Oct 26, 2020
You may not envision the YWCA as fighting on the frontlines of racial and gender justice, but you should. For 162 years, the YWCA has advocated for women and children who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence. And it has lived its stated values. In 1946, the YWCA became the first fully racially integrated organization in the nation. 50 years ago, it adopted a mission statement as its beacon: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women. Its network of 200 associations, rooted in cities, suburbs and rural areas across the nation may be the sole resource in a community. These diverse chapters work on issues ranging from lack of access to childcare to inadequate healthcare and low-wage jobs. And, as always, leadership matters. Alejandra Castillo, whose work and life are already an inspiration, leads the YWCA with a passion that not even COVID19, an economic recession and a national reckoning with racial injustice could undermine. Listen and you will believe in Alejandra and her team of problem-solving network leaders. They are the change makers the world should know.