The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness announced today a major gift from the Mary Burke Fund for Girls and Women at the Madison Community Foundation – $50,000 to support the non-profit organization’s efforts to bolster black women’s health in Dane County.

  “We are beyond elated and grateful for the Mary Burke Fund’s support of our work and belief in our vision to elevate Black Women’s health at a time where we need real solutions,” Lisa Peyton-Caire, founding CEO and president of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, said in a statement. “Mary is a forward-thinking leader whose investment in community is undeniable, and we’re thrilled that she and the Madison Community Foundation have chosen to invest in us as we continue to grow and expand our impact.”

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness works to empower black women and girls to build and sustain healthy, thriving, wellness-centered lives. Its mission is to eliminate health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of African American women, and to establish a culture of wellness through education, outreach, support circles, powerful partnerships, and by influencing systemic change.

The funds will support several of the Foundation’s core initiatives including providing stipends for its corps of Wellness Ambassadors who lead health outreach efforts in the community, according to a press release, and will seed a Black Women’s Opportunity and Empowerment Fund, a pilot micro-loan and mini-grant fund aimed at building the financial capacity of women to overcome crises and barriers to achieve well-being. A portion of the gift, $20,000, will support programming and operations at the Foundation’s newly established Black Women’s Health and Wellness Center slated to open later this summer at 6601 Grand Teton Plaza on the city’s west side.

Mary Burke

“I’ve followed Lisa’s work for a long time and seen the impact she and the Foundation’s team have had, with very few resources, on mobilizing women to improve their health and their lives,” said Mary Burke in a press release. “When we empower women, we build stronger, healthier communities, and this is a commitment I wholeheartedly believe in”.

The Mary Burke Fund for Girls and Women joins other community and corporate investors who’ve stepped up to support the work of the Foundation including the Healthy Dane Collaborative, Madison Gas & Electric, National Guardian Life, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.