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Texas Women Continue to Fight Against COVID-19 Across Industries

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From serving at-risk communities to cheering on patients, Texas women continue to fight against COVID-19.

By Sabrina LeBoeuf, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer

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Kelly White and Julia Spann, the CEOs of Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE), kept the doors of their shelters and sexual-assault clinic open to those in need. Throughout the pandemic, they have kept and increased in-person services to help Austinites facing violence and/or abuse. According to KXAN, SAFE reported an increase in calls about child abuse and domestic violence in March and April, with a 47-percent increase in parenting-related calls.

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Texas Woman’s University created the AssistHer COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Program to distribute $1 million across 100 woman-owned small businesses in the state. The awarded businesses range from nail salons to boutiques to architecture firms. Seven of the awarded businesses are located in Austin.

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Since stay-at-home orders were initiated in March, Austin nonprofit Dress for Success says it’s experienced a 20-percent increase in calls. The nonprofit helps unemployed women find a job, offering career-development tools, professional clothes and networking opportunities. To continue assisting its new and existing clients, the nonprofit is raising money by selling T-shirts. So far, they have raised more than $5,000.

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Three San Antonio nurses channeled the power of K-pop to cheer one of their COVID-19 patients, Esther. The nurses saw that Esther’s favorite band BTS lifted her spirits, so the trio created a BTS dance video on TikTok. The video went viral, reaching more than 50,000 views.

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Since stay-at-home orders, front-line workers in Texas have been exempt from staying at home and are contributing to the community by providing health-care services, stocking grocery stores and driving public transportation. According to the Texas Tribune, in 11 of Texas’s most populated cities, 62 percent of front-line workers are women.


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