Skip to main content

SuitUp Empowers 15 Women from Bayview’s Ladies in Power Program

FRIDAY JUNE 16 (3pm – 6:30pm)

Media contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry / (415) 676-7007 /    

SuitUp Empowers 15 Women from Bayview’s Ladies in Power Program

Innovation Violence Intervention Program Provides
Clothes and Mentoring to Participants

Sponsored by Macy’s Union Square, Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP), Operation Genesis Inc., the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA)

Friday, June 16: 3pm – 6:30pm
Macy’s Union Square

3pm – 3:30pm:
Remarks by SFDA Brooke Jenkins; SFPD Chief Bill Scott; Union Square Alliance CEO Marisa Rodriguez

3:30pm – 4pm
Fashion Show begins

Welcome Remarks by Marisa Rodriguez at John’s Grill to honor participants

Dinner and Awards

Event Concludes

The Union Square Alliance ( has announced the upcoming SuitUp! Runway Event, which will take place on June 16, 2023, at Macy’s Union Square in San FranciscoSuitUp!,is a collaborative initiative between community agencies and sponsors including Macy’s Union Square, Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP), Operation Genesis Inc., the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA), which aims to uplift young African American women from San Francisco’s Ladies in Power program through the transformative power of a brand new business suit and a six-week intensive mentoring program. 

“These young women are truly inspirational, and their dedication to their goals inspires us all,” said Marisa Rodriguez, CEO of Union Square Alliance. “Having worked for many years in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, I know how important initiatives like ‘SuitUp’ are to breaking the cycle of violenceThis program defines a smart and compassionate partnership between business, law enforcement, and the community.” 

The inaugural 2022 cohort of Suit Up!, which included young African American men from Bayview’s Alice Griffith Community, participated in a year-long mentorship program focused on empowering and supporting young men during a crucial age. This year, the second cohort of fifteen young African American women, aged 13-20 from SF’s Ladies in Power program, will participate in a six-week intensive program focusing on self-esteem and confidence building, addressing unrealistic beauty standards and social media pressures. 

Upon completion of the program, the young women will have the opportunity to meet with a Macy’s stylist and purchase their first work suit and accessories courtesy of Macy’s. They will also participate in the Macy’s Runway Show on June 16, 2023, showcasing their new suits and celebrating their growth and transformation. 

“I believe if we can get these young women to love themselves and see how powerful they are, we can help set them up to be strong leaders in our communities,” said Taneshia Miller of SF’s Ladies in Power

“Macy’s is thrilled to sponsor this important initiative for the second year in a row,” said John Sparks, Senior Director Store Manager at Macy’s Union Square. “As part of our social purpose platform, Mission Every One, Macy’s is dedicated to creating a brighter future with bold representation for all. This critical work promotes community involvement in San Francisco compassionately and creatively, aligning with our mission to empower more voice, choice, and ownership for colleagues, customers, and communities.”

The idea for “SuitUp” came in 2021 through Robert Newt, a Supervisor at the Street Violence Intervention Program. Determined to see the young people he works with succeed, Newt started a mentoring program with a year-long curriculum focused on self-esteem and positive transformations. 

“My vision for this mentoring program was to collaborate with community partners and teach young people about the power of self-esteem,” said Newt. “I strongly believe that if we can get these young people to love themselves and see how powerful they are, we can help set them up to be strong leaders in our communities.” 

The San Francisco Street Violence Intervention Program is an outreach and crisis response program hosted in the Department of Public Health. Created in 2013 to reduce and intervene in youth-related street violence for the City and County of San Francisco. Already, the “SuitUp” pilot project is gaining enthusiastic support from its community partners, including the SFPD. 

“Congratulations to the young women who participated in Suit Up’s second cohort with Ladies in Power,” said San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.  “They are exceptional young women with bright futures ahead who have demonstrated their commitment to improving themselves and our community.” 

“We are so proud to support 15 young women from the San Francisco’s Ladies in Powerin this second year of the program,” said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.  “The ‘Suit Up’ initiative is about helping young people build confidence to learn to help themselves and their communities.” 

About the Union Square Alliance: 
The Union Square Alliance serves members and creates a high-quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the District’s future success. Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco and an international destination where visitors enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and excellent public spaces found only in the City by the Bay. A lively 27-block community surrounding Union Square Park in the heart of San Francisco makes up the Union Square Alliance. It is bordered to the north by Bush Street, to the east by Kearny Street, to the south by Market Street, and on west Taylor Street. For more information on the Alliance, go to  

For more information on this Violence Intervention Program, please contact Chief Tiffany Sutton, SFDA’s Chief of Collaborative Justice, at

About Macy’s
For more than 160 years, Macy’s—the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc.—has served generations at every stage of their lives. Macy’s customers come to us for fashion, value and high-quality products. We are proud of our heritage and the unique role we play in American culture and tradition. We celebrate occasions big and small, and have created decades of memorable experiences through Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. With the collective support of our customers and colleagues, Macy’s helps make a difference in every market we serve, supporting local and national charities through funding and volunteer service. With fashion, value and celebration as our guide, Macy’s makes life shine brighter for our customers, colleagues and communities. More information is available at