Immigration in Charlottesville

Thanks to everyone who came out on May 3rd for our Immigration in Charlottesville event. It was a lively panel discussion, and just one example of the kind of community programming Women United hopes to continue.

A very special thanks to our panelists for making it so engaging and educational. Please click through to their organizations' websites to learn more about what they do and how they serve our community:

If you enjoyed this event, please consider volunteering on our Events & Programming Committee. We need creative, passionate people to continue our mission! 

2017 Open House

On January 18, 2017, more than 80 women gathered in Downtown Charlottesville to learn more about Women United and the non-profits we support.

Our 2015 grant recipients were there and told us more about the impact a Women United grant has made. Those non-profits include Charlottesville Works Initiative, City of Promise, and Foothills Child Advocacy Center. Just in the last year, Women United has helped local women train for and find jobs, provided academic coaching for youth in one of Charlottesville's struggling neighborhoods, and helped our community battle human trafficking.

In addition to hearing from our non-profits, we learn more about the 2017 Grant Cycle, which begins right away. We also enjoyed terrific food from Feast! and had the opportunity to engage with many kile-minded women.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event so wonderful!

CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook page and see more photos from the night.

2016 Human Services Grant Award Luncheon

IMG 2727At our November 3 Luncheon, Women United announced our 2016 Human Services Grant Award recipients: Albemarle Housing Improvement Program for Children Safe at Home and Piedmont Housing Alliance for Nutrition and Community at Friendship Court. We awarded $20,000 to each organization.

Our keynote speaker was Kristin van Ogtrop, a columnist for TIME magazine and former editor of Real Simple, Time Inc.’s award-winning lifestyle brand. Under her leadership, Real Simple achieved popular and critical acclaim and received nine National Magazine Award nominations in the category of General Excellence. In addition to leading the magazine, van Ogtrop oversaw and all Real Simple brand extensions, including social media; tablet editions; books; licensed products; live events; and mobile apps.


KVO Jen Maia CCVan Ogtrop is the author of Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom, which was published by Little, Brown in 2010. She has appeared on shows including NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, Live! with Kelly, and CNN. In 2014, van Ogtrop was named by Fortune as one of the 55 most influential women on Twitter.  


Before joining Real Simple, van Ogtrop was Executive Editor of Glamour. Previously she held positions at Vogue, Travel + Leisure and Premiere. She has served as an instructor at Columbia University’s Publishing Course and New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute. Her essays and articles have appeared in a variety of publications, and in The New York Times bestseller, The Bitch in the House.


Van Ogtrop received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.A. from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and three sons in Westchester County, NY.


Find Kristin on Twitter and Instagram @kvanogtrop.


Hit the Pause Button: Why Mindfulness?

Dorrie Fontaine, Dean, UVA School of NursingDean Dorrie Fontaine

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, over 100 Women United members and guests gathered at the Omni hotel for Dorrie Fontaine's exceptional presentation on mindfulness.  Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN, is the dean and Sadie Health Cabaniss professor at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Nursing and Associate Chief Nursing Officer at the UVA Medical Center.

Founder of UVA’s Compassionate Care Initiative, Dorrie has more than 40 years’ experience as a critical care and trauma nurse and a distinguished record of leadership at the nation’s top nursing schools including University of Maryland, Georgetown University, and the University of California, San Francisco. She is a tireless champion of healthy work environments, training nurses and physicians together and creating resilient nurses and healthcare leaders through compassionate care.

Dorrie believes that nurturing resilience, teaching compassion, and augmenting wisdom through mindful leadership will truly transform cultures in clinical and academic settings.

Dorrie is a past-president of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and current president of the Virginia Association of Colleges of Nursing. She earned a BSN from Villanova, an MS from the University of Maryland, and a PhD from the Catholic University of America. Inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1995, she received the Presidential Citation from the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Villanova honored her with a Medallion for Contributions to the Profession. In 2012, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Maryland. She received the Martin Luther King award for championing diversity and inclusion at the Health System at the University of Virginia in 2015.

Women United 10th Anniversary Luncheon

November 5, 2015, 11:30am

Farmington Country Club

Margaret May DamenAt our 10th Anniversary Luncheon on November 5, 2015, Women United was thrilled to announce our 2015 Human Services Grant Award Recipients! This year we awarded two $25,000 grants to Charlottesville Works Initiative and Foothills Child Advocacy Center.  And, in honor of Women United's 10th anniversary, we awarded an additional $10,000 grant to City of Promise.

Our keynote speaker was Margaret May Damen, founder of the Institute for Women and Wealth and Co-Author of Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation. Her focus on women’s financial and philanthropic issues began in 1990 with the publication of her book, Money$ense for Women. Today, her renowned workshop series, “The Life You Live is the Legacy You Leave,” and “You are the Pebble in The Pond” inspire and empower women and men to identify and embrace their psychological and emotional essence that enables them to excel in meaningful individual and family philanthropic giving by using tools from the 10 Steps to Living the Three Principles of Abundance. ™

To learn more about Ms. Damen and her work, CLICK HERE.

Special thanks to our 2015 Luncheon Sponsors:

 WilliamsMullenLogo ClubRed-new red 


2015 Grant Finalists Presentation

Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-7:00pm

Omni Hotel Charlottesville, Salon C

This year on our 10th Anniversary, we are thrilled to be awarding $60,000 in grants to local human service organizations!  Our Grant Committee received 12 excellent proposals, and has carefully reviewed and narrowed down to a selective group of 5 finalists:

Charlottesville Works:

In the Charlottesville region, 5,281 families (17 percent), mostly single mothers and their children, do not make enough money to pay for the essentials of life—food, shelter, clothing and utilities—and the added costs associated with working—childcare and transportation.  The goal of the Charlottesville Works Initiative is to identify these families and increase their income to a level of self-sufficiency by identifying jobs within their reach and positioning them to secure and excel in those jobs.

City of Promise:

Charlottesville’s City of Promise (CoP) is seeking a grant to provide evidence-based academic coaching for 20 youth ages 12-17 in the City of Promise Neighborhood (Westhaven, 10th& Page, Starr Hill). Students will be selected on the basis of need, and will also receive wrap-around supports through City of Promise and its community partners to ensure their ability to thrive academically, personally and eventually professionally.

Club Yancey:

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and the Albemarle School Board created a workgroup through charter to explore and recommend potential community wide use of B.F Yancey Elementary School. This application is based on the nine- month process of that workgroup to identify needs, interests and potential partners to create an intergenerational education center for the Southern Albemarle Community and funding to support these expansion efforts.

Foothills CAC:

Foothills Child Advocacy Center respectfully requests a grant to provide training for professionals who serve child abuse victims and their families so that they can continue to provide a coordinated, evidence-based, culturally competent, and compassionate response that helps reduce trauma for these children, ensure their healing, and keep them safe. These trainings will address two new and significant challenges in child abuse intervention: (1) identifying and providing an appropriate response to victims of human trafficking under the age of 18 in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area and (2) improving medical care of child abuse victims in the community.

Piedmont CASA:

Piedmont CASA recruits, screens, trains, supervises and supports community Volunteers who advocate in Court for abused and neglected children. CASA Volunteers conduct independent investigations and make recommendations to the judges regarding the children’s best interest, always promoting safe, permanent, and nurturing homes.

Closing the STEM Gender Gap

Closing The STEM Gender Gap

On February 24, 2015 Women United brought together a panel of community members to discuss their perspectives on how we, as a community, can help expose girls to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and encourage those who are interested to follow their hearts and minds. 


Adrian Felts, Operatations Manager, Battelle; Director, Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair


Joan Vienvenue, PhD, Director, Applied Research Institute, University of Virginia

Mary Stelow, Charlottesville High School Junior; Robotics Innovator; Member, Best All-round Club of Nerds (BACON)

Paula White, Gifted Resource Teacher, Albemarle County Public Schools; Founder, Girls' Geek Day Program

The event began with a video introduction of the "Like a Girl" campaign ad and excerpts from the WTJU Radio interview with panelist and Girls Geek Day Founder, Paula White, followed by an introduction to our topic and Panelists by Moderator, Adrian Felts.

Panelists, who represented three very different aspects of involvement in STEM, were each granted a few minutes to introduce themselves to the audience, giving a brief overview on their own journey as a female involved in STEM fields.  Following introductions the audience was given a chance to ask questions to our panelists and exciting, information-rich discussion quickly ensued.   

If you are interested in learning more about STEM opportunities in our community and on-line download the STEM Resource sheet from the event HERE or contact panelist Paula White at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Founder, Kim Wilkens at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2014 Grant Award luncheon with Anne-Marie Slaughter

At our 2014 Human Services Grant Award Luncheon on November 21, 2014 at Farmington Country Club, Women United awarded two $22,500 grants - a total of $45,000 - to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge and Ready Kids Cville (formerly CYFS). With these grants, Women United will have awarded $312,825 to local organizations since our first Human Services Grant Award in 2006.

Women United welcomed Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter as keynote speaker for the luncheon.  A Charlottesville native, Dr. Slaughter is currently the president and CEO of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute and idea incubator based in Washington and New York.  In 2012 Dr. Slaughter published the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in The Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality.

2013 Grant Award Luncheon

On Tuesday, October 1, Women United was very excited to announce our 2013 Human Services Grant Award Recipients! This year we awarded two $20,000 grants to local non-profits serving women and children in our area:

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank - The Food Bank has created a Family BackPack Program to alleviate child food insecurity at the household level. Children receiving free and reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program have an increased risk of hunger on weekends or over school holidays. This initiative aims to send a backpack full of healthy foods home with each eligible child every weekend and holiday. Women United's $20,000 grant will fund the Family BackPack Program for 2 years at Yancey Elementary, where 61.9% of families live between 0-185% of the federal poverty level.

Jefferson Area CHIP - Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHiP) will use their $20,000 Women United grant to to support the salary of a Family Support Worker/Parent Educator who will conduct at least monthly home visits with 50 children ages 0-7 over the next year. CHIp's mission is to provide early learning opportunities to children living in poverty in Charlottesville and Albemarle in order to promote kindergarten readiness and to increase the likelihood of continued school success. CHiP family support workers and nurses partner with parents to provide a nurturing, stimulating, and optimal early learning environment for young children.

The keynote speaker at our Luncheon was award-winning journalist Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt, her first-hand story of the landmark 1970 sex-discrimination lawsuit against Newsweek, it’s impact on the women involved, and what has and hasn’t changed. Ms. Povich spoke of the power of working together for a cause - something we at Women United are learning more about every day. Learn more about Ms. Povich here:

Special thanks to our 2013 Luncheon Sponsors:


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