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Claiming Our Power 2024: Young Women’s Day at the Capitol

On April 4 at the Capitol, our Governor-appointed Young Women’s Cabinet showed what it means to claim our power by advocating with elected officials for our policy agendas, rooted in gender and racial justice. This year’s Young Women’s Day at the Capitol was a total success! We had a full room during our program to learn about different bills that the Women’s Foundation and the Young Women’s Cabinet members are closely supporting this session.

Cabinet members and alumni were joined by donor-partners, funders from the Anderson Foundation, and grantee-partners including Bridge for Youth, YWCA Duluth who host the Young Women’s Initiative Duluth Cabinet, Division of Indian Work, and their Young Women’s Society. We learned more about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proposal from the president emeritus of ERA Minnesota, Suzann Willhite, who reminded us that our state has a lot of work to do towards ensuring equal rights for everyone.

We heard motivating remarks from Lt. Governor Flanagan via video and received a proclamation from the Office of the Governor naming April 4 Young Women’s Initiative Day.

Many had the opportunity to attend the hearing on HF2607 which would expand medical insurance coverage of gender-affirming care carried by Rep. Leigh Finke. “This hearing was a tough one to witness, however participants from the Young Women’s Day at the Capitol were able to gain raw insight on how legislation is done and see the impact of advocacy efforts,” said Janett Jimenez, WFM’s Dr. Reatha Clark King Fellow. “This day allowed for likeminded individuals to make a difference together!”

Then, we hit the ground contacting lawmakers in our districts, pulling members off the Senate floor to learn more about policies on our agendas, and learning about the jobs of legislative staff and lobbyists.

These are just some of the ways we build power and advocate with our state’s communities. Session is only halfway done, and we will continue testifying and supporting coalitions for bills on our policy agenda, with a focus on the health and well-being of women, girls, and gender-expansive people.

If you weren’t able to join us, you can learn more about the Women’s Foundation’s policy agenda and the Cabinet’s policy agenda and sign up for our biweekly Policy Update email during the legislative session. We’ll continue to provide updates on the progress of our policy agendas for gender and racial justice.

Photography by: Mercy Oyadare

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