Voices the World Needs to Hear

Rise Up is honored to be among the 286 nonprofits that received a total of $2.7 billion from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

We are pleased to share the wonderful news that MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett recently awarded Rise Up our largest ever gift. We were honored to be selected as one of “286 Teams Empowering Voices the World Needs to Hear” and we are deeply grateful to Ms. Scott for investing in women and girls and believing in Rise Up’s work and leaders.

As we celebrate this tremendous gift, we want to thank each and every one of you who helped make this happen—our visionary Rise Up Leaders, staff, partners, funders, and supporters. Thanks to your partnership over the years, our small but mighty team has invested in women and girls to achieve their potential, deepened our impact, and expanded our global programming. 

Rise Up Girl Leaders in Honduras in 2020

This new gift is nothing short of transformational for Rise Up, as I shared in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. We can now support millions more women and girls to stay healthy, finish school, overcome violence, and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. And yet, as Ms. Scott rightly noted, the challenges we collectively face are enormous and will require each of us to recommit to the journey ahead—to give more generously, trust more deeply, and push harder for change. 

MacKenzie Scott’s approach to philanthropy aligns closely with Rise Up’s belief that the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution. This belief is fundamental to our work of investing in local leaders to develop their own strategies to create sustainable large-scale change.

We share Ms. Scott’s perspective that “people struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating.” So in this moment, we want to give center stage to the Rise Up Leaders who are creating change. 

Below we invite you to read about Rise Up Leaders who are transforming their own lives, their communities, countries, and our world with their visionary solutions to pressing local and global challenges. Their voices are the ones the world needs to hear. 

  • Lucy who is mobilizing girls to combat female genital mutilation in Kenya: “Girls were not put on this earth to be invisible and not heard. Our voices are powerful and when used, can change our community and the world.”
  • Maritza who is supporting LGBTQI Latinx youth to thrive here in California: “Our people are resilient and have survived many difficult experiences to get here. Many in our community have crossed multiple borders for a chance at a life where they can be their authentic selves without fear or violence.”
  • Alicia who is protecting the health and safety of children in India: “Childhood is a golden age in life…Every child has the right to a safe and healthy childhood, especially children from low-resource communities and urban poor households.”
  • Benjamin who is expanding access to education for girls in Nigeria: “To me, girls’ education is the foundation for nation-building, and to have played a part in that is my greatest accomplishment.”
  • Alejandra who is advocating for the rights of women with disabilities in Mexico: “Women and youth with disabilities are treated as invisible…I feel inspired to be the bridge that connects them, to help them raise their voices so that they can live without violence and improve their quality of life.” 

We look forward to sharing more in the coming months about how MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett’s gift will support more Rise Up Leaders to raise their voices and improve health, education, and economic opportunity for millions of women and girls over the next five years.  

Thank you for being part of this journey with us.

Denise and the Rise Up Team