Oakland, CA, USA mdi-circle-small


Lever for Change Equality Can't Wait Awardee

With the right tools, young women can change America. Women's political leadership efforts typically focus on immediate electoral outcomes. But if we don't engage the youngest generation of women, the fight for parity will never end. IGNITE builds a sense of duty for young women to become politically active, vote, run and serve. Young women may not perceive government as a potential solution to anything. Poor civic education exacerbates this, as girls rarely learn how government works or why it matters. IGNITE leads with issues young women care about, connects them to elected women making decisions around those issues, then trains them to run and lead. If just .1% of Gen Z women ran, the trajectory of women's political representation would change within a decade. Expanding IGNITE's reach to 350,000 young women by 2026 will yield a generation of women who hold office at higher rates than ever before.

Launched in June 2020, Equality Can't Wait was a $40 million challenge to fund solutions to help expand women’s power and influence in the U.S. by 2030. The Challenge was hosted by Pivotal Ventures, Melinda French Gates’ investment and incubation company — with additional support from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Five-hundred-and-fifty (550) proposals were submitted to the competition and were evaluated using four criteria: Whether the proposals were transformative, innovative, equitable, and feasible. The Equality Can't Wait Idea Lab features top projects from all submissions, as selected by a panel of experts and peers. Five Awardees were announced in July 2021: Four received $10 million each (Ada Developers Academy; Girls Inc.; Native Women Lead; National Domestic Workers Alliance), and one received $4 million (FreeFrom).


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