|I am applying for||Both|
|FUNDS WILL BE USED TO:||Maintain/expand current ministry|
|Name of Organization||Circle Up United Methodist Women|
|Address||1201 Lavaca St.|
Austin, TX 78757
|Contact Person||Emily George|
|Title||Circle Up member|
|Explain connection to The United Methodists Church|
Circle Up was formed in 2018 to focus specifically on the UMW priority area Maternal and Child Health and to advance the objectives of decreasing maternal mortality and developing a network of women’s health advocates. Comprising 20 volunteer members, Circle Up is bound together by a shared commitment to service, social justice, and healthy mothers. Being based in Austin and a part of the congregation of First United Methodist Church, we have easy access to not only the Capitol but connections to legislators, lobbyists and a multitude of individuals and groups with policy influence in the state of Texas. We are a force of volunteers, rooted in faith, ready to take a stand to eliminate preventable maternal deaths and “near death” experiences for Texas women.
|How many volunteers are involved?||20|
|How many staff members?||1|
|Have you explored opportunities to collaborate with other United Methodist Churches to work toward your mission?*|
|If yes, please describe.|
Circle Up has had the opportunity to lead and facilitate several programs and workshops for our home church, other UMC congregations, and community members since the circle’s founding in August 2018. First, in September 2018 we presented to the Capitol District UMW about the state of maternal health in Texas. In November 2018, Circle Up hosted and facilitated a “postcard party” event in anticipation of the upcoming Texas 86th legislative session. During this event, we hosted a facilitated discussion on legislative priorities concerning maternal health and led the group in writing postcards to Texas legislators urging them to prioritize maternal health issues. Approximately 50 people from the Austin-area, including members of other area churches, attended this event. In January 2019, Circle Up hosted a “Brunch and Learn” event for legislators, legislative staffers, UMW unit members from area congregations, and interested community members. During this event, Circle Up members moderated a panel of maternal health experts to educate and inform our 150 attendees on pressing maternal health issues in the state of Texas. In the fall of 2019, Circle Up provided a presentation and guided conversation on the work of Circle Up and the state of maternal health in Texas to the attendees of the Rio Texas UMW Conference Annual Meeting. Approximately 40 UMW members and leaders from across the state were in attendance for this presentation. Finally, in November 2020, Circle Up presented its Virtual Interfaith Summit on Maternal Health. This event included a moderated panel of maternal health experts, multimedia elements to highlight personal stories of maternal health challenges, interactive polling and question-and-answer opportunities, and information about how to get more involved in advocating for improved maternal health outcomes in Texas. Due to COVID-19, this summit was presented entirely in a virtual format and included 60 virtual participants, including members from UMC churches across the state. We are planning a tour of other UMW groups throughout the state to share our circle's model for advocacy and to network with them.
The congregation at FUMC Austin has supported Circle Up and their efforts since the beginning. Circle Up sends out monthly newsletters, calls to action, and invitations to various events to a list of 165 email addresses, most of which belong to members within our congregation. Our congregation has contacted their state legislators in support of maternal health, pushed for hearings on various bills, visited the Capitol in support of bills, and submitted comments online. Members of our congregation have also been in attendance at all of the events listed above. In terms of events specific to our congregation, following the conclusion of the 86th legislative session, Circle Up hosted an hour-long “Maternal Health Legislative Update” for our home congregation. This multimedia presentation provided an update on strides taken by the Texas legislature to improve maternal health during the recently concluded legislative session. Approximately 60 members of our home congregation attended this presentation.
|How does your mission fulfill the purpose of the grant you are requesting?|
Organizational Background and Infrastructure
Maternal Health in Texas
Juanita Peterson Proposal
Objective 1: Contract with a professional videographer and storyteller to curate the video series.
Objective 2: Launch a coordinated social media campaign that centers the video campaign.
Budget: $4,325 to develop and distribute this video advocacy campaign. This amount covers reimbursement for the time that women spend being interviewed by the videographer, costs associated with the social media campaign and web hosting, and the cost of 60 hours of time from the professional videographer.
Action Support Grant
Objective 1: Record and document Circle Up’s inception and evolution.
Objective 2: Up to 4 members of Circle Up will travel to at least six UMW groups in Texas.
Budget: $2,410 to develop the video and to fund travel to UMW groups. This amount includes 18 hours of time for the professional videographer. This amount also includes reimbursement for 1000 miles of travel at $.55/mile and 8 nights in a hotel at $100/night.
|How many individuals will be served by the funds requested?||100|
This is an advocacy project to serve the entire population of Texas. As described above, our advocacy focuses on improving maternal health in Texas.
|Grant history and reporting|
No; we have not.