Effective April 25, 2019, the Biden Foundation suspended operations. Read more.


Ending Violence Against Women

Youth LEADS with Men Can Stop Rape in Washington, D.C.


Youth LEADS (Leverage, Energize, and Define Solutions) is a Biden Foundation initiative to combat gender-based violence among youth by providing young leaders with the platforms, network, and organizational support they need to create change. Youth LEADS looks to young people to drive the solutions that will change the culture and end violence in their communities.

Empowering Young Leaders

In 2018, the Youth LEADS team facilitated 15 listening sessions across the country to hear from young people with diverse backgrounds, recognizing the importance of incorporating perspectives that differed in race, geography, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, and other facets of identity that affect individuals’ experiences with violence and inequality, working directly with young leaders and organizational partners to:

  • Identify trends that perpetuate cycles of violence
  • Amplify the voices of youth within their communities
  • Educate policy makers and stakeholders about the needs of youth


Map of the United States depicting Youth LEADS listening session locations

What We Heard

Throughout the Youth LEADS project, we encountered inspiring young leaders who engage critically with the world around them, responding to the fast-moving political, news, and entertainment landscapes of 2018. From our conversations with young people, a clear picture emerged of the high levels of violence they live with and the rigid norms that still perpetuate cycles of violence.

Youth of color and other marginalized youth were acutely aware of the additional burden they carry because of how their race, level of ability, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity intersects with the violence in their lives. Overwhelmingly, youth saw themselves as key to changing the culture to end gender-based violence.

Preview of Youth LEADS recommendations one-pager

Click here to download the Youth LEADS recommendations one-pager (PDF).

What’s Next

In April, the Biden Foundation released a full report of the Youth LEADS initiative, detailing the project’s goals, methodology, findings, and recommendations. We hope you explore the report to discover more about the initiative, read our findings, and most importantly examine our recommendations, so that we can continue to move this critical conversation forward.

Download the full report. (PDF)

“We have to change the culture.”

– Joe Biden