@issue is published by the Chrysalis Foundation to provide timely and relevant information about the lives of girls and women in our community.


Women as Heroes with the Emphasis on "Here"



There are ordinary people who so believe in their calling that they act on it without hesitation. We call these people heroes, with emphasis on “her.”

These women not only have worked to ensure our community and our country are prepared for emergencies, but they also have provided tremendous leadership in disasters.

According to the Harvard Business Review, women offer talents necessary and effective during a crisis: interpersonal skills, communication, teamwork, and relationship-building. Researchers say female leaders express more awareness of fears felt by people, more concern for their well-being, and more confidence in their plans for meeting the challenges of the crisis at hand. read more

JULY 2021

Women and the Olympic Games



We’re excited about the significant ways women can make history at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, including Urbandale native and Dowling Catholic phenom Karissa Schweizer, who will compete in the 5,000-meter run in Tokyo.

However, several new restrictions and policies introduced to the games are concerning as they particularly affect women and people of color.

For example, one new restriction applied in response to COVID-19 (no spectators allowed in the Olympic venues) presents significant challenges for athletes who are also parents. Fortunately for athlete mothers, tremendous pushback has prompted a decision that nursing mothers may bring their babies to the Olympics “when necessary.”

As a result of the spectator restriction, Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix (ahead of her 5th Olympic games) is partnering with Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation to create The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants. These funds will help with childcare costs for athletes who are mothers while they travel to competitions. read more

JUNE 2021



Every holiday begins with a history lesson, and the newest federal holiday – Juneteenth – is no exception. Named for the month in which it occurred; Juneteenth is the recognition that slavery finally ended.

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, in the midst of a bloody civil war, declaring “that all persons held as slaves are, and henceforth, shall be free.” But for slaves in Galveston, Texas, the news didn’t reach them until two years later, on June 19, 1865.

More than 150 years later, in 2016, 89-year-old Opal Lee began a petition to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. This year, her efforts paid off when the holiday was proclaimed, earning the now-94-year-old Lee the nickname “Grandmother of Juneteenth.” read more


MAY 2021

Happy Mother's Day




For the 108th year, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on May 9, 2021. The concept originated with an “early feminist,” Ann Reeves Jarvis, who in the 1800s helped start “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to teach women how to properly care for their children.
The clubs transitioned to “Mother’s Friendship Day,” when mothers gathered in an effort to reconcile the North and South after the Civil War. Inspiration also came from suffragette Julia Ward Howe, a poet and author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” who penned the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in an effort to promote world peace.
The evolution into a singular holiday took place in the early 1900s by Ann Jarvis’s daughter, Anna, to commemorate the sacrifices mothers make for their children. Her efforts prompted President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 to proclaim Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May each year. read more

APRIL 2021

Sexual Assault
Awareness Month


April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but that acknowledgement doesn’t mean the prevalence of this problem is understood. In 2020, Iowa’s Crime Victim Assistance programs reported serving 10,424 victims of sexual assault--nearly 29 individuals every day. It’s estimated that 82-90% of victims of sexual violence are females and that only 1 of 4 incidents is reported.

But even as the numbers grow, government funding to help victims of sexual assault and similar crimes has been drastically cut, creating daunting challenges to Chrysalis’ nonprofit partners that provide services to victims.
In May 2017, Iowa lawmakers approved a 26% cut—or $1.7 million--to the state’s crime victim services program. This decision was made even though records from Iowa’s Attorney General showed a 43% increase in sexual assault victims (and an 18% increase in domestic violence victims) served when compared to the previous year.
Iowa lawmakers may have assumed there would be a funding increase at the federal level, but this was not the case. That same year (2017), Congress cut federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds by 17.2%, equaling about a $4 million decrease allocated to Iowa. The combined federal and state drop of $5.7 million in support to Iowa’s victim service providers was devastating.
When it’s available, VOCA is the largest source of federal funding that delivers critical services without use of taxpayer dollars. Congress created the VOCA Fund in 1984 to deliver federal dollars to states and local programs working to help victims of crimes. Penalties and fines from federal convictions generate the funds, which are paid into the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). The fund supports services to more than 6 million victims of all crimes every year.
This year, our nonprofit partners report a reduction in federal VOCA funds of roughly 35% nationwide. read more

MARCH 2021

National Women's History Month and International Women's Day (march 8) and Chrysalis Founder Louise Noun's birthday (march 7)

At Chrysalis Foundation, we believe women and girls do remarkable things. Women’s achievements came to the forefront this year as we celebrated the inauguration of our country’s first female vice president.
We’re proud to recognize March as Women’s History Month, raising awareness of pioneering women in history while encouraging girls to strive for their greatest potential. In 1987, Women’s History Month was formalized by Congress following the lead of Sonoma County, California, where Women’s History Week was celebrated in 1978. The observance coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8.
For many reasons, the recognition of women’s history is critical. Women’s roles have appeared in only about 0.5 percent of historical records, even though statistically women have continuously comprised around 50 percent of the population. This imbalance, however, has not always been present. read more. 


National Black History Month



Notes from a conversation with Eugenia Kutsch-Stanton and Bridget Cravens-Neely
It’s tough to imagine being something you have never seen. This is why the recent inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris – a woman of Black and Asian heritage – is so meaningful. She has become part of our history and a powerful and inspiring icon.
Our new vice president continues the legacy of Black women whose contributions have been essential to our democracy. She follows the trail built by thousands of women over the decades – breaking barriers, challenging the status quo, fighting for equality – who must be recognized and revered.
And Black History Month is the perfect time to recognize the accomplishments of these women, who organized, boycotted, strategized and built coalitions. Yet they remain largely overlooked in our history books, which tend to chronicle the accomplishments of more well-known Black men. Some of us learned about: read more


National Slavery
and Human Trafficking
Awareness Month

It’s simple economics: the rule of supply and demand. Buyers make a market profitable, and sellers capitalize on the market demand. When it comes to sex trafficking, the same principle applies.
You may think Iowa, the heartland of America, is a safe and tranquil place. But Iowa’s centralized location lends itself to the dangers of trafficking as it’s at the crossroads of a network of coast-to-coast interstate highways lined with truck stops, motels, casinos, and restaurants. Our rural countryside also creates the ideal environment for traffickers to operate largely undetected.
In the United States, sex trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Although boys and LGBTQ youths are increasingly targeted, nearly 90 percent of reported trafficking cases involve females, and more than half of Iowa’s cases involve minors. The average age a child enters the world of sex trafficking is adolescence – the age of girls Chrysalis Foundation serves in our After-School programs. read more