By Robert Stitt
“This work is about dismantling the barriers that prevent them from realizing that potential and leading us toward a truly transformative movement for change,” said Jennifer Buffett, the co-president of the NoVo Foundation and daughter-in-law of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. She was talking about NoVo’s newest commitment: a $90 million donation aimed at helping end the inequality faced by women of color in the United States.
“Our goal is to create the conditions for change by advancing the work of the real experts in this movement: girls and young women of color and the advocates working with them,” said Jennifer’s husband and NoVo co-president, Peter Buffett, Warren Buffett’s son.
According to NBC News, the donation is “the largest ever made by a private foundation to address structural problems facing girls and young women of color in the U.S.”
There is not a pre-conceived notion of exactly how the money will be spent. First, sessions with women of color throughout the United States will be held starting in the summer of 2016. The women, along with NoVo advocates, will come up with the ideas of where the money needs to go. The idea is to find “regions that have been left out of the philanthropy conversation” that will actually help make a difference in the lives of the women. They believe that they will be able to better serve the people who need the help because “the funding strategy is truly shaped by girls themselves and is accountable to them.”
According to Forbes, NoVo’s Executive Director, Pamela Shifman, noted, “This announcement is made possible because of decades-long leadership and activism by women of color. This is a breakthrough moment, and we want to make sure it translates into lasting and meaningful change.”
The decision of how to best use the money to reach those in need will be announced in 2017.
The NoVo foundation has been helping women of color throughout the world for the last 10 years. It is also active in fighting human trafficking and the sexual abuse of girls and women.