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*Guest Post by Board Member, Julie Davidson-Gómez*

Leading Exhale’s year-end fundraising effort is a lot like having magical x-ray goggles. From my vantage point, I get to see the inner workings of our campaign in amazing and intricate detail. Every day, I witness the little victories and milestones that occur when a volunteer steps out of their comfort zone and reaches out to you to connect, share, and inspire.

Joining the fundraising team requires a big step, and sometimes a leap of faith, toward connecting our individual stories and beliefs to a larger organizational vision: that of a thriving pro-voice movement, financially supported by women and men who care just as much about post-abortion wellbeing, and who share our dreams for a future free from abortion stigma. (more…)

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In celebration of our 5th Anniversary of expanded service, Exhale presented a very special award – our “Pro-Voice High-Five” – to five individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to creating a more supportive and respectful social climate for women who have had abortions.  You can read all about the awardees here.

We celebrated our anniversary and all the awardees in an intimate San Francisco ceremony at the end of August.

Here’s a glimpse:

Board President Jen Rudy celebrates the announcement of fellow board member Julie Davidson-Gomez that we have surpassed our summer fundraising goal!

Tracy Weitz and Kate Cockrill from ANSIRH celebrate their award for New Research with a High-Five!

Amy Hill from the Center for Digital Storytelling celebrates her award for Leadership with Julie.

Julie Evans accepts the award for Courage from Jen in honor of all women who have told their abortion story.

Exhale Friends

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Exhale Board Member, Julie Davidson-Gomez, was honored to be invited to present on the plenary panel for Next Generation Organization’s at CompassPoint’s Nonprofit Day in San Francisco on August 31, 2010.

Watch the video to find out Julie’s big confession!

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*Guest Post by Board Member, Julie Davidson-Gómez*


One of the leadership roles I most enjoy at Exhale is chairing our Fundraising Committee. This summer, I made a personal gift of $525, and personally have helped raise over $6,000 toward our goal of $15,000.

I want to share with you why I love to fundraise for Exhale.

This morning, as you read this, I’m honored to share a podium with four inspiring “Next Generation” leaders. CompassPoint invited me to share my Exhale board story at their annual Nonprofit Day Conference. They wanted to know what set Exhale’s board of directors apart from the status quo nonprofit board, and to hear how Exhale is Next Gen.

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In celebration of our 5th Anniversary of expanded service, Exhale is excited to present a very special award – our “Pro-Voice High-Five” – to five individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to creating a more supportive and respectful social climate for women who have had abortions.

Our “Pro-Voice High-Five” Awards go toooooo……(drumroll please)….:

I invite you to read the interviews of each of our awardees to learn more about their passion and commitment to creating something positive, purposeful and powerful for every woman who has experienced abortion.

Congratulations to all of our “Pro-Voice High-Five” Awardees!

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For over eight years, Exhale has been a confidential listener to the stories  of thousands of women and men, after an abortion.  Yet, rarely are these voices heard in public discussion.  Thus, the evolution of our pro-voice agenda that aims to transform public dialogue so that it is grounded in the voices and experiences of people who have had abortions.

But, how do we go from confidential listening to public storytelling around abortion given the great risks women and men face if they share their story with abortion?

Enter our partnership with the Center for Digital Storytelling who is the leader on how to do storytelling around stigmatized or sensitive issues in ways that empower and support storytellers.  We were honored to learn from them in a recent digital storytelling workshop we held where women told their stories of listening and abortion.

We are honored to give a “Pro-Voice High-Five” to the Center for Digital Storytelling for Leadership.  I hope you enjoy my interview with its Executive Director, Joe Lambert, and the Director of their Silence Speaks program, Amy Hill.

Staff of the Center for Digital Storytelling

Aspen: Tell me about how the Center for Digital Storytelling came to exist and about your mission.

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Historically, a doula is a person who provides emotional and physical support to a woman giving birth.  Her sole focus is to help the woman in labor – not the family or the medical staff – and to serve as her advocate, making sure she has the birth experience she wants and needs.  More recently, this idea is being expanded to encompass other pregnancy-related events, including abortion and adoption.  The people who are doing this work operate under the radical assumption that every woman deserves support and respect for her unique pregnancy experience.

Earlier this year, we interviewed Mary Mahoney of The Doula Project on our blog.  A completely volunteer run-and-operated organization, the Doula Project is providing abortion-doula services to women in New York City.

Exhale is honored to give The Doula Project a “Pro-Voice High-Five” for New Services.  I hope you enjoy my interview with Lauren Mitchell, their Board President, about how their service is changing the world and what else is needed to grow their impact.

Aspen: Tell me about The Doula Project and how it got started. (more…)

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