FRIDA’s 5th Birthday

 When did FRIDA begin? Who founded it and where?

These are difficult questions for us. FRIDA – the idea, the mission, the institution – was conceived and created by so many young feminist activists and their allies that it’s hard to pinpoint a date and time. No matter what origin story we tell, there is always someone else who comes along and makes the story bigger, longer, and more beautiful.

All we know for sure is that FRIDA was born from a shared spirit that crossed borders and generations but was sparked by a recognition of the contributions of young feminist organizing to constructing a more just and equal world.

This spirit lived in whispered conversations, boisterous discussions, quiet musings, and loud rants of different feminist activists around the world who felt that young women, girls, and trans* youth leaders were not getting the resources and credit they deserved compared to their older counterparts.

Young feminists and activists are changing their communities, challenging stereotypes and questioning authority. They’re recognizing inequalities and power structures and they’re rebelling, and not without a cause. In short, they are consciously choosing to color outside the lines, draw new ones, break them open, and bend them into new shapes and directions.

So we can’t tell you exactly when this spirit was born (perhaps it’s better to say it is ageless anyways), but we want to say that eventually this spirit turned into words, which turned into action.

At the end of 2010, after several meetings organized and supported by the Association of Women’s Rights in Development, the Central American Women’s Fund, and the Global Fund for Women, Amina Doherty was hired as FRIDA’s founding Coordinator.

It is with this date in mind that we are celebrating our fifth birthday!

“She couldn’t keep her colors inside the lines so she drew new ones”

By the end of 2015, FRIDA will have awarded almost $800,000 to over 70 groups of young feminists in over 60 countries.  We remain the only youth-led fund in the world dedicated exclusively to mobilizing and providing diverse resources for young feminists. It‘s also the only youth-led fund that has a participatory grantmaking model that ensures young feminist activists who apply for grants decide together who will receive funding – the first application of this model in a global context.

In partnership with The Fearless Collective, we travelled the world asking the young feminist community: “What is FRIDA?” Who are we? What do we do? Why do we need to do what we are doing? We share with you some responses, stories and inspiring words. Check out this short video that captures FRIDA’s spirit in all its beauty. #FRIDAflies 

what-is-frida

Through every grant cycle and year we spend with our grantee partners, we have the honor of seeing the incredible passion, creativity, and dedication of young feminist activists who are both holding and breaking ground around the most pressing issues of our time. From sexual violence to racial inequality, identity politics to access to safe abortion, young feminist activists are using tried and tested strategies, as well as new technologies, art, and organizing techniques. We’ have been using the theme of “Coloring Outside the Lines” to illustrate the amazing impact of the young feminist movement.

Like our grantmaking model, we want our birthday celebrations to be as participatory as it can be. We’re excited to use this opportunity to appreciate everyone who helped bring FRIDA to where it is today, celebrate with them on what young feminists have been able to achieve, and engage them in taking FRIDA to where it wants to go in the future.

Here are some ways you can join us in celebrating the youngfem movement:

And stay tuned for:

  • Virtual and physical events celebrating everyone’s role in powering this amazing movement;
  • More opportunities to get involved in FRIDA’s work and support young feminist organizing (here’s a start);
  • Growth and improvements to our website, communications, and platforms;
  • And much more!