The Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a District-wide effort to improve life outcomes and increase opportunities for cis and trans young women and gender-expansive youth of color between the ages of 12 and 24.
We are committed to identifying opportunities to open doors to progress and to advancing gender and racial equity. Our Blueprint for Action guides YWI’s research, grantmaking, and advocacy. We work in partnership with two core groups who drive the work of the initiative: the Young Women’s Advisory Council and the Advisory Committee.
Through leadership development programming, advocacy efforts, and the provision of direct support to youth-serving organizations, the Initiative aims to reduce systemic and institutional barriers to success and opportunity for cis and trans young women and gender expansive youth of color so that they may reach their full potential.
The Women’s Foundation modeled YWI in DC after the New York City Young Women’s Initiative, launched in 2015 through a partnership between Girls for Gender Equity, the New York City Council, and the New York Women’s Foundation. The success of YWI-NYC inspired women’s foundations from across the country to launch their own Young Women’s Initiatives, creating the National Philanthropic Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives (NPCYWI) with a focus on galvanizing resources and creating cross-sector partnerships to advance equity and outcomes for young women of color.
Through YWI, each partnering foundation seeks to support community organizations serving young women of color that are committed to racial and gender equity and that provide leadership opportunities for young women of color. Partnering foundations also invest in organizations led by women of color.