Ford BUILD Fuels WEI’s Resilient Future

After more than a decade of growth and impact, WEI is turning some of our attention inward to strengthen our organizational resilience. A coveted BUILD grant from the Ford Foundation is enabling us to plan for the long term and take critical steps to ensure our future as a leader of the global disabled feminist movement.

Like many organizations working to advance equality and social justice, in our first decade, WEI concentrated our energies and resources on establishing and expanding our programs. – which makes sense; this is our core mission work. Yet we also know that to sustain this work over time – however long it takes to accomplish our mission – we need to fortify our foundation.

WEI is fortunate to be one of a select group of gender equality organizations to be awarded a Ford Foundation BUILD grant. The BUILD Initiative (Building Institutions and Networks) is aimed at making social justice organizations stronger and more resilient.

In the first year of this 5-year grant, WEI reflected on our growth and progress to date, consulted with our stakeholders about goals and priorities, and developed a new strategic plan. The plan provides a platform for our work that we hope will galvanize our community with a sense of collective purpose and lays out clear steps we can take together to move the dial on gender and disability justice. We’ll be sharing more details of the plan as it gets underway this year.

As a BUILD grantee, WEI also benefits from the solidarity of a cohort of gender justice organizations, with whom we participate in skill-building and information-sharing spaces. These connections strengthen our respective capacity and also form alliances within the movement that will foster further collaboration and amplify our collective impact.

“WEI is the first gender and disability rights organization to receive a Ford BUILD grant, a testament to their leadership, effectiveness, and potential to advance equality and social justice into the future.” – Monica Aleman, International Program Director, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice, Ford Foundation