Dr. Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury
Dr. Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury

Chief Executive Officer

Dear Woman of Valor,

I hope these words find you well and in good spirits. After all, you’ve likely been a one-woman dream team for quite some time. You somehow manage to serve your community, family, and a good meal all while juggling the myriad duties required by your day job. You are a nonprofit leader, an entrepreneur, or, perhaps, a human rights activist. And, in all these things, you do not allow the title of mother, sister, auntie, daughter, or friend to fall by the wayside.

I want to say thank you, friend, for your presence in our state (AR), in your community, and in the lives of all that hold you dear. Without you, many of Arkansas’ greatest programs and systems of support would not exist. And, more importantly, because of you Arkansas is a place where everyone can find themself at home.

Whether you are Toyce Newton, a trailblazer for better education outcomes for our children, or  Rosa Velasquez, an advocate for DACA dreamers. Or Patricia Ashanti, a visionary for the Delta, or Rev. Dr. Anika Whitfield, a healer and hope activist. Or, Heather Larkin, a grantmaker and strategic partner – hear me say: thank you.

You are the women who inspire transformational change in Arkansas and beyond and challenge the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to embrace the relentless pursuit of equity for all Arkansans. We see you. We honor you. And we salute you.

We look forward to learning more about the amazing advocacy, community engagement, and organizing you are doing. And we hope to hear from you as we refine our approach to supporting women, especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color women, leaders in every corner of our state.

Again, thank you for all you do and for all that you are. 

(which means – I am because you are).