In early May, CEO Donna Haghighat took three of our Young Women’s Advisory Council members from Springfield and peer youth leader Nikai Fondon to the United State of Women Summit in California. The short trip was big on impact as the young women watched speakers such as Tarana Burke, Patrice Cullors, Alicia Garza, Dolores Huerta, Jane Fonda, Michelle Obama and so many others speak out for gender equity.
Ramona Williams, a 15 year old from Springfield got the chance to represent WFWM on the main stage shortly before Michelle Obama spoke. You can watch her remarks and those of other young women across our eight sister funds here. The next day the young women got to connect with their Young Women’s Initiative counterparts across the country and came away full of ideas from this time together.
Ramona, Karla Travieso, and Amiya Phillips, were all grateful for this experience. In Karla’s words:
It was really inspiring and a life changing event. As a person of color, it means a lot to get to see people such as Mrs. Obama, Patrice Cullors, Tarana Burke, etc. I won’t ever forget this and wish to be able to pay you and The Women’s Fund back for all you have done in my life. Can’t wait to take every single thing that I have learned here and use it to teach and empower others.
When you give to the Women’s Fund, you are giving young women like Ramona, Karla and Amiya these unique opportunities and in turn growing fierce future leaders for our community. Funding for the Young Women’s Initiative comes from the MassMutual Foundation as well as individual donors and local businesses. A portion of this trip was also funded by a national grant from The Walmart Foundation.