The New York Women’s Foundation is dedicated to supporting girls and young women of color as leaders now and in the future by breaking generational cycles of poverty, abuse, and disinvestment. The Foundation has played a leading role in “first of its kind” efforts to center the voices of girls and young women of color and to attract attention and funding to efforts to support their success.
IGNITE! With Girls, Young Women and Gender-Fluid Youth of Color
In October 2014, The Foundation launched IGNITE!, a seven-year, multi-pronged, multi-million dollar initiative that unites the power of community, government, philanthropy and—most importantly—girls, young women, and gender-fluid youth of color themselves to radically change the way that society views and supports the strengths of this vital population.
IGNITE! works to spark discussion and leverage diverse resources, expertise and insight toward promoting and strengthening community-based solutions to the structural inequities facing girls, young women, and gender-fluid youth of color.
The components of IGNITE! include:
The Young Women’s Initiative of New York City (YWI)
YWI was launched in May 2015 by New York City by past New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. YWI is the nation’s first municipal effort solely dedicated to creating policy, legislative and funding recommendations in support of young women of color. YWI convened a variety of experts, including youth, through focus groups and participation in working groups to shape the direction of recommendations of the Initiative. The New York Women’s Foundation was a proud co-chair of YWI, alongside Joanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity, and Dr Danielle Moss, former CEO of YWCA of New York City.
In February 2016, The New York Women’s Foundation and NoVo Foundation announced an initial commitment of $10 million in new philanthropic funding for programs targeting girls, young women and trans youth of color in New York City, matching a $10 million public commitment announced by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Since that time, the philanthropic collaboration, known as The NYC Fund for Young Women and Girls of Color, has grown to include nearly two dozen local and national foundations. Visit The National Philanthropic Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives for more information.
NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color
The NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color is a collaboration of a diverse and growing group of funders coming together to expand philanthropic investment for girls and young women of color in NYC. The first of its kind in the United States, The Fund envisions a city that offers an opportunity for all girls and young women of color, inclusive of two-spirited, transgender and gender non-binary youth, to succeed economically and socially. It pools money to invest in non-profit efforts that promote the well-being and leadership of young women of color as change agents, and partners with communities and other allies to advance equity. The Fund’s goal is to shift philanthropic practices by increasing sustained investments for girls and young women of color and sharing knowledge on effective strategies and approaches. Please click here to read more about The NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color.
Girls Ignite! Grantmaking
The New York Women’s Foundation launched Girls IGNITE! Grantmaking (GIG), a youth grantmaking program aimed at engaging, educating and empowering economically, racially and culturally diverse self-identified girls and gender-fluid youth through philanthropic education and giving. The program aims to:
Educate, prepare and activate a new generation of philanthropists.
Promote awareness of social justice issues.
Develop leadership, team building, consensus building, and decision-making skills.
Understand the history of philanthropy, grantmaking and The New York Women’s Foundation.
Design grant guidelines and make recommendations for funding to The Foundation.
The National Philanthropic Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives
The first collaborative of its kind, the National Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives works to address the core, structural issues that have kept too many of our nation’s low-income young women—particularly young women of color— from reaching their full potential.
Members of the National Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives: Washington Area Women’s Foundation, The New York Women’s Foundation , Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, Texas Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and The Women’s Foundation of California.
National partner in technical assistance: Girls for Gender Equity