Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith are seeking applicants for an advisory group that aims to improve the lives of young women around the state — and is made up of young women themselves.
The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, launched last fall by the Governor’s Office and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, has 14 open seats on its 25-member cabinet. Those positions will be filled by young women ages 16 to 24 who represent specific groups: African-Americans, African immigrants, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Latinas, people with disabilities, greater Minnesotans and LGBTQ communities.
In a news release, officials said the panel will work to eliminate disparities in jobs, health, education and other areas that exist between different groups of young women in Minnesota. Members will work alongside representatives from business, nonprofits and government on those goals.
“The cabinet ensures that the efforts of the initiative stay grounded in the lived experiences of the young women and youth from each community, the community-specific challenges and solutions they identified and [is] guided by their leadership,” Smith said.
The initiative is the first of its kind in the United States, backed by an $8 million contribution from the Women’s Foundation.
It was modeled after My Brother’s Keeper, an Obama administration initiative to improve the lives of boys and young men of color.
Applications for the cabinet seats are available on the governor’s website and are due Aug. 22.