We put young people at the helm of advancing solutions to the problems they encounter in their lives and communities, to advance gender equity and racial justice in DC and surrounding regions.


The Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) is a national initiative of eight prominent women’s foundations to ensure all young women—particularly young women of color—lead, prosper economically, and live safe and healthy lives.

Our Strategy

Our comprehensive strategy to achieve YWI’s mission in DC and surrounding regions include:

We engage young women and gender-expansive youth of color as agents of change in their communities through participatory grantmaking by our Rock Star Fund.

We provide flexible and reliable funds to organizations building youth’s voice, power, and leadership to advance gender equity and racial justice.

We support coalitions and groups advocating for policies and practices that center the needs and solutions of young women and gender-expansive youth of color.

Our Blueprint For Action

The blueprint outlines recommendations, by young women of color, to reform policies and practices so young women thrive in DC. It recommends changes in how systems run and in culture, procedures, programs, and policymaking.

Our Grantee Partner

The DC Girls’ Coalition is a youth-led organization that works to elevate and amplify the voices of young women, girls, femmes, non-conforming, and young women and girls of color of trans experience in the DC.

The coalition brings together organizations dedicated to implementing policies put forward by young women and gender-expansive youth of color and strives to reduce the criminalization and adultification of them by:


Launched in 2019, the Rock Star Fund, is an innovative participatory grantmaking program that amplifies the voices of young women and gender expansive youth of color in Washington, D.C. Through our partnership with DC Girls’ Coalition, its Youth Advisory Board reviews applications and selects awardees on our behalf, advancing gender and racial equity while channeling more funds directly to grassroots initiatives.


Since 2019, our Young Women’s Initiative has:

Awards Provided

Provided 33 awards to young women and gender-expansive youth of color to invest in their own learning, leadership, and community projects.

Cool Number

Strengthened and amplified leadership and advocacy skills of over 150 young women and gender expansive youth of color in DC and provided opportunities for them lead change.

Given funding to launch the DC Girls’ Coalition, the only coalition in DC that centers the leadership and addresses the needs of young women and gender expansive youth of color.

Uplifted the voices and priorities of young women and gender-expansive youth of color in DC through our Blueprint for Action.

"The Rock Star Fund has given me the courage to continue pursuing a dream that I have had in my heart for a long time. Witnessing it come alive before my eyes is quite literally a dream come true. Receiving the investment and support from the Women’s Foundation means the world. Thank you for believing in me.”
Adjo E.
2021 Rock Star Fund Awardee, Founder Of JoJo’s Outstanding Jojoba Oil

Meet Our 2024 Rock Star Fund Awardees

We are thrilled to introduce the latest awardees of our Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland Rock Star Fund!

This year, fourteen outstanding individuals were selected through our Young Women’s Initiative’s participatory grantmaking process, each bringing forth their unique vision and projects that align with our Blueprint for Action. With a one-time grant of $2,000, we aim to cultivate the leadership potential of these young changemakers and support them in effecting positive change within our community.

Meet our 2024 Rock Star Fund Awardees and learn more about their inspiring projects below!

Eris Aubrie Busey

Eris will launch Teen Summit DMV, a program where DC teens talk about pressing issues with their peers.

MaKaila Eddings

MaKaila will launch GriotSisters, a transformative mentorship and empowerment program designed to uplift, inspire, and be a griot for young inner-city girls and women at risk.

Camila Marryshow

Camila will launch Create2Learn Program, which aims to provide girls of color in foster care with guidance and resources.

Debkanya Mitra

Debkanya will develop a mentorship program for young women of color to release their own music.

Nyirah Newton

Nyirah will expand and facilitate a second year of self-care and empowerment youth-led workshops and classes through her initiative, CROWNED.

Rocheny Pricien

Rocheny will provide safe spaces through artistic expression for women of color to gather and uplift one another.

Alluorra Rosé

Alluorra will develop a film that addresses the challenges that a Black deaf trans woman faces in a homeless shelter.

Jadyn Settles

Jadyn will expand access to cashless donations to unhoused community members.

Destiny Wilson

Destiny will expand BlisX DC, a program for youth to release their creativity through fashion.

Sydnie Collins

Sydnie will engage youth in digital media, using social-first strategies and communication skills to foster community change and development.

Favour Gam

Favour will develop a program and publish "For Colored College Girls," encouraging young Black girls to engage with literature that amplifies marginalized voices.

Nina-Simone Hunter

Nina-Simone will expand College Camp, an accessible online learning platform with interactive modules and college planning templates curriculum.

Alexis Proctor

Alexis will launch workshops for young women regarding issues they face and publish an accompanying workbook.

Kayla Savoy

Kayla will host workshops at Rose-Tinted, an inclusive, woman-owned art and design studio dedicated to celebrating women of color through representative art and stationery.

Contact us

Are you interested in learning more about our Young Women's Initiative or Rock Star Fund?

Contact our Program Officer, Chika Onwuvuche!