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Women’s Foundation rebrands to United WE as footprint spreads nationally

The Women’s Foundation is now United Women’s Empowerment (United WE) as the Kansas City-based organization expands its impact on a national level. 

The rebranding was unveiled Tuesday at its annual We Work for Change event — held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and is emblematic of its past and future, Wendy Doyle, United WE’s president and CEO said. The name change came as the organization decided to expand its footprint, particularly with its Appointments Project, across the country, she said. 

“It really represents who the organization is and what we’re trying to accomplish. Especially during this extremely divisive time, we are trying to bring everyone together,” Doyle told The Missouri Times. “In using the word ‘united,’ we’re bringing everyone, women and men, together to really tackle the economic development issues impacting women and their families.” 

United WE’s Appointments Project helps women get elected to civic boards, commissions, and more at the local level. The group is working with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to expand the project to Texas and Pennsylvania respectively. 

“We hope the outcome of the Appointments Project is that civic engagement will spur women to run for elected office,” Doyle said. 

A video released Tuesday praised the organization for its more than two decades of philanthropy work in Kansas City. It also highlighted its involvement in administrative actions, enacted laws, executive orders, and research studies. 

“We’re about more and our identity should reflect that,” the video said. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly attended this year’s event to advocate for women in public policy. Designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg also spoke at the virtual gathering. 

“Now is the time to unite together to support women’s economic and civic development. Grateful for the opportunity to speak on public policy and opportunities for change across state lines with [United WE and Gov. Laura Kelly],” Parson said on social media. “As the father of a daughter and grandfather to four granddaughters, I am passionate about helping women succeed in the workforce.”

The Women’s Foundation began in 1991. Its mission is focused on addressing economic issues women face as well as promoting civic leadership. In particular, the foundation has homed in on paid family leave and pay equity while uplifting women entrepreneurs.