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Press Release

Governor Walz & Lt. Governor Flanagan Announce Appointments to Young Women’s Cabinet

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced nine new appointments to the Young Women’s Cabinet. Comprised of 24 young women, the Cabinet is a part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a public-private systems change partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of the lives of young Black, Indigenous, and women of color; young women from Greater Minnesota; LGBTQ+ youth; and young women with disabilities. The Cabinet is composed of young leaders from communities across the state that experience some of the greatest disparities in opportunities and outcomes.

“The young women appointed today to the Young Women’s Cabinet are reflective of the best and brightest leaders in Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “Through this partnership, we ask young women directly what we can do better to improve opportunities in every community. I am grateful for the work they will do in pursuit of solutions to the challenges facing young women across the state.”

“Our young women are powerful. We know that young women are leaders within and outside their communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “This initiative is a demonstration of our commitment to center the voices, stories, and ideas of young women – especially those from Black, Indigenous, and people of color; Greater Minnesota; LGBTQ+; and/or disability communities – in our decisions to build a stronger, more equitable state for all Minnesotans.”

“Through seven years of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, we have seen the transformational vision and power of young women and gender-expansive people who are leading today. When we listen and center their solutions, we all win,” said Gloria Perez, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and a co-chair of the Executive Council. “We are proud to be invested in building power with the Young Women’s Cabinet alongside Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, and the cross-sector leadership of the Executive Council for the Young Women’s Initiative.”

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan made the following appointments:

• Rosa Abdela
• Monali Bhakta
• Andrea Hernandez Delgado
• Kayley Hernandez Ruiz
• Gurtaran “Gurty” Johal
• Mariah Mirbel Nelson
• Morgan Pavelka
• Jacqueli “Jackie” Yaurincela Bonete

About the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota is a statewide community foundation investing in innovation and systems change for gender and racial justice. The Foundation envisions a world of opportunity where all women, girls, and gender-expansive people across intersecting identities – and their families – have the power to create and lead safe, prosperous lives. Founded in 1983, it is the first statewide women’s foundation in the country. More at WFMN.ORG.

About the Young Women’s Initiative
The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) is a partnership between the Governor’s Office, the Women’s Foundation, and the YWCA. The YWI MN includes a Cabinet, comprised of young women and gender-expansive youth aged 16-24, and an Executive Council, comprised of leaders from government, business, academia, philanthropy, and nonprofits.

YWI MN centers the leadership and solutions of young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ+ youth, and young women with disabilities. The initiative brings together nonprofits, businesses, government, philanthropies, and young women to promote equitable systems that benefit all, grounded in the belief that when young Black, Indigenous, and women of color in Minnesota thrive, families and communities thrive.

The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota has reached more than 4,300 young women and their families directly across intersecting areas of economic opportunity, safety, and leadership; made community investments of $2.5 million to 58 organizations, 80% led by women of color to advance the Blueprint for Action; engaged 91 women as members of the Young Women’s Cabinet; made 105 “I Believe in You” grants, direct investments in the ideas and solutions of young women through the WFMN Innovators program; and published 10 original research reports focused on young women’s leadership and solutions, including Impacts of the Young Women’s Initiative on the State’s Labor Market. The Young Women’s Initiative’s statewide partnership and direct investments in young women are now being replicated across the nation through the National Philanthropic Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives.

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