Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Daughters of the Declaration: How Women Social Entrepreneurs Built the American Dream"

Professor, author and former college president, Claire Guadiani has been a very strong supporter of women and philanthropy and we greatly appreciate all she has done, particularly in pointing out how women's past contributions have changed society and created national prosperity.

Her new book with her husband, David Burnett, Daughters of the Declaration, makes it clear that women have always been on the cutting edge of dealing with the social issues of today; that women have used their entrepreneurship to create America's unique not-for-profit, or social profit sector.  And that women's idealism and optimism have played a major role in the increasing prosperity of our nation.

In the book, she points out, "…the notion that the great industrialists created America’s social profit sector is simply wrong.  It suggests that citizen responsibility for building a just society was led by very wealthy, politically connected men…: In fact, the social profit sector was developed not by the great men of industry, but by women….long before the “robber barons” created foundations and universities bearing their names.  Women did so before elected officials defined a meaningful role for government in such matters as public health, education, workplace safety, or the ownership of slaves.  Women began this work at a time when they were not even entitled to own property or inherit wealth."

Now women have not only the natural instincts to deal with the social issues of today, we have the money and the clout as well.  We are positioned, as never before in history, to make a huge difference with not only our time and our feelings of responsibility, but with our money as well.  As Claire has said in the past, "We are the generation of women the world has been waiting for.  We should do more than soak up the good life to make up for what others did for us in the past."

This new book shows us what women have done in the past and against all odds.  The odds are now in our favor and it is up to us to show what we can do to make the world a better place, one by one and together.

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