TERESA C. YOUNGER: PRESIDENT & CEO, THE MS. FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN

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My Native Admission Statement: I’m an Air Force brat from North Dakota, who, as a young Black girl, knew more about farming than feminism and thought GS meant Girl Scouts, not Gloria Steinem. Now, I work on planting the seeds of feminism, have Gloria Steinem on speed dial, and live out the values of a lifelong Girl Scout: to make the world a better place. This set the stage for where I am today to lift up and amplify the voices of women and girls of color and to move money to those who need it most to make the changes in their communities. - https://forwomen.org/staff/teresa-c-younger/

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

In 1973, four women — Patricia Carbine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Gloria Steinem, and Marlo Thomas — believed the fight for gender equity would progress further if women worked together. Over 45 years later, this vision holds true, as the Ms. Foundation for Women works to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. Today, we amplify the voices and visions of our grantee partners, women on the ground fighting for racial and gender equity. At the Ms. Foundation, we trust women to have the answers to help and heal their communities, a trust we have built our legacy on and will continue to build our future with. Women of color have been at the frontlines of nearly every movement in this country; they have moved this country forward but our society does not show them the same support. In the strategic plan we rolled out last year, we reshaped the focus of our work, intentionally and unapologetically centering women and girls of color as a point of inclusion. We looked at the pool of inequality and decided to drop our pebble over the efforts of women and girls of color. We believe that the ripple effect of helping this community will spread wide and lift everybody up in the process.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Maya Angelou, without a doubt. But, there are also the women I call “everyday feminists” that I have to privilege to work with who inspire me. Whether they are on my staff, on a panel with me, or a part of one of our grantees across the country, I look up to the strength of these women that fight for what they believe in.

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