Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council launched the Young Women's Initiative (YWI) to identify the gaps in services for young women age 12-24, with a focus on women of color. The YWI brings together leaders and organizers who work with teens and young adults and advocate for them in all aspects of our society, with the goal of crafting policy recommendations that address racial, gender and other disparities. This is being done with young women at the center of the conversations—as active and consistent participants in discussions and through a multiplatform campaign, #SheWillBe—to hear directly from them.
My mother raised me to respect and defend the rights of women. I'm passionate about equity for girls and women, and I'm committed to making sure our City does better by you. It’s the right thing to do and it’s a matter of justice. You are the future leaders, workers, artists, and entrepreneurs of New York. So an investment in your success is an investment in this place we call home.
As Speaker, I represent the entire City Council but my roots are in El Barrio/East Harlem, where girls like you are planning and trying to live their dreams. I've worked closely with some of the young women in my district and I know there are lots of pressures—teen pregnancy, concerns about safety or immigration status, unequal access to quality schools and opportunities, questions about identity, and the stresses of living in households that are barely making ends meet.
Now, it’s time for us to work together. Please tell my colleagues and me, who are here to serve New Yorkers like you, what kind of services and support you need to make life easier and help you reach your goals. We’re listening, and we’re ready to take action.
Melissa Mark-Viverito Speaker of the New York City Council
The New York City Council convened stakeholders across the City, including but not limited to community-based organizations, advocates, policy experts, and young women themselves. Together they made recommendations to secure the futures of women and girls across the five boroughs.