August 28, 2023

Empowering a New Generation: The Seattle Initiative Nurturing Young Women of Color in Tech


Seattle-based Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) hosts programmes for diverse young women, including their Y-WE Tech program.

Young Women Empowered

Y-WE is a youth development organization founded ten years ago in Seattle.

Their mission is to cultivate the power of diverse young women, non-binary and gender-expansive youth ages 13-26 to be creative leaders and changemakers through their community programs. 

They held their first program in 2010, a seven-month pilot leadership program, which led to the organization offering year-round programs for girls and women.

They are an intersectional feminist organization for all racial identities, but they center their work on the experiences of Black, Indigenous and Women of color.

The Y-WE programs link racial injustice to environmental and economic injustice, patriarchy, and homophobia.

Y-WE Tech

Y-WE Tech is for young women ages 13-19 to explore ways to use technology tools for learning, career success, self-expression, social change and the history of women in technology.

It focuses on how young people, especially young women of color can navigate the tech field.

It offers hands-on access to software, an ability to develop career and college readiness, grow as leaders and discover ways technology can make a difference in the world.

“Y-WE Tech helped me realized that there are faces behind technology and organizations,” said a Y-ME Youth.

“It helped me see that I could be just like them and be successful in STEM if I want to.”

Aya Zouhri, Y-WE’s tech program coordinator, told KUOW that the program allows students to discuss their identities and brainstorm ways to dismantle the injustices they might face in the tech industry.

She added that working at Y-WE has allowed her to influence positive change without feeling overwhelmed by systemic racism and sexism.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.