March 8th, International Women’s Day – Spring 2017 Newsletter

Every year we are pleased to celebrate International Women’s Day as the single holiday that aligns most with our mission. This holiday has been celebrated across the world for over a century as a time to recognize and give tribute to the many achievements of women. It’s also a time for the international community to focus on gender equality. The global theme this year is “Be Bold For Change,” urging participants to call on the masses or on themselves to help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world.

There are many ways that you can participate, whether you live near our headquarters or not. If you are a social media guru, you can acknowledge this holiday in your posts using the hashtags: #IWD2017 and #BeBoldForChange. You can donate to organizations that help women and fight for equality. And you can participate in local activities near you (or start your own event!).

This year SowHope is hosting a collaborative event in our headquarters region in partnership with other local organizations. Partners include: Dining for Women Grand Rapids chapter, Be A Rose, a girls’ group from Covenant House Academy, Aquinas College’s Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center, Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Leadership Center, and additional marketing in the community from the Grand Rapids Film Society.

I am a girl movie banner

“I Am a Girl” features six young women from countries around the world.


We will be screening I Am a Girl, a feature-length documentary from Australian director/producer Rebecca Barry, on March 8th. The film presents the coming-of-age stories of six girls who each live in a different country and socioeconomic context.

The screening will be held on Wednesday, March 8th at Celebration Cinema North, 2121 Celebration Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. The film will begin at 6:30pm, followed by a panel-led Q&A session to discuss issues that concern women and girls around the world. Tickets cost $11*, and the limited quantity available can only be purchased online at

*Please note that neither SowHope nor any of the partner organizations receive any portion of the ticket proceeds, but there will be an opportunity to donate at the event.

It Starts With One…

Change within a community starts with just one woman like Babati or Catherine, featured in this newsletter edition. You can start that change by donating $30 per woman for her first microloan!

Save the dates!

Honor A Woman Brunch – Sunday, May 7, 11am – 1pm
@ JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, MI

“We Sow Hope” Dinner – Thursday, September 28, 6:30pm – 9pm
@ Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI