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CONTACT: MONIQUE DI CARLO
Women's Resource and Action Center
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-1486

Release: Immediate

Women's Resource and Action Center endowment campaign approaches halfway mark

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) began a three-year, $25,000 endowment campaign in the fall of 1996 in conjunction with its 25th anniversary celebration. Today, at the campaign's midpoint, contributors have donated approximately $11,000.

The fund-raising campaign is being led by the center's 15-member advisory board, which includes university faculty, staff, and students, and members of the local business community. The endowment campaign will help fund new educational programming to be offered by the Women's Center.

"Endowment gifts ensure that we will continue to provide lectures, films, concerts, workshops, art shows, and informal discussion groups that support women to reach their individual and collective goals," said Monique DiCarlo, director of the Women's Center. "Everyone is invited to participate in the campaign, and gifts of all sizes are welcomed and celebrated," DiCarlo says.

The University of Iowa Foundation is assisting in the campaign, and gifts should be directed to the WRAC Endowment Fund at the Foundation.

In collaboration with other community and university organizations, two new programming initiatives were implemented by the center this year. Those initiatives are the Women and Money workshops focusing on financial management skill-building and the Social Change Training seminars, providing practical information to social change activists.

"Continuing to be a vital community and university resource that supports women and encourages social change is dependent upon accessing additional resources," DiCarlo said.

The Women's Center is a department of Student Services at the university that has a long tradition of serving both community and university people. Staff members, volunteers, and interns help provide counseling, advocacy, information and referral assistance, support and discussion groups, educational programs, and pro se legal kits. Thousands of people are served by the Women's Center, and at least 300 people from around the state utilize WRAC's pro se (do-it-yourself) legal kits each year.

As a department of Student Services at Iowa, the center receives university-allocated funds. But recently, the center has taken a more active role in generating other forms of income. There is a strong commitment to provide services free of charge. However, individuals participating in services are invited to make donations. In addition, advisory board members, staff, volunteers, and interns work together to create and complete special events, direct mail appeals, and cosponsorship opportunities. WRAC also participates in workplace giving through Iowa Shares, a statewide fund-raising federation. Approximately 8 percent of WRAC's funds are self-generated. Funding opportunities through granting foundations and corporate gifts are continuously explored.

In its 25 years, WRAC has given birth to hundreds of community events, organizations, and to individuals' own growth processes. Today, the community is richer because of the work done by the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, the Free Medical Clinic, the Clothesline Project, the Emma Goldman Clinic, Hera Counseling, the Women Against Racism Committee, the Iowa Women's Music Festival, and many more individual and group projects all having roots in the Women's Center.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide capital funds, scholarships, and other forms of support for The University of Iowa. Gifts to the WRAC Endowment Campaign can be sent to the University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550.

Facts About the Women's Center

The Women's Resource and Action Center exists for, through, and because of all women. WRAC creates community affirming all people and acts as a catalyst for social change and for women's individual and collective growth. WRAC's vision is the elimination of all forms of oppression.

WRAC's goals are to:

* Provide an atmosphere where race, ethnicity, gender, age, economic status, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, religion, and individuality are respected, welcomed, and celebrated.

* Provide feminist services and programs that support and enhance the growth of women throughout the university, community, and state of Iowa.

* Create and encourage educational environments that promote non-oppressive attitudes and behaviors in all individuals.

* Advocate for the removal of oppressive barriers within the university, community, and the state of Iowa.

* Support the academic success of women and enhance their opportunities for achieving economic self-sufficiency.

* Support other individual and organizations that engage in social change work.

* Be fiscally responsible.

* Conduct continuous assessment and evaluation of services to meet the changing needs of university and community women.

4/6/98