MEDIA ADVISORY: IGNITE Named Equality Can’t Wait Challenge Finalist

IGNITE – the largest and most diverse young women’s political leadership program in the country- Named Equality Can’t Wait Challenge Finalist.

IGNITE seeks to train 100,000 young women a year to flex their political power as voters, activists, policymakers, and candidates

OAKLAND, CA (February 8, 2021) – In celebration of International Women’s Day, IGNITE, the largest and most diverse young women's political leadership program in the country, today announced its selection from more than 550 applicants as a finalist in the prestigious Equality Can’t Wait Challenge. The Challenge, hosted by Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates’ investment and incubation company—with additional support from MacKenzie Scott and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and managed by Lever for Change—was launched in June 2020 to accelerate the pace of progress toward gender equality in America and will award $40 million to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030.

“For too long, young women, particularly young women of color, and the issues that most impact their lives and futures have been overlooked and underrepresented in the political arena,” said Sara Guillermo, CEO-Elect IGNITE. “For 10 years we’ve been successfully training young women to engage politically at the local, state and national level and each year more IGNITE alumni are sworn into office. We’re proud to join our fellow esteemed finalists in our pursuit of funding that will dramatically accelerate young women’s paths to the ballot and to public office.”

In the summer of 2021, the Challenge will grant three $10 million awards, with an additional $10 million to be allocated among finalists, bringing the total to $40 million. The Challenge will provide funding for innovative, women-led solutions that enable more women, particularly Black, Indigenous, and other women of color, to be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities. 

For more on the Challenge, visit and



IGNITE is a national movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders. As a nonpartisan 501c3, IGNITE builds political ambition in high school and college-aged young women in their own communities. IGNITE provides civic education, exposure to women in political leadership, hands-on training, career opportunities, and a peer network of women who support and nurture each other’s aspirations for civic and political leadership.

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