Atlanta Women’s Foundation ‘Inspire Atlanta’ Celebrates 2023 Grads

Record $454,000 Raised to Support Programs for Women and Girls

ATLANTA, Ga. – It was a record-breaking year for empowering women. Twenty-eight women were invited to take this year’s Atlanta Women’s Foundation Inspire Atlanta challenge, with a goal of raising $10,000  each  for programs to enhance and enrich the lives of women and girls impacted by poverty.

Inspire Atlanta is a five-month community impact initiative that challenges women to develop their leadership skills, create meaningful change, tackle critical issues in the community, champion a fundraising campaign to support AWF, and build a lasting network of fellow female movers and shakers. The initiative culminated in May with a celebration to honor its participants.

The Class of 2023 set the highest bar yet, collectively raising over $454,000 by the time of the celebration.

  • Stephanie Herring of Assurant was the top fundraiser raising an impressive $50,300
  • Rajibir Bal of Novelis was the close runner up raising $40,622
  • Pam Dureod of Ford Motor Companies rounded out the Top 3 with $40,450

“The energy here at AWF is so infectious,” Herring said, “The need is so vast for women and girls. Programs like these are extremely important for women to bond together to help however we can. Inspire Atlanta enabled me, as a mother of three young girls, to be a role model to them and show them the importance of community involvement.”

New this year was the Spirit of Inspire Award, which went to Shameka Fahie of Georgia Tech, who raised $11,500 and shined throughout the initiative as a motivator for the entire class. She worked non-stop to reach her goals, prompting this inaugural award.

“It has been so inspirational meeting all these amazing women and seeing the tremendous impact they have on our community.” said Fahie, “This program has changed me. I’ve grown so much and become more self-aware. I encourage any woman who wants to learn how they can grow, help other women, and build a lasting network of amazing community leaders to get involved.”

The funding will funnel into AWF’s new All Girls Forward initiative launching this summer. The initiative was created to fund programs serving girls living in poverty.  AWF has committed to giving $2.5 million to this initiative over the next five years.

The All Girls Forward initiative has identified several key action areas:

  • 429,279 girls under 18 now live in AWF’s service area of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties 
  • 79,908 of those girls live below the poverty line in Metro Atlanta
  • 20% of girls in this 5-county area considered hurting themselves in the past year
  • 1 in 10 girls report being mocked or harassed on social media
  • Middle school girls are 15% less physically active than boys their age
  • Only 18 percent of high school graduating women who were academically prepared to pursue degrees in STEM fields actually express interest in a STEM career field.

“The women that entered the Inspire Atlanta program have grown personally, professionally and philanthropically,” comments Kari Love, CEO of AWF, “These record-breaking women are stronger, more confident game-changers ready to take on any challenge. I’m proud of them for their dedication to AWF’s mission, particularly as we kick off our All Girls Forward initiative.”

AWF will apply its collective impact approach to the All Girls Forward initiative, with a focus on the areas of education, afterschool programming, life skills, access to mental health services, and pregnancy prevention. The collective impact approach harnesses the power of a diverse group of nonprofit organizations that provide wrap-around services to create an effective strategy to combat issues and eliminate barriers.

For more information about Inspire Atlanta and other programs offered to women and girls from the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, visit here.

About The Atlanta Women’s Foundation

The Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls. AWF is a convener, amplifier, and funder and exists to fundraise for women and girl-serving organizations in Metro Atlanta with programs and projects dedicated to eliminating barriers identified by AWF research. Since 1998, the Foundation has invested over $21 million in Atlanta area nonprofit organizations that have successfully moved women and girls from poverty to economic self-sufficiency. To learn more and make a donation, visit