The Center for Young Women's Development
For Immediate Release

Our mission is to empower and inspire young women who have been involved with the juvenile justice system and/or the underground street economy to create positive change in their lives and communities.

Our work would not be possible without our community. We thank you for investing in us and allowing us to be able to stand strong against injustices.
Please continue your support by
DONATING ONLINE TODAY so
we can continue building the
leadership of young women.
Thank you for supporting us and our families!

For more information about our work or to donate goods or services please contact Tamaya Garcia tamaya@cywd.org or 415-703-8800 x205

We stand in solidarity with human rights organizations

As you may know, The Center for Young Women's Development is one of the first non-profits in the United States run and led entirely by previously incarcerated young women. From the beginning, we have organized young women who were the most marginalized in San Francisco - those in the street economies and the juvenile justice system - to heal themselves and their communities.

During this difficult economic time, when we have had to severely cut back on services, our fund raising efforts are of outmost importance. Receiving a $100,000 check from Craigslist was bittersweet. Unfortunately, this check came at a time when human rights organizations and advocates have come under fire for reporting the role Craigslist has played in aiding sexual predators and the exploitation of women and children. This is difficult to experience as many of the young women who we work directly with have been trafficked on Craigslist by a pimp, leading to their incarceration.

One of the key issues we address at The Center for Young Women's Development is the unfair treatment of young women within the justice system. Currently, our laws work against young women, and ignore the pimps, traffickers and pedophiles who exploit them. Today, a 13 year old girl who is coerced into prostitution by an adult pimp, will be arrested and placed into jail while the pedophile who purchased her and the adult man who sold her both walk free. We believe this injustice is both inhumane and counterproductive.

We applaud Craigslist's recent closing of the adult services section. However, due to Craigslist's position against decriminalization of young women and their reluctance to cooperate with organizations and advocates that support the rights of young women who have been commercially sexually exploited, we cannot accept this check.

We stand firmly with the human rights organizations that call for increased awareness around the issue of youth sex trafficking and the unfair treatment of young women.

The Center for Young Women's Development will continue to cultivate a vibrant and dynamic community that reflects and promotes the values of sisterhood, self-determination, social justice and spirituality. To date, we have reached over 3,500 young women through our core programs, which develop skills for advocacy, leadership and personal growth. Our participants have succeeded in overcoming obstacles and transforming from young women in crisis into confident, productive leaders.