While writing her memoir, A Postmodern Widoe, AnnMarie
conceives the idea of WidowSpeak. In her story of loss and love,
AMG discovers a family of widows, the women with whom she will
share her widow’s walk. These women are the inspiration
AMG resigns from her position in development at Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm and forms WidowSpeak, a literary project and a humanitarian effort.
WidowSpeak files articles of incorporation with the State of California, as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a mission of weaving webs of support around widows everywhere.
Founding board of directors for WidowSpeak is formed: Michelle Berelowitz, Carla Caletti, Lisa Clyde, Catherine Gorchoff, Megan Anthony Eierman, Carol Peek Griffin, Kerri Kor and Jacquilyn Schieber. Together with AnnMarie Ginella they begin to guide the mission and vision of WidowSpeak.
WidowSpeak files for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) and creates two programs:
Widows’ Web—publishing stories of widows from around the world
Widows in the Hood—creating a global neighborhood of widows
AMG takes out a personal loan of $25K for start-up funds for WidowSpeak.
WidowSpeak’s articles of incorporation are endorsed by the State of California.
AMG is hired as the executive director.
WidowSpeak expands its programs to include:
Widows in the Arts—portrayals of widows through the eyes of artists
Widows in the News—issues and headlines from around the world
Photo Gallery—a pastiche of widows’ portraits
WidowSpeak receives $25K grant from widow Jean Schulz through the Community Foundation Sonoma County and Schulz Family Donor Advised Funds. The National Women’s History Project serves as WidowSpeak’s fiscal sponsor for the Schulz grant.
WidowSpeak receives 501c3 tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.
WidowSpeak launches the WidowSpeak website with its five programs, acronymed WHANG—the Widows’ Web, Hood, Arts, News and Gallery.
WidowSpeak sets its goal of publishing and archiving 1000 widows’ stories in five years and poses the questions/challenges, “How many widows does it take to raise 10 million dollars?” “How much change for women and their children can widows with 10 million dollars create?”