The Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC) consists of up to 20 Black, Indigenous, and other people of color who are women-identifying, trans, or gender-expansive young leaders ages 16-24 with connections to Springfield, Massachusetts. Through leadership development and social justice programming delivered in partnership with 18 Degrees, these young leaders identify barriers, consider solutions, and make recommendations for change in their community. The program launched in 2017 and has graduated four cohorts to date. Participants are led through sessions on topics including identity and socialization; power, privilege, and oppression; civic engagement and legislative organizing; organizing and campaign planning; and movement building.
Each year, YWAC members are charged with distributing funding to Springfield-serving organizations whose work addresses the barriers as identified by these young philanthropists. Current cohort members and alumnae use participatory grantmaking, which is the process of shifting the decision-making power to those who are closely impacted by the work. Past grants were awarded to organizations tackling issues such as economic security; mental health awareness; school to prison pipeline; safety and anti-violence; leadership and visibility; gender-based care; and sexual violence.
2021-2022 Session dates and times will be confirmed soon
Career Conversations: January 26, 2022