Deborah Korge (Debbie) has been an active member of the non-profit community in Miami since moving here in 1988, focusing on issues affecting women and children. She is the Executive Director of The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade which has supported women and girls in our community for 24 years through grant-making, research, education and advocacy. The organization impacted over 60,000 lives by supporting more than 485 women and girl-focused programs and by awarding $3.7 million in grants since its founding in 1993.
I relocated to Miami in 1988 and immediately became a volunteer as I feel the best way to learn about a community is to become involved with it. The more I became involved, the more I realized I had move to a vibrant, energetic city that had a lot to offer – but also had many challenges. We raised three sons in this community and I wanted to make sure the Miami they grew up in and hopefully continue to live in as adults retained all its character
and charm while doing all it can to improve the quality of life for so many who are struggling.
I strongly believe that when the quality of life for women and girls is good, the entire community benefits! Therefore I have made it my priority to focus on issues affecting women and children (specifically girls). However, there are so many different issues that need to be addressed with The Women’s Fund focusing on freedom from violence, access to health care and leadership as well as the overarching issue of economic security. Currently, 50% of the overall county population in Miami-Dade lives at a level at which they are struggling to survive. According to the recent Poverty & Opportunity Report prepared by the Institute on Women’s Policy Research for the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance, in Miami-Dade County 20% of all women live at or below the poverty level. In addition, women currently make $.85 to the $1.00 for men bringing home smaller paychecks doing the same and sometimes more work.
The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade believes in convening, collaborating and connecting. We cannot do the work alone. We will be working with several community partners to identifying an issue within the framework of economic security where we can work collectively to make both grassroots and systemic change. This collective community impact initiative will be a multi-year collaborative approach working with our partners to develop a plan with identified benchmarks and indicators to measure progress and determine what is changing and how. We will approach the targeted issue through not only organizations working “boots on the ground” to bring about the grassroots changes but also by becoming advocates, educating the community and its leaders about the issue and what systemic changes needs to be made.