The Youth Engagement Fund (YEF) is a donor-collaborative and grantmaking organization dedicated to investing in youth of color-led civic engagement (ages 16-35) in the South and Southwest. We work with over 50 youth-led groups fighting for change in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Texas.
YEF practices Radical Philanthropy, which means cutting red tape to double down on investments in youth of color and center their voices in civic engagement. We are deeply committed to fighting the legacies of racism, colonialism, oppression, and the capitalist forces that often burn out young leaders, deprioritize activists’ mental health and healing, and alienate those without wealth or powerful connections.
We’re intentional about integrating healing from racism and injustice into our work. We strive to transform philanthropic and organizational practices to promote the well-being of our staff and partners, care for our communities, and change philanthropy to center those who have historically been sidelined and cut off from resources. Our ultimate goal is to close gaps in funding, support, and power for the next generation of young leaders of color.
YEF prioritizes our support in Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, immigrant, women and femme-identifying, and LGBTQ-led organizations in the South and Southwest, two historically underfunded regions of the United States. Our movement partners (grantees) are powerful youth-focused civic engagement organizations focused on building the power and agency of young people of color.