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.
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.
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:
Provided 33 awards to young women and gender-expansive youth of color to invest in their own learning, leadership, and community projects.
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.
✨ Ronjai Beckwith will develop a mentorship program for pregnant young moms.
✨ Nevaeh Bright will develop care packages for women and children in shelters.
✨ Eris Aubrie Busey will create a program that supports young women and fosters creativity through fashion.
✨ Aniya Coffey will create a safe space for students after school to sew, stitch, and design their own clothing and accessories.
✨ Destiny Daniel will create a space for young women to find inspiring content while on their journey to becoming confident and purposeful women.
✨ Helina Deres will create a program that supports immigrant students by alleviating stress and helping them navigate through their education.
✨ Kyiniyah Graham will host restorative justice circles for girls living in Washington, D.C.
✨ Taiyler Henderson-Thorpe will build a network for young women of color living in Washington, D.C. to gain access to peer-to-peer mentorship.