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The Fund for Women and Girls to Honor Matrie Johnson with Kitchen Table Award

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

WEST CHESTER, PA (February 8, 2022) – The Fund for Women and Girls will honor Matrie Johnson – a longtime and devoted advocate for women and girls in Chester County – with its Kitchen Table Award at the 17th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon on Friday, May 6, 2022 at The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern. This year’s Luncheon will be hosted in-person with proper COVID-19 precautions in place.

The Fund established the Kitchen Table Award in 2011 to honor a Chester County woman who has made substantive contributions through service and/or philanthropy to improve the lives of women and girls through her own time, talent or resources. It is named in celebration of the genesis of The Fund in 1996: the many conversations held around kitchen, board and coffee tables about what could be done to address the needs of local women and girls. This year, The Fund considered the highest number of candidates in the award’s history.

Matrie Johnson has spent most of her professional life engaging, encouraging, educating, and empowering the most vulnerable, underserved and disenfranchised populations in Chester County and surrounding communities as well as through national platforms. Matrie currently serves as Home of the Sparrow’s Director of Programs and is a founding member of Black Women of Chester County in Action (BWCCA).

Matrie has spent the last two decades working tirelessly to improve the lives of women and girls in Chester County through convening and participating in diverse partnerships and coalitions. Her work includes co-creating “Housing to Self Sufficiency” affordable shared housing with supportive services and mentors; co-founding the Chester County Single Mothers Conference (SMC), a free one-day event to engage, educate and empower single mothers; and having served as co-organizer for the Chester County National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week Campaign. Matrie is a founding member and active board member of BWCCA and was instrumental in forging a partnership between Chester County Marching Forward and BWCCA to form #OurVoiceShouldBeHeard, an initiative to increase the participation of under-represented women in Chester County in the political process. Matrie also serves on the Board of the West Chester Food Cupboard.

In the words of The Fund Board Member and nominator Cheryl Miles, “Matrie is a gentle soul. You would never know that she is involved, dedicated and committed to making a difference in our community in so many different ways. She is never the public face for her work, but she is the driving force that gets the work done.”

Profile photo of J. Renay LoperThe 17th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon will also feature keynote speaker Renay Loper, Vice President of Program Innovation at PYXERA Global. Renay works with senior leadership to implement corporate social responsibility programs for the private sector focused on engagement in emerging markets, leadership development, and responsible supply chain development.

Renay holds a MS in Higher Education/Post-Secondary Counseling and a BS in Business Management/International Business, both from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She is committed to social justice, global education and philanthropy. She serves as a board member on multiple organizations dedicated to helping women and girls, including Girls Rising which is a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment.

Stay tuned in the coming months for more details and registration information for the 17th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon. Please contact Development Director Dana Wiley at or 484-356-0940 for Luncheon partnership opportunities.

The Fund leads and unites the community through philanthropy and advocacy to ensure that women and girls have resources and opportunities to thrive. Over the past 26 years, The Fund has awarded over $3.8 million to 82 local non-profit organizations.

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