Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the New York City Council

YWCA USA Women of Distinction Awards Gala 2017

YWCA USA recognized the New York City Council’s Young Initiative for the Girls/Women Empowerment Award.  The New York City Council’s Young Initiative is making a real impact to address disparities that young women face in education, workforce development, healthcare, and the criminal justice system. This impressive, city-wide effort to empower young women and women of color is LGBTQ+ inclusive and affords young women decision-making power. This initiative is an impressive effort to empower young women and women of color, and it is a model for intersectional social justice work. The award was accepted by Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is the speaker of the New York City Council and is the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold citywide office; she launched the Young Women’s Initiative in 2015.