The Young Women's Initiative of Minnesota is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Women's Foundation of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota. It is a public-private partnership and a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment to achieve equity in opportunities to improve the lives of young women of color, American Indian young women, LGBTQ youth, young women from Greater Minnesota, and young women with disabilities. In April 2017 an Action Plan will be made public that will provide strategies for how to create the conditions for young women in Minnesota to achieve equity in outcomes and lead safe, prosperous lives.
The Initiative, designed to be as participatory and inclusive as possible, is comprised of 3 core committees that will drive the work: Community-Specific Working Groups, Young Women's Cabinet, and the Young Women's Initiative Council.
Brianna LaDuke a former Girls Lead participant from Warroad, and Elle Sherman, St. Paul (formerly of Bemidji), have been appointed to the Young Women's Council. This group will be charged with ensuring that the work of the Initiative stays grounded in the lived experiences of young women.
Barb Houg, Executive Director of Peacemaker Resources, has been invited to join one of three Community-Specific Working Groups which have been charged with identifying the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota's young women and youth. These groups will help set direction, review data, and contribute to finalization of the Action Plan.
Nancy Vyskocil, President of the Northwest MN Foundation, Bemidji, has been appointed to the Young Women's Initiative Council. This group is responsible for mobilizing and cultivating the resources necessary to implement the Initiative's Action Plan.