IGNITE named as Equality Can’t Wait Challenge award recipient


Hosted by Pivotal Ventures, MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

OAKLAND, CA, July 29, 2021 – As part of an Equality Can’t Wait Challenge announcement made earlier today, IGNITE, a national movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders, was recognized with a $4 million award for its bold ideas to expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030. IGNITE’s Training Next Gen Women to Flex Their Political Power will scale its impact-driven programs to train hundreds of thousands of young women to flex their political power as voters, community organizers, commissioners, policymakers, and candidates. IGNITE leads with issues young women care about, connects them to elected women making decisions around those issues, then trains them to run and lead.

Hosted by Pivotal Ventures, with support from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and managed by Lever for Change, the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, which launched in 2020, is the first competition centered on gender equality in the U.S. and represents an opportunity to invest in and empower women leaders who bring a wide range of lived experiences to their work to advance women’s power and influence in the U.S.

“We are so proud to receive funding from the Challenge in recognition of our demonstrable track record of building young women’s political voices and power. The sheer lack of women in political leadership necessitates a next-gen solution. Dramatically expanding IGNITE’s reach will yield a generation of women who are politically active and hold office at higher rates than any generation before. That’s what will create a transformational shift of power in this country.”

- Sara Guillermo, Chief Executive Officer, IGNITE

“The overwhelming response to the Challenge proves there’s no shortage of transformational ideas about how to accelerate progress for women and girls,” said Melinda French Gates, founder of Pivotal Ventures. “The next step is to make sure those game-changing ideas get the support they need to become fully realized and improve people’s lives. We can break the patterns of history and advance gender equality, but we must commit to lifting up organizations, like the ones receiving awards today, that are ready to lift up women and girls."

“The awardees are strong teams working on the front lines and from within communities to help women build power in their lives and careers,” added MacKenzie Scott. “And best of all, they’re not alone. This challenge received so many bold ideas to activate new levers, remove old barriers, and push forward for gender equality. It’s exciting to see all the ways people are making a difference.”

The response to the Challenge was enthusiastic, with more than 550 proposals submitted from nearly every state in the U.S. For more on the Challenge, visit https://leverforchan.ge/ECW.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristin Greene, 415-987-1065, greene@flashpointpr.com

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