Our History

Phoebe Griswold

Phoebe Griswold

AWE began as a program of the Episcopal Church Center in New York City. It was founded in 2003 by Phoebe Griswold, wife of the former Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, together with Anglican Observer to the United Nations, Taimalelagi Matalavea, and a group  of active laywomen and female clergy. The goal was to transform unjust structures of society by empowering women to work for social justice.Initially, we funded a few women from around the world to come to New York in order to learn the principles of advocacy and lobbying at the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women in 2004. By the next year, we grew to be the largest NGO delegation there and have continued to be so. When the terms of the Presiding Bishop Griswold and Anglican Observer Matalavea ended, we worked under the auspices of the Office of Women’s Ministries until June, 2009.

In 2009, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed Resolution B019, recognizing AWE for its achievements:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church recognize and affirm the advocacy and ongoing contribution of Anglican Women’s Empowerment, a group of women in The Episcopal Church whose mission is to support and affirm the nurturing and empowerment of adult women and young girls throughout the Anglican Communion.

In late 2010, AWE became a 501 (c) 3, not for profit organization with an elected Board of Directors and Executive Director.  It also continued to work closely with the UN Anglican Observer’s Office.

In July, 2012, AWE elected a board of directors.  Kim Robey serves as the Executive Director and Diane Eynon as Chair of the Board. The board is comprised of eight directors.  (Please see biographies of our Board of Directors for more details.)