management, human resources, and operations work. The Office Manager is also responsible for supporting other departments through database management, budget management, event planning, and scheduling support.

Essential Job Functions

  • Manages and executes the administrative work of the foundation, including (but not limited to) answering phones, assisting with photocopying and large mailings, answering general email inquiries, ordering supplies, and sorting mail.
  • Liaises with outside vendors to order products and services, troubleshoot when problems arise, and maintain those relationships to ensure smooth operating of office systems.
  • Plans and executes logistics of quarterly board meetings and other meetings and events where administrative support is needed, including travel, lodging, food, venue, and materials.

Financial Management

  • Under direction of the Executive Director, manages and executes the daily financial operations of the organization, including financial record-keeping, basic bookkeeping duties (paying bills, coding expenses and deposits, making basic entries to QuickBooks), depositing checks, and collecting receipts.
  • Serves as the key liaison to the external accountant in order to ensure proper management of finances and reporting.
  • Monitors the annual budget with the Executive Director and works with accountant to create budget reports.
  • Coordinates the annual audit process with the Executive Director and auditors and assists with requests for financial records and information.
  • Works with the Executive Director and the Finance Committee of the Board to create the annual budget.

Human Resources

  • Manages administration of the 401(k) plan, health insurance, and other employee benefits.
  • Tracks employee vacation, personal, and sick days.
  • Assists Program and Fundraising departments with recruitment of interns.

Database Management

  • Assists the External Relations Director in maintaining contact relationship management database, including data entry, clean up, and reporting.

Fundraising and Development

  • As needed, provides support to the External Relations Director in institutional and individual donor communications and follow-up, including maintaining updated records in the organizational database, supporting with mailings, preparing reports, and acknowledging receipt of awards.
  • Assists with event, meeting, and travel logistics for donor meetings.

Principal Relationships
Internal Contacts

  • Maintains frequent contact with staff and interns in other departments in order to integrate work activities. Also maintains contact with supervisor and interns within department in order to complete work assignments and to collaborate to produce work.

Organizational Communications and External Contacts

  • Develops and maintains relationships with outside vendors.
  • Maintains regular contact with board members.

Requirements (Experience and Education)

  • Minimum 2 years experience in administrative/operational work and financial management, including bookkeeping, budgeting, and/or financial reporting.
  • 1 or more years experience with databases strongly preferred.
  • Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills preferred.
  • Experience in assisting or supporting director or executive-level management preferred.
  • Some experience in social justice work and/or an understanding of the youth organizing landscape nationally preferred, including experience in one or more of the following fields: gender justice, reproductive health and justice, racial justice, leadership development, LGBTQ liberation, education, labor, and safety/anti-violence.
  • Strong creative, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • The ability to balance consideration of Third Wave’s strategic plan with detail-oriented work.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including effective and professional verbal and written communications with a diverse range of people.
  • Self-motivated and a team player. A sense of humor and a constructive outlook are a plus.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Basic accounting skills and familiarity with QuickBooks a plus.

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Third Wave is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, people of color, queer, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, and people with disabilities.

Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample of no more than 3 pages to This position will remain open until filled; early applications are strongly encouraged.

Third Wave Executive Director Mia Herndon Honored as Moves Power Woman

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Mia Herndon in Moves MagazineWe are proud to announce that Third Wave’s Executive Director Mia Herndon will be the recipient of a New York Moves Magazine Power Women award. Moves is celebrating Mia’s longstanding commitment to social justice, her inspiring vision, and her courageous leadership.

Moves Magazine’s Power Women Awards honor “a collection of some of the most fearless and influential women of the day. These are women of substance who have made an incredible impression in their respective fields and an impact on their environment.”

Mia will be honored alongside 26 other powerful women in media, business, the arts, and education.  For a full list of honorees, click here. Past honorees include Nadine Strossen, first woman president of the American Civil Liberties Union, actresses Famke Janssen and Laura Benanti, and concert pianist Elaine Kwon.

This award recognizes Mia for her leadership in the social justice field and for her role in cultivating young feminists nationwide. As the only national, feminist foundation supporting the visions of young women, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth, Third Wave is vital to amplifying the voices of these progressive activists. Since 2001, Mia has been a key part of Third Wave’s success, ensuring that these young activists have the skills and opportunities to lead efforts for social justice in their communities.

Tweet your congratulations to Mia (@3Wave) and the other Moves Power Women using the #CongratsMia and #PowerWomen hashtags.

Snapshots from Third Wave Convening in New Mexico

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Last month, Third Wave joined the Reproductive Justice Network in New Mexico for three days of feminist activism, coalition-building, and social justice fun. Third Wave’s External Relations Manager McKensey, Program Director Alex, and Program Associate Rye met up with some of Third Wave’s grant partners, including Young Women United, Media Literacy Project, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Check out the photos from Convening below!

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Simone of Jahajee Sisters, Deesha of SAFER, and Stephanie of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health before a field trip.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Cole (Brown Boi Project), Ashley (Khmer Girls in Action), Andrea (Media Literacy Project), Monie (Young Women United), and La’Tasha (New Voices Pittsburgh) saying goodbye.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Media Literacy Project‘s Jessica leading an activity.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Rye (Third Wave) and Liz (Young Women United) wrapping up a convening activity.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

All Reproductive Health Justice Initiative convening participants at the final farewell!

Reproductive Justice Network Convenes In Albuquerque

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

From the Media Literacy Project Pressroom:

Policies and decisions about reproductive health have profound effects on communities — impacting the civil rights and physical health of women in America.

National organizations concerned with these issues will convene in Albuquerque Sept. 26-30 to discuss the future of reproductive health and justice issues as part of the Reproductive Justice Network Annual Meeting. The conference is hosted by three New Mexico organizations: Media Literacy Project, Young Women United and Kalpulli Izkalli. The Reproductive Justice Network is an initiative spearheaded by the Third Wave Foundation, and is designed to support the work done by and for young women of color, trans- and gender-nonconforming youth under 30.

“Communities have been left out of mainstream reproductive rights conversations,” says Mia Herndon, Third Wave Foundation executive director. “What Third Wave decided to do, is to really center the voices of those communities that had a great deal of reproductive health disparities, but who had yet to be in the leadership of the solutions to shift those disparities.”

The reproductive justice movement believes that justice will only be achieved when everyone has the power and resources to make healthy, informed, non-coerced decisions about their bodies, sexuality and families.

The reproductive justice framework also recognizes that all individuals are part of families and communities, and gears decision-making toward strategies that support the inclusion of women.

“The welfare of our mothers, sisters and daughters has become less and less of a priority in New Mexico,” says Media Literacy Project Executive Director Andrea Quijada. “If families are the cornerstone of community and women are the cornerstone of the family, we will not see a healthy New Mexico until we prioritize the status of women here.”

And reproductive justice issues, Young Women United Executive Director Adriann Barboa notes, extend beyond traditional questions of family planning.

“Women are the highest uninsured population in our state,” Barboa says. “Reproductive justice looks at all aspects of a woman’s health, from access to quality and safe care, to her economic means to care for her family. It’s time that those most impacted by these issues are at the center of creating the solutions.”

The Reproductive Justice Network Annual Meeting and Third Wave Convening will be held at Hotel Albuquerque Monday, Sept. 26 through Friday, Sept. 30.

For further information or to arrange press credentials for the conference, contact Hakim Bellamy at 505.828.3388 or

Carter Klenk

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


“Secure Communities” Endangers Women, Immigrants, and People of Color

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Third Wave lends our support to this statement, released on August 15th, 2011. You can also download (PDF) a version of this statement to share.


Immigrant Rights and Women’s Rights Groups Denounce the Decision Nationwide

On August 5th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would unilaterally terminate all contracts with states and localities in an attempt to further implement the “Secure Communities” program nationwide, despite calls for the agency to suspend the program. Immigrant rights and women’s rights organizations strongly oppose this unilateral decision by DHS, before the local hearings on Secure Communities’ effects have even taken place. DHS’ announcement demonstrates that the hearings are a farce, and that DHS is determined to implement Secure Communities, regardless of public opposition or its demonstrated impact on survivors of crime. We continue to oppose Secure Communities and any law that encourages ICE to transfer its responsibility to local law enforcement. Secure Communities undermines local law enforcement’s commitment to community policing, which puts immigrant women, their families, and their communities in danger.

Since its introduction, the “Secure Communities” (abbreviated “S-Comm”) program has been opposed by local and state civic leaders, elected officials, law enforcement agents, religious leaders, and human rights advocates. S-Comm forces local law enforcement agents to act as an arm of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by detaining persons who are arrested, but not charged with a crime, so that they can be processed for deportation. Since implementation began, more than one million people have been deported under S-Comm, the vast majority of whom have no criminal history, despite DHS’ claims that the program targets individuals who are dangers to society. Instead, the program promotes racial profiling, destroys families, and undermines community relations with police that are essential to public safety. Continued ambiguity on the part of DHS regarding S-Comm has led to the Office of the Inspector General to initiate an audit into this controversial program.

S-Comm puts survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at increased risk. It is threatening the progress our country has made in the last three decades to bring violence against women out from behind closed doors by making women afraid to call the police for help, for fear of arrest and deportation if they are undocumented. The program encourages violence against women and destroys the community trust in law enforcement that is necessary for safe neighborhoods for all members of a community, regardless of immigration status.

Immigrant women are increasingly breadwinners and often provide more stability for their family. Yet they are criminalized, and sometimes brutalized, for trying to keep families safe and healthy. Immigrant mothers, who are simply working to make ends meet, are bearing the brunt of these anti-immigrant policies. They risk being arrested for walking their kids to school, they must worry about who will provide care for their children if they are suddenly detained or deported, and when families are indeed separated by deportation, the well-documented psychological effects on both parents and children continue to devastate families for years.

Immigrant communities and women’s rights advocates are coming together to oppose the deeply problematic “Secure Communities” program. We pledge to speak out during DHS community hearings on S-Comm, and at other local, state and national public events. We urge local and state leaders to join us in declaring S-Comms unsafe for women and children.

ASISTA Immigration Assistance
Break the Chain Campaign
Casa de Esperanza
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Day Laborers Organizing Network
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Opportunity Agenda
Rights Working Group
Third Wave Foundation