How can $2,500 help move your leadership and ideas forward? Young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ+ youth, and young women with disabilities, between the ages 16-24, were invited to apply to become WFMN Innovators. The application period to join the second cohort of WFMN Innovators is now closed. Applicants will be notified in March 2019.
Through the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota WFMN Innovators program, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota provides one-time microgrants of $2,500 directly to young women (ages 16-24) to support their leadership and to drive their ideas and solutions that advance key recommendations in the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) Blueprint for Action. The first cohort launched in 2018, and awarded 22 WFMN Innovators a one-time $2,500 grant, representing a total investment of $55,000.
“We are thrilled to support the leadership and ideas of the WFMN Innovators, who are not only the leaders of tomorrow – they are leading in communities across Minnesota today. Through their work together and with the Young Women’s Initiative, the WFMN Innovators are creating a more equitable Minnesota. Together, we are driving economic opportunity, safety, and leadership for all young women in our state.”
—Lulete Mola, WFMN vice president of community impact
What is a WFMN Innovator?
WFMN Innovators will receive a $2,500 grant to support innovative problem-solving grounded in the Blueprint for Action, the series of recommendations created in partnership with young women from eight communities across the state and informed by WFMN Listening Sessions. Proposals will identify applicants’ innovative problem-solving aligned with moving forward the Blueprint recommendations. Released in 2017 with the Governor’s Office of the State of Minnesota, the Blueprint for Action comprises 20 recommendations for achieving equity in outcomes, access to equal opportunities, and safe, prosperous lives for all young women in Minnesota.
What do I need to apply?
Through an online grant application that includes a video submission, WFMN Innovators will be selected based on articulation of project proposal, community voice, lived experiences, and commitment to community-building and leadership. The application period closed on January 10, 2019.
Interested in applying?
Who can apply?
Eligible candidates will:
• Identify as a young woman between the ages of 16-24. Our definition of young woman is anyone who identifies as a woman and is inclusive of cisgender, transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people.
• Residence and impact in the state of Minnesota.
• Priority given to young women identifying with one or more of the following communities: Black/African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, Disabilities, Greater/Rural Minnesota.
• Citizenship is not required.
• Project outline
• Project budget
• Letter of recommendation
• Video submission link
How can the WFMN Innovators grant award be used?
Think creatively! How can this microgrant uniquely help move your leadership and ideas forward? How can it help you be more effective in the impact you want to make?
Funds are paid directly to participants to support their leadership for innovative problem-solving based on the Blueprint for Action. The funds must be used within 12 months. Examples include, but are not limited to:
• Start or continue a social change initiative
• Design and pursue a personal learning plan
• Attend a conference and share learnings with community for impact
• Organize an event for impact
• Supply resources to organize people for advocacy
• Travel as part of greater learning and share learnings in Minnesota for impact
What does it mean to be part of a cohort?
The WFMN Innovators will engage in quarterly convenings for leadership development, advocacy, and building community to scale their leadership and project impact. The convenings will give young women an opportunity to support, develop, and scale their leadership and ideas.
A WFMN Innovator says:
“The funding I received as a WFMN Innovator was a direct investment in my ideas and an opportunity to develop my goals to create more representative leadership and support networks in Greater Minnesota,” wrote WFMN Innovator Cheniqua Johnson in a blog post about her experience attending the She the People Summit —the first national summit of women of color in politics. “By gathering with powerful women leading change, I am inspired to move forward and – despite the odds – continue to thrive with my passion to make a difference,” she says.
What is the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota?
Launched in 2016, the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment and public-private partnership with the Governor’s Office that 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 goal of YWI MN is to create a Minnesota where every girl thrives and is the champion of her own life.
Have more questions?
As you prepare your application, please contact Jamara with questions by email or phone:
Reatha Clark King Fellow | YWI MN Program Manager