Three years ago, in partnership with The White House Council on Women and Girls, we hosted the very first young women’s listening session.
Two years ago, we launched the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) in partnership with the Governor’s Office. We formed a Cabinet of 25 young women and Council of 70 cross-sector leaders to drive the Blueprint for Action plan to create opportunity for all young women.
Today, with the Young Women’s Initiative, we are building a powerful, cross-sector movement led with and by young women that centers the leadership and well-being of young women in our state who have been pushed to the margins.
At our final Council Meeting with this Governor’s administration on December 6, we celebrated the Cabinet and Council of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota and commemorated their service and leadership to ensure every girl has the opportunity to thrive and is the champion of her own life.
As partners in the Young Women’s Initiative, we know that young women of color, indigenous young women, rural young women, young women with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ youth deserve to thrive and be the champions of their own lives.
Together, we’ve made history as the very first statewide initiative of its kind in the country. We are grateful to Governor Dayton for sharing leadership in this movement, and are excited about what the future holds for our partnership with the next administration.
The Young Women’s Initiative is not owned by any one group. The Young Women’s Initiative is built on the Blueprint for Action research that represents the voices and lived experiences of 800 young women across the state. It is built on shifting the narrative, creating new corporate practices and policies, and increasing resources to make it all happen.
Creating the conditions for young women to thrive has been the work of this Cabinet and Council, along with our WFMN Innovators, grantee-partners, board and staff, and YWCA St. Paul.
Our appreciation goes out to the Young Women’s Cabinet and WFMN Innovators who ensure that YWI stays grounded in the Blueprint for Action. We recognize the YWCA St. Paul, who provides leadership support to the Cabinet.
Thank you to the Young Women’s Initiative Council, which has invested 1,000 hours to launch YWI MN and move the Blueprint recommendations forward.
At the Women’s Foundation, we’ve invested over $1.3 million in this work, published 10 research reports, and will be working in the coming year to drive a Young Women’s Initiative policy agenda at the Legislature.
The momentum for change is building. We can feel it every day! With the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, we’ve ignited a movement and we’re just getting started. Stay with us as we move this extraordinary work forward to achieve equity!