I just had the privilege of attending the 2013 YWCA Salute to Outstanding Women Luncheon with several of my First Source co-workers. I walked into a packed room of what had to be close to 400 attendees who were all there to show their support for the YWCA and the eight women that were being honored.
The mission of the YWCA is “eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” The Salute to Outstanding Women event is designed to recognize the exceptional achievements of women in our region from sectors such as education, healthcare, human services and racial justice. These women may come from all walks of life, various careers and areas of our community but they all share common traits – they care; they give; they make a difference in the lives of others.
We may think that violence, abuse, racism and social injustice doesn’t exist in our community. But these issues are real and they do happen here. And unfortunately all too many of us are aware and have been personally impacted in some way.
What’s interesting is that almost all of the women that were honored today spoke about their own personal support network. Many of them attributed their success and core values to their parents or others in their lives that were influential and modeled the way. I think about the opportunities I myself was afforded by growing up in a loving, nurturing environment where violence, abuse, racism and social injustice were foreign concepts. As an adult and now a Mom, I am unfortunately reminded every day of how unjust the world can be and how it is my responsibility to keep those I love and those around me safe from harm.
I am encouraged by the work being done by these eight individuals and this amazing organization and am honored to have been invited to help recognize these achievements today. I feel compelled to do my part to create a brighter future and I hope others will join me in doing the same.
To learn more, visit http://www.ywcamv.org/