Dear Alliance for Girls Community,

The National Collaborative of Young Women's Initiatives was founded by eight women's foundations, including the Women's Foundation of California, to focus on the unique needs of low-income young women, with particular focus on young women of color. Our mission is to catalyze national and local resources to designate and allocate $70 million in 7 years to support work that impacts outcomes for low-income young women and young women of color. I am proud to serve as the Director of this important collaborative.

In my previous role as the Policy Advisor to President Obama's Council on Women and Girls, I made it a priority to uplift the voices and leadership of girls and young women of color. Because I knew that when girls of color are not centered in policy discussions, they are often left out entirely.

One of the last events that I spearheaded at the Obama White House was one that focused on bringing young women to the table to discuss the challenges and obstacles that they face, and the solutions they see to charting their path forward. The girls told their stories and shared their visions for the future with senior White House Officials, and members of the President's cabinet. They were courageous, bold, and innovative. After they spoke, I remember feeling proud, but also overwhelmed with fearfear that voices like theirs would soon be silenced. Without a White House Council on Women & Girls focused on equity, intersectionality and inclusion, who was going to invite these girls to the White House to inform the federal policies that impact their lives?

That's why today, efforts like the National Collaborative of Young Women's Initiatives and convenings like the Together We Rise Summit have become more important than ever. Because they leverage the power and resources of multiple stakeholders across multiple sectors, and keep the voices of girls at the center.

By centering girl voice, highlighting innovations in the field, celebrating girls' champions, and advocating for public policies that are responsive to girls' expressed needs, Alliance for Girls, and its 5th Annual Conference: Together We Rise, is meeting a critical need in the field.

That is why I am thrilled to speak with you on Tuesday, May 23. Join me for this timely and consequential summit!

Sincerely,

Kalisha Dessources


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Alliance for Girls
510 16th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
www.alliance4girls.org
Phone: 510.629.9464 | Fax: 510.318.5399