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Member Spotlight on Nancy Word

Catching Nancy Word in Austin can be difficult these days. Her years of work with Impact Austin has led her to projects all over the world.

"I was one of the first four board members," she tells me on the phone. "I hosted the first membership coffee at my house where we talked to 20 women about joining Impact Austin."

In addition to being a board member, she's served on or chaired every one of the FACs over the years. She enjoyed sharing the job of community liaison with the Paramount Theater's Literacy for Life program, and hosting an Impact Austin book club.

"The thing about Impact Austin," she says, "is that although we make huge impact with our grant money, there's also the unexpected impact on the members' lives. I have met and made friends with some of the most amazing women through this organization."

"Working with wonderful women who share my sense of community and just wanting to make a difference in the world has had a profound impact on my life."

She goes on to tell me about some of the amazing women she has connected with because of her experience at Impact Austin. She's involved with the Nobel Women's Initiative (NWI), a non-governmental organization formed out of Canada by women who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Women's Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize to increase the power and visibility of women's groups working globally for peace, justice and equality. Through NWI, she has traveled to India, met with the Tibetan government in exile - including the Dalai Lama, and most recently traveled to Liberia to focus on issues related to sexual violence against women.

When she's at home in Austin, she also offers her support to Emancipet, Blue Avocado, OpenArms, and the Pachamama Alliance along with many other non-profits in the Austin area. She and her daughter partner on many joint projects, including helping refugee women in Austin get settled. She also serves on the board of trustees for Centenary College in Shreveport.

"Impact Austin was really a training ground for a lot of amazing projects," says Nancy. "The connections I've made there, and lessons that I've learned, have been invaluable in shaping the direction of my life."


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