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  • 02/24/2022 3:17 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    At February 9’s education session, “The Geography and Color of Anne Arundel County Poverty,” this question was posted to the Q&A: What is AAWGT Doing About All of This?

    That question really caught my attention. And so, what are we doing?

    First off, we give grants to 7 or 8 local nonprofits each year. In total, over 15 years, we have awarded over $1.4 million in grants. If you look at who has gotten grants over the years, you will see the depth and variety of societal issues addressed. Grantees’ programs have included elementary-school reading tutoring, homeless shelters, immigration, housing and homelessness, post-incarceration, foster care, technology accessibility, job training, academic and career training, empowerment for teenage girls, after-school arts, crisis intervention, and health screening, to name just a few. A complete list of our grantees can be found here.  

    A second important part of AAWGT’s mission is our education sessions. We hold three sessions each year on topics that are relevant to our community. Over the years, we’ve held sessions about issues facing women veterans, food security, transportation in our county, early childhood, health inequity, gaps in education, affordable housing, maternal and infant mortality. Our ultimate goal of these sessions is to explain an issue and present an action plan for our attendees to address the issue.

    The homepage of our website shows how we Invest, Inform and Inspire. Those three words guide us when we answer the question, “What are we doing about all of this?”

  • 02/11/2022 4:25 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    “We want to chip away at the issues and work together to make our children’s lives better,” said Dr. Pamela Brown at the AAWGT education session, “The Geography and Color of Anne Arundel County Poverty.”

    Our first education session of the year drew over 200 participants. Dr. Brown’s presentation included, among many topics, social determinants of health, food deserts, the opportunity gap, kindergarten readiness, homelessness, youth unemployment and Covid racial and ethnic disparities. 

    Dr. Brown, who is an AAWGT member, has an amazing resume. She is the executive director of the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. Her dissertation focused on the importance of community partnerships in diverse neighborhoods to improve outcomes for children and families. She is the principal author of the publication “Poverty Amidst Plenty,” which is put out by the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County. Dr. Brown and her co-writers interview hundreds of people and gather data from around the county from hundreds of sources. The latest issue of the publication will be coming out soon. Read more here.

    The education session had the right mix of charts and text, which along with Dr. Brown’s narrative, gave us a clear picture of the issues affecting our citizens. This picture will help us work toward solutions that help diverse populations in our community.

    We appreciate Dr. Brown’s generosity in sharing her knowledge of this issue with our members and with the community.

  • 02/02/2022 3:26 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    By Caroline Purdy, Book Group Chair

    Our AAWGT Book Group reads non-fiction books related to national social issues, such as devastating effects of lack of mental health programs or higher imprisonment rates of Black vs. white men, and local social issues such as homelessness and opioid addiction. Books are recommended annually and picked by Book Group members via ranked voting, and then are posted and scheduled at the beginning of the year. Several of our meetings have included the authors via Zoom or in person. During the summer, we also meet up to watch a documentary film or two for relaxation and engaging conversation.

    This month the book “Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR” by Lisa Napoli was discussed via Zoom by Book Group members who decided to choose a book this month that was “uplifting” and provided a success story about the barriers women encounter in gaining recognition for their professional work.

    Most of our members noted that their professional lives intersected with the same time period as the “NPR Mothers” and experienced similar barriers in their own personal professions. As Susan Christensen stated “During my corporate professional career, my opinions were often  undervalued, until a male colleague suggested the same idea!

    Some of our members experienced direct association with Cokie Roberts’ family, descendants of Hale Boggs who was a Congressional Representative from Louisiana from 1946 to 1972 and very influential in national politics. Melanie Teems was invited by Cokie’s brother, Tommy Boggs, to an event at their Eastern Shore home. As Melanie says “They were always warm and welcoming, and showed genuine concern for each of their guests — a real hallmark of the Boggs family.” But much of the discussion revolved around Nina Tottenberg’s forthright style as a very outspoken and successful journalist even today.

    Our next book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City” by Wes Moore, describes Baltimore’s turmoil after the death of Freddy Gray, and its more global societal implications. The book will be discussed on March 1 via Zoom at 7 PM.  All AAWGT members are welcome and encouraged to register here. A list of some of our past favorite reads is also posted online here.

  • 01/27/2022 3:49 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Our latest issue of "Full Circle News" has lots of information about our work. This issue's Grantee Spotlight is about the Annapolis Immigration Justice Network. There is also information on our Racial Equity Study Group, an explanation of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and my very first "Leadership Letter." We've also included information about the "Call for 2022 Grant Applications" which has our focus statement for this year. I hope you will take a few minutes to read the newsletter here.

  • 01/22/2022 3:06 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    I attended two interesting AAWGT committee meetings last week. First up was the Membership Committee, held via Zoom. They are hard at work spreading the word about our giving circle and also encouraging current members to renew. They are also planning our annual Open House to be held on April 13 at Historic London Town in Edgewater. Registration will open in mid-March. This event is a great time to learn about all of our work and how you can get involved.

    Then on Thursday I attended a Leadership Development and Nominating Committee meeting (also via Zoom). This committee is planning our annual Women in Leadership event, to be held on March 16. The title is Women Leaders in Climate Action: Making a Positive Difference for Anne Arundel County Women and Children. It will feature four incredible women leaders (including our own Kate Fritz), who will talk about how the impacts of climate change have a long-term impact on our most vulnerable citizens. Registration for that event will open in mid-February.

    These committees and their members are really contributing to the success of AAWGT. Thank you!

    Maryann Gosnell

  • 01/14/2022 2:38 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    We held two Grant Applicant Workshops yesterday led by members of our Grants Committee and our Grants Systems Committee. Over 30 nonprofit leaders attended the workshop.

    As one of our members said, “The remarks that you made were easily understandable. I especially liked the explanation of what’s new this year and I salute AAWGT for making the application process streamlined, easier and less cumbersome.”

    All our grant applications are reviewed by the Grants Committee members. That committee then puts together a voting ballot of grant finalists. Our members then vote on which applications should be funded. Last year, we gave out $138,496 in grants to 8 nonprofits.

    We look forward to reading about the wonderful programs outlined in the applications. The application deadline is Friday, February 11, 2022, at 11:59pm, and the funding period is July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Go to our Grants page for more information.

  • 01/12/2022 2:45 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    I just registered for our February 9 education program, “The Geography and Color of Anne Arundel County Poverty.” It will be led by Pamela M. Brown, Ph.D., who is the executive director of Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. Dr. Brown’s report, “Poverty Amidst Plenty,” has been essential in understanding the needs of the most vulnerable citizens in our county. She will present recent data and information on the current state of our county, which will be very useful in helping us make well-informed decisions during our grants selections. This event is free and open to the public. To register, go to, and scroll down to the Upcoming Events section.

  • 01/10/2022 3:21 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    Just a couple of days ago, an email from our Grants Committee may just have set the local nonprofit world on fire. The “Call for 2022 Grant Applications” went out, outlining our focus statement for the year. The call also told the nonprofit leaders that we have simplified the application process.

    The Focus Statement bears repeating here:

    Our mission is to improve the quality of life of women and families in Anne Arundel County. For 2022, we are particularly interested in proposals that prioritize issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) when addressing the underlying causes of hardship (such as childhood hunger, higher mortality rates, educational disparities, homelessness and mental health) and/or proposals that come from organizations with annual gross receipts of less than $100,000.

    Another meaningful part of the call is where the Grants Committee reminded nonprofits that AAWGT has awarded more than $1.4 million to 42 different organizations across our county. Impressive!

  • 01/07/2022 4:01 PM | Maryann Gosnell (Administrator)

    This the first post in a year-long journey for me — a blog about AAWGT. I plan to add entries at least twice a month to tell you about what AAWGT is doing —be it about our education sessions, our grants and grantees, our book group and other topics that tell you about our wonderful work. I hope you will follow me on Instagram and share these blogs with your friends. Find us at @giving_together

    Maryann Gosnell, President, Anne Arundel Women Giving Together.

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