M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Women in Leadership

Providing resources, support and leadership skills to women in nonprofit management

Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership is a series of gatherings that supports mid-level/mid-career women nonprofit leaders in the Pacific Northwest to thrive in their leadership by developing skills, deepening character, growing spirituality, enhancing life practices and expanding networks.

The gatherings are intergenerational, so women of all ages can learn from each other’s experience and wisdom. Women network and collaborate, hear from a guest speaker and have time for group interaction. Content is rooted in a Christian worldview, and women are offered a unique opportunity to explore key issues vital to their work and life.

In support of current strategic planning needs, we are pausing Women in Leadership programming for 2023. We encourage you to explore the resources from our past conferences and save the dates for our 2024 conference, themed “Transforming and Stewarding Trauma – Sustainable Practices.”

The Conference

The annual conference is a three-day, two-night gathering in Vancouver, Washington, each spring and is a core piece of the Women in Leadership program. The speakers and content are anchored in a Christian worldview, but resources and learnings can be applicable to all mid-level/mid-career women, regardless of faith. The conference is a space to move between concepts and application to real life with the goal of helping women leaders become better equipped for their work.

If you are interested in taking part in the Women in Leadership Conference, please review the past conference resources below and listen to some of the recordings to get a sense of whether the content fits with your interests. If after reviewing the resources, you are interested in being invited to the program, please email womeninleadership@murdocktrust.org.

The Lunch Gathering

A group of women gather around a table at the Women in Leadership Conference.

In addition to the annual conference, the Women in Leadership program includes regional lunch gatherings in the Murdock Trust’s funding region (currently in Montana and Idaho). The gatherings are held in the fall (paused for 2023) and include lunch, a short program to receive content/tools/resources, facilitated networking with other leaders attending the event and introduction to the Murdock Trust’s grants and enrichment opportunities.

If you are interested in taking participating in future lunch gatherings, please email womeninleadership@murdocktrust.org.

Our Next Conference

May 1-3, 2024: Transforming and Stewarding Trauma – Sustainable Practices

During this conference we will recognize, name, and define trauma – how it impacts us in overt and explicit ways, and how we ingest it in daily experience. We will recognize how Scripture offers stories of abuse, harm, and trauma, particularly in Jesus’ life. Our aim is to identify and honor some of our own trauma (both personal and vicarious). We will then learn sustainable practices and strategize for what is unfolding in our communities and larger world.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize your own unique context of harm and trauma and how your work contributes or mitigates those experiences
  • Raise awareness and respond to the cumulative toll on those exposed to the suffering, hardship, crises, or trauma of humans, other living beings, or the planet itself
  • Develop a deeper understanding of trauma exposure
  • Learn ways to steward trauma to create a sustainable individual and collective culture

A few more details:

  • Conference cost: $60
  • Conference will be hosted at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA
  • If you have not participated in the Women in Leadership conference before and would like to be considered to attend, please send your name, organization, website, and role/title to womeninleadership@murdocktrust.org

Meet the Speaker

Abby Wong-Heffter is a teacher, trainer, consultant, and psychotherapist. Abby is a founder of The Allender Center where she trains future therapists and care providers how to engage trauma through the avenue of story. She is also a professor at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where she created the Concentration in Trauma and Abuse for the Masters of Counseling and Psychology Degree program. She is passionate about joining those who have experienced oppression and marginalization. She seeks empowerment, reconciliation, freedom, and a growing sense of beauty on behalf of her clients and students.

Abby began her work as a therapist with war-affected youth in Northern Uganda and then as a crisis Child and Family Therapist in Seattle. In these first therapeutic encounters she engaged families during moments of trauma, grief, distress, chaos, and defiance. She became specialized in addressing attachment issues, especially with transracial adoptees. She also focuses on treating adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, seeing that at the core of trauma and exploitation there is often a deep reality of orphanhood. In all these realms she has encountered those who have felt that their most tender, precious, and vulnerable aspects of self have been threatened or shattered. She considers it a great privilege and honor to traverse these often treacherous and stunning paths alongside clients and students. You can read more about Abby at www.abbymwong.com.

Have questions? Contact us at womeninleadership@murdocktrust.org or 360.694.8415

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.