On Friday, September 10, 2010, Sharon J. Burton visual artist and Founder and Creative Director of Authentic Contemporary Art was appointed to the Advisory Board of Directors of Empowered Women International, a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Mission of Empowered Women International (EWI) is to help immigrant and refugee women living in the Greater DC Metro area to integrate, participate as new citizens and become self-sufficient. EWI was founded in 2002 by Marga Fripp, an award-winning journalist and native of Romania, who experienced firsthand the plight of immigrant and refugee women and their families struggling to establish a new life, find work, integrate and fully participate into the U.S. economy and culture.
EWI provides these women with professional development courses, micro-entrepreneurial training, and income generating opportunities through retail and new markets. EWI organizes educational and outreach programs by bringing its talented immigrant and refugee women to teach and present multicultural art programs to children in public schools and low-income and disenfranchised audiences in the Metro DC area.
EWI’s impact on the lives of immigrant and refugee women during the last 8 years has been significant. Over 1,000 women beneficiaries report gaining life-long business, entrepreneurial and leadership skills in addition to hands-on work experience that facilitates their entry into the workforce. Specifically:
- 80% report they increased their income, changed jobs for better positions and/or enrolled in college and other educational programs.
- 70% report they taught art and multicultural programs in schools, volunteered in educational and community organizations or partnered with EWI to retail their handmade products and promote their services.
- Many women have gone on to exhibit, perform and sell their creative works in upscale private galleries, shops and arts centers such as: The Smithsonian, The World Bank, The Torpedo Factory Arts Center, The Kennedy Center, the Strathmore Center and various embassies in Washington, DC.
To learn more about Empowered Women International, visit the website at www.ewint.org.