What we are:
What is the Younger Women's Task Force (YWTF)? Founded in January of 2005, The Younger Women’s Task Force, a project of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, is a nationwide, diverse, and inclusive grassroots movement dedicated to organizing younger women and their allies to take action on issues that matter most to them. By and for younger women, YWTF works both within and beyond the women’s movement, engaging all who are invested in advancing the rights of younger women.
What principles or issues does YWTF seek to address? YWTF concentrates on all issues that effect the lives of younger women. Because YWTF is made up of a network of grassroots movements around the country, and YWTF recognizes the diversity of views of its members, the YWTF does not have a specific “younger women’s issue/s” on which all chapters must base their activities.
That said, YWTF does have a set of vision statements that guide our actions. Additionally, while YWTF chapters can and should work for change on issues that are most important to their communities, YWTF also has an issue statement that YWTF chapter members must agree not to work against. Finally, because we are a project of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO), we must also agree not to work against NCWO’s premises and priorities.
What does it mean to be a “grassroots movement”? Many people have views on what makes a grassroots movement. YWTF is grassroots because we are committed to younger women and our allies making decisions from the bottom-up including YWTF policy presented on Capitol Hill and the structure of YWTF events in each town, city, and community across the country. YWTF is a movement because we seek to shape policy, transform culture, build fellowship, and increase the quality of the lives of all younger women independent of their affiliations, education, or position in society.
What if I am just looking for a group of people like me to meet and hang-out with in my community? YWTF is the group for you. One of our primary goals is to make local and national connections for peer mentoring, networking and sharing resources. Our members have found YWTF to be a great place for fellowship, meeting new people, and making friends. Building a welcoming and inclusive YWTF community is integral to our movement.
Is YWTF a feminist group? We believe that actions and values are more important than labels and identities. Some of our members consider themselves feminists; others do not - but we, at YWTF, are all working together to accomplish the same goals.
What kind of events and activities does the YWTF engage in? YWTF Chapters plan projects and events that vary in size and goals. Chapters have designed speak-outs, town-hall meetings, happy hours, discussion groups, film screenings, and multi-state conferences. Click here to find out more about what our chapters are doing now.
Where is YWTF located? Currently, YWTF National is housed within NCWO headquarters, in Washington DC:
Younger Women’s Task Force
c/o National Council of Women’s Organizations
1050 17 th St., NW, Suite 250
Washington , DC 20036
Official business, including requests for information regarding our 501(c)(3) status, may be mailed to the address above. Most of YWTF business, however, is conducted by YWTF volunteer directors around the country. If you need to contact a local chapter for information about an upcoming event or other information please see our contact us page for the contact information of your local YWTF representatives.
How is the YWTF structured? Individual YWTF members are organized in chapters across the country. Because YWTF is in its initial phases, these chapters are primarily located in or near metropolitan areas. In addition, a Nationwide Coordinating Committee serves as a liaison between regions and between YWTF and NCWO.
How is it that YWTF is a “project of NCWO”? NCWO has a number of task forces that are made up of and lead by representatives from NCWO member organizations. What makes YWTF a “project” of NCWO, is that, unlike the other NCWO task forces, YWTF members are individuals located around the country who work with YWTF as individuals; YWTF members are not representatives of any other organizations with which they may be affiliated.
How does the YWTF Nationwide Coordinating Committee (NCC) work? The NCC is a group of individual YWTF members who participate in national oversight committees to help the organization run smoothly. Some of the NCC participants are leaders of YWTF chapters and some are not. The NCC is an infrastructure for YWTF that provides research, policy, website, and organizational support for the YWTF chapter leaders as well as serving as a communications portal connecting the chapters to each other and to NCWO.
Who makes decisions about which actions are OK for YWTF chapters to take? Because YWTF is a grassroots organization most of the decisions are made on the community level. Some decisions (particularly large, public, or policy decisions), once made, must be approved by YWTF National and NCWO to make sure they are not in conflict with NCWO’s premises and priorities. For more information about decision-making in YWTF contact your local chapter director.
Being a member:
Can people who are not in their 20s or 30s, or can men, and others who don’t identify as women, be members of YWTF? YWTF is an organization that works in the interest of Younger Women. All who are interested in working in the interest of younger women may be members of YWTF.
Do you charge membership fees? YWTF does not have national membership fees. Some individual YWTF chapters may have membership fees or suggested membership participation/event donations.
What are the member benefits? Being a member of YWTF means being a part of a movement. As a member you will participate in planning YWTF projects and events, benefit from career networking, and will be alerted of and invited to meetings, political actions, and social activities in your community. Participating in YWTF (particularly if you head a project or participate in leadership) can build your resume, transform your social landscape, and change your community for the better.
Once I am a member, who can I contact with my questions or concerns? Because YWTF is run primarily through its chapters, members should first go to your chapter leadership or other chapter members with your questions and concerns. If you have concerns about your chapter leadership please contact YWTF National at 202-293-4505 and let the NCWO representative know you are calling regarding the Younger Women’s Task Force.
How do I get involved with YWTF? The best way to get involved is to attend a YWTF event near you, contact any YWTF representative, or click here to be added to the YWTF national email list.
How do I get involved in YWTF if there is no chapter near me? There are three ways to join the movement if there is not a YWTF near you:
Join the national email list: As a member of the national email list you will stay abreast of the activities of the YWTF, and receive the YWTF National Newsletter which includes resources and research about YWTF events, interests, and issues.
Join the closest chapter to you: Even if the closest YWTF chapter is hours away from you, joining your nearest chapter will give you an opportunity to participate in a YWTF community. YWTF chapters often plan actions and congregate online or over the telephone. By joining your nearest chapter it is likely you will be presented with opportunities to participate in chapter activities from afar without having to attend meetings in person. What’s more, joining the chapter closest to you may lead to meeting and making connections to people in your community—many of our chapters have members who live, have ties, go to school, or work in a different community than the one around which a particular YWTF chapter is centered.
Start your own chapter: Starting your own chapter may be easier than you think. YWTF encourages younger women to get active in our communities and neighborhoods whether those communities be made up of 5 or 5,000 people. The NCC New Chapter Development Committee will provide you with the tools you will need to start a chapter near you and keep it going and growing strong.
Can I join the YWTF from this website? Yes! If you click here you will be on the national email list and will be contacted by a chapter director nearest you with information about how to get involved and join the movement.