California Young Women’s Collaborative


The California Young Women’s Collaborative (CYWC) is NAPAWF’s comprehensive youth-led research and activism project. Through youth empowerment, leadership development and skills building, API undergraduate college women develop and lead community-based research and organizing campaigns around women’s sexual health issues. The students’ own groundbreaking research findings guide their subsequent campus and community involvement.

Why is this project important?

The CYWC project was developed as a response to the low levels of exisiting knowledge and communication about API sexual health, both within and outside of the API community. Although APIs make up five percent of the U.S. population, only two percent of all sexual health articles include APIs. This lack of research reveals a deep, sustained inequity in the amount of funding, research and attention that APIs continue to receive in the realm of health, despite being the fastest-growing ethnic population in the country. It is critical that our community’s repoductive health disparities be addressed in order to adequately meet the needs and rights of all women and girls, both statewide and nationally.

Our strategy

  1. Conduct research projects on college campuses. Student researchers gain the skills necessary to ethically and thoroughly gather data on the sexual and reproductive health of API women at their schools.

  2. Launch campaigns that bridge research, organizing, and young women leaders to transform local, state and/or national policy to better support women and girls.

  3. Help to facilitate student empowerment through skills-building and recognition of youth leadership. Empowerment stems from youth taking the lead in addressing the issues that impact themselves and their communities.

  4. Document and share innovations on research, organizing and advocacy with allied activists.

Our goal is to create – and continually improve upon – an innovative, effective and culturally competent model on California’s college campuses to cultivate the next generation of young API reproductive justice leaders, researchers, health care providers, teachers, activists, advocates and mentors.

Student teams

Past CYWC student cohorts have been at San Francisco State University, UC Davis and UC Berkeley, focusing on topics ranging from sexual assault disclosure to use of contraception among young API women. The current CYWC cohort is made up of 23 API students at CSU Fullerton. Find out more about the student teams’ research findings and activism projects: