Photo Credit: Malin Fezehai / HUMAN for Malala Fund
Mar 29
March 29, 2016

Foundation Happenings, Brought to you by Donna Shalala


This blog is part of a series where Donna Shalala, President of the Clinton Foundation, shares updates on Clinton Foundation programs. View the previous entries here.

The energy at the fourth annual UN Women’s Conference in 1995 was palpable. Change was in the air. Talk wasn’t enough. The world was ready to take action. And I was fortunate enough to be there in person and see this convening end with 189 nations agreeing to a platform that called for the “full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social, and cultural life.”

Twenty-one years later, I’m honored to help continue the charge with the Clinton Foundation. One of the main ways we do this is through our No Ceilings initiative, which launched The Full Participation Report and the data visualization website last year in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These resources interpret more than 850,000 data points from more than 190 countries to chart the progress girls and women have made since 1995.

The goal is to inform and inspire change. And this year, to celebrate Women’s History Month, we launched a digital campaign that looked at recent ceiling-breaking moments from around the world that inspired us.

I love celebrating progress. It gives us reason to be hopeful for an even brighter future. As always, here are some recent updates from our programs highlighting our work in action:

Improving Homeownership in Detroit

On February 18, I joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and leaders from regional banks, nonprofit organizations, major foundations, and the real estate industry to announce a new Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment to increase homeownership in Detroit for up to 1,000 qualified homebuyers over the next three years. Numerous partners from multiple sectors came together to create the Detroit Home Mortgage initiative, which helps qualified homebuyers access mortgages to purchase a home and pay for necessary renovations. I’m proud to say that this Commitment to Action – developed through CGI America – will change lives and ultimately improve the future of Detroit.

Connecting Women in Island Energy Leadership

On February 25, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) launched the Women in Island Energy Leadership Network to address the lack of female representation in the island energy space in the Caribbean. The network – consisting of a two-year formal mentorship program – will deliver leadership and skills development opportunities as well as provide a support system for young women leaders in island nations. Informed by data from the No Ceilings Full Participation Report, CCI and its partners recognize that full gender participation is essential to achieve the aims of energy transition. I’m proud to say that we’re helping women gain mentorship and make the connections they need to succeed in upper management positions.


On March 8, in recognition of International Women’s Day, we highlighted 13 ceiling-breaking moments from the past year that demonstrate progress on gender equality. These moments show that we all have a role to play in achieving gender equality. I’m especially inspired by the forward-looking, gender inclusive work of today’s young people, many of whom will be attending the upcoming CGI University. Learn more about these young leaders in Chelsea Clinton’s op-ed on Mogul and join our gender equality conversation throughout the month on social media using #CeilingBreakers.

Coding with the Girl Scouts

On March 12, in celebration of Women's History Month and the 104th birthday of the Girl Scouts, the Clinton Presidential Center and its partners hosted a free computer coding event for girls. This program provided an opportunity for more than 100 young women to participate in hands-on computer coding basics with the help of coding professionals. In addition to the coding event, the Center will celebrate Women’s History Month throughout March by offering Girl Scouts free admission to the Library.