At The Women’s Foundation, we believe that investing in young women of color is a powerful strategy for igniting social change, and we are excited to partner with the Crimsonbridge Foundation to support organizations uplifting young women of color in our community.
We know young women are the backbone of our society. They commit themselves wholeheartedly to their communities, drive dynamic change in our economy, politics, and culture, and know best what policy solutions they need to succeed. Even so, the proportion of philanthropic funding dedicated to building their voice and leadership in our region is extremely limited—less than one percent.
At The Women’s Foundation, we are committed to changing things by focusing on a grantmaking strategy that accounts for the ways in which multiple systems of oppression are interwoven in young women’s lives, how these systems impact young women differently based on where they stand, and recognizing the most innovative solutions to address the structural barriers that affect young women’s lives come directly from them.
The coalition centers the voices and experiences of young women of color and firmly believes that in order to generate solutions that are affirming for all girls, including non-conforming and girls of trans experience, we must see them as they are: multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, and lively. The coalition envisions a city in which youth are at decision-making tables, identifying solutions for the issues they face every day. They uplift young women as leaders providing them with the tools and skills they need to advance gender equity and racial justice in the District of Columbia, and work directly with a network of organizations dedicated to advocating with and for youth of color, to adopt policies and practices that center around their needs.
It is time for the philanthropic sector to steer away from investments oblivious to the dynamics of gender, race, and other identities young women have and acknowledge such attributes as strengths and assets. Without acknowledging the multifaceted reality of young women’s lives, our grantmaking will continue to perpetuate and exacerbate disadvantages for young women, girls, and gender-expansive youth of color.
The Crimsonbridge Foundation’s Women & Girls Leadership program awards grants to organizations that develop leadership and advance civic engagement in women and girls.