Preparing to Lead

March 15, 2013



Above: Participants in the 2012 Brooklyn Girls Collaborative’s “Yes She Can!” Summit

Look around you and it’s easy to see that Brooklyn is growing—our population, our skyline, our reputation in the world. With the rapid pace of change, no one can predict what our borough will look like in 50 years. But we can predict who will lead us there.

From 1990 to 2011, the population of women in Brooklyn grew by 10% to reach 1,335,000. They make up 53% of Brooklyn’s total population. As the years go by, women are becoming more educated, achieving higher positions in the workplace, and living more independently.

That’s why this Women’s History Month, we’re looking to the future and recognizing the organizations that are helping young women across our borough to develop the necessary skills and confidence to lead our city in the decades to come.

Through our Education & Youth Achievement Fund, we’ve backed their essential work and helped coalesce their efforts through our Brooklyn Girls Collaborative and the “Yes She Can!” Summit

They’re not being taught to simply “lean in.” They’re learning about the great women who created the pathways they now travel, how to defend their points-of-view and be heard clearly, how to overcome stereotypes and defeat ingrained biases, and how to break out and be uniquely themselves.


Here are just a few of the outstanding nonprofit organizations we’ve supported that are empowering young women across Brooklyn to take the lead:

  • Girls Write Now matches girls with professional women writers to develop and produce portfolios, readings, and publications, in addition to a college prep program.

  • Willie Mae Rock Camp is a music and mentoring program named after Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, an early blues and rock performer. Through after school lessons and a summer camp for girls 8 and up, music is a tool for self-expression, entrepreneurship, and all-out fun.

  • Girls for Gender Equity is a catalyst for change to improve gender and race relations, through community organizing and leadership training. GGE participant Emily Carpenter (pictured above) has been a guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show.

  • Girls Inc NYC facilitates the Brooklyn Girls Collaborative and offers over 40 programs, including Economic Literacy and Operation SMART, through which girls develop enthusiasm for and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

  • Sadie Nash Leadership Project offers in-depth leadership training designed to support and develop young women to both visualize themselves as leaders and actualize their leadership.

  • Center for Anti-Violence Education teaches violence prevention programs that focus on women, girls and LGBTQ communities. From martial arts to verbal safety strategies, they’re helping young women become stronger and more secure.

Through your support of the Brooklyn Community Foundation and these great programs, the next generation of women in Brooklyn will be stronger, bolder, and ready to lead.

Ways You Can Do Good Right Here

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125 Years of the YWCA in Brooklyn
Help us congratulate YWCA Brooklyn, which is celebrating over a century of empowering women in our borough. Headquartered on Third Avenue at Atlantic Avenue (built in 1927), the organization founded the first public nursing school in the United States in 1890 and was the first YWCA in the country to racially integrate its programs and residence in 1943. Today, the building is a hive of nonprofit activity, and houses 300 units for low income women and a community center for social justice initiatives.

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Join Foundation President Marilyn Gelber and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger for a VIP benefit screening of the new documentary "A Place at the Table" on Thursday, April 11th at BAM. A discussion of hunger in New York City and across the country with the filmmakers will follow the screening. Purchase tickets.

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