Women’s Empowerment prepares for Oct. 13 benefit

Women Empowerment volunteers make visits to countries including Honduras and Mexico.
Women Empowerment volunteers make visits to countries including Honduras and Mexico.

San Diego-based nonprofit Women’s Empowerment International will host a benefit Oct. 13 at the Museum of Photographic Arts to recognize three new partnerships that will help further its work helping some of the most economically disadvantaged women get jobs or start their own businesses.

The organization’s work ranges from linking a homeless woman in San Diego with a local food truck for on-the-job training, to helping grandparents in Africa launch agricultural businesses so they can support their grandchildren who have been orphaned by AIDS.

“Women are an unstoppable economic force,” said Paige Bradley, executive director of Women’s Empowerment International for the last three years.

Featured guest speakers representing the new partnering organizations will be Amarilis Pagan Jimenez, CEO of Proyecto Matria in Puerto Rico; Teresa Smith, CEO of Dreams for Change; and Elizabeth Reed, a San Diego State University professor and social entrepreneur involved in Girls Invest, a program that addresses economic vulnerability and health of girls from low-income backgrounds.

“We’re very proud of the growth these three partnerships represent,” Bradley said.

Through its partnership with Dreams for Change, a San Diego nonprofit, local homeless women will have access to training that prepares them for jobs in the food service industry. Through Girls Invest, more adolescent girls will learn financial literacy. Women’s Empowerment will also provide seed capital and entrepreneurship training to low-income women in Puerto Rico facing homelessness, domestic violence and other hardships through its partnership with Proyecto Matria.

“By investing in women and girls, we are fueling the social and economic engines of our global communities, driving progress and growth,” Bradley said in a news release announcing the new partnerships. “Women’s Empowerment International is proud to provide support and hope to some of the most deserving women here at home and in the poorest parts of the world. When women succeed, whole societies benefit.”

At the benefit, there will also be a musical performance by Nigerian artist Buki Domingo. Anne Hoiberg, president of La Jolla Pen Women, will be honored as the 2019 Woman of Empowerment.

Bradley said Women’s Empowerment will continue to “increase the profile of the organization” to expand its reach.

“There’s really no limit to the need around the world,” she said.

Tickets start at $50. Event proceeds will go toward the programs supported by Women’s Empowerment International. The Museum of Photographic Arts is located at 1649 El Prado in San Diego. For more information, visit womenempowerment.org.