During March, a month designated for the celebration of women’s history, the Steve Fund centers the mental health of young women of color. Women are more likely than men to experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. Their vulnerability to these conditions are related to forms of gender bias and misogyny including unequal pay in the workplace, intimate partner abuse, and sexual assault.
In recent years, women activists of color, most notably Tarana Burke, led the charge to expose the widespread prevalence of sexual abuse of women and support survivors through the #MeToo movement. The Steve Fund sees this type of advocacy and female empowerment as a critical component of women’s mental health.
Four young women celebrities exemplify the connection between empowerment and mental health. Model Quannah Chasinghorse honored her Indigenous roots at the Gilded Glamor-themed 2022 Met Gala. Since the Gilded Age was associated with genocide, displacement, and trauma of Indigenous people, Channah wore jewelry and other adornments that showcased Native pride including eagle feathers, which are symbol of strength and balance of mind, body, and spirit. Megan Thee Stallion, the rapper, who has had her own experiences with trauma, has created an informative mental health website and launched the Joy Is Our Journey tour for Black girls, young women, and gender-expansive youth focused on wellness. Actress and singer Selena Gomez has a mental health platform, Wondermind, and established the Rare Impact Fund which seeks to raise millions for mental health services. Teen gymnast and Gold medalist Sunisa Lee is the first member of Hmong heritage to represent the U.S. at the Olympic games. She overcame anxiety and significant personal trauma and loss during the pandemic to achieve her historic win.
The Steve Fund salutes these young luminaries who amplify women’s empowerment, mental health, and well-being. We hope their agency will inspire you in your version of flourishing while female!