Movement Maker Joanne Smith Co-leads New Initiative to Center Solutions on Girls and Women of Color in NYC
On October 8th, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council launched the Young Women’s Initiative, a multiplatform coalition aimed at supporting young women in New York City and combating chronic racial and gender inequality in outcomes when it comes to healthcare, education, involvement in the justice system and economic development. This is the first initiative in the nation to specifically target and address systemic disparities faced by young women.
Co-chaired by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ana Oliveira (President & CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation), Joanne Smith (Founder & Executive Director, Girls for Gender Equity) and Dr. Danielle Moss Lee (President & CEO of the YWCA of New York City) , the Young Women’s Initiative will convene stakeholders from across the City – including community-based organizations, advocates, policy experts and young women themselves – to inform how the City can transform the lives of young women and girls across the five boroughs.
“The Young Women’s Initiative was born from women and girls of color demanding inclusion in our nation’s racial justice fight of the 21st Century. Our communities will be made whole only when we intentionally address systemic and institutional racism, poverty and sexism while simultaneously creating the conditions for our girls and young women of color [trans and cis] to thrive alongside their brothers. YWI is intergenerational, strategic and visionary. I’m honored to Co-Chair and co-lead another way forward with some of the most intelligent and courageous people in the movement,” said Joanne N. Smith, Young Women’s Initiative Co-Chair and Founder/Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity