The Women’s Fund is honored to receive the Women’s Funding Network’s 2017 LEAD Award. The award will be presented to eight women’s foundations that have pioneered Young Women’s Initiatives (YWI) at the #WomenFunded2017 conference in San Francisco in early September.

Without your support, this great news wouldn’t be possible.

The LEAD Award is presented to foundations and their CEOs that have demonstrated a commitment to social change while actively addressing gender, race, class, (dis)ability, age, and sexual orientation when making grants. They are also mobilizing philanthropic resources to support programs that benefit women and girls. The YWIs were spotlighted at the 2016 United State of Women summit hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls.

“This year, we are presenting the award to each of the eight women’s foundations that have pioneered Young Women’s Initiatives (YWI), said Cynthia Nimmo, Women’s Funding Network CEO, “because the presidents of these foundations have shown ingenuity and fortitude in their vision of young women and focus on young women of color as advocates, and spokespeople with direct access to legislators and other decision-makers.”

2017 LEAD Awardees:

Jeanne Jackson, The Women’s Fund of Greater BirminghamSurina Khan, Women’s Foundation of CaliforniaRoslyn Dawson Thompson, Dallas Women’s FoundationRuby Bright, Women’s Foundation for a Greater MemphisLee Roper Batker, Women’s Foundation of MinnesotaAna Oliveira, New York Women’s FoundationIrma Gonzales (CEO) and Elizabeth Barajas Roman (former CEO), Women’s Fund of Western MassachusettsJennifer Lockwood-Shabat, Washington Area Women’s Foundation

More about The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham’s Young Women’s Initiative (YWIGB)

The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham’s Young Women’s Initiative (YWIGB) will build upon our economic security work with vulnerable families and will reach young women ages 12-24 with a focus on educational, economic, safety, and leadership opportunities for girls of color. YWIGB is a multi-sector effort to improve the future for young women across our diverse, five-county region, including neglected inner city neighborhoods and struggling rural counties.

Our Plans

Center young women and girls throughout all phases of this initiative by including their voices, their input, their needs, and their leadership during development and implementation.

Build upon our economic security work with young mothers with a lens toward younger women; develop supports that increase both access to and success in college, increased child care for student parents, supports for STEM and manufacturing careers, financial education, and mentoring.

Expand programs to address issues raised in focus groups that disproportionately impact girls of color, including lack of safety, access to mental health care, life skills and financial education, accurate sex education, and transportation gaps.

Support leadership development opportunities by creating Young Women’s Advisory Council comprised of young women of color ages 15-21.

We look forward to sharing our progress with you soon!


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