YWCA of Minneapolis

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $15,000

Located in Minneapolis. A leader in early childhood advocacy, the YWCA of Minneapolis helps develop early childhood educators and the parents/caregivers of young children into advocates. The Y also does public policy work in the area of youth development.

Grant supports continuation of the Y’s successful Girls and Youth Advocacy program. Typically, groups of 6-12 meet to train and build their advocacy, civic engagement, and leadership skills over a 4- to 12-week period. Development of youth as advocates for policy change includes connecting them to the political process and leaders at the state and local levels, participation in legislative advocacy trainings, Youth Day at the Capitol, and showing youth a variety of possible careers in advocacy and how to get more involved politically. This program encourages youth to choose their own issues, and last year, George Floyd’s murder, the census, and elections gave them plenty to focus on. This year, a new partnership in Brooklyn Center has been productive, led by a staff member who is also a Brooklyn Center city council member and has helped build connections with local government.